S – “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3
O – David knew how much God loved him. He trusted God wholeheartedly. What a beautiful account of how God knows us.
A – Everyone wants to be known. We all want someone to know us, really know us. It is so wonderful to know God knows me inside and out. He even knows my thoughts before I do. He knows what I will say before I speak. He surrounds me. I can’t go anywhere where He won’t be there. I can’t hide from God. He knew me when I was being formed in the womb. He knew me the instant that egg was fertilized and knew what my life would be. I’m never alone, Never abandoned. I always have His love.
P – Thank you dear Father. You know everything there is to know about me. I’m your child. Please show me if there is anything in me that is hurtful or wicked or that gives you grief. Lead me the way you want me to go.
Filed under Bible, God, SOAP
I want to visit Mercy Inn! I could visualize the cabins and surrounding beauty as I read Lee Warren’s novella, Mercy Inn. What a beautiful sight! And I would love to meet Ray and Alma and enjoy Alma’s cooking. This is a beautiful story, well written, and it touched my heart. I appreciate that Lee included a character that is disabled. Characters who are disabled are so often left out of books and movies.
Three people find themselves stranded at Mercy Inn during a blizzard in Colorado. Megan, who has Cerebral Palsy is 20 years old and struggling to get by, Brad is a middle-aged former baseball player who has regrets from his past and Sarah is a former music star who has lived in seclusion for many years. The three come together and find themselves in the care of Ray and Alma, the elderly couple who run the Inn.
Is it a coincidence that these three people find themselves here or was it a divine appointment? Will Megan, who has been hurt so often, be able to trust these people she is stuck with? Can Sarah move past her hurts from the past? Yes, there is romance! Loved that. There is a wonderful theme about how we need each other and are here to encourage each other. I loved the game, created by Alma and Ray, which the group plays. A game that becomes something of a therapy session. I highly recommend this novella. If you enjoy stories about people finding healing of past hurts, that inspire you to reach out to others, and that have a wonderful budding romance, then you will love this story. I can’t wait to read about Mercy Inn again in coming books!
S – “I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:35
“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
O – Ruth is an example of devotion. She was devoted to Naomi and was determined to be faithful to her to death. Paul was writing to the Corinthians about matters concerning relationships and living in this world but I think his point is we are to live with undivided devotion to the Lord. Whatever else we do or whatever relationships we have, it should not take us from our undivided devotion to the Lord. He is first. We should say like Ruth, “wherever you lead, I will follow.”
A – Do I have undivided devotion to the Lord? I can’t say I do. I’m distracted by so many things. People, possessions, life. How do I get to where nothing can take me from my devotion to my Lord. How do I deal with the world as if I had no dealings with it? (v.31) The NLT says to “not become attached” to the things of the world. The original word means to not use it much or excessively. To not use fully or overuse. I guess it means to not be obsessed with this world. To not look to the things of the world as what we need to be happy and fulfilled. God wants us to see Him, to know Him as the primary source of all our needs. He is all we need to survive and be happy.
P – Father, please show me how to live in this world and deal with the world yet stay detached from the world. Will you show me or give me an example? Please be my strength. I am so grateful for your love and grace. But I want to be like Ruth and say that I will follow you no matter what to the death. You are the source of all I need Jesus! I love you!
SOAP Bible reading method.
S – “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25
“For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
O – Judges is hard to read. All the ugly violence and despicable acts are disturbing. The last verse in the book explains why. When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, the result is chaos, pain, and war.
A – We seem to be leaning to this philosophy in present day. Everyone wants to be free to do what they think is right, what feels good but that does not work! As Judges shows, that philosophy ends in violence, immorality, war, rape, and destruction. To the point it is not safe to walk in the street at night. God have mercy!
Jesus paid a high price to redeem me. I want to live in a way that glorifies Him. Please help me Lord!
P – Father, you always know what is best. We may not be under the law for salvation but your laws are there for a reason. They protect us and guide us. We need boundaries. Please guide our nation. Guide our leaders. Help us to walk in submission to you and not to our own desires. You bought us with your life. Help us to walk in a way that glorifies You.
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I need this message again today! Praise God for His unconditional love!
Source: Under Attack!
Filed under Uncategorized
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5
Who are my enemies?
I don’t have the kind of enemies King David faced every day. I don’t go into physical battle to fight other nations. I doubt my son will ever wage war against me (as David’s son did). But I do have enemies. My biggest enemy is the enemy we all have, Satan. Our accuser, the father of lies, the evil one. He’s the one who wants to steal from us, kill us and destroy us. I also face the enemies in my own heart. My pride, selfishness, apathy, jealousy, self-protective bent, and desire for comfort to name a few.
Sometimes when I am struggling with these “enemies”, I have a hard time writing or sharing spiritual truth. I find it difficult to write out scriptural insights because my enemies accuse me and tell me I’m not worthy. As I was reading Psalm 23:5 one morning, it struck me that God wants to prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. When I come to Him in the morning to read the Bible, pray and write my thoughts, He has promised to spread a table before me, to give me truth and insight into His word even in the presence of my enemies of pride, selfishness and sin. Even in the presence of the accuser, the devil. When I come to Him with an open heart and mind confessing my sin and seeking Him, He will give me truth. He will feed my soul with a banquet spread out on the table. I can ignore the enemies who mock me and jeer at me. They are defeated. Jesus has made a spectacle of them.
He has won the victory!
When I tremble and lay down my sword in the presence of my enemies, I believe a lie.
I am letting my enemies deceive me by convincing me I’m defeated. They rejoice when I let their accusations keep me from seeking my Lord and from acting on His truth. His truth stands no matter how I “feel”. Yes, I’m an imperfect vessel but God still chooses to use me as He has used sinners through the ages. He sees me through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. My faith is in Him and not in my own abilities. I can do nothing apart from Him.
So, I’ll seek Him and I’ll search the Scriptures and I’ll write about His truth even when my enemies mock me. He is my strength and shield. My ever present help in time of trouble.
Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions