The LORD says,
“I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.”
—Psalm 91:14, NLT
“That will be ten dollars.” Miriam looked expectantly down at her customer, who couldn’t have been more than five years old.
The tiny girl carefully placed several coins on the counter. “Is that enough?”
Miriam could see right away that there was not nearly enough to pay for the pink slippers. What to do now? She looked down again at the little girl. Her simple sundress was clean but neatly patched in several different areas.
“Who are these slippers for, sweetie?”
A bright smile lit up the girl’s face. “It’s my Mommy’s birthday.” She stroked the slippers with her index finger. “They’re so soft. Maybe now Mommy can walk.”
“Oh, I’m sure your mother will love these.” Miriam frowned. “Does she have trouble walking?”
The little girl shrugged. “She sits in a chair with big wheels.”
“You mean a wheelchair?”
The little girl’s face brightened. “Yeah, a wheelchair! I forgot the word.” Then she frowned. “I got enough money, don’t I? I saved it from my ‘lowance for three whole months.”
Miriam looked around. “Did you come here alone?”
“Yep.” She nodded. “It’s real close. I got a tire swing in front of my house!”
Miriam raised her eyebrows. She knew which house the little girl was talking about, a tiny bungalow a few doors down the street with a wheelchair ramp down one side of the front steps. The house was in desperate need of repair. In a small town like this, everyone knew that the Clarks had been going through bad times since Joe Clark’s warehouse job had been eliminated. He had been looking for work for the last six months.
“I’ll tell you what,” Miriam made a quick decision. “Since this is a birthday present, I’ll wrap them up for you.”
The little girl watched in fascination as Miriam placed the slippers in a box and deftly covered it with wrapping paper and ribbon. “There, all done.” She handed the package to the little girl, who hugged it close to her body.
“Thanks, Lady!” She took a few steps but then frowned and turned back. “It’s enough?” She pointed to the money still on the counter.
Miriam smiled. “It sure is. Now why don’t you get that present home to your mother?”
The little girl’s face lit up and she thanked Miriam again before leaving the small drug store.
Miriam picked up the thirty-seven cents’ worth of coins and stared at them for several seconds. Then she reached into her purse under the counter, drew out a ten-dollar bill and stuffed it and the coins into the cash register.
Beloved, did you know that You can approach God with the same kind of confidence this little girl showed toward Miriam?
It is somewhat overwhelming to think of God’s throne of grace as being so easily accessible, but that’s exactly what God wants. He yearns for us to be comfortable enough with Him that we will not hesitate to bring our cares and concerns confidently to Him so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
God’s provision. This is a subject that all of us think about, and sometimes we even worry about it. Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM), has written a wonderful piece about this in his blog.
By Randy Alcorn
Jesus tells us to “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [what you eat, drink, and wear] will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Unlike the pagans who “run after all these things” and “worry about tomorrow,” believers are told to follow Christ, live a radical life of faith, and trust God to provide (Matthew 6:25-34).
In this passage, Jesus says that God cares for the birds. Yet birds aren’t created in God’s image. Christ didn’t die for birds. The Holy Spirit doesn’t indwell birds. Birds won’t reign with Christ. But we will! So Christ asks his disciples, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). If he takes care of the less valuable creatures, will he not take care of us, who are far more valuable?
Read the rest here.
While you’re at EPM, please spend some time looking around this great site where you’ll find tons of information and resources.
I will give you the treasures of darkness. —Isaiah 45:3
In the famous lace shops of Brussels, there are special rooms devoted to the spinning of the world’s finest lace, all with the most delicate patterns. The rooms are kept completely dark, except for the light that falls on the developing pattern, from one very small window. Only one person sits in each small room, where the narrow rays of light fall upon the threads he is weaving, for lace is always more beautifully and delicately woven when the weaver himself is in the dark, with only his work in the light.
Sometimes the darkness in our lives is worse, because we cannot even see the web we are weaving or understand what we are doing. Therefore we are unable to see any beauty of any possible good arising from our experience. Yet if we are faithful to forge ahead and “if we do not give up” (Galations 6:9), someday we will know that the most exquisite work of our lives was done during those days when it was the darkest.
If you seem to be living in deep darkness because God is working in strange and mysterious ways, do not be afraid. Simply go forward in faith and in love, never doubting Him. He is watching and will bring goodness and beauty from all of your pain and tears. –J. R. Miller (from Streams in the Desert Devotional)
This is from another of my favorite blogs, Radical, which:
exists to serve the church in accomplishing the mission of Christ…making disciples who make disciples who make disciples throughout the world – from our neighbors across the street to the unreached people groups across the globe – all for the glory of God.
in hope of eternal life,
which God, who never lies,
promised before the ages began.
By David Burnette
It may surprise you to learn that there’s something God can’t do.
Of course, Jesus tells us that with God “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), and we certainly don’t want to deny that God is all-powerful or that he has all authority. No one can thwart his purposes (Daniel 4:35). Still, according to Scripture, there is something that God can’tdo, but it turns out that it’s actually for our good—he cannot lie. This attribute of God, his faithfulness, is the last of several snapshots we’ve taken of his character (see also God’s holiness, mercy, and wrath). To know that God “never lies” (Titus 1:2) should change the way we think about and respond to him.
Lies and Truth
It goes without saying that human relationships are often marked by unfaithfulness. Marriages, friendships, and businesses suffer as a result of dishonesty and deception. When it comes to our political leaders, we don’t even expect them to fulfill their campaign promises. Sometimes our unfaithfulness is intentional, but often we simply forget to do what we said, or else we are unable to keep our word due to circumstances or limitations. Whatever the case, we are often wary of placing too much confidence in people or institutions. Thankfully, we don’t need to be skeptical when it comes to God.
Beloved, as a follower of and believer in Jesus Christ, are you living a life filled with the Holy Spirit? And are you walking in the Spirit? This is an excellent explanation of what it means to be filled with and walk in the Spirit by my bloggy friend, Raymond Candy. Please spend some time perusing other wonderful posts on his blog, As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18)
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)
Since the beginning of the early Christian Church there have been many different doctrines and beliefs as to what it means to “walk in the Spirit”.
The same holds true today.
Satan does not want you to discover how to walk in the Spirit.
At the very most he would like to see you fall in your Christian walk, give up, and turn from the faith.
At the very least he would like to see you continuously stumble and falter so that your faith would be weak and ineffectual.
Before we establish our belief as to what it is to “walk in the Spirit”, let us see what it is not.
Read the rest here.
Life in this world has gone crazy lately. At least it seems that way to most of us. If you’re wondering how to handle all the upheaval without falling apart, please read this wonderful post by my bloggy friend, Ugochi Oritsejolomisan, of Teshuva. And while you’re there, check out the rest of her great site.
July 13, 2015 by
Sometimes thinking about all the craziness going on in the world we live in right now can make even the happiest person depressed. Especially one who looks away from the word to the world. I was in a discussion with some family members (Church family) and so many issues came up.
Random killings, terrorist attacks, kidnaps, robberies, sexual immoralities, divorces, Christians falling out of the faith…
The evil being exposed is so deep, intense and scary. Things that were formally unheard of are now being talked about with so much levity and casualness that boggles the mind and makes one wonder where exactly the world would be in few couple of years.
What’s a Christian to do?
Read the rest here.
Here is another great devotional by John MacArthur. Please visit his Grace to You site, where you will find tons of wonderful Biblical information, sermons, studies, links and other resources. This was last Saturday’s daily Bible reading, which I subscribe to via email.
July 11 – Differences in Withstanding the Storm
“‘The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. . . . The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against the house; and it fell—and great was its fall’” (Matthew 7:25, 27). Everyone’s religion, whether true or false, will be tried one day. That test will determine with great finality who are the wheat and who are the tares—in other words, the unredeemed will be revealed from the redeemed. When the storm of final test comes, those whose houses are on the bedrock of Jesus Christ and His Word will be spared “from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10). However, those whose houses are on the sand will not be spared, but, like the goats in Jesus’ prophecy of the end times, “will go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46; cf. Ex. 12:23; Rev. 20:12, 15). The house of the wise man—the life and ministry of the genuine believer—is spared because he has built carefully and faithfully, with a sense of substance and divine importance. After obediently doing all that God commands, he humbly realizes he was only doing his duty (Luke 17:10). The house of the foolish man—the life and ministry of the pseudo-believer—suffers a devastating judgment from the storm and is destined for eternal punishment. Because of this inevitability, everyone who claims to be a Christian must carefully heed James’s words: “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). The greatest difference between “wise” and “foolish” resides in what promise from God they can claim. To the wise He says, in the words of the hymn, “Though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!” Ask Yourself Those who are foolish in planning and preparation are often foolish as well in their assessment of the damage. Why do some whose lives are falling apart not seem to notice? How can you help one you know? From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610,www.moodypublishers.com.
God Is Love
by Joni Eareckson Tada
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.”
—I John 4:16
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are fellowshiping in a waterfall of love and joy. It is nothing short of amazing that the Trinity is driven to share that joy with us. It was the Savior’s mission: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you.” (John 15:11). What joy the Trinity enjoys! Misery may love company, but joy craves a crowd, and so the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s plan to rescue humans is not only for man’s sake. It is for God’s sake. The Father is gathering a crowd–an inheritance, pure and blameless–to worship His Son in the joy of the Holy Spirit. “God is love” and the wish of love is to drench with delight those for whom God has suffered.
Soon believers will step into the waterfall of joy and pleasure that is the Trinity. Better yet, we will become part of a Niagara Falls of thunderous delight as “God is all and in all.” In heaven, we will not only know God, we willknow Him in that deep, personal union, that utter euphoria of experiencing Him. There in heaven we will“eat of the tree of life” and be filled to overflowing with more joy and pleasure than we can contain (Revelation 22:2).
Amazing grace, how can it be, that God would share His joy for eternity with me? Remember, God shares His joy on His terms; and those terms call for us to, in some measure, suffer as His beloved Son did while on earth (I Peter 2:21). If you and I experience hardship, it is paving the way for a deeper joy for all of eternity!
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for inviting me into the fellowship of Your joy. Thank You for preparing me for heaven’s joy as I trust You in the fellowship of Your sufferings while on earth.
Joni and Friends
Copyright © 2006. Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada. Published in print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan