Show diligence

Hebrews 6.11-12

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

I just love the little tidbits, reminders like the one above that we find in the Book of Hebrews. God reminding us not to put our salvation, our relationship with Him on automatic but we are to work out (not for) our salvation.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose.” Philippians 2:13-14

It reminds me of the saying, “Salvation is the miracle of the moment, sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” The Lord desires that we be diligent in seeking Him, knowing Him in greater ways, that we love Him with our all in all-so much that obedience is the overflow of that love. The Lord warns us to not be sluggish but rather to strain forward and press on to to the full assurance of hope until the end.”

There is encouragement to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The Holy Bible is full of people of faith and I pray that you have some saints of God walking in faith and perseverance with you who do the same. Certainly, Hebrews 11 puts many of the people on faith on display. I will post Hebrews 11 as my Sunday post. But this I know, diligence is not possible without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word nor is it possible without prayer. I thank God for these gracious gifts…and this warning. 🙂

Hebrews 11.6

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Don’t be anxious, pray

Matthew 6.33But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:30-34

Isn’t it amazing how many times we accept the enemy’s invitation to worry. Yes, it is true that most of things we worry about never happen but I am thinking that the per cent is even higher regarding things in which we have no control.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that God is the Sovereign and in control but we don’t always know what He is doing, how He is doing it, or when He is going to do it…and we become anxious. So very often we worry about things that even if we knew every detail, we would not have the power or control to change it. Whatever the issue, situation, trial, circumstance or trouble we must surrender it to the Most High God who has ALL POWER and is attentive to the cries of His children.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer.” 1 Peter 3:12

Worry adds nothing…BUT the great privilege of prayer makes the difference. The Lord instructs us not to be anxious because worry interrupts faith. Worry does nothing to help us but the faithful prayers of the righteous avail much. While we have no control, our loving, compassionate Father does.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:6b

O Heavenly Father, He who is the Strong and Mighty Warrior, please help us to bring all our concerns to Your throne room of grace that we might find mercy for our anxious souls. Help us to walk by faith and not sight, knowing that nothing is impossible for You.
Give us hearts that seek first Your Kingdom and righteousness, trusting that you will meet our needs according to the riches of your glory in Christ Jesus. We give thanks for Your every good and perfect gift.
In Name of Jesus, Your Son and our Most Precious Gift, Amen

James 5.16

1 Peter 3.12

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Is your all on the altar

Psalm 46.10

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Psalm 46

Psalm 46.1

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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hearts touched by God…

1 Samuel 10.26

Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him
went men of valor whose hearts God had touched. 1 Samuel 10:26

This verse was part of my devotions recently and God touched my heart to remember the true nature of the battles we face as believers. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm (Ephesians 6:12-13).”

The Lord reminded me to look to Him for the battles, struggles, and disappointments of life for He can make my heart one of valor. Our God is so powerful that He can touch weak, fearful, and discouraged hearts and turn them to hearts with great courage, boldness, and determination when facing the enemy’s fiery darts.

So I pray that no matter the fiery trial you are facing, no matter the fear that floods your mind, the disappointment or discouragement that overwhelms- for God to touch your heart and my heart with the courage, boldness, and determination to stand on the promises of God.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:8-11

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).”

…indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister (Colossians 1:23).”

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13).”

Joshua 1.9

1 Corinthians 15.58

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Prayer is needed…

Ephesians 6.19

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20

Yay! It’s Saturday! The days are fresh and beautiful! Lots of gatherings, fun, and food!

Sssssoooo I’m praying for me and I’m praying for you! Opportunities to speak words that make known the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…and that we would do it fearlessly.

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

So we look for God assigned opportunities, we speak Truth, and we do so with gentleness and respect. SSSSssssoooooo this is the part that sometimes gets away from us so let’s remember this verse as well: 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:23-25).”

So, I’m praying as I mention this because many love the following quote that is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. My problem is that I am having a hard time putting my finger on it in the Word for it seems to say that our deeds are more important than the Word.

Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.

This is what the Word declares:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:9-15

There are those who have researched whether St. Francis of Assisi actually uttered those words and there is no evidence of his ever having said them. His life and practice does not reflect that they would have even been true for his own life. It is said that he was a passionate preacher and would proclaim the Gospel every opportunity he was given.

Yep, faith without works is dead…so let’s do the good works the Lord prepared in advance for us to do so it will open the doors for proclamation. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”

Some may have a pedicure scheduled for today for it is sandal season. But oh my, look at the opportunity we have to truly have beautiful feet this season…let’s pray and proclaim the Word to the glory of our most beautiful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Romans 10.14-15

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Blessed be the Lord, my strength

Psalm 144.1

Psalm 144

May the Lord, my rock, be praised,
who trains my hands for battle
and my fingers for warfare.
He is my faithful love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer.
He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him;
He subdues my people under me.

Lord, what is man, that You care for him,
the son of man, that You think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

Lord, part Your heavens and come down.
Touch the mountains, and they will smoke.
Flash Your lightning and scatter the foe;
shoot Your arrows and rout them.
Reach down from heaven;
rescue me from deep water, and set me free
from the grasp of foreigners
whose mouths speak lies,
whose right hands are deceptive.

God, I will sing a new song to You;
I will play on a ten-stringed harp for You—
10 the One who gives victory to kings,
who frees His servant David
from the deadly sword.
11 Set me free and rescue me
from the grasp of foreigners
whose mouths speak lies,
whose right hands are deceptive.

12 Then our sons will be like plants
nurtured in their youth,
our daughters, like corner pillars
that are carved in the palace style.
13 Our storehouses will be full,
supplying all kinds of produce;
our flocks will increase by thousands
and tens of thousands in our open fields.
14 Our cattle will be well fed.
There will be no breach in the walls,
no going into captivity,
and no cry of lament in our public squares.
15 Happy are the people with such blessings.
Happy are the people whose God is Yahweh.

Psalm 144.15

 

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: pray to our Father

Hope

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: He heard my voice.

HopeIn my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.
Psalm 18:6

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: the Lord hears and answers

Hope

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
    and His ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:15-18


To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior


Hope for today: the Spirit helps us

hopeIn the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior