Tag Archives: security

1 Samuel 18-19; 1 Chronicles 3; Psalms 59; Acts 13

“After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.” 1 Samuel 18:1-4 NLT

I was recently listening to a podcast with Lysa TerKeurst called, The Shame Script. Lysa talked about the ways shame can be harmful to relationships. How it can cause isolation, when God calls me to intimacy. I was reading 1 Samuel and reflecting on Jonathan and David’s friendship. It says there was an immediate bond between them. I like to imagine them having deep conversations about God. They were like brothers, bonded for life. They took their shame, doubts and insecurities to the Lord. I’m convinced that this made their friendship even stronger. They didn’t let anything come between them. Not even Saul’s jealousy of David. (1 Samuel 18:9 NLT)

“Rescue me from my enemies, O God. Protect me from those who have come to destroy me. You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue for me, for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies. But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.” Psalms 59 NLT

How often do I carry past hurts into a friendship, instead of taking it to the Lord?

Dear Father, thank you for the gift of friendship and community. We are not meant to do this life alone. Thank you that I can trust you with my feelings. That you are the true healer of my heart. I want to live from a place of acceptance and not striving for it. Help me to be after your heart, like David was. Amen.

“But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do. And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Savior of Israel!” Acts 13:22&23 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, Acts, Psalms, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13

It’s good to remember what the Lord has done. When I read through the Bible, I read of his history of faithfulness, provision, love and forgiveness. I read of his victory and sacrifice. I read of his power and plan.

In Deuteronomy 16, there are the celebrations of Passover, the Festival of the Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. These celebrations unite the people in worship and remembrance. It’s important to worship and remember.

Psalm 103 is both worship and remembrance. When I meditate on God’s goodness and love, it stirs my soul. It comforts me. It gives me security to trust him.

Isaiah 43:1-7, NLT:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
    I will gather you and your children from east and west.
I will say to the north and south,
    ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
    from the distant corners of the earth.
Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

Deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression–he says do not be afraid. He says you are honored and he loves you. He says he is with you.

It is important to remember his goodness, his faithfulness, his promises, his power.

13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
    No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
    No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13, NLT

Held in his hands.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Jer. 21-22; 2 Kings 24; Titus 2; Ps. 112

It’s not always easy to define success and find security. The world defines those things by what they possess: wealth, popularity, beautiful treasures. Our culture promotes a very self-centered approach to life, teaching that the key to happiness and fulfillment is found in having more. More money. More friends. More things.

Scripture says quite a different thing.

Psalm 112 reminds me of how God defines success.

This scripture says the key to success and security in life is the fear of God that leads to obedience. When I live in reverence of God, I can rest in the power of God to provide for me as I follow His will for my life.

And what is that will for my life?

Psalm 112:4-5, 9 NIV

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,

for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,

who conduct their affairs with justice.

They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,

their righteousness endures forever;

their horn will be lifted high in honor.

God’s will for my life is that I am gracious.
Do I bless those around me with undeserved kindness and understanding?

God’s will for my life is that I am compassionate.
Do I go the extra mile to care for those who are suffering?

God’s will for my life is that I am righteous.
Am I striving to honor God in the daily choices I’m faced with?  

God’s will for my life is that I am generous.
Do I give freely, or even sacrificially, for the sake of furthering the Kingdom of God?

God’s will for my life is that I am fair.
Do I make truth and honesty a part of every interaction with others?  

God’s will for my life is that I am merciful.
Am I patient with those around me? Am I forgiving those who have hurt me?  

Success in this life will be found when I love God and love others.

While the world defines success by what they take and store for themselves, God defines it by what I give away.

It’s a scary thing to be generous. It’s a scary thing to give of myself physically, emotionally, and financially. But when I trust God to provide for my needs, I can look for ways to meet the needs of those around me.

Instead of being fearful and worrying about what I have and if I’ll have enough, I must choose to fear God, live in reverence to Him, and look for ways to be generous in the lives of those around me.

When I am gracious, compassionate, righteous, generous, fair, and merciful, God blesses me richly. He provides for my needs. He brings joy into my life. He honors me for honoring Him. And what I receive from Him is so much better than anything I could take for myself.

Psalm 112 (NIV)

1 Praise the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,

who find great delight in his commands.

2 Their children will be mighty in the land;

the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,

and their righteousness endures forever.

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,

for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,

who conduct their affairs with justice.

6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;

they will be remembered forever.

7 They will have no fear of bad news;

their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;

in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,

their righteousness endures forever;

their horn will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked will see and be vexed,

they will gnash their teeth and waste away;

the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

Father, forgive me for being caught up in the world around me and believing that I need to provide for myself, take for myself, and protect myself to be safe and secure. I know that You are willing and able to provide for my every need. Help me to step out in faith to be generous to those around me. Help me to see the needs you want to use me to meet and help me to glorify you as I choose giving over taking and keeping. Thank you for all the ways you provide for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

 

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Jeremiah 50-51; 2 Peter 3

When the prophets spoke of things to come, who believed them?

The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians.This is what the Lord says:

“Tell the whole world,
    and keep nothing back.
Raise a signal flag
    to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! (Jeremiah 50:1-2a, NLT)

Did listeners sit in their comfort? Did they go about the everyday? When God gave warning to turn from sin, to turn to him–did they not know his power?

Listen, Babylon, for I have set a trap for you.
    You are caught, for you have fought against the Lord. (Jeremiah 50:24, NLT)

He calls armies. He appoints leaders.

“I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,
    leaping on the sheep in the pasture.
I will chase Babylon from its land,
    and I will appoint the leader of my choice.
For who is like me, and who can challenge me?
    What ruler can oppose my will?” (Jeremiah 50:44, NLT)

What did they think when they heard these things?

People in Peter’s day mocked and scoffed.

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” (2 Peter 3:3-4, NLT)

Peter reminds:

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, NLT)

Peter closes:

So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:17-18, NLT)

Every day I make a decision of whose voice to believe. An enemy speaks over me with scoff and mockery. God’s word reminds–do not be afraid. Do not lose your secure footing.

Lord, truly your approval is the only one I need, and your voice the one that speaks truth. You cannot lie. You are creator and Lord of all. Help me continue to grow in grace and knowledge of you. My Savior.

Courtney (66books365)

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Isaiah 65, 66; 1 Thessalonians 1

For thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,

and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;

and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,

and bounced upon her knees.

As one whom his mother comforts,

so I will comfort you;

you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

you shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;

your bones shall flourish like the grass;

and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,

and he shall show his indignation against his enemies. Isaiah 65:12-14

I love all of the imagery that God wove through His Word, describing aspects of His character and of the roles that He plays in relationship to His people. He is a Creator. He is a Father. He is a Bridegroom, a Lover. And, He is also a Mother.

As a mother, I often feel overwhelmed with everything that ‘should’ be done every day. I often feel ignored by my kids who are stellar at selective listening. I often feel unappreciated for the sacrifices that I make for this growing group of kids that were entrusted to me to raise well, raise to adulthood. There are moments throughout each day that I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out until I fall asleep…I need to be comforted and encouraged by someone who understands, by anyone, by God.

And then I read a passage, like this one, reminding me of the importance of my role as ‘mother’ and the comfort that brings to my children. And, it reminds me that just as God is my Father, God is my Mother.

As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall nurse at My breast…

The very first thing that I was able to do for my children after they were born was provide nourishment for them through nursing. I was able to feed them, sustain them. They learned very quickly that I was going to care for them, meet their needs. I can be sure that God will provide for my needs – not just in the area of food, but in every aspect of my life. He is Jehovah Jireh.

As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall be carried on My hip…

When my children were infants, I carried them everywhere – in my arms, in one of my various wraps and slings, and in their car carriers – and even still today, at ages two and nearly four, they still want to be carried all of the time (which unfortunately I can’t do as much as I would like at the moment due to my large, pregnant belly filled with baby #3). Even when they just sit in my lap, it helps them feel safe and secure. When I am feeling vulnerable, I am learning to look to God to be carried through difficult moments. I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall be bounced on My knees…

As my children grow, they seek connection with me, a chance to feel my joy over them, a chance to experience my love for them. One of the many ways we connect is when they sit with me, whether on my knees to bounce or on my crossed leg to play ‘ride the pony’. As we spend those moments connecting, it strengthens our bond. I believe that God wants the same kind of connection with me, and though it doesn’t manifest in quite the same way, the principle of comforting joy holds true. I can relax in Him, when I know without doubt that He loves me, I am comforted by His expressions of care and of fun – my favorites are those little gifts I find that seem to be just for me, like a double rainbow when I am feeling lonely, or a $20 bill in my pocket when I needed a little extra cash, or a heart in the clouds or a hawk soaring in the sky.

As a mother comforts, I will comfort you

I think of the many ways that I am able to comfort my girls and feel blessed that, for at least a little while, I can be the person that they run to for comfort, for relief, for security, for encouragement and a confidence boost, for a sense of contentment and well-being. I kiss boo-boos and offer band-aids, give tickles, snuggles, and hugs, wipe tears, wrap them up in warm, cozy blankets and hold them until my arms fall asleep, and the list goes on and on. But, as much as I love being a place of solace, my goal is to teach them to trust God, to go to Him for sanctuary. I want them to believe that He is the same safe haven, an even better refuge than I could ever be, especially as they grow up into adulthood. He is the Comforter. He is Mother.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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