A Look at Psalm 37: (verses 3-4)

Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV), “3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

When we dwell with the Lord we find true safety. Abiding in Him is a covering for our lives. He will care for us and provide what we need to have an enjoyable life.  The word pasture comes from the Latin word “pastus”, which means to feed or nourish.  God assures us that he will “feed” us all we need to live successful and meaningful lives. His love will keep us well nourished spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. He promises to grant us our hearts desires when we delight ourselves in Him. Delighting in the Lord means to find great pleasure in Him and to enjoy being with Him. When we delight in the Lord, we will find ourselves having a hunger for the things of the Lord. Getting to know the Lord and loving who He is will lead us to want to live in obedience to Him.

I think it pays to ask ourselves often, “Am I delighting myself in the Lord?” It’s easy to lose focus due to the fact there are so many distractions in daily life. I thought about Luke chapter 15, where Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep. He said that if there are one hundred sheep and one is lost, the shepherd should leave the ninety-nine and go after the one to find it. That is how He feels about us when we are not abiding safely in the pasture He has prepared for us. He longs for us to return to Him. He is our loving Shepherd who takes great delight in watching over us.

Previous Reading: A Look at Psalm 37 (verses 1-2)

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No Weapon Formed Against You Will Prosper

Isaiah 54:17(KJV), “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

Recently I was watching one of those animal programs on TV. In this particular episode, a pride of lions were attempting to take down a giraffe. The pride’s strategy was to create a circle to surround the giraffe. Once surrounded, the mother lion would lie in wait until the giraffe reached a certain point. Then she would attack. As I watched the pride close in on the giraffe, I felt certain that they were about to win the battle and have a feast. Suddenly I saw the mother lion lunge out! She threw all of her body weight against the giraffe in an effort to knock her down . Much to my surprise, the mother lion just bounced right off the side of the giraffe like a beach ball and hit the ground. The giraffe seemed completely unmoved by the incident. She barely even missed a step. She gave the mother lion a quick glance as she continued on her way, galloping through the field.

This giraffes run in with the pride of lions reminded me of the protection that God gives to us. When evil tries to come against us, the Lord surronds us with His favor and the weapons that were trying to form against us will come to ruin. They bounce right off of us like the lion did with the giraffe, and we will walk away unharmed. We don’t have to walk in fear. God is faithfully watching over us day and night.


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He’s Still God

Revelation 1:8(NLT),”I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.”

Sometimes we just have to stop and remind ourselves that God is still God no matter what. When things are going smoothly He’s God. When things seem out of our control, He’s still God. That’s the beauty of serving our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing we do, nothing we encounter, nothing going on in the local news or in world around us can stop Him from being who He is. Jesus said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). He’s not limited in any way by anyone or anything.

Face each day with joy. Face each day with expectancy. Face each day with supreme confidence because God is still God. He will not fail you because He cannot fail. Failure is not in His nature.

Matthew 6:26-27 (NLT), “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

He’s still God, no matter what. We must make a decision to plant that truth within our hearts everyday. Relax and enjoy the reality not only of Who He is, but of Who He is to you. He desires to be intimately involved with you, with every detail of your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking God’s blessings are for everyone but you. I know because I’ve had that happen to me many times. But no! He has a good plan for your life the same way He does for the people across the street. He adores you the same way He adores the person in the break room at work who seems to have it all. Some people have more than others in terms of material possessions, but it’s not having more things or more money that will sustain us. It’s having the love of Jesus in our lives and living according to His Word that keeps us strong and steady. The provision He gives to us extends far beyond material wealth.

Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV), “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

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I see people around me everyday who obviously have more than me in terms of material wealth. There are times I do wish I had more so I can accomplish more, however I’m learning to be content in whatever state I am in. Part of trusting God is believing that He always knows what’s best for us, even when life gets hard. It’s in the hard times that we are tempted to doubt His sovereignty over our lives. I know that God knows what I am ready for and what I am not ready for. Even though waiting is not always easy, I love the fact that He is interested in making sure that I have the character I need to sustain me as He blesses me with the desires of my heart. There are things God wants to do in your life. He knows what you are and are not ready to handle. He is steadily working in your life to prepare you for what’s ahead. The present state you are in now is part of your preparation for the future. Even where you are now, if you are doing your best to follow Jesus, then you can be sure that you are making a difference because He is making a difference in you. Ultimately, God is preparing us for the life we will have with Him in eternity. Our eternal life with Him will far outweigh anything we could begin to imagine here on Earth!

There is only One who is perfect in all His ways. Only One. He is, and was, and is still to come. 

Whatever it is friends and family (rather family through biological blood, through the blood of Christ or through both) that may have you troubled today, please know this…He’s Still God.

Don’t Grow Weary in Doing Good

Galatians 6:9(NIV), “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Not growing weary in doing good will cause us to reap a harvest of blessings in our lives. In reality, every action we take, will reap some type of harvest, even the wrong ones. As Galatians 6:7 says, “You reap what you sow.” We must pray and ask God to tear down any walls we are holding up, so that we can clearly see His perspective as we are making daily choices. Not just when we have a big decision to make, but also in the little things we do. Little things that seem insignificant can mean a lot, and can alter our outcome.


Consistently doing what is right is not easy for any of us, but that is one of the ways God builds our character. It can be especially difficult to choose right when our emotions are steering us in the wrong direction. Although having emotions is a good thing, emotions just like everything else in our lives, must be governed by the truth of God’s Word. His Word is the standard by which we as Christians are called to live. We will of course at times fall short, but the more we learn to choose right over choosing wrong, or choose right over doing what’s easy, the better off we will be.

It’s always beneficial to surround ourselves with like minded people who can encourage us in our walk with God. However there will still undoubtedly be times we will have to stand alone in doing what is right. Just know that God is always near, and He promises to reward your diligence, so don’t grow weary. There is a harvest of blessings ahead for you. Even now as you may feel the pressures of choosing to do what is right, God will bless you with strength. He will also give you that contentment that comes from knowing, you have chosen to do His will above all else.

Matthew 5:10 (NLT),”God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 3)

Romans 6:23(NLT), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In case you missed them, or would like to reread them, below are links to part 1 & 2.

But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 1)

But the Gift of God is Eternal Life (part 2)

Now for part 3…

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We know God has forgiven us for our sins (part 1). We have finally managed to dump guilt and shame and forgive ourselves (part 2).

But what do we do about the consequences we must sometimes deal with because of our past sins (part 3)?

Well its true, even though God forgives us immediately when we repent and we eventually forgive ourselves, the consequences of our wrong choices may linger. It can be hard to pick up the pieces and get back on track because of the damage that may have resulted.

For example, if someone commits a crime they may end up in jail for years. If someone commits adultery, they may loose their spouse in a divorce. If someone is sexually promiscuous they may end up with an STD. If someone lies on a job application and gets hired, once the truth is revealed, they may later get fired. I think you get the point. Although forgiven, a person may still have to, do jail time, be a victim of divorce, have an STD, or be jobless.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of how we can best deal with the consequences of our past sin is…

God’s Grace.

When my daughter was about eleven years old, I asked her what she thought was meant by God’s Grace. Her response was, “Grace is God giving us strength to do what we can not do on our own.” Smart little girl!

We could not pay the penalty for our sins on our own. Christ Jesus had to do it! So guess what? We also cannot carry the consequences of our sins on our own. Christ Jesus has to do that too! We must completely rely upon His grace to keep us when we are dealing with sins ugly consequences. A lot of the times we don’t consider the consequences of sin while we are committing the sin. It’s not until sometime afterwards that we begin to realize we shouldn’t have done whatever it is we did.

Negative consequences can make us feel as if we have no hope for the future, but God’s grace says the opposite. He will give us the ability to see things from His perspective so we can begin to heal. His grace will soothe our worries and calm our fears. Through His grace, we can find lasting hope.

Whatever consequences you may be facing, I hope you will find true restoration where it is needed most. You’re not alone. I too have had regrets for mistakes I made. I have experienced the pain of divorce and other failed relationships, but God’s grace carried me through those difficult times. Even though we cannot erase the past, we can through Christ Jesus move forward and live purposeful, abundant lives now and in the days to come. His grace is more than enough to meet even our most urgent needs. We can also pray and ask God to send the right people and resources into our lives that can assist us in our healing.

His Grace is Sufficient for You!

Let’s pray…


Thank you for giving us grace to persevere through the consequences we face that are related to our past sins. We know You are sovereign over the events of our lives and still love us when we fail. You knew we would never be perfect, so that’s why You sent Your Son. Help us to hold fast to You and receive Your peace as Your Holy Spirit works in our lives to restore whatever is lacking because of sin. We also ask that You send the right people and resources into our lives that can help us. Thank you for the good plans You have for us.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Come As You Are

Philippians 2:13 ( NLT), “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

If you’ve been going to church for a good amount of time you’ve probably heard this phrase at some point, “come as you are”. I have always understood this phrase to mean it doesn’t matter what you wear, or what may be going on in your life, just come to the Lord and His house as you are.

While driving home from work the other day, this phrase, which I hadn’t heard in quite some time, “come as you are”, came to my mind. As a Christian, we can sometimes grow weary in our quest to seek the Lord. Although we desire to know God better and draw closer to Him, it’s easy to become frustrated if we feel we’re not making the progress we want to make. I have been there before. Many times I have found myself trying to figure out the right “formula” to make progress in my Christian journey. I’ve tried to make sure I was carefully following each step that I thought was needed in an attempt to get God to do what I wanted Him to do.

I, like many other Christians, enjoy listening to sermons online, reading books to help me grow spiritually, talking to other Christians and learning from their experiences, etc. However, even in the midst of all of this, at the end of the day, we can’t forget that what God desires most is our heart. He’s not expecting us to look or sound a certain way when we pray. He’s not checking up on us to see how many mistakes we have made in the last couple of hours. He’s not watching to see if we can perfectly recite the books of the Bible, in perfect order, in under 5 minutes (although I don’t doubt there are some who can)! I repeat, what He desires most are hearts that yearn to grow in intimacy with Him.

“Come as you are”, is not just for new Christians or someone coming to church for the first time. It’s for all of us, rather you’ve been walking with the Lord 5, 15, or 30 years! We should enjoy our relationship with God, and have an attitude that says, “God loves me just as I am, and He is eager to spend time with me today. Every new day that He allows us to see, is another day for us to get to know Him better, and experience His goodness in our lives. Even when we are going through hardships, we can come to him just as we are, and pour out all our frustrations on Him. He will understand exactly how we feel. He doesn’t expect us to “have it all together”.

Don’t get caught up in the “formulas” of Christian living and tire yourself out. Instead, just enjoy the simplicity of getting to know God and letting Him love you. Allow yourself to be yourself without the pressure of trying to perform perfectly.

As we learn God’s Word and apply it to our lives, we will see ourselves changing and growing in faith and in godly wisdom. Just come to the Savior as you are, and rely on His grace to make you into everything He has destined you to become (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Is God Listening?

Psalm 34:17(NIV), “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

Has anyone besides me ever asked themselves this question, “Is God Listening?” I know I’ve asked myself this question more times than I can even remember throughout my relationship with Jesus. Usually for me, as a Christian, one of the most helpful ways to remind myself that God is listening, is to reminisce about His past faithfulness to me and my family. Psalm 77:12(NIV) says, “I will consider all your works, and meditate on all your mighty deeds”. When I meditate on His deeds, it’s evidence of His love and His presence in my life. Looking back on what God has done, gives me confidence in Him now in the present,  and helps me to put my hope in Him for my future.

But still, how do I know He is listening? How do we know He is listening, at that very moment when we cry out for help?

I have come to know that God is listening because…

He gives me peace as I talk to Him (Philippians 4:7). He carries my burdens and gives me rest (Matthew 11:28). He gives me strength when I feel weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). He reminds me of His words in scripture or He will speak to my heart about what He wants me to do in my situation (Hebrews 4:12).  Usually when He speaks, His words will resonate with me.

When I cry out to God, I simply do it by faith. Then I wait in expectation for what He will do for me (Psalm 5:3).

Psalm 34:17 says that He hears us and will deliver us. Our struggle comes when we have to wait to be delivered, because sometimes God comes quickly, but other times we must wait. The good news is that if we must wait, He is still with us everyday giving us exactly what we need. I can remember going through a season of difficulties on a particular job, and God spoke to me and told me that as long as I was there, He would take care of me, and He absolutely did!  Even though God spoke those words to me years ago, I have found them to be a comfort on every job I have had since then.

When we must wait for His deliverance, He will always hold us up with His strength if we trust Him to. He will always fight on our behalf. He will make a way, but the when’s and the how’s we have to leave in His hands.

Is God really listening? Yes, He is listening to you, He is listening to me. He cares deeply about our needs.  When doubt tries to steal our peace, let’s remind ourselves of Psalm 34:17. Our Heavenly Father not only listens, but He answers, and His answers are always right.

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