Acrostic Poem

Good Tuesday Morning Bible Journal Family,

At first when I was looking over our reading for the day I was excited to read about the opportunity to read and reflect on the amazing invite to a great feast provided by our Lord in Luke 14:16-24.  After all, I love meals. There are a few messages being shared as we chew on these few verses.  First we can see that this invite is for us all.  Second, the meal provided will leave us permanently filled and never thirsty.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Third, Jesus wants us to come now with no excuses. As a previous expert in excuses, I can think of times where I resist or delay this call by God with my own actions.  I can’t put this invite off for another day or make up another excuse.  These last couple weeks I have had personal friends who have lost loved ones and celebrated their life.  in addition, I’ve had a few former students lose their lives based on various situations.  In addition to children to others pass away. Reminding me that I need to be grateful for every breath, but keep faith that God has a plan for everything and everyone.

Our 2nd reading is called an acrostic poem, the longest psalm and longest chapter in the bible. Twenty-two sections containing eight verses a piece.   The acrostic part is that in each section of Psalm 119 a new letter to the Hebrew Alphabet is taught starting with Aleph and ending with Taw.  Various bible studies say that this Psalm would allow many to memorize with this type of formation.  To me I love the celebration of the word of the Lord, and a direction for us to follow.  A few of my highlighted words that provide me with hope, trust, guidance, and love include; who walk, who keep, seek Him,  praise, obey, rejoice, meditate, and delight.

Dear God,

Your words have opened my eyes (v.18), they have filled a longing in my heart for a Father and a unconditional love, they have taught me to turn my heart not from selfish gain (v.26,36), but to a promise of hope (v.41,49). Before I was afflicted I was astray, but now I try and pray to obey your commands (v. 67-68). I know His law are righteous and His Living Word is eternal, continuing through all generations(v.89-90).  Your commands are always with me and they provide a lamp to my feet and light to my path.  I pray my heart stays set on keeping your decrees until my very end(v105,112).  Let me live so I can praise you, and may Your laws sustain me. I have strayed like lost sheep. God please seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands, and I know you are the Good Shepherd(v.175-176).

Amen

Bread Winners

Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20-21, and Psalm 107

Matthew 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Luke 20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Influence. Have you ever really thought about the influence you have throughout the day? Your family, neighbors, co-workers, friends, community? These influences can come in the shape of a simple hug, smile, phone call, or word of encouragement.  All small gestures can have great influences.   You see we never know what may be going on that day with the other person you give this gesture to.   A Christ-like gesture can make a difference like Jesus’s parable about yeast to dough,  you can change a persons day.

As I look at this picture of making dough I’m reminded of how God is shaping us, kneading us, and watching as we rise to a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.  I think about small kingdom words or expressions I could use in my everyday moments.  Maybe the gesture of praying with someone, praising God in song, or maybe recognizing fruits of the spirit being acted out by others.  These positive moments that model our Father can influence like the yeast that starts out small in dough, but spreads throughout.

Our Father is building His Kingdom always.  We always have influence.  I was reminded by a friend this morning that we are called to influence.  That in Romans 8:12 we have an obligation not to the flesh, but to the spirit.

Yeast is used in both good and bad contexts in the bible.  Yeast can spread corruption as we are reminded in Galatians 5:9 or 1 Corinthians 5:6 or it can also be for building His Kingdom. The kingdom is promised to those rich in faith and who love Him. James 2:5,

What will you do with the yeast you provide today? 

Colossians 4-5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Dear Father,

Thank you for your parables that you speak into us through your living word.  Just like we have had others speak into us, help us today to be an ambassador for you.  Let our grace, kindness, encouragement, and love for others point back to you God.  We are grateful for each day we get to praise you and pray for us all to continue to draw closer to you each day.  Amen

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love endures forever.  Psalm 107:1

Light of the World

So Jennifer has asked me now for a few days when I plan to change the bulbs that have been out in our house for the last couple weeks. Whether its in our room or in the kitchen I’m sure the darkness cast on these places has made a difference. Same with our life, whether its replacing a bulb, flicking the switch, or maybe you just forgot to plug something in; being in darkness makes a difference. In the dark you can lose sight of some of the detail. For example you may grab two different color socks or papers can build up on the kitchen counter because there is a darkness cast on that part of the counter. That is the same in our life. When there is darkness sin has space to slide in. Things build up without being noticed. What a difference it makes when His light is cast upon us. What a difference it will make when I put in the bulbs this week. 🙂

Jesus said,
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

And just like the difference it will make of putting those new bulbs in, Jesus said, “We are the light.” In the midst of seasons or circumstances, are we like the bulbs I needed to replace? Do we still shine bright in the midst of our busyness? Are we shining bright when faced with adversity?

Here is our reminder for this Tuesday. By His grace we have been given an eternal kingdom, a Living Word that is breathed by Him. Isn’t it great to know we have a Father that cares more for us then anyone! He willingly sent his own son to live a perfect life and provide us with an example of the light we should be shining for others today. I’m praying our 811 readers are reading today and understand the light you are able to shine on others today. That no matter our current circumstance, God has great plans for us! That on this short term camp out here on Earth we have the opportunity to share this light with others who are still living in darkness. Think of the difference we can make in our workplace, neighborhood, community. Praise God!

Let His light shine today through you.  If you need a new bulb, put it in! If the switch needs to be hit, do it.  Praise God!

This weekend I had the opportunity to share a life verse with my son Jackson as he moves over to the next Sunday school classroom. It was Joshua 1:9.

9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Dear God,

You brought us out of the dark.  You gave us light and asked us to share this good news with other so they can see to.  God help it not to be our words but yours.  God we love you and ask for your support and guidance we need in holding Your name high and sharing,  so all can hear, see, and be part of Your kingdom one day.

Today’s Readings: Matthew 5:14-16
Psalm 95
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our Salvation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=8RpLB7bAlYc

Shine Bright Today!

Judging Others

Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Growing up I had a fear of being judged, in being honest, I can find myself slipping down this road again at times.  Why do we do this? For myself, growing up what I saw as, various obstacles, made me think our family was different.  Parents with multiple failed marriages, addictions to alcohol or drugs, abuse, and to top it off being very poor. My mind or heart as a child was not set on a richness in being content in the Lord, but on a worldly expectation of keeping up with others or appearing to have it all figured out. I worried (worry) what others thought about me and/or my family? (Thank you Lynden for a great reflection on not worrying. )

When I was younger, if people knew what happened in my house, what would they think? How would they look at me?  Would they even like me? In my head the answer was no. So what did I do? I became a master of pointing out what others where doing wrong. Sadly at times, made fun of others.  I was judging others and pointing out others shortcomings trying to get the spotlight off my dysfunctional family and self. I was tearing down others to try to build myself up.  How sad….  I’m sorry for my insecurities and have prayed many prayers of apology whole heartedly for my lack of understanding of our real judge.  My hurting of others through my words or actions caused genuine pain, while honestly looking in the mirror caused more?

So what does this scripture mean? Why do I share that sad story of an insecure young man?  Because the struggle can be real for many. We have fear of any kind of failure, and when we do mess up it’s a lot easier to call out others to get the magnifying glass of ourselves.

I have really loved digging into various scriptures on not judging others.  Knowing that we have but one Father, one Judge, one that has put us in His perfect place allowing us to trust Him. He pulled me out of a selfish pit and helps me to share my story.  As we have said the phrase before audience of 1.

Here are some scriptures that can help you to walk a mile in anyone else’s shoes.  That can help us to see others like God sees each of us.

Luke 6:37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

1 Corinthians 4:3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

Jesus is telling us to examine our own motives and actions. What we tend to call out in others is often what we need to reflect on ourselves.  The world teaches us to judge people by their appearance. But God doesn’t judge people by how they look — and neither should we.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”

2 Timothy 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

Dear Father,

You know our hearts.  Continue to due open heart surgery to help to know, trust, and show your love to all others.  God please remind us of you being the only judge and for us to first seek your kingdom in everything we do.  God we can’t do this, the world pulls us many directions.  But you can! Your wisdom, knowledge, and love blankets us. Thank you Lord for being our one true judge.  Amen

Psalm 119:66 
I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.

Today’s Reading Matthew 7:1-5, Psalm 83

Heartfelt or Hypocrite

I have a desk in our unfinished basement tucked away in the corner just out of the way of most flying balls or pucks. This is a usual spot for reflection and prayer. At my desk, dinner table, bed, car, school or church how are my prayers? In the longest recorded sermon given by Jesus, He describes the traits He was looking for His followers.  Jesus requires consistent heartfelt prayer.  He is not looking for a series of words but a true confession of the heart.  This confession can be anything, because He already knows.

Matthew 6:8 says, “Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”

As I reflect on my various daily prayers there are times when I read this verse I pause to think am I always honest and sincere? At times do I babble? Do I take for granite the fact that God is right there listening to every prayer.  Even the dinner prayers were I’m attempting to keep the boys from calling each other out for having their eyes open.   I believe as our relationship with God grows closer so does our prayer life .  We are reminded that our Father who is mentioned 17 times in the Sermon on the Mount knows what is truly on our hearts.  My flesh side of my self can be at times fearful, while at opposite times it can be full of pride.  This lacks the closeness and the honest heartfelt prayers our Father desires.

Pastor Mike Baker a couple weeks ago shared four prayer killers that can take away from a sincere closeness to my Heavenly Father.

  1. Not abiding in God or His word ( John 15:7 )
  2. Not asking ( James 4:2)
  3. Not believing what you’re asking for ( James 1:6 )
  4. Not asking with the right motives ( James 4:3)

Which one of these can get in my way of the genuine one on one intimacy God desires no matter my location or circumstance?

Today’s Reading Matthew 6:8, Psalm 71

Dear Father, You know our hearts, minds, and soul.  I ask that you help us to not let any of these prayer distractions get in the way of a closeness with you.  God we don’t deserve this amazing promise and grace but it’s not about us, its about you.  You hear all our prayers, you answer them all according to your perfect timing.  Thank you for your love that only our eternal Father can give.  I pray to always be open and honest with you admitting that I need you always.  Jesus, we come to you with our hearts wide open.  Help us to share the truth you already know, asking to come into our hearts and trust a promise you already gave us through your son Jesus.  We love you. Amen

Psalm 71:5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

Psalm 71: 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all that are to come.

Salt Life

SALT

• Adds Flavor to Life,

• Purifies Set apart,

• Preserves  the souls of man for the Kingdom of God

Good Morning,

Today we get a chance to look at Matthew 5:13-16. The Salt Life image that we see on cars or shirts is imprinted my brain. Verse 13 says how we are the salt of the earth. A couple characteristics of salt that can be seen as a parallel to our Christian life includes the ability to make me thirst.   Last week as I battled a cold and went to the good ole’ gargling of salt water,  it made me thirst.  That even as I poured the salt into liquid it never lost its saltiness.  As we are living in this world do we lose our flavor? As we are watered down by worldly pressures do we keep our saltiness  in every part of our life? Colossians 4:6  says Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. 

Salt also adds seasoning. It makes a better taste. Does the flavor of being a Christian make others come back for seconds? Seasoning brings out the best flavor of our foods.  Do we bring out our best and point it all back to God?

 

I have learned I can’t always control the circumstances I face, but I am the keeper of my “saltiness.” Will I be bitter, broken down or better and making a difference? Less seasoned or more flavorful? When God comes back, what good am I if I’ve lost my flavoring?

 

Light of the World

If we all understand that the light of the world is God we will be able to see. Matthew 5:14-16 what living for Christ is like. That God’s light should be in full display in our hearts, minds, works and actions. That as we let our light shine others will see the reality of God in us.   God’s light will guide us as we speak to Him and for Him. God’s light will shine when we are trying to avoid a situation.  Let’s not let sin dim our light.  Let’s not put our light to the side when others need to see.

Ephesians 5:8 says For you were once darkness, but now you are the light of the world. Live as children of the light.

Have a blessed day being the salt and the light.

Today’s Readings: Matthew 5:13-16, Psalm 59

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; you are my fortress , my refuge in times of trouble.

Family Implications

There are many times children imitate their parents.  I remind myself and other parents that in most cases you will be the number one earthly influence on your child’s life.  Children will only do what they know.  Thankfully, there is a Heavenly Father that is always present to have the biggest influence on this earthly life that will leave eternal implications.

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15 and Psalm 47

As we continue to read through 2 Samuel 15 we read about Absalom, the third son of David with wife Maacah. As we continue through 2 Samuel, family troubles were mounting for David, and Absalom had just murdered Anaan. Now he wanted to use his leadership to take over the kingdom of his father, David.  David’s family was falling apart. The beginning of 2 Samuel 15 you see how Absalom uses his qualities of beauty and people skills to exalt himself, and not listen for God.  2 Samuel 15:1-6 shows Absalom selfishly providing for himself, and persuading others to appointed him judge of the land.  In 2 Samuel 15:10 he sends out secret messengers to tell others to say “Absalom reigneth in Hebron“! These actions by Absalom make me reflect on a couple verses.

John 3:30 (ESV) He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Galatians 1:10 (ESV) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

In Matthew 23:11-12 Jesus says, ” The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The difference we have read and know is that when we are putting ourselves and the desire for power before a relationship with God,  sooner than later our plans will fail against His. Self-destruction can happen when we listen to the world and do things according to our accord and not His.  There are many times this has happened to me, there are times when I think I have it figured out on my own and make a decision that revolves around myself and what I believe my goals should be; yet, God reminds me in His ways that I need to be walking with Him. Praying, Asking, Trusting.

Our focus should be on Him and not ourselves.  When I’m wrong, which I know can be often, I need to confess to God and ask for forgiveness.  Absalom was on the fast track to success, but he lacked the most important thing in His life and his leadership. That was a loving, trusting, and submissive relationship with God. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the last few weeks on Leadership 101 by Mike Baker I highly recommend it. Click: Leadership 101.

As we read through Psalm 47 I’m reminded by the theme God is King of the world.  isn’t that awesome news.  That no matter our circumstances, God is in control.

This week as we head into Good Friday and Easter Sunday truly focus on Jesus.  I’m reminded of the movie Passion of the Christ and even though Jesus was letting His disciples know the end was near for Him, they didn’t believe. Jesus made promises, Jesus kept them.   Just like He told them He would die and come back to life,  He did.  Jesus says He will come back again.  He will.  He’s Alive! If there is someone that doesn’t know about Jesus coming back again would you let them know?

Have a wonderful day, have a wonderful week.  God is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and His plans include us in closeness with Him.  What glorious days!

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

References

Picture: Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 173v – The Entry into Jerusalem the Musée Condé, Chantilly.

David Jeremiah Study Bible

Tyndale Life Application Study Bible

Revenge

Happy Tuesday Bible Journaling Family,

Today’s Readings includes; 2 Samuel 3 and Psalm 35

Last week, I found myself in a middle of a conversation where false accusations where being said about a colleague and myself.  It hurt. After trying to figure out where the misconceptions occurred or what else I could say or do,( even though we hadn’t done anything wrong) I was at a loss.  In my flesh at times,  there are moments a quick witted comment or a snarky attitude can come out.  My revenge…. Not in this case though. This situation made me reflect on the reading in 2 Samuel 3.

In the middle of 2 Samuel 3:26-29 you read the revenge that Joab took on Abner. This revenge was displayed by Joab murdering him because of the loss of his brother. How serious and sad.  I reflected and thought even though our situations are never this extreme, what does my revenge look like? When wronged in any way what is our response? Do I wait and trust in God to have his justice or take it into my own hands.  What are my actions, words, or thoughts? Do they represent God? Prayerfully I try to think of verses like, Romans 12:19. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written….

When we seek revenge in any fashion, doesn’t it impact your heart? Mind? In a quick witted comment I can leave myself remorseful and questioning my flesh like actions. I model my lack of trust. God, I need you in these moments of weakness. When discussing this scenario with a close friend, he reminded me of the book of Ephesians 4.  Ephesians 4:1-32 reminds of points like; To walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love… to speak the truth in love… A new life where we let no corrupting words come out of our mouth, but only words that build others up.  Revenge is not mine, it is His.

Psalm 35:1 Contend O Lord with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.

Dear God,

Thank you for your scripture. That in all parts of our words, there are Your words that remind us of how we should respond, and Who’s we are. God we pray for wisdom, guidance, and a focus on you and your love in the moments we are week.  It’s not about us, it’s about you.  That in this vapor of a life there are many moments that can leave us focusing on our own pride and not on You. God, I pray that we turn our focus on You! Trust you take all situations and make them yours.  We love you!

Leviticus 19:20 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

 

 

Travel Light

Happy Tuesday Biblejournal family, I’m consistently reminded each day when we open up His word how great it is we are doing this together.  Keep it up! God loves you and He has great plans for you!

As I just wrapped up the book Traveling Light by Max Lucado I open up my email to see what I will be writing about this week, and sure enough its Psalm 23.  The same chapter the book Traveling Light is about.  I then proceed to get my verse of the day fro my bible app that says,  The Lord is my shepherd… Psalm 23.  God is always looking to speak to us when we are looking for and willing to listen.  So while you read through the promises of Psalm 23 let go of the burdens you were never meant to hold on to.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord forever.

the Lord is my Shepherd.   As I have tried to do things on my own and failed, or think I have it right, I can find rest from thinking things have to be my way.

When the commercial comes on or I’m driving along and I think that I need to have it.  I can have rest from the endless wants. Why? Because I shall not want.

He makes me lie down.   When the days are long and my eyes and thoughts are glazed over by our schedules we have to keep.  I can find rest from weariness.

When I’m struggling with a decision, or thinking about the future. I can find rest from the worry. Why? Because He leads me.

He restores my soul.   When I have failed, let others down, or just falling short in a variety of areas. I can find rest from my hopelessness.

When my decisions are poor or I make misguided choices. I can find rest in my guilt. Why? Because He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

His name’s sake.   When I think its all about me. I’m selfish. I can find rest in my arrogance.

When you know someone who has passed or wonder what lies ahead for you. I can find rest from the valley of death. Why? Because He walks me through it.

He guides me.    When I’m afraid of the unknown, when the world says one thing and God tells us something else. I can find rest from my fears. His presence comforts me.

When I’m feeling alone. I can find rest in my loneliness, because He is with me.

He has prepared a place for me in the presence of my enemies.   I can find rest when all I want to do is run and hide.

When I’m disappointed one day and envious the next. When I doubt where I’m going or where I have been. Why? Because He anoints me, my cup will overflow, and He follows me.

When your wondering about a purpose, feeling lost, or wondering where to go next. Have rest from your homesickness. Why? Because You will dwell in the House of Our Lord forever.

Traveling Light, Max Lucado. The Promise of Psalm 23

So set down the extra luggage.  Those burdens that you still cling to. We will never truly enjoy this amazing journey in God’s presence carrying it all.  I know many years of my life I have done just that.  And before I set my brain and heart down that destructive path right now, I’m reminded of Matthew 11:28 ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”

Let’s take on today with Our God who is right next to our side.  He provides with everything we need to face any circumstance. All those bags from past years or yesterday He is waiting to take them.

God,  Thank you for your encouraging and loving words.  That as we walk through this day and everyday we keep our eyes on You. standing by our side saying come with me.  Help us to come and let go of the things that stand in our way.  We love you.  Amen

 

Today’s readings: Psalm 23, 1 Samuel 22

 

 

 

 

Arrows and Our Battle Plan

My dad was a hunter, so as a young child he would have his bow and arrows around the house. It was often during deer season you would see a deer hanging from one of our trees in the yard. It would always make for some fun bus conversations. For many of my own personal reasons, I never did pick up this love of hunting.  I can say I still truly love being outdoors exploring and taking in the beautiful creation God has made for us.  One of my only true bow and arrow experiences was in high school PE class when we had archery for a unit. I can still remember being sent to the office for some poor choices in aiming(my disclaimer is no people or animals were hurt in my choice).

Did you know that an arrow can travel up to 225 ft. per second? Or, that it can travel up to 300 yards? So why the arrow stories? Besides being one day away from Valentines (hint hint), today, we read Psalm 11 and it hits my heart with a message of trusting God in the face of arrows of pain. In addition, while reading 1 Samuel 10 you will read how God changed Saul’s heart in verse 10.

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “ Flee like a bird to your mountain, 2 for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; 3 if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

What are the arrows that have been coming at you? Are they still there leaving you in pain? Has any hit today? These are arrows of; pain, abuse, gossip, cheating, addiction, lust, past sin, pornography, loss, selfishness, divorce, insecurity. The list can go on and on.  I’m sorry.  The arrows have come, they hit, and they will continue. They can also leaves scars that can be a daily reminder. God told us trials would come and test our endurance. He sees and knows about them all. Yet, the closer we grow to Him we realize the love God has for us and the internal battle is short compared to the eternal life we will have with Him.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Still, Praise goes to God that no matter where these arrows come from, how fast they come, or how many come… in our Lord we can take refuge!  We can put on His armor daily and withstand any onslaught.  Ephesians 6:11-18 remember, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…

4 The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. 6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

Dear God, What a promise! What a love!  Its hard, it hurts, especially when all or any of these arrows have hit and have stuck. Yet, you Lord are faithful, You heal, and provide us with comfort and hope as we face these trials.  We are never alone! We love you and praise you.  Amen