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He will never leave you
nor forsake you
He will be your God
forever and ever.
He will lead you
and guard your back
He will lead you
until you die.

Will you let Him be your God?

Will you let Him be Your guide?

We all get a choice and this is one of the biggest ones we get.

Looking at Jesus we see that when He walked on the earth, He always knew the right thing to do because He only did what He saw His Father do. As our Lord, we can trust Him to lead us down the right path every day.

Psalm 48:14 says that God will be our guide even unto death! He will lead us through this life and into the next, from one destination in life to the next, from every situation on earth we live all the way to eternity in His presence.

Have you ever been or gone somewhere new? Have you ever tried to go it alone and find that you get lost? Have you ever done the tour guide way (I know sometimes the group tours can be restrictive) and realized how much they let you see in such a short period of time? The nice thing is that the tour guide model also provides you with insight into where you might want to go back and see more or spend more time after. The key is that without the tour guide there are times when we may either get worried or stressed about trying to find out how to get back and even wonder how did we get here or into this situation.

In life it is always easier to follow an experienced guide than to wander aimlessly on our own. In life we have the choice of going our own way or to do like Jesus and do what we see our Heavenly Father do and let Him guide us. God is committed to guiding us, so it is clearly important that we follow. We have the example Jesus provided and we also hear that when He ascended up to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for you and me that He sent us the Holy Spirit – our counselor or advocate – our teacher and helper. He will guide us into all truth.

(notes from today’s devotional)


Let God Be Your Tour Guide

14 For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever,
and he will guide us until we die.

Psalm 48:14

Prayer Starter (from today’s devotional)

God, I don’t want to live life like a tourist without a guide, aimlessly going my own way. Only You can show me what to do and how to live, so I choose to follow Your guidance every day.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You today for this is the day that You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord You see the day before me, You know the beginning and the end, You go before me and You are my rear guard watching my back. Help me today with all the decisions I will need to make, with all the conversations I am going to have, and all the work that will need to be done so that I may glorify You and follow after You in all that I say and do. Lord, give me the wisdom to speak the right words in the right way to be able to communicate Your points in every situation. Help me Lord as my guide and counselor, as my teacher and helper to walk into the light of the path You have for me today. Lord, I hold onto You and my faith in You today to give me the boldness and courage to step in and accomplish Your will. As I step out, I know I don’t alone, for You will never leave me nor forsake me, You will stick closer than a brother. So I hold onto You and step out today in faith trusting in You. Lord, help me to have direction in all that I do. Help me Lord to avoid wandering but walk with purpose and direction today. Let everything I put my hand to be of You and produce great fruit as I till, I plant, and I water. Lord, there is nobody like You. My hope and trust are in You. Your Word provides light into Your plan and a love letter of how much you care for me. Thank You for this new day my Lord. Remove any obstacles that I face in faith, with courage and boldness. That today Lord in all I say and do and think, You may receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Fearful to Fearless

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.

Psalm 112:1 (NKJV)

Biblical Truth:

Blessed are those that worship the Lord, who are content to be under God’s direction and are most comfortable when serving Him. Blessed are they who stand in awe of His majesty and make His will, theirs.


Chronological

Today – Day 246

  • Ezekiel 23
    • If you read: “You brought all this on yourself by prostituting yourself to other nations, defiling yourself with all their idols.” what comes to mind? Are there countries that come to mind that they could be talking about today?
    • Without the saving grace of God through Jesus we would end up being stuck in our lives of adultery and murder.
      • Jesus said in Matthew 5:

About Murder…

21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. 25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

About Adultery…

27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

    • Make sure you take time with God and take time for rest (Sabbath)
  • Ezekiel 24
    • January 15 is a day to be remembered and reflected upon.
    • No one is better than another
    • He wants to get rid of the filth and corruption
    • He wants to cleanse us
    • But who will allow it, who will turn from their own ways and follow after the Lord.
    • Don’t be filled with pride or security because of places or stuff. You need to have and put all your hope and trust in God alone. Don’t worship idols.
    • There is but one God, one LORD.
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God looks past the surface. He looks deep within your heart and mind.


Life is filled with challenges
that will test
our determination
and
our faith in God.
With each situation
our character
is sure to be tested.

Are you being threatened by evil? Or every day hassles? How will you respond and what is that speaking about the true content of your heart and mind?

Don’t make a mistake to overlook the fact that God tests our hearts, our emotions, and our mind. Consider how much pressure they put on steel to make sure it is good enough to be part of a bridge or a skyscraper. Consider the stress that gets put on the wings of a plane to make sure they hold up to flight. In each case it has the purpose of showing that it can perform at the level its maker says it can. So how are we doing when it comes to comparing against what the maker of all things has said we should be? When we look at it from the comparison against the true standard of quality – the Bible?

As the manufacturers have to test against what they say it can do, God does the same with us.

“Are you being tested today? The key is to keep trusting God, even if you don’t understand. There is no such thing as trusting God without unanswered questions, but when you push ahead, despite your doubts, He will build you up and make you strong.”

(notes on today’s devotional)


Passing Life’s Tests

9 End the evil of those who are wicked, and defend the righteous. For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.

Psalm 7:9

Prayer Starter (from today’s devotional)

Lord, when tested, I want to be ready, holding up under pressure, following You no matter what. Show me daily how to put my trust in You, even when I struggle with unanswered questions.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. This is the day that You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord, You are so awesome and I put my hope and trust in You. You go and light the way before me and You are my rear guard who protects me from any side swipes or attacks from behind. As I walk in the light that You shine, give me the wisdom to do the right things and glorify You through my thoughts, actions, and words. As daily distractions try to get me off track Lord, I pray that You will help me to stay focused and moving forward for the glory of Your Kingdom. Help me Lord to be a rock rather than a reed. Help me Lord to be a pillar that is able to endure the pressure and stress in a way that will point others to You. Help me Lord to be like the moon that reflects the light of the sun for people to be able to see in the dark. Help me Lord to reflect the light of the Son in this dark world so that people are able to be directed to Jesus and have the divine intervention that will transform their lives forever. Lord, You are so good to me and I know that Your Word speaks to all of us that You have a plan and purpose for each of us. Help us today Lord. And as I step out today in faith, may You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Fearful to Fearless

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Psalm 111:10 (ESV)

Biblical Truth:

Good sense and sound judgment belong to those who worship the Lord, be mindful of His commandments and let the love of God reign in your life.


Chronological

Today – Day 245

  • Ezekiel 21
    • Do you give God the credit He is due?
    • Do people know that You believe and are a follower of God?
    • Look around you – do you see what everyone is doing and what direction they are heading? Do you see how it is against what God has commanded and how it hurts His heart?
    • It saddens me to know that God won’t hold back judgment forever and that everyone has to make a choice – hopefully sooner rather than later.
    • Will you turn back to God, humble yourself and pray for forgiveness before it is too late?
    • Are the leaders leading you astray? Are they doing what is wrong and calling it right? Are they setting precedence that are against the will of God?
    • Are you going to walk with God or will you continue to rebel and have to deal with the consequences?
    • Turn things around and get back into alignment with God.
    • Don’t wait till you hit rock bottom before you decide to look up and cry out to God for help.
    • Give your life over to Jesus before it is too late. Eventually every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
    • Judgment is coming.
  • Ezekiel 22
    • What would your response be if you were the recipient of a message like this?

this message from the Sovereign LORD: O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul—4 you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world.

    • Considering where you live, does the description provided in the following text sound like any place you live or have read about recently?

5 O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near. 6 “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder.7 Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you.8 You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest.9 People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things.10 Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and have intercourse with women who are menstruating.11 Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. 12 There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign LORD. 13 “But now I clap my hands in indignation over your dishonest gain and bloodshed.14 How strong and courageous will you be in my day of reckoning? I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do what I said.15 I will scatter you among the nations and purge you of your wickedness.

    • Are you the precious metal like refined gold or silver? Are you the slag left over from the smelting process? Are you the dross that has all the impurities in it?
    • Are you a leader? How are you leading others? Are you leading them down the right path or off the right path?

25 Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land.26 Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them.27 Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money!28 And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign LORD,’ when the LORD hasn’t spoken a single word to them. 29 Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.

    • Are you willing to stand up and do what is right? Are you willing to step out in faith and do what God is calling you to do?

30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31 So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Being or feeling persecuted? Bless them and pray that God will bless them.


Some consider turnaround
to be fair play,
but that isn’t
the best response.
Instead return their evil
with good.
Good is a much more powerful response.

Matthew 5:44-48 takes this topic a bit farther…

44 But I say, love your enemies!t Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47 If you are kind only to your friends,t how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

And going one step farther and looking to Romans 12:17-21 which speaks love, hope, and joy…not retaliation.

18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

It will be amazing for you to experience the benefits of pursuing life in peace, conquering evil by doing good.


We have seen in previous readings and posts that the way to dealing with past hurts is through forgiveness, even when that is so hard to do. As we forgive others, God will forgive us. Bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. Forgiveness removes the venom of bitterness and produces freedom and love and hope. So now lets take this a step further…

God’s Word today speaks to us of the next step, “Bless those who persecute you” and “pray that God will bless them”. We see in additional parts of the Bible like in Luke 6:28

28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.

Or in Romans 12:14

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

We are to actively bless our enemies. God calls us to extend mercy to people who do not deserve it. Just as we have received His mercy and grace not because we deserve it, but because of who He is.

“When you forgive, it opens a door for God to heal you, but honestly, it doesn’t do much for the person who offended you. But when you bless them, you ask God to bring truth to them so they can repent and experience the real freedom He provides. Forgiveness sets you free…blessing your enemies sets them free.”

(notes from today’s devotional)


Setting Your Enemies Free

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

Romans 12:14

Prayer Starter: (from today’s devotional)

God, I thank You for helping me walk in forgiveness, but I don’t want to stop there. I ask You to bless those who have hurt me. In the same way that You have brought healing to my life, bring healing to them so they can experience Your goodness and walk in Your love.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for the truth about how You desire to be the only source of fear in our life, but fear that is a life of reverence for you. I praise You Lord for being the light that goes before me to lead me and guide me and to be my rear guard to is keeping the unknown and attacks of the enemy from coming at me from outside of my peripheral vision. Lord, thank You for speaking hope and life through Your Word and for the incredible hope that comes from Your words – “fear not, just believe”. Help me Lord to walk out the faith and hope that You have put in my heart today. Help me Lord to not be limited or stopped because I wouldn’t step into what You have for me. As Pastor Rick has said in His devotionals Lord,
"The greatest tragedy this year would be for you to stand at the edge of your destiny, but to be afraid to enter into all that God has planned for you." Help me Lord as You move me forward in all your plans and purposes for me Lord, to not stop because of the lies of the enemies. Let my faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ strengthen and encourage me so that I may produce and provide the example and the results that You are calling me towards today. Help me Lord to love others and Lord to pray for Your blessings in their lives. Let my words and actions exemplify the truth of who You are and Your plan for them. Help me Lord to help others come to find the freedom that comes from a living relationship with You. May Your Holy Spirit guide me and prompt me with the right actions and the right words to bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Fearful to Fearless

He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever and imprint it [on His mind].

Psalm 111:5 (AMP)

Biblical Truth:

God’s love and mercies belong to those who worship Him, He knows our needs and His word is our daily bread that refines and enriches us.


Chronological

Today – Day 244

  • Ezekiel 18
    • We are accountable for what we do and say. It isn’t anyone’s fault but our own. We all have a freewill so we not only get to choose, but we also get to deal with the consequences.
    • God doesn’t want anyone to die. That is why He sent Jesus so that we may all have the opportunity to be saved, not to condemn the world.
    • God will judge each of us according to our actions. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!
  • Ezekiel 19
  • Ezekiel 20
    • God’s plan is that we will find life. He has a plan that brings us into a land of milk and honey. Will we choose to be obedient and receive the blessings that He so desires to put upon us?
    • Would you rather fit in or do what is right?
    • Would you rather be like everyone around you or be a light that shines hope, love, and truth?

Don’t let bitterness ruin your day or life. Start each day and each prayer by first forgiving anyone you have a grudge against & be transformed.


Our natural tendency when someone hurts us is to use it as a barrier, a wall, a gate back into our lives. We feel they owe us for having done that. Part of the problem is that if we hold onto it for too long it ends up hurting us more than the original incident ever did. It plants a bitter root in our hearts and starts eating away at us from the inside out. It will not only change our attitude with that one person, it can even go deeper if we don’t deal with it to impact our thoughts, our emotions, our relationships, our attitude, and our work. It will become an impediment to forward progress. It will start to impact the ones you love. It will even start to impact your health. “Bitterness or holding a grudge or resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

The thing is that God’s plan is different,
He wants us to let it go.

If we refuse to forgive, what hope do we have of receiving what we need? To receive from God what He has promised in His Word, we must obey Him, regardless of how difficult it may be.

We must forgive!

Satan is a great deceiver and uses our mind against us. He uses this in the area of forgiveness if we don’t feel that our feelings have changed then we have not truly forgiven. That is a lie. When you decide to forgive someone, don’t let the devil convince you that because you still have the same feelings, you haven’t really forgiven the person. Doing the right thing may not initially change the way you feel, however, that is where faith steps in. You have done your part – you have stepped up and done what God has asked of you, now wait on God for His part which will work to heal your emotions, heal your wounds, make you whole, and change your feelings towards the person who hurt you.

It was incredible when after several months in my life of having God encourage me through song and words of encouragement, I got to the point of fear when He stepped in and spoke to me through the song 7×70 and I broke down and cried and forgave them for what they had done. As I completed my prayer to forgive, these words came to me: “as you forgive others, so I will forgive you”. I prayed for forgiveness and before I arrived at my destination, God had done a work in me. It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and I could feel the change and transformation as I stepped back into the situation (which hadn’t changed), however, God had changed my mind and my heart and with that my attitude and my work. He helped me to heal and restore relationships that I had harmed through the experience, and rebuild my family time that had been affected by the incredible pain and torment I had gone through.

(notes from today’s devotional)


Making a Decision to Forgive

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

Mark 11:25

Prayer Starter: (from today’s devotional)

Lord, I choose to forgive those who have hurt me. I release them from their debt, in Jesus’ name. Heal my heart and make me whole.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within You. I praise You Lord for the incredible truth and love that You have shared with me through this life and for the incredible experiences and joy that has come through them. Lord, You take what the devil plans for evil and turn it around and use it all for good. Lord, when he lied You broke through it and were able to shine the light of truth and produce hope, life, and joy. Lord, help me Lord to keep this truth in the front of my mind so that Lord I don’t allow bitterness to mess up my day or my life, but allow me and help me to forgive and move on for You will take care of the details. Lord, I thank You for the day we are about to have and I ask Lord that through it and in it may You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Fearful to Fearless

Some people had wandered in the desert lands. They found no city in which to live. They were hungry and thirsty, and they were discouraged. In their misery they cried out to the Lord, and he saved them from their troubles. He led them on a straight road to a city where they could live.

Psalm 107:4-7 (NCV)

Biblical Truth:

When we trust God, he is able to direct our way and deliver us through the wilderness of fear and discouragement.


Chronological

Today – Day 243

  • Ezekiel 16
    • It’s not all about you. It is about what God has done in and through you. Don’t become proud, but be a humble servant, a faithful steward of all that God has done and is doing in and through you.
  • Ezekiel 17

Do you know how big everything in your life is or will be?


Are you positioned
to allow God to cause
it all to work together
for good?
Do you love God?
Are you called
according to His purposes?
Are you following Him?
Are you a good example to others?

Unfortunately in this life we will have troubles. Notice also that in Romans 8:28, Paul doesn’t say all things are good, but rather God will make all things work together for good. We need to live a life where we are positioned to allow God to work in and through us. Consider Romans 12:16:

16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

It speaks to us about living with other, and about humility.We need to adjust ourselves to be able to plan but if that plan doesn’t work out we don’t and won’t just fall apart.

When faced with a problem – consider how you will look at it. Realize that God works all things for good – because you know that love God and are following after His purposes in your life – and rather than being pessimistic, view is as a detour necessary within your plan for God’s full plan to come together as His plan is to work it all out for your good.

3 But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

– Psalm 3:3

“Allow God to be the glory and lifter of your head (see Psalm 3:3). He wants to lift everything: your hopes, attitudes, moods, head, hands, heart, your entire life. Remember, even when life doesn’t go according to plan, He is good.”

(notes from today’s devotional)


When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28

Prayer Starter (from today’s devotional)

Lord, because I know that you are in control and work all things for good, I can be flexible when life doesn’t follow my plan. When my plans don’t work out, help me to find the good and stay positive.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for such truth and power that come from Your Word. I praise You Lord for this time to receive the hope and love, the wisdom and direction necessary for me to accomplish all that You have planned today. Help me Lord to be flexible to Your desires and needs and the those of everyone I will work with and encounter today so that You will be glorified. I know Lord that You use all the plans of man for Your purposes and that You will work all that is and has taken place in my life for good. Thank You Lord for helping me and allowing me the opportunity and time to be a part of Your plan. Lord, as I get to spend time today with my family, may You receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name as I am trying to stay positioned and flexible in order to accomplish all of your plans and purposes for this day in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Fearful to Fearless

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalm 103:17-18 (KJV)

Biblical Truth:

God grants His mercies on those that fear the Lord, those who are faithful and hold fast to His commands. His mercies extend from this life to the next, and to our children and to their children provided they worship the Lord.


Chronological

Day 242 of 365

  • Ezekiel 13
  • Ezekiel 14
    • Is it too late? Where are you standing? How bad does it have to get or would it have to get before you turned back to God? Is it too late or is it never?
  • Ezekiel 15