I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wish I could put a protective barricade around those that I love, shielding them from the evils of this world. As Christians we have such a shield; the favor of God. And not a flimsy, fallible one that exposes our areas of vulnerability. We have a “tsin’nāh.” A massive, standing shield that protects us on every side from the arrows of the Enemy. The battles will be many this side of heaven. Yet because of His great love, God will never make us fight those battles on our own. He surrounds us with His glory and might. And that which the Lord favors, no one can tear down. There is no safer place to be than sheltered under God. For He promises that those who find refuge in Him will not only find protection, but will be glad and ever sing for joy!
It used to be that I only searched for God when it was convenient for me. And funnily enough, it was usually when I needed something. When times were good, my interests settled on things other than my relationship with the Lord. But to seek God literally means to seek His face, or His presence. And to truly seek Him means having a passion and a hunger burning so deep in your heart and soul that you want to feel His presence. Not only during times of trouble, but in every minute of every day of your life. A passion that leads to being committed to not merely seeking Him, but in finding Him! God has and will always be there. Patiently and lovingly He waits for us to remember and return to Him once more. So today and everyday remember God, call upon Him and, “Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God”! (1 Chron. 22:19)
I was saw a quote which read, “Doing the right thing even when no one is looking is easy. Just need remember that we are not in this life alone and that our task is to please God, not people.” It can be frustrating striving to do the right thing when all we need do is look around and see the wicked prospering. And it’s easy to get discouraged feeling like the work we do, the kindness we show, or the love we share goes unnoticed. Especially by God. But the writer of Hebrews promises that the Lord sees every good deed we do. And He never overlooks, nor forgets, the fruit we produce for His kingdom, or the times we minister lovingly to His people. So don’t give up or quit doing what is right. Because day we will all stand before God to receive our heavenly rewards. And what a joyous privilege it will be to lay our prized crowns at His feet!
Obeying God’s Word isn’t always easy. Many of His commands require self sacrifice and sometimes even suffering. But the only way we’ll find victory in our lives, is by applying what the Bible teaches. Because the Bible is more than just a good book to read from time to time. It is the inerrant Word of God, living and active. (Heb. 4:12) And as such, we need to be not just readers or hearers, but doers of God’s Word. The Good Book is our handbook for life. It shows us how to live, how to treat others, and how to please God. Luke 11:28 tells us that all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice are blessed. And abiding in the Lord and His Word, gives us everything we need to produce good fruits for the glory of God and His kingdom.
Does your heart ever grow heavy from bearing the weight of your mistakes? The truth is, we all fall short and need forgiveness daily. Fortunately, God’s grace comes in an abundant supply. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and filled with unfailing love. He does not accuse, nor remain angry forever. He does not deal harshly with us, but instead is faithful to forgive our never-ending sin. And although God may let us reap the consequences from the decisions we make, His steadfast love for us is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. A love in full display through His Son Jesus Christ. Who regardless of the mistakes we’ve made, stands ready to welcome us with open arms and not a pointed finger.
Between the government, social media, and news outlets, fear is peddled as a hot commodity. No wonder in today’s climate people are afraid to even step out of their front door. But God, in His great love, reminds us that as His children we need not fear. For the Lord our God is with us. And with His mighty hand He will provide, sustain, and strengthen us. Never will He let us be shaken. But for that to happen we have to trust in Him and His promises. And let’s be honest. It’s easier to have fear than faith. To act on emotion instead of in standing in God’s truth. Billy Graham once said, “Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear. Faith isn’t pretending our problems don’t exist, nor is it simply blind optimism. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.” A great hope that allows us to cast all our cares upon Him, knowing we are wrapped in God’s love, goodness, and mercy.
Something is in the air. Can you feel it? Bible prophecy is being fulfilled at record speed before our very eyes. Believers who may have put God on the back burner are now seeking Him with renewed interest. Even the secular world has become enthralled with Armageddon and the last days. With the signs all around us, how can we help but wonder if we are living in the end times.
Being heirs with Jesus comes with some pretty awesome privileges. And one of them is the freedom to approach God anytime, anywhere. Because of the reconciliation we receive through the blood of Christ, no longer are we enemies of God. Instead we are His beloved children who can approach our Abba Father, not to receive judgement, but mercy. God wants us to come before Him not with fear, anxiety, or shame. But to come boldly, confident in our standing through Jesus. For He loves us like no other, and has everything we need in every situation. God wants a close, personal, relationship with each of us. And He wants to help, and love us through our trials. So go to Him in prayer, lay your heart at His feet, and receive His mighty grace and help in your time of need!
Baptist pastor Lorenzo Ortiz, who operates five shelters for migrants in northern Mexico, was released unharmed after being held hostage by a Mexican cartel for about 29 hours. When Ortiz began ministering to migrants in Nuevo Laredo several years ago, he was aware of the cartel activity in the region. He said he knew he was working as “a lamb among wolves,” but he felt assured “God was going to be there.” In the end, the cartel not only released him unharmed and without making any ransom payment, but also replaced two slashed tires on his van. Read more about his incredible story here.
Church Burns to The Ground Leaving Only a Wooden Cross Standing
A Texas community was left in awe after a devastating fire ravished a Bridgeport church on Friday bringing everything to the ground but a wooden cross. “A devastating loss to our community, but a sight to behold. The fire took the structure, but not the cross,” the Wise County Emergency Services Department No. 2 / Boonsville-Balsora Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook. “A symbol that the building was just that, a building. The Church is the congregation, and where 2 or more gather, there He shall be also.” The Wise County Emergency Services Department said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Read more about the fire here.
Russian Journalist Auctions Off Nobel Prize To Aid Ukrainians
Russian journalist, Dmitry Muratov, was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for defending freedom of expression in Russia. And in a giant act of generosity, Muratov auctioned off his gold medal for a record-breaking $103.5 million to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees. The buyer, who remains unidentified, is believed to be from overseas as the $103.5 million sale translates to $100 million Swiss francs. The proceeds immediately went to UNICEF to help Ukrainian children displaced by the ongoing war. Although the bidding has closed, Muratov and Heritage officials said that people can still donate directly to UNICEF. Read more about his selfless act here.
New Study Shows Vitamin D Could Ward Off Dementia And Strokes
More sunshine could help ward off dementia, according to a new study which reveals a direct link between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline. The world-first study discovered that cases of dementia could drop by nearly a fifth if people who are deficient in vitamin D take more supplements to bring them up to healthy levels. Pills aren’t the only solution though, as the skin makes the “sunshine vitamin” after exposure to UV light. The team from the University of South Australia looked at nearly 300,000 people from the UK Biobank examining the impact of low levels of vitamin D and the risk of dementia and stroke. Read more about their discovery here.
Though we may not like it, waiting on God is a big part of our walk of faith. There may be many reasons why God calls us to wait. Perhaps He’s trying to teach us patience. Maybe we need to learn to surrender completely to His will, or to trust in His perfect timing. Whatever the reason, waiting on God isn’t easy. And it also isn’t passive. We don’t sit around passing the time waiting until He acts on our behalf. Instead, while in God’s waiting room we praise and worship Him. We go about doing the tasks that He calls us to do. Our ears stay focused on listening to His still, small voice. And our hearts trust that He will do just as He has promised. All this we do in our quest to continually seek Him. Because God promises goodness for those who patiently and diligently wait for Him.