Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
Is prayer an art? I can be lost in wonder at the beauty of some prayers. David's for example how Psalm 16 begins, A Secret Treasure of David. Watch over me, O God, for I take refuge in You... Or how about Paul's in Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may yet abound more and more in full knowledge and all perception, 10 for you to distinguish the things that differ, that you may be sincere and without blame for the day of Christ, 11 being filled with fruits of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Some prayers have been combined ( Click for more )
Centuries before Jesus was led to Golgotha, God provided a picture of that event, a promise to His chosen people in the form of the Passover. He said it was to be an ordinance forever.
The lighting of the candles... Only the woman of the house may light the candles because she is the light of the home. Also, through a woman, through Mary came the Light of the World. The Light of the World is Jesus.... John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world. Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they might ( Click for more )
This piece never fails to make me cry as I read exactly what happened to Jesus that long ago Passover. He suffered so much, but looked past the pain and all the shame to the joy beyond the cross specifically for you and for me. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below. This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association. A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died.)
By Dr. C. Truman Davis
Dr. C. Truman Davis is a ( Click for more )
Being a Christian since I was six years old, I guess it was inevitable that I should take God's Grace for granted. I know absolutely that God has a purpose for everything and that includes me. So, I was sitting there one day feeling incredibly sorry for myself... trying to pray and realizing that my prayers weren’t even getting off the ground. Not, because there was unconfessed sin, but because I was focusing on my depression rather than on God's grace. We all have that problem at one time or another, there is nothing unique about it. David lamented about it, too.
Tony Evans, ( Click for more )
In Exodus we read about how God told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. That is an extraordinary thing because God, being perfect and holy in every way, could never cause someone to sin. Wouldn’t we define a hard heart a sinful heart? Of course we would. But, God doesn’t sin. So with that premise and understanding we must delve deeper to understand what is meant here, and how it applies to us today.
Take a look at Exodus 4:21. Some translations say “I will harden his heart,” and others say, “I will make his ( Click for more )
That question was asked in the Studylight forums this past week. It is a very thought provoking question. What declares God in this world? David tells us that His handiwork declares Him in Psalm 19. Isaiah reminds us that we are his handiwork in chapter 64. Paul talks about the testimony of the world and the universe in Romans 1. But, where do you see God?
There is an astounding thing that I have personally witnessed which is a wonderful declaration from God. It is Him saying, “Look here. I would that you act like this.”
This spectacular sight I witnessed ( Click for more )
When I lived in north Louisiana, I made a point of being in front of the TV early weekday mornings to catch the five minute devotion by Pastor Bill Dye who pastors North Monroe Baptist. He has such a way of looking at ordinary things and extracting the spiritual lessons from them in such an extraordinary way. His spiritual points are like gold nuggets to carry around all day. My favorite was the one about dog food which went like this:
Pastor Bill's dog took a dislike to dry dog food. Just wouldn't eat it. So he got the idea to buy some nice, juicy canned dog food. Her ears perked ( Click for more )
By the incredibly smart fellow Anonymous.
Ages ago, actually last century, I ran across a story about a man and a huge rock. I have no idea who wrote it but God called it to my mind this week. I searched for it and could not find it, so I'll try to remember it as best I can.
A man had his home in the woods far from civilization. He liked it that way and relished the clear air and exercise he got walking as well as the marvelous peace he had from the bustling city just down the mountain. One morning he walked outside and saw a huge rock sitting right in the middle of the ( Click for more )
Rain plinked on the roof, or it might have been frozen rain, I was too tired to take enough interest to look. It was a soothing sound far outweighed by the splattering of rain in the puddles. The dampness soaked into my clothes and settled into my bones. The small blaze in the brazier finally gave up the fight against the cold and went out. I shivered.
Slipping the roped leather sandals from my feet, I tossed them to the corner of my bed and tucked my feet under me to warm them. I succeeded in chilling the only part of my body that had any warmth left. I brushed dirt from the ( Click for more )
So many people are blind about eternal security; they use the verses in Romans 11 about the branches being broken off as their proof text.
Who is doing the breaking off of the branch? Can the branch break itself off? No. It is God doing the breaking off, for He is in control.
So... We have to look at the Options or perhaps the action that results in the breaking off of the branch. What was the reason the natural olive tree branches (the Jews) were broken off? Because of unbelief. Why were the wild branches grafted in? Because of their faith/belief.
Here is what I am ( Click for more )
I never really liked going fishing with my Mom. Oh, I loved the fellowship with her, but she caught all the fish while I trailed my hook in the water and fed bait to the fish. One clear day in June, she had talked me into going fishing (her job) feeding the fish (my job). We were trolling along her favorite spot on Lake Bruin and something grabbed my hook. I was so startled I nearly lost my fishing rod. I pulled back then let out the line a little. It was a very strong fish. It headed out in front of the boat then turned back and shot under the boat. That maneuver broke the line. ( Click for more )
Do others get your goat?
I overhead a young woman tell my pastor the other night, “I’ve decided he won’t get my goat because I won’t tell him where it’s tied up.” I thought this an amazing decision and very pithy.
Which brought a question or two to mind that I’ve been pondering for quite some time: Do we Christians tie our goats to our belts and drag them behind us everywhere we go? Does the blatant display of our goats make us easy targets? Is this why our tender feelings get bruised so easily when someone expresses an opinion ( Click for more )
I wrote from the depths of my heart about Cancer in the Body of Christ several months ago. Then an enlightened soul wrote me a letter telling me "I know you may not want to hear this, but..." Frankly, I really do like to hear from readers. The encouragement and the thoughts on what I write are wonderful soul stretchers for me. Some of the comments from this person really made me search my motives and my heart attitude because there were some striking points to ponder.
The first one I deal with on my blog. Some of the other comments took some praying about and some ( Click for more )
A dried up brain. That's what I have. Someone asked in my group on LinkedIn, what do you do when writer's block hits?
I blithly wrote that you pray and then sit down and write whatever enters your head. Soon the block melts and things like creativity start flowing again and you're off again. I was too hasty. It isn't that you pray, and it isn't that you just start writing whatever enters your brain. The awful thing is that when you want to write inspiring things you've got to have the breath of God. That is what Spirit-- or rûach רוּח. (roo' ( Click for more )
Well that is certainly true. Did you know it's in the bible? Solomon writes that as a proof of hope for the living in the ninth chapter of Ecclesiastes. Actually, he says, For one who is chosen to be among all the living, there is hope. For a living dog is better than a dead lion. While there is breath, there is hope. Even in hopeless situations, there is hope that the situation changes for the better.
While there is life, there is hope. No where in scripture is this exhibited better than when David fasted and prostrated himself before the LORD when his son was sick and lay ( Click for more )
Here's the question... Do you believe God is bigger than any problem? I know beyond any doubt that God can be trusted. He has been true and faithful my whole life even during those two black years when I deliberately chose to turn my back on Him. What God says He will do, He will do. No, not one can snatch those from His hand. Fully one quarter of the Bible is prophecy and every one of the prophecies have come true so far even to the exact timing. The timing of Jesus’ birth is one of those prophecies. God told Daniel the year He would come and that is found in chapter ( Click for more )
Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp. My son, you have risen up from the prey; he stoops, he crouches like a lion; and like a lioness, who can rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the lawmaker from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and the obedience of the peoples to him.
The Lion of Judah is Christ our Lord. Astounding promise this is, given through Jacob’s blessings of his sons. This prophecy indicates a specific time that the Messiah would be born, and a specific manner of His arrival. Notice that He would be a lion’s whelp. This is ( Click for more )
Arise and shine for thy Light has come, and the glory of YHWH has risen on you. Isaiah 60:1
That is just one of the prophecies that Jesus would be born. I so much love this verse because It says so much in so few words.
Arise: that Hebrew word is קוּםqûm koom which is a primitive root and has a great number of words that it means in various applications literally, causatively, intensively, and figuratively. It means to rise up, stand up, rouse up, stir up, uphold, enjoin, make good, abide, be clearer, confirm, decree… and on ( Click for more )
There are three letters that make us know that an action is in progress, that it is continnual. ING... running... jumping... swimming... believing... Believing God is an action that must and always be continuous for the action to be effective. Once we stop believing God, all the lions and tigers and bears start crowding our thoughts, which leads to fear. Fear is of Satan. Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, You stay here with the ass. I and the boy will go over there that we may worship and may return to you. Fascinating passage. God had just asked Abraham ( Click for more )
After weeks of scorching heat and baking sunshine, I lifted my head at the faint scent of moisture in the air. I wasn't wrong because a tree frog began an anxious croaking. He smelled it too, and began rejoicing over that first drop of water before it even fell. Then the thunder cracked with an earth-shaking boom. The first drops of rain tickled my arms, but I was too weak at the moment to do anything but thank God for the rain. Rain began lightly enough, refreshment for the parched ground and sending up a wonderful fragrance that perfumed the air... a glorious perfume of ( Click for more )
God justifies a person on their faith alone. We see this all through the Old Testament as evidenced in Hebrews 11. Anyone who believes God, and believes Jesus died for and took care of our sins, and believes Jesus is the Son of God Who raised Him from the dead is justified from that instant of belief. Being justified must happen in order to enter into God’s rest (Heaven). We know this because believing God was a prerequisite for the Children of Israel to enter the Promised Land. (Let us not mistake why Moses did not enter. The only reason Moses did not enter was because of ( Click for more )
Now, the sacrifice that Jesus made willingly of His life was to satisfy the Law. It paid for all the sins ever to be committed, from Adam until the end of time. Hebrews href="https://pro.studylight.org/study-desk.html?t=amp&s=0&sr=1&q=Hebrews+9%3A">Hebrews 9 explains it in detail. The sacrificial blood of goats and bulls was only the shadow of Jesus' sacrifice. Here, see this... 9:14 by how much more the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God), will purify your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God! From verse ( Click for more )
Here is how I understand it... Absolutely the spirit ascends now to be with the LORD. Paul said to die is gain and it is to be with Him. David spoke of his dead son that he would go to be with him, so what was the point of weeping? But the difference between David and Paul is Jesus death and resurrection. David is before the resurrection and Paul is after. Before Jesus was resurrected, the sacrifices were in place and were necessary to foretell, be a shadow of Jesus, but were never good enough to cancel out sins. After Jesus died on the cross, God was completely satisfied ( Click for more )
Don't do as I did.
So much of the time we think once we're saved...well, then, life is a bowl of cherries and there are no pits. Well, that's just wrong. God took my hand when I was six years old. I was practically born at church. Every time the doors were open, we were in church. One day I had had enough of church. Going to church made me feel raunchy and I just didn't want it anymore. I was 6 and I knew everything. I made the announcement to my Mom when we got home from Wednesday night service. This concerned her so much that she started asking questions and started talking ( Click for more )
Paul gives great encouragement to the Romans by telling them to glory in the afflictions because afflictions brings about patience. Ever prayed for patience? Then you know that praying that prayer brings on trials and tribulations. That Greek word isqliÛyiv –Thlipsis -- translated tribulation means a pressing, pressing together, pressure metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits
In the New Testament it is translated as tribulation but it is also translated as: affliction, 14; afflictions, 6; anguish, 1; distress, 2; persecution, ( Click for more )
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