Monday, October 22, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Depression is real and it comes to us all. Even David wrote, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11). David, like the rest of us, got depressed and his soul became cast down, but God was his helper. There are three things you need to do when you become cast down.
Pray – Psalm 55:16-17 says, “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, I will pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice.” Prayer lifted David, and prayer shall also lift you.
Be Thankful – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Nothing happens by chance, all is of God. He is in every detail. Thank God for His ever-lasting love and mercy.
Surrender – Accept God’s will for your life. Surrender to His will. Only then will the peace of God come. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- Thought for Today: Pray, be thankful and surrender, and God will comfort your soul. “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3).
Tuesday, October 16, 2007 4:00 a.m.
I heard a sermon on sheep. Jesus compares us to sheep. Sheep can not sleep standing up. They must lay down. David took care of the sheep and he knew this. That is why he wrote, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:2). There are four things that sheep must be free from in order for them to sleep.
- They must be free from fear. David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4).
- They must be free from rivalry. There is to be no fighting within the flock. David wrote, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3).
- They must be free from parasites, poisonous plants, and things that will make them weak. A shepherd would have to clear the field of these harmful things before he could allow the sheep to enter the field. David wrote, “They rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4).
- They must be free from hunger. David wrote, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies…” (Psalm 23:5).
David kept the sheep and knew all this. That is why he could write the twenty-third Psalm with the wisdom of a shepherd. We are the sheep of God’s pasture and Jesus is our Shepherd.
Thought for Today: “I am the good shepherd: and the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).
Saturday, October 6, 2007 7:40 p.m.
God told Joshua to have the priest carry the Ark of the Covenant to the Jordan River. When the soles of the priest’s feet were dipped into the brim of the water the waters stood and rose up, and the priest stood on dry ground. (Joshua 3:15-16). Then Joshua told each tribe to choose a man to carry stones and make two piles of stones for a memorial. One pile of twelve stones was to be left in the Jordan River, and another pile of twelve stones was to be piled on the shore where they passed over. I bet each tribe chose the strongest man and the largest stones. I can just imagine these men struggling to carry huge stones, but how important it was that they got it to the pile. That is the way our life is. We are to leave a memorial of our journey. It is to be a testimony that God helped us all the way. Is it going to be easy? No, we are going to struggle, but how important it is that we make it to the end. When the Israelite children saw the pile of twelve stones they said, “What mean ye by these stones?” (Joshua 4:6), and their father’s answered, “These stones shall be a memorial.” (Joshua 4:7). Likewise, when our children ask, “What is the meaning of your life?”, hopefully we can answer, “It is a memorial that God lead us all the way.”
Thought for Today: Joshua said, these stones remain so “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD…” (Joshua 4:24).
Saturday, July 7, 2008 10:30 a.m.
We just came from a funeral. When one looks back at a person’s life, what does one see? What stands out? Psalm 103:15 says, “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flouisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone: and the place thereof shall know it no more.” It’s funny how we all get old and die. There are no exceptions. As the sea goes to the shore, man goes to the grave. For just a moment imagine a field covered with grass, and here and there flowers are growing. Seasons come and seasons go. With each passing season new flowers spring up. The new flowers know nothing of the old flowers that grew in their place just a season ago. All they know is their time now in which they flourish. But in reality that some patch of ground has witnessed flower after flower, season after season, and year after year. The former is forgotten and known no more. So it is with our life. Generation after generation comes, lives, and dies and they are remembered no more. Each life is as a flower growing in the grass. But a thousand years is as a day unto the Lord. One Day! A year is as a minute. How insignificant we are; and yet, God knows and remembers each one of us. It’s amazing grace. Grace flows as the wind blows on a sea of vanishing grass and flowers.
Thought for Today: “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14).
Monday, June 4, 2007 5:10 a.m.
God knows our every thought, as well as our every need, and even our secret wants. What shows God’s intimacy with us is not His great big blessings, but His little secret joys He gives us. As I was preparing to sing a solo at Keenagers in church, I saw in the box of donuts, my favorite donut. It looked so good, but I couldn’t take it because I can’t eat before I sing. So, I just secretly longed for it. After I was finished singing, I went over to the box of donuts, which had been ravished by now, excepting to find nothing left. But much to my delight, there was one donut left, and believe it or not, it was that donut I secretly longed for. God saved it just for me. I am convinced of that. God delights to give His children their secret joys. I call it the blessings of the little things. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Even if it’s as small as a donut left in the box.
Thought for Today: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).
Thursday, May 30, 2007 4:30 p.m.
I’ve been listening to I Thessalonians 5:14-23. It gives us instructions of how to live and steps to have peace with God. “Now we exhort you, brethren:
- Warn them that are unruly,
- Comfort the feeble-minded,
- Support the weak,
- Be patient toward all men.
- See that none render evil for evil unto any man.
- Ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
- Rejoice evermore.
- Pray without ceasing.
- In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- Quench not the Spirit.
- Despise not prophesyings.
- Prove all things;
- Hold fast that which is good.
- Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Thought for Today: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23).
Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Christians are sometimes afraid that God is going to take everything away from them and bring them down to the bottom. But He isn’t. Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” God delights to give good gifts to His children just as we do. We must just trust Him. Trust Him to supply our every need. Scripture reminds us of this in Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply our every need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” We must trust Him to give us strength to carry on; trust Him to deliver us from all our troubles; trust Him to be our rock, fortress and stronghold. Everyday God loads us with benefits. Psalm 103: 1-5 bares record of this: “BLESS the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5).
Thought for Today: “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7).
Friday, April 27, 2007 9:00 p.m.
Amy Carmichael wrote, “Let me die of a battle-wound, O My Lord, not of a lingering illness.” (A Chance to Die, p.235). There are warriors who, before they go out to battle, say, “This is a good day to die.” We are to be good soldiers for the cross of Christ, soldiers willing to fight to the death for what we believe. What are you willing to die for? Is the cross of Christ enough for you to lay down your life to defend it? Isaac Watts wrote a hymn called: “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” At the time Isaac Watts wrote this hymn, in 1727, “…many Nonconformist believers were imprisoned for their views, even as Watts’s own father had been.” (The One Year Book of Hymns, April 21). Yes, we must fight for the cross of Christ. We must carry the banner of the cross high. It is better to die of battle wounds than die of a lingering illness.
Thought for Today: “Am I a soldier of the cross? A foll’wer of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause Or blush to speak His name? Must I be carried to the skies On Flow’ry beds of ease, While others fought to win the prize And sailed through bloody seas?” Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Monday, March 19, 2007 4:00 a.m.
When one of Amy Carmichael’s beloved workers came down with Bright’s disease, she called it, “another of those grave trials which give us a chance to prove the things we believe” (A Chance to Die, p. 235). Isn’t that powerful? I never really thought of trials quite that way before. I always saw trials as a testing of our faith, a lesson to help us trust the Lord more, or an avenue of providing a platform to proclaim God’s grace; but, never did I see trials as a chance to prove those things we believe. It reminds me of a poem I wrote many years ago when facing a trial.
When what we know in our heart and mind goes deeper than our pain. Tis then we know the love of God transcends through all the same.
Without trials our faith would be shallow and weak. Trials are God’s way to deepen our walk with Him, to associate believers with Christ, to glorify Christ; and yes, to prove what we believe.
Thought for Today: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:7).
Monday, March 5, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Yesterday in choir practice we sang, “By the Gentle Waters.” It touched my heart so. While singing it I repented in my heart for murmuring. I’m no different than the Israelites. God gave them meat and water in the wilderness, and still they murmured. I do the same. God hates murmuring. Because of murmuring and unbelief, God made the children of Israel wander in the wilderness forty years – a year for each day of murmuring. “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years…” (Numbers 14:34). Lord, forgive me for murmuring. Forgive me for my unbelief in your ability to provide. Please keep me from the wilderness.
Thought for Today: Song – “By the gentle waters, You will safely lead me, In green pastures feed me, Knowing What is best.” (Cindy Berry)