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Having All Knowledge

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1 Corinthians 13

Today education has become a discussion point for children around the world, particularly for girls. Knowledge is thought to be the key to a better life, and therefore is to be pursued. Actually it is God’s will for us to grow in knowledge. He gifted us with brains and curiosity; language enables us to learn from one another.

According to scripture, wisdom and knowledge go together. The wisest man known on earth wrote “The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6). Does that include time in a pandemic which has hearts failing out of fear? As we look at our world today do we really reverence the God who knows all things (Psalm 139:4)?

Solomon also wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Job acknowledge his need of the One who “can do all things”. This God whom Job worshiped listened to Job as he talked about things he didn’t understand, “things too wonderful for me to know” (42:2-3). How often do we make observations about things we do not fully understand?

With these few thoughts in mind us turn to the scripture reading. God is revealing His will for His children; they are to emulate the Father by their love. Often we read this chapter as a challenge for the way we live, and truly it is that. But let us consider it as a revelation of who God is.

In the midst of a multitude of good things we find a small phrase embedded, beginning with the word “If”. If you or I have the gift that enables us to fathom all knowledge….. (:2). Think of it – we would understand why this pandemic has taken over the world. We would know how the stars came into being. Recently astrophysicists have sent equipment into space that is supposed to enlighten us on that topic. If we could understand what makes people tick we could solve the world’s relational problems, and the list goes on!

The Apostle Paul had been given some specific knowledge that enabled him to finish the “if” in all these verses. If we could speak all earthly and heavenly languages, if we could prophesy, if our faith was strong enough to move mountains, if we were magnanimous in our charitable giving and even sacrificed our lives as martyrs to our faith, what good would it do IF one key ingredient was missing.

Throughout scripture we see the heart of God; the essence of His uniqueness which makes Him worthy of all our worship, is LOVE. He has all knowledge. He knows you and me because He made us; He knows what makes us tick, He knows our every need. But without the love that reached down to earth in the person of His Son Jesus, all that knowledge is nothing. His love poured out on the cross revealed that knowledge alone is not enough. We need both head and heart to be engaged, if ever we hope to serve this great God!

Reflection:

It is a solemn thing to consider that without love God considers our lives to be worthless. Three small words say it all “I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). All our strivings, all our learning, all our fame and fortune are useless without the spirit of the living God motivating us. Our greatest hope is also found in this chapter. “Love never fails” (:8). God does not leave us to flounder alone, but puts His very Spirit within us to lead us into true love. So much masquerades as love today that has nothing of that quality which God knows is truly love. We have been given the gift of the knowledge of that love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

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When God Withdraws

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Romans 1

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul begins with some Biblical truth, in order to ground the Roman Church. He includes truths revealed in scripture about God, Himself. Now that Paul has described God’s character to us, he turns to compare it with man’s. What a disappointment humankind must be to our Creator. He gets little glory or appreciation for all that He has done for us! In fact it is quite the opposite. Man, giving in to the folly of pride, started creating his own gods. ”…their foolish hearts were darkened” (:22).

First of all man’s intellect became his god. What he thought, what he believed, what he chose to worship, became of primary importance. Where did that take him? God first gave man over to sinful desires. His thinking was infected with self-righteousness.

Second, God gave them over to shameful lusts, through which any sexual behaviour became appropriate. The heart of man became suspect, as his feelings led his head. This was not the Creator’s intention. He had revealed Himself repeatedly, through acts of mercy, through scripture, through our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Paul writes – “Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Third God gave them over to a depraved mind. The mind of mankind, originally created with all the potential of Godly decision-making, became filled with every kind of evil, greed and depravity resulting in a whole list of godless activities (Romans 1:29-31). Today our society, if not condoning these, will excuse murders, insolence, mistreatment of parents, hating God, in a spirit of senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless living. The final line is drawn when they decide to approve of everyone doing such things (Romans 1:32); seen in the freedom of man’s wisdom running loose.

Note that three times Paul says “God gave them over”. Leaving man to decide his own fate, God withdrew. His character did not change. He is always, eternally, a God of love and truth and holiness. However, sin and holiness are like oil and water – they do not mix.

How is the faith community to respond? We are to love our enemies – the person, not the sin. That is very hard to do. Out of fear we want to see these evils corrected. We fear for the salvation of our loved ones, for the infection of sin which is spreading throughout society, pandemically. But we are a community of faith and our faith is put into practice by doing what Jesus would do. What would Jesus do if He walked through North America today, for example?

Is it possible to bridge the gap between right and wrong? No! Jesus already has done that with His life, and death, yet people still reject His remedy for the sickness of sin. The best we can hope for is that His joy and peace, demonstrated in a spirit of love, will create a yearning in hearts darkened by an error that is spreading like wild-fire in our hedonistic society today. We know that God has already gone to the nth degree to correct these evils, but His love is everlasting!

So we pray that the Light will still provide Life, drawing men and women out of the pit they are digging for themselves. Let us all remember at the dawn of a New Year, that positive change always begins with “me”. Furthermore, I am the only person over whom I can really have any control. With God the Holy Spirit’s help I can exercise that required control which will temper my mind and heart, and my reactions to things others do to irk me.


Reflection:

Which is the greatest sin of our day? Is one worse than another? Do we not all continue to sin in small ways or large? How dangerous is prejudice? Is this why Jesus commanded us not to judge others?

The Psalmist prayed that God would search his heart (Psalm 139:23).

Let us pray: “Create in me a new heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, or take Your Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and grant a willing spirit to sustain me.” Amen (Psalm 51:10-12).

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

Devotional

Eternal Hope

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Psalm 62

Recent research on nurses in the workplace has found that the need for resilience is critical, linking resilience, hope and optimism together. Other psychological studies demonstrate this linkage in the development of emerging positive organizational behaviour, which simply means happiness in the workplace.

What is your greatest hope today? Health? Happiness? Strength? Wisdom? Love? There is a multitude of things we as Christians pray for, but do we recognize the depth of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ?

Let’s look at David’s hope. In Psalm 62 he describes its source. “My hope come from Him”….from God alone in whom his soul finds rest (:5). What is it about David’s God that differs from other gods of his era? Twice he refers to God as his rock and his salvation (:2, 6). In the challenges of change we all need to know our souls are resting on the solid rock, don’t we?

This God is a “mighty rock” which forms a fortress or a refuge for the King of Israel. David’s job is not an easy one. His people are wayward, his sons rebellious (:3,4). Facing all of this, plus international warfare, we must not be surprised to learn that he became disheartened. At such a low point in his life, David seeks strength and security in God, knowing he can trust His faithful love (:12). Where do we go when needing consolation and direction?

David’s testimony declares God to be One who listens, and he encourages others, including you and me today to “pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge”! (:8). As I examined my own hopes for today I wondered if I could affirm what David says: “My salvation and my honour depend on God” (:7)?

Billy Graham spent his long life teaching and preaching hope to a world writhing in pain. “For the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by His death and resurrection”, he reminded his listeners. We often celebrate this hope at Easter, but do we consider the cost that put a baby in a manger? Facing a life of distrust and even persecution and death, Jesus came to give us eternal hope.

Reflection;

Do we ever look at hope from God’s perspective? It actually is a gift to us voiced through the prophet Jeremiah who, on God’s behalf declared “I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11). Eternal hope! God doesn’t intend for mankind to feel hopeless. He created an eternal home for all those who love Him and follow Jesus (John 14:1-3). Eternity is a long time – much too long for our finite minds to comprehend. God, the author of hope, looks forward to our fellowship with Him throughout eternity. He sent His Holy Son to make a way for this dream of eternal life to come true. At Christmas time our thoughts turn to gifts. What an exquisite gift we have in Jesus Christ. Eternal Hope!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

Uncategorized

The Sacrifice of Praise

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Psalm 100

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name” (Hebrews 13:11)

The Apostle Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Prior to that Jeremiah had also written about praise which he called “sounds of joy and gladness….thank offerings” to be brought into the house of the Lord. Kirk Dearman based a well loved chorus on Jeremiah 33:11:

“We bring the sacrifice of praise

Into the house of the Lord.

We bring the sacrifice of praise

Into the house of the Lord.

And we offer up to you

The sacrifices of thanksgiving;

And we offer up to you

The sacrifices of joy.”

Perhaps this is the panacea for the spirit of heaviness that pervades our world today. Can we, will we begin a habit that will stem the tide of depression? We have many Biblical examples of praise and worship which lift our spirits when we study the truths behind them.

“Shout for joy to the Lord” the Psalmist wrote. To whom does this apply? He answers “all the earth”.

“Worship the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:1-2). Do we find ourselves attending church out of a sense of obligation or duty? Has it become a tradition to meet with our friends on Sunday? Or have we gone to church anxious to offer praise? It may be a sacrifice. Perhaps we are grieving. Some of us are struggling with health issues or disappointed hopes, things that occupy the forefront of our minds. How can we think happy thoughts at such a moment?

The Apostle Paul is our great example. He sang hymns while bound in chains in a dank, dark prison cell. Perhaps he had memorized Psalm 100. “Come before Him [God] with joyful songs”. Hymns celebrate the great God we worship. Today many songs focus on “Me or I” but when we contemplate the character of our God, we are compelled to acknowledge His wisdom and majesty, His faithfulness and love. What joy to know that “our God is greater than any other god”! Yet “what a friend we have in Jesus” the One who bears all our sins and griefs!

The Psalmist warns “Know that the Lord is God” (100:4). Is there something lacking in our knowledge of God? How can we correct that? Another Psalm admits to needing God’s word – scripture memorization. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11 KJV). This is what enables us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (100:4). After all “The Lord is good”. In a world torn by evil, hatred, fear and anger, we rejoice to know the goodness of our God, the One whose “love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations” (100:5).

Reflection:

It hardly seems to be a sacrifice to give praise to the God of heaven who is our personal Father, Shepherd and King. Let us sing His praises out of the abundance of joyful hearts, since we know God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

Devotional

The Judge Stands at the Door

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James 5

The news is full of judgment, whether it is political, criminal or even inspirational. Sports figures and artist are weighed by public opinion and everyone, we are told, is entitled to their own opinion. Strangely enough few people take God’s opinion to heart. However, as our scripture indicates He is the ultimate Judge and even now is waiting, withholding the inevitable judgment on mankind (James 5:9).

James paints a grim picture of the last days! Folks will be hoarding their wealth (James 5:3, 5). Having worked in developing countries where I have seen people picking through garbage to find food, along with storks and rats, I marvel at the waste of food and the self-indulgence as we sit down to tables groaning with plenty, day after day. James observes there is also an attitude which sometimes we see in the twenty-first century. How can we get the best bang for our buck? (James 5:4) Does cheating a workman of the wages he deserves, count as fair? The rich have taken advantage of the poor (James 5:6).

All is not lost. James challenges us to remember the Lord; He is full of compassion and mercy (James 5:11). He calls each of us to be as steadfast as Job was, in our moral integrity. In a day when everyone does what is right in their own eyes, will we find righteous living according to the standards God has clearly laid down in His Word?

Jesus gave us cause for reflection. When Jesus returns will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). How can we call ourselves people of faith if we do not obey the Word of God? Faith is believing, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Becoming a Christian is not saying a prayer asking for God’s forgiveness, if our lives do not follow the pattern laid down by Jesus. His life was one of obedience to the Father’s will “I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

Our words must be matched by our deeds when the day of judgment comes. Look at this Judge once more. How much do we have to fear? Is it fear that drives us to do what is right? God has lavished His love on us by sacrificing His only begotten Son (1 John 3:1). That is a love He longs to have reciprocated. “There is no fear in love”, John writes (1 John 4:18). Fear has to do with punishment, and scripture assures us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

So what does it mean to be “In Christ”? Sometimes we sign our letters with that phrase. What do we mean? Do our lives stand the test? Are we selfless, Christ-centered, generous and kind? Do we endure with patience, believing God allows suffering for a moment but “Joy comes in the morning”? (Psalm 30:5). Are we willing to endure persecution for the sake of our Lord and His gospel message? Do we return good for evil done to us? Can we forgive ourselves knowing the Spirit of God will help us to overcome our weaknesses and failures?

Reflection:

The Judge of all the earth can see deep into our hearts, yours and mine. What does He see?

by Marilyn Daniels (marilyndaniels.net)

Devotional

New Leadership

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Good Morning All! In my devotions today I was reading about Cornelius, described as a devout man who believed in God (Acts 10). It gave me hope that God would work similarly in the heart of other devotees today, to bring them the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, as King of Kings! He is worthy of all worship, glory, honour and praise. Those who are humble in heart might worship Him in spirit and in truth.Whether it is spiritual pride or pride of status, wealth or knowledge, pride is one of the greatest hindrances to a pure relationship with God, isn’t it? ….for me, for anyone.As I pondered on this scripture, my hope and prayer is that God would impact the mind and heart of the one chosen to lead the USA in these next 4 years (Romans 13). Joe Biden’s reputation is that of a devout man, but like Cornelius, he needs Jesus, as does every man and woman. I cannot, would not judge his relationship with God, but he’s been given a terrible responsibility needing Divine help! We have been given the responsibility to pray for those in authority…..just think of the impact a Christian nation may yet have on our world. If any nation calling themselves “Christian” would walk as Jesus taught, caring about others, sacrificing our own comforts for the sake of others, risking all we have for others, sharing our blessings with others, what a different world this would be.As we pray for God’s will to be done, I’m reminded of Jesus’ words that call me to measure my own life against God’s principles. If I am without sin I can cast the first stone. If I am to condemn others I must first take the plank out of my own eye before trying to remove the splinter in anyone else’s. Am I walking the walk? As I write this, it is with a grateful heart. God has sent the Holy Spirit to walk with me; I do not walk alone. We have every cause to hope for peace and  joy!  Let us pray.”God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear” (Psalm 46:1-2a) Lovingly, prayerfully, Marilyn.

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional

When God Withdraws

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Romans 1

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul begins with some Biblical truth, in order to ground the Roman Church. He includes truths revealed in scripture about God, Himself. Now that Paul has described God’s character to us, he turns to compare it with man’s. What a disappointment humankind must be to our Creator. He gets little glory or appreciation for all that He has done for us! In fact it is quite the opposite. Man, giving in to the folly of pride, started creating his own gods. ”…their foolish hearts were darkened” (:22).

First of all man’s intellect became his god. What he thought, what he believed, what he chose to worship, became of primary importance. Where did that take him? God first gave man over to sinful desires. His thinking was infected with self-righteousness.

Second, God gave them over to shameful lusts, through which any sexual behaviour became appropriate. The heart of man became suspect, as his feelings led his head. This was not the Creator’s intention. He had revealed Himself repeatedly, through acts of mercy, through scripture, through our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Paul writes – “Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Third God gave them over to a depraved mind. The mind of mankind, originally created with all the potential of Godly decision-making, became filled with every kind of evil, greed and depravity resulting in a whole list of godless activities (Romans 1:29-31). Today our society, if not condoning these, will excuse murders, insolence, mistreatment of parents, hating God, in a spirit of senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless living. The final line is drawn when they decide to approve of everyone doing such things (Romans 1:32); seen in the freedom of man’s wisdom running loose.

Note that three times Paul says “God gave them over”. Leaving man to decide his own fate, God withdrew. His character did not change. He is always, eternally, a God of love and truth and holiness. However, sin and holiness are like oil and water – they do not mix.

How is the faith community to respond? We are to love our enemies – the person, not the sin. That is very hard to do. Out of fear we want to see these evils corrected. We fear for the salvation of our loved ones, for the infection of sin which is spreading throughout society, pandemically. But we are a community of faith and our faith is put into practice by doing what Jesus would do. What would Jesus do if He walked through North America today, for example?

Is it possible to bridge the gap between right and wrong? No! Jesus already has done that with His life, and death, yet people still reject His remedy for the sickness of sin. The best we can hope for is that His joy and peace, demonstrated in a spirit of love, will create a yearning in hearts darkened by an error that is spreading like wild-fire in our hedonistic society today. We know that God has already gone to the nth degree to correct these evils, but His love is everlasting!

So we pray that the Light will still provide Life, drawing men and women out of the pit they are digging for themselves. Let us all remember at the dawn of a New Year, that positive change always begins with “me”. Furthermore, I am the only person over whom I can really have any control. With God the Holy Spirit’s help I can exercise that required control which will temper my mind and heart, and my reactions to things others do to irk me.


Reflection:

Which is the greatest sin of our day? Is one worse than another? Do we not all continue to sin in small ways or large? How dangerous is prejudice? Is this why Jesus commanded us not to judge others?

The Psalmist prayed that God would search his heart (Psalm 139:23).

Let us pray: “Create in me a new heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, or take Your Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and grant a willing spirit to sustain me.” Amen (Psalm 51:10-12).

by Marilyn Daniels

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

My Sin is Ever Before Me

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Psalm 51

In this Psalm of penitence David pleads for forgiveness and cleansing. He fears what life would be like without the presence of God. The distress causing David to pray this way is the very real understanding of how his life had failed to please God. His sin was ever in his face. Was he not forgiven?

The Bible tells us that all children of God are saints. The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” So who is a saint today? Paul talks about equipping the saints (KJV) [‘God’s people’ NIV] for works of service, for the purpose of maturing His Church (Ephesians 4:12). However the saints need prayer (Ephesians 6:18) Why?

Paul answers this question. In the passage where he addresses the equipment needed by children of God to fight the enemy of our souls (Ephesians 6:11), Paul warns the church at Ephesus to always keep on praying for the saints; in other words for one another, even for him (6:18-19a). Isn’t it comforting to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints (Romans 8:27). We also read that God guards the feet of His saints (1 Samuel 2:9).

Both Old Testament and New tell us about saints who sing God’s praises (Psalm 30:4), who love and fear the Lord. In a triumphant song of praise the Psalmist writes “The Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honour!” (Psalm 149:5). They “will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever – yes! Forever and ever” (Daniel 7:18). In the end saints will be given the privilege of judging (1 Corinthians 6:2). With all of this in mind, let’s not be deceived. Sainthood is not for a special few. Neither do we pray to saints for their support – there is nothing in scripture about that. Jesus is the one and only intercessor when we sin, with whom we share our joys and sorrows (Hebrews 7:25).

So, just as David struggled with the memory of his sin, do we also? Yes. The Apostle Paul did; he describes the struggle in Romans 6. However, there is something protective about remembering the awfulness of our sins. If we forget that taking another drink will put us over the edge, that just an innocent flirtation endangers our sexual purity, that overeating is hard on the body, that gossip ruins another’s reputation, may we not yield to temptation more easily?

Psalm 51 is a cry for mercy according to God’s unfailing love! (:1) As much as our sins impact the lives of others, it is against God alone that we have truly sinned (:4). God desires truth – and the truth is I am vulnerable to attack from within and without….but God! He is the source of wisdom and allows us to distinguish between our sinfulness and His holiness. He is the only One who can wash away all my iniquity (:2), who longs to create a new heart in each of us (:10), who saves me from guilt (:14), who knows if my repentance is genuine (:17).

Reflection:
Have you ever done anything that you hate with a passion? How did you deal with it? Are you forgiven? Do you remember it? How does that memory protect you from a repeat performance? Do you come before God with a broken spirit and a contrite heart? How does God promise to receive you in that attitude? Are you a saint or a sinner? Isn’t the answer “both”?

by Marilyn Daniels

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

Songs in the Night

man touching book
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Acts 16:16-30

How often have you been awakened in the night with the strongest impression God wants to speak to you? Samuel and others are Biblical examples of such an experience. Job’s friend Elihu thought he knew the answer to Job’s problems, reminding him that God our Maker is the one who gives songs in the night (Job 35:10). What experience he was drawing upon we do not know, but I know what it is like to sing praises to God in the middle of the night. Do you?

Two thousand years ago, at midnight, though a strange choice of hour to sing praises to God, Paul and Silas were doing just that from a most unlikely place. They were in prison, but that did not stop them from glorifying the Lord their God. In the quiet of night, without officials rushing about and the clamour of daylight hours, it was a testimony to other prisoners at the very least. Imagine! God heard them and responded. He sent a violent earthquake which released them from their chains.

What chains bind us in the night? Are our hearts free from oppressive thoughts, resentment, disappointment or despair? What is it that keeps us awake at night? Do our hearts fail us for fear? Do we regret succumbing to temptation? Have we hurt someone we love, immeasurably? Do we care that we have displeased God? Does our faith waver?

Or – are our hearts overflowing with joy in the faithfulness of our mighty Saviour? Slowly dawning in the silence of night, spiritual truths take shape with spectacular joy as we meditate on our glorious Lord. Haven’t we heard the voice of God responding to our cries? Haven’t we felt the touch of His loving hand through the physical presence of a brother or sister in Christ? Hasn’t God’s Holy Spirit suddenly enlightened our understanding on a scripture with which we have been long familiar?

What marvellous sights have we seen, or sounds have we heard, that draw us to worship the Creator of all things? What thanksgiving replaces sorrow and loss! What hope pierces the darkness! Hallelujah!

Reflection:

It is often in the darkness of night that my spirit burns within as I see the Light of God, and listen to His voice. Whatever my cries may have been, healing comes in the sweetness of His presence. Thank God for the mercies of victory in Jesus that is only understood when all other distractions have been taken away!

Why are you downcast, O my soul?….by day the Lord directs His love; at night His song is with me”

(Psalm 42:5a & 8a)

by Marilyn Daniels

http://www.marilyndaniels.net

Devotional · Uncategorized

Favorite Scriptures

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1 John 4:7-19

If you were asked to give your favourite scripture verse or verses, what might they be? Would they be focused on the comfort of your faith, or the greatness of your God? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. However, the answer does demonstrate where you are on your faith journey, doesn’t it? Faith begins with our vision of God. The Psalmist wrote “The Lord is my light and my salvation! Of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 KJV) “The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (NIV)

Some of my all-time favourite verses are 1 John 1:7-9. As long as I live in this mortal body I will need to come before God in a spirit of repentance, knowing that He, in His amazing love will cleanse me from all unrighteousness. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us….” What great reassurance this is of His faithfulness and His fairness!

Along the way so many verses have spoken at my point of need. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). In fact that whole chapter has spoken to me since I was a young teen. Listen to this: “The mind of sinful man/woman is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (:6). “The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (:26). “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…” (:28).

Who is this God? “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God” (1 John 3:1). He has given us His Holy Word, so that we can know Him. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:11, 105). Jesus, God’s only begotten Son is “…the light of the world” (John 8:12). “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17). Do we understand the sacrificial nature of God’s great love?

Job describes Him: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth, and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I will see Him with my own eyes….How my heart yearns within me!” (19:25-27).

Then of course we all have favourite promises…”Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles [what a word picture!}; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Now in my senior years I agree with King David – “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4).

Reflection:

It is encouraging to look back to verses that impacted our lives in younger years. As a teen I read the book “In His Steps” based on 1 Peter 2:21. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you and example, that you should follow in His steps”. Jesus Himself encourages us to fulfill the will of God, as He did in His life. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6).

by Marilyn Daniels

http://www.marilyndaniels.net