Posts Tagged 'Strongholds'

There Is Joy In His Presence

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?…One thing I ask of the Lord… That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. – Psalm 27:1-6

No one in the entire Bible expresses the joy of being in the presence of the Lord any better than David. The imagery that he uses in expressing his desire for the presence of God is compelling. Dwelling in the house of the Lord conjures up pictures of just basking in his presence day after day.

In another place he writes, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). You can see the deer running from his pursuers, and growing thirsty as gains he ground and the pursuing danger is far behind.

The cry of David’s heart for the presence of God stirs a hunger within us to also be in his presence. For many years now I have devoted the early morning hours to being with the Lord and I can tell you there is great reward in pursuing him when the day is fresh and our minds are not cluttered with the e the world.

Every day we are faced with all manner of distractions. There is the attitude of others; there is the natural desire of the flesh for the world; there is the need to provide…. And the list grows. If we don’t set a time to be in his presence, and the earlier the better, then we will never be able to get around to it.

Today is the day! Today make it a purpose that you will dwell in his presence. Start out with prayers of petition and thanksgiving and meditate upon his word. When you make the effort to start the day with him you will have his joy.

Prayer: Lord, I tend to begin the day with good intentions, but early in the day I allow the cares of this life to keep me from being with you. Grant me the grace and the persistence to be in your word and in your presence daily. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

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Obeying His Commands Produces Joy

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. – John 15:10-11

Remember times when you were a child and your mother said, “When I come back in this room you had better have it cleaned up,” and while she was gone you cleaned your room thoroughly; making the bed, even cleaning out from under the
bed, sweeping and straightening everything. Do you remember how you felt when she came back into your room and gave that smile of approval? That is what Jesus is talking about in this passage, except it is more than that.
There is a certain joy that is natural to us when we have done well, or someone has recognized our efforts. Our example above demonstrates that joy. The Greek word translated joy here is chara. It is very similar to the word used for a gift and it means calm delight. When we are doing our best and can see good results we have that certain sense of accomplishment that gives us satisfaction for having done well.
Then Jesus speaks of adding to our joy. He says, “I have told you this that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” It seems that he is telling us that there is a certain level of joy that comes naturally when we have done well, but he is adding his joy to that so that our joy is complete, or as full.
He appears to be telling us that when we live in the Spirit and fulfill his commands our joy will be raised to a higher level and we will be full of joy. This joy, this calm satisfaction, is what is so attractive in believers. People have observed the way Christians respond to stressful situations and said, “I don’t know what you have, but I want it.” That is the joy of the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, I tend to follow my own way instead of yours. Grant me the ability to walk in obedience so that your joy will be in me and my joy will be full. Amen

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com

What to do when you feel Lonely

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

Have you ever heard anyone say that the times they feel most vulnerable to temptation is when they feel lonely? It’s like they have a need for comfort from someone or something that is familiar.

It is at those times that most of us just naturally turn to behaviors that are not good for us. For some of us that is comfort foods, for others it is alcohol or drugs. Some just go into a depression or another unhealthy emotional state.

When our hope is in Him, and our trust is in Him, and His Word is our strength and comfort we can go to him in these lonely times and find the strength and comfort we need. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He is faithful and His word is true – trust him it works.

I have also found that when I’m struggling with an issue, or just feel alone, if I go to a trusted friend and share just where I am emotionally that friend can give me encouragement and remind me that God, and my friend, will walk beside me all the way.

Some folks are lonely even around friends because they have not learned how to open up and be a friend. Here is an antidote for loneliness: Trust God to be your friend then be a friend to someone else. Try it – it works.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I thank you for being there for me. I am grateful that I never have to worry about whether you will leave me alone. Now, grant me the faith to believe what I know. Amen.

we would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

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Scripture is The End of Your Search For Life

Daily God Walk for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me. – John 5:39

Remember that thing that came in a box that said, “Some assembly required?” When you opened the box it was full of pieces that needed to be put together and there was an instruction booklet there to help you put it together.

I’ve done that before, except I thought I was smart enough to figure it out on my own. Just give me the pieces and I’ll figure out how to make it work. I usually wind up with something that does ok – but it doesn’t work quite right and I always wonder what would have happened if I had followed the instructions and used all of the parts instead of just sticking the left over parts in a drawer somewhere.

Then the thing breaks down; and I complain about the company that produces a lousy product that doesn’t work like it is supposed to and breaks down too often.

Wake Up – we’re the box of pieces and our ego is the one trying to put us together without following the instructions. God has given us a wonderful book of instruction on how to gain eternal, abundant, life. Let’s just follow the instruction.

I have talked to many people whose lives are being controlled by addictions and as a result they are living in abject poverty. Yet, when I talk with them they claim to be walking with God. The saddest part of that is they could be living the abundant blessed life if they would only search the scripture to see what it says and follow it.

Prayer:  OK Lord. I think I finally get it. Today I will follow the instructions in the book. Grant me the grace of faith to trust you. In Your name, amen.

we would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Jesus Is the True Vine

Daily God Walk for Monday, February 27, 2012

I am the true Vine, and my Father is the gardener… Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. – John 15:1-4

So many of us feel so self sufficient that we believe we can make it through the day without anyone else giving us support. So, we start the day with all kinds of good intentions; then, bit by bit our good intentions begin to unravel.

Anger jumps up unexpectedly. Desire for things that we know would not be good for us begin to rise up. And, out of the blue, someone turns up from our old life and begins to talk about the “good old days.” We begin to feel ourselves being drawn away from the vine, the source of our strength.

Does that scenario sound familiar? I think we have all fallen into that trap a few times, but we don’t have to. Jesus said, “remain in me.” What does it mean to “remain” in him?

Each day we must make a purpose to yield ourselves to him. We renew our commitment to follow where he leads and to deny our own tendency toward things that would not be good for us.

It takes effort to stay in the vine, but the rewards of being “in Christ” far outweigh the cost of the effort.

 Prayer: Lord, I tend to begin feeling confident enough to make it on my own, and each time I try it I fall short. I truly do need your strength. Grant me a strong desire to stay in the vine and to do what I must to do so. In Jesus name, amen.

we would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Fellowship Strengthens the Body

Daily God Walk for Sunday, February 26, 2012

Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:19-20

There is a lot of instruction in the Bible about our interaction with each other. We are told to regard others in higher esteem than ourselves, to submit to one another, to forgive one another and to bear one another’s burdens. This passage is about having spiritual fellowship with one another.

Can you remember a time when you might have been feeling just a little down and either a friend came over, or you went over to the friends place, and you began to have fellowship. Maybe someone brought up a scripture that encouraged them and someone else will lead out in a song that has been on their mind.

It’s at those times that we realize the value of believing friends who can share with us how God is working in their lives and thereby bringing us encouragement and hope.

Shortly after the birth of the church Acts records, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Fellowship was crucial in the early days of the church and it is crucial today. Call a friend today and offer a thanksgiving to the Lord for He is worthy of our praise.

 

Prayer: Lord, I tend to try and “go through it alone,” because I don’t want to burden others with what is going on with me – but I need others in my life to lift me up. Give me the desire to reach out for others and to others. In Jesus name, amen.

we would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

Blessing Abraham’s Offspring

Daily God Walk for Saturday, February 25, 2012

The promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.  –Romans 4:16-17

Throughout his writings Paul teaches that we, who through the grace of God serve him in faith, though we were not born into the physical family of Abraham, have been born into the promises of God concerning his offspring.

It was God’s intention that through the offspring of Abraham He would open heaven to give many blessings to mankind. In fact, in Genesis God promises, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (12:3).

Life, health, prosperity and many blessings are promised to Abraham’s offspring – and by virtue of the grace of God that has been extended to us through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, he has extended those same blessings to the church.

Remember who you are in Christ and the heritage you have been born into through faith in Him. It is time to begin thinking of yourself as a child of promise and step up to the Father’s table.

We no longer have to take a back seat to anyone else. God is offering the best of heaven to us.

Prayer: Lord, there are times that I forget just who you have called me to be and what you have made available to me. Grant me the faith to step out into your promises and declare them to be your will for my life. In Jesus name, amen.

we would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html


Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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