Encouragement for Day 5

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. ~ Psalm 5:3

There is nothing better than spending time with the Lord in the morning! This morning while reading God’s word and praying, I noticed the verse above. I love the fact that God says, “He hears my voice.”  That’s always reassuring to know, wouldn’t you agree?  The part of this verse that really caught my attention however, are the last three words – and eagerly watch.  Are you eagerly watching? 

Many of us pray. Some of us pray more than others.  Some of us have designated times to pray, and some of us pray continually every day. I believe God is less concerned with when we pray, and how much we pray and more concerned with our attitude towards prayer.  I think He is looking at how much faith we have in Him when we pray. 

Do you pray, believing that God is going to answer? Or do you pray, because you feel it’s your duty or for some other reason? 

I love this verse, because not only is it a reminder to us that God hears our prayer(s), but that He honors the one who prays with the expectation of seeing a result. 

The word eagerly means to show keen interest, and intense desire or an impatient expectancy.  Are you praying with this sort of attitude? 

I also love how David says that “he orders his prayer.”  He put his prayer to work for him.  He instructed his prayer, and expected a return.

I don’t know about you, but this encouraged me to not only lift my voice before the Lord every day, but to then to wait anxiously for the restult. It reminded me to not pray in vain, but to keep my eyes wide open each day, looking for the answer that God will provide! 

I hope this verse will encourage you to eagerly watch as well!

Love,

Melissa

A Message From God

Exodus 3:16

Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.”

Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you?  Or felt that He wasn’t concerned about a certain situation in your life?  Have you ever cried out to God for help and felt ignored by Him?  Maybe you are facing something right now that is draining you mentally, spiritually and even physically and you wonder where God is.

Is this you?

If so, I’d like to let you know that GOD IS INDEED CONCERNED ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH!

I’ve read the story of God speaking to Moses many times before, but today as I was reading this story, the verse above stuck out to me.  I thought about what the children of Israel were going through when God gave this message to Moses.  At this point, they had been enslaved by the Egyptians for over 400 years.  They had been praying and praying for God to rescue them and yet nothing ever changed. I can’t imagine how hopeless it must have felt to be born into a life of slavery.  Not only that, but to be taught to trust in God even though many generations of people never saw the answer to prayer they were looking for – freedom from bondage.  I think the problems that we face in life are nothing in comparison to what the children of Israel dealt with.  However, many times our problems seem just as bad to us.  I believe God wants me to share the same message that He shared with Moses with you all today…that He is indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you!

I found this verse wonderful and interesting for a few reasons:

1)      God reminded me that He always cares about us and the things we are dealing with in life.  The world would have us think otherwise – that God is some far off being who is only concerned with huge issues – but that isn’t the case at all. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a huge issue like being enslaved in Egypt or wondering how you will pay your mortgage on time – God cares!  God concerns Himself with each one of us and the individual issues that we face in life.  He loves you and hears every single word that you utter to Him.  He even hears the unspoken prayers and concerns of our hearts.  Today, God says, “I love you and am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you.”

2)      God waited a long time before giving the children of Israel this message of hope and encouragement.  Can you imagine what it must have felt like to pray and pray to God and not hear from Him for so long?  As I stated previously, these people were in bondage for over 400 years. They prayed and prayed for relief and for a way out of their situation, yet nothing ever changed nor did they hear from God.  God chose to wait until right before the great Exodus (their answer to prayer) to tell them that He was concerned about them and their situation. Feel like you’ve been waiting a long time and haven’t heard from God?  Today, God says, “I love you and am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you.”  Hold on just a little while longer!

3)      Even though God gave this message to Moses for the children of Israel, they didn’t receive help right away. God had their answer, but it wasn’t revealed to them until just the right time (God’s time). In fact, things got worse before they got better as these people went through some serious persecution, because of Moses and witnessed the various plagues in Egypt. We too may face some hard times in life before we see answers to our prayers.  Just know that in the midst of life’s hardships that God loves you and is indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you!

There are all sorts of reasons why we face hard times in life and I don’t claim to know or understand them all. Sometimes things happen as a result of our disobedience to God or as a consequence of a choice that we’ve made.  Sometimes these situations are God’s way of refining us and making us better and stronger.  Other times our trials and tribulations are used to bring God glory and to draw people to Him.  Sometimes these things are just the result of living in a sinful world. The list goes on and on.  The one thing that I know for sure is that God loves each one of you so much, and cares about what you are facing today!

God has not forgot about you and THE ANSWER to any problem you have is found in Him!  Don’t be discouraged by the circumstances of life, but instead find comfort in knowing that God loves you, hears your prayers and is indeed concerned about what you are going through!

Psalm 40:17

Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

1 Peter 5:7

…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Hebrews 4:16

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Love,

Melissa

Good Fish

Matthew 13:47-50

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;  and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.  So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous,  and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

My Thoughts:  Don’t you just love how Jesus spoke to people in parables.  He always explained the spiritual realm in a way that humans could understand.  He uses earthly things to explain the things that we can’t see.  I just love that about Him!

As I was reading chapter 13 this morning, I was reminded that a day of judgement is coming where the righteous will be divided from the wicked.  The righteous will spend eternity with God, in Heaven and the wicked will be thrown into a lake of fire forever.  What is interesting to me is that the Fishermen are the ones who determine which fish are good (acceptable) and which fish are bad (unacceptable).  The fishermen pulled all of the fish up in the net, but after taking a closer look, threw many fish out.

The fish weren’t the ones that decided what was going to happen to them, the fisherman did.  Jesus is THE FISHERMAN!  It is Jesus who determines which people are good and which people are bad.  He decides who will  and who will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.  I think many people today are confused and misled.  They believe that they are “good enough” and have come up with their own standard(s) for their lives.  Just like the fish, people are going about their lives, thinking everything is fine.  Most people believe that they are in great condition (spiritually).  Then the net comes and rounds them up, and they soon find out they are not up to the FISHERMAN’s standard.

You see, none of us our perfect.  That word righteous doesn’t mean that we are perfect.  Being righteous means that we have accepted Christ’s perfectness.  We are all born with a sinful (imperfect) nature and the only way we can be viewed as righteous, is by accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sinful nature.  This is what makes us righteous.  This is what makes us GOOD FISH!

Revelation 21:3-4

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be  any  death; there will no longer be  any  mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

My Thoughts:  This is one of my favorite Bible verses, although I think I say that about all of them at some time or another.  What I love about this verse is not only does God promise to supply us with what we need in life, but He promises to do this according to HIS  RICHES and not ours.  I think many times we tend to gauge what God can and can’t do based on what we already have or what we already see.

We look at our own pitiful situations, circumstances, bank accounts, etc. and decide that God can only do so much for us.  We act like He’s human and doesn’t have the power to do the impossible.  Here, God’s word says that He WILL supply ALL our NEEDS according to HIS RICHES in Christ Jesus.  It has nothing to do with what we have, don’t have, what we can see or can’t see, what we are capable of or not capable of…..it has everything to do with God!

Psalm 50:10 says that God owns cattle on a thousand hills, and Luke 1:37 says that nothing is impossible with God!  So, why then do we doubt that He can do the most unfathomable, extraordinary and impossible things in our lives?

Let’s focus on what God’s word says and less on what the world says.  Let’s trust God with ALL situations in our lives and then watch Him supply ALL our NEEDS!

Bless The Lord, O My Soul!

Psalm 103:1-22

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are butdust.

As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!  Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!