One of the blessings God has given to those who are in Christ Jesus is that they are no longer what they were before Christ. In Christ, we are new creations. The old is gone, and the new has come. So fix your eyes on Christ and on the road God has marked out before you, and press forward. Step into the plans and the future God has for you.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God from whom all blessings flow. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank You for being the Author and the Finisher of my faith. Father, I am fixing my eyes on You because I know You have great plans for me. I will put my trust in You as I step into the plans You have for me and the future You designed. I ask that You continue to show me the way I am to go as I am relying and depending on You to lead me. My desire is to stay in Your will and to do what You would have me to do. I know You have already gone before me, and I ask for Your help in remaining steadfast before You. Continue Your work in me, O Lord, and light my way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, You are God and You are Lord of All. There is no one and there is nothing that compares to You for You alone are the Almighty Everlasting Father. Above You, there is no other. The new year, O Lord, is just around the corner. Help me to end this year strong and to remain steadfast in the new year 2019. Thank You for guiding me and leading me in Your way. Father, I ask You to continue to guide me in all my ways and to direct my steps as I put my trust in You and acknowledge You in all my ways. Apart from You, O Lord, I can do nothing. In You, I can do all things because You are the One who gives me strength. You are my Hope and You are my Refuge. I cling to You, O God, for You are my Deliverer and Your words sustain me. Father, I delight in You, and because I delight in You, I know You will grant me my heart’s desire. Father, draw close to me as I draw close to You. Help me to remember there is freedom in submitting to You and walking in obedience to Your will and to Your ways. Be the Light which illumines the path I am to walk. Show me the Ancient Path, the good way, that I may walk along the Ancient Path and find rest for my soul. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Those who leave God and His ways have abandoned the very God who created them. King David spoke of meditating on the law of the Lord, that the commands of God were his delight. He pondered on the law of God all day long. We are to be careful to keep from making a practice of any sin, whatever sin it may be which would easily entangle us. When we keep ourselves pure and holy before God and walking uprightly before God, and obeying His commands, that is evidence of our love for God. If we love God, we’ll obey Him.
He turns our darkness into light.
When we are putting our faith in God, we are trusting in Him, and we can stand on the promises of God. God is faithful, and He proves Himself to be true. God is who He says He is, and God does what He says He will do. His words are certain, and when His Word goes out, His Word does not come back void. His Word goes out and accomplishes the purposes it was sent forth to do. We can depend on His Word, and we can delight in His Word. Anyone in direct opposition to God will find that God is contrary to them.
“If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins. I will send wild animals that will rob you of your children and destroy your livestock. Your numbers will dwindle, and your roads will be deserted. And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins. I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken. When you run to your towns for safety, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be handed over to your enemies,” (Leviticus 26:21-25NLT).
God opposes those who are proud and haughty, but He gives grace to the humble and those who truly delight in Him and His ways.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are my Light and my Salvation. You have turned my darkness to light. Just as You are a light for me, be the Light for those who are discouraged and fill them with the strength and boldness they need that only comes from You. I ask that You be my Guide and instruct me in in the way I should go that I might not fall into any trap set by the enemy of my soul. Grant me the opportunity to be a light for You in this dark world and give me opportunities to serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” -Psalm 37:4NLT
Our Lord is great. He is bigger than any problem or struggle you have. He is the One who catches you, not permitting those who belong to Him to slip and fall. This old hymn of the church says it all, “WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS.”
Remember the Lord hears you calling out to Him. He hears you when you cry out, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
Written By Joseph M. Scriven In 1855
Copyright Status Is Public Domain
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30NLT
On the property of the house I grew up in, there was a Crabapple Tree, and I despised the tree. As a kid, I blamed the tree for the miserable apples it produced, giving me the displeasure of having to pick up all the apples falling from it onto the ground. I hated picking up those apples, and I most often could be heard shouting, “I hate this!” and “Stupid apples!”
I braced myself before I started that chore, put a plastic sandwich bag on my hand because of how rotten they were, and then I would begin. It was the worst chore, but I had only two options to go outside and complete my chore OR be grounded. I chose to complete my chore. All I wanted was for the Crabapple Tree to work with me. I wasn’t asking for a lot when I shouted at the tree, “Work with me! Not against me.”
It was an absolutely beautiful tree, but the fruit was rotten.
WHAT KIND OF TREE ARE YOU?
Are you a good tree producing good fruit, or are you a bad tree, like the Crabapple Tree in this story, producing rotten fruit?
Jesus had this to say in Luke 6:43-45, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” -John 15:16
As a child of God, you are chosen by Jesus to go forth and bear much fruit. How you conduct yourself is very important because unbelievers are watching you especially if you are witnessing to them about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Some will try to push you to the edge to see how you will react, and so there must be a noticeable difference between you and those who are unbelievers. Your conduct and your speech must line up together. If the unbeliever cannot tell the difference between you and them, then there is a problem. All of us are to be lights in this dark world. If you live like the world while claiming to be a child of God, you are fooling yourself and still living in darkness (1 John 1:1-8).
In 1 Samuel 9:2, King Saul is described as handsome. God, however, saw King Saul’s heart. King Saul did not do the will of God, bearing the fruits of disobedience and being more concerned about the approval of man.
God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
And God is still telling us the same thing today. God wants us to do His will, and when we do His will out of obedience and devotion to Him, we are producing good fruit. When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting us, changing us. When we conform our will to the Lord’s will, we will produce good fruit. The only reason we are able to bear the fruit God wants us to bear is because of His grace and His mercy, and as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us into His Truth, we bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
What fruit are you bearing? Are your actions and your words lining up together? Are you walking the walk and not just talking the talk? Is there a noticeable difference between you and the unbeliever?
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9)