Psalm 59.16-17 (PPB)
16-As for me, I will sing about Your powerful strength; I will praise Your loyal unconditional love when I am awake with the sun in the morning. 17-For You are my Refuge and my Safe Haven and You are the Person I can go to when I have my most troubled moment.
God specializes in special deliveries, rescuing us from troublesome situations; always in His perfect timing and according to His own perfect plan. God rescues us from physical and spiritual harm when we pray to Him.
Whenever we are in danger, whether it is physical or spiritual, we must go to God. He is our “Refuge” and “Safe Haven.” He alone is our protector from our “most troubled moment.”
When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.”
He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
For me, this is perfect example of how we Christians should react through the spiritual attacks of the serpent. It is only by the indwelling of Christ that we can overcome the venom of his bite. Jesus defeated the serpent on the cross, and our faith in Him gives us that same power. It is more than likely a test of our faith when trials come our way, and a testimony to those, who don’t know Christ Jesus, of the strength He provides through the power of His love and what He accomplished on the cross.
In everything Praise The Lord!
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by…Be Exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! (Psalm 57 ESV)
Psalm 57 is in today’s reading and it comes from the heart of David while he is hiding from Saul. It is a great encouragement to read about how God delivered David and how David spoke of the Glory of God in his present circumstances in a cave. We need to be reminded that if we know Christ as our Lord and Savior then he has saved us from eternal wrath and we should be praising God daily all over the earth. Remember this day how gracious the Lord has been to you in drawing you unto himself that you may have a relationship with the creator God of the universe.
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died, “Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.” And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:15-20 ESV)
Every time I read this passage I am mesmerized by Joseph’s amazing understanding of God’s sovereignty. It is an understanding that runs so deep that it completely supersedes any thoughts, words, or actions that would otherwise be influenced by ego. Oh that we might all have such faith in the sovereignty of God! So as we embark on a new week, I exhort you to dwell on His sovereignty. Place your faith in His sovereignty. Stake your confidence in His sovereignty. Glory in His sovereignty. And, rest in His sovereignty.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God…” Acts 20:24
As Paul stands weeping over his departure from the leaders of the church in Ephesus, he reminds them of his ministry, charges them to lead faithful lives, and encourages them to share the gospel of the grace of God. As he often does, he uses personal example to spur them on in the faith. His life wasn’t precious because his lineage, family, training, or wealth, it was only valuable in so far as it carried forward the good news of Jesus.
When we consider our lives, let us be moved to thankfulness not only for the material blessings and rich heritage the Lord may have given us, but let gratitude be rooted in the grace of God poured out through your life.
That begs the question, how is God using you to share His good news? How are you accounting you life? Is it precious because you have things that you want, or is it precious because God has you, and through you He is making Jesus known to others. Count every opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus as a blessing, and begin to pray and plan for even more opportunities this week!
2 Chronicles 26: 4a, 5 “And he (Uzziah) did what was right in the sight of the Lord—-He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of the Lord and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper”
2 Chronicles 26:16a “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God.”
Uzziah became King at the age of 16. He had a Godly mentor, Zechariah was instructed him in the ways of the Lord. What caused him to get off track? Scripture tells he became strong. Better wording might be proud. And the result? —to his destruction. How many stories do we read in the Bible that follow the same script? How many Christians today can relate to this script? If only we can remember to seek God and stay weak. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12: 10 “For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank You forever, because You have done it. I will wait for Your Name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
Do you know anything about the olive tree? You know it produces the olive that we eat in our salads and there are several different varieties and sizes. But the tree has a long history. It first grew in west Asia then found its way to Israel. The olive tree is a very hearty tree. There are some reported to be several centuries old. If a tree is cut down and the root is left in the ground it will produce five new trunks.
David wasn’t officially the king of Israel when he wrote this Psalm and compared himself to an olive tree in v. 8 and wrote what he will do as an olive tree in the house of God. First he will trust in God’s love. That is, God’s unconditional love. That is the only love God has for us. Imagine, God loves us without any condition tied to it. No matter what sin we have ever committed against Him, He loves us unconditionally. Praise God!!
Second, David was running away from his enemies and God had protected him from harm. He will forever thank God for what He had done. That is such a blessing. God watches over His own like a mother hen watches over her chicks. She always makes sure that her children are well protected from harm. She will even give her life for theirs.
Third, God’s name is good all the time and His people know it. God blesses us beyond anything we can ever imagine. Sometimes we can see these blessings and sometimes we can’t. If we could see those blessings, I believe we would be so surprise how much our God has truly blessed us.
Let us always trust in God’s unconditional love, thank Him for what He has done for us and know God is always good to us, His people.