Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
This Psalmist is warning people to stay faithful to the Lord, whether things seem to be good or bad, to always keep faith and rest in the Lord.
When we see others prospering and we seem to be struggling, we are not to be envious or jealous. We are to keep our love with the Father and continue to trust him, delight in him, regardless of what our lives look like.
Our earthly rewards will vanish when the earth does. But for Christians, our rewards really begin when Jesus returns and this earth and all of the “earthly things” are destroyed.
Does this mean that Christians will not or should not have anything good in our lives while living on earth? No, not at all! God is watching over us even now, and it is his desire that we have an abundance of good things… our cup may be full to overflowing. It’s how we handle the abundance that matters. Are we greedy or charitable? Braggart or humble?
Will Christians endure hard times?
Yes, as Christians, we will endure hard times, disappointments or periods where we feel we just can’t bear it any longer. Whether Christian or not, we will suffer the bad as well as the good. Why? Because we are in a time frame, where Satan has been given authority and sin is in this world. Therefore, everyone regardless of who we are or what we believe will suffer at some time or another. The Good news is that we have Our Father, God Almighty to lean on. We can rest in the Lord.
The author is telling followers of God, not to worry over what we do or do not have, compared to others. We are told to rest in the Lord, believe in the Lord, take comfort in the Lord, be committed to the Lord and wait on him because Jesus Christ is coming back and will bring righteousness with him.
So, for now we should not worry about anything. We should have complete trust in the Lord to look after us in all circumstances. Serve the Lord and wait, expectantly, for His return.
At that time, judgement will take place. Each and every person will be leaving all earthly possessions and will be directed to their new eternal homes.
My Prayer for Psalm 37:3-7 Rest in Him
I know at different points in my life as a non-Christian, I used to be quite envious of what others had that I didn’t. It started even when I was a child and wanted the toys that my friends had. I realize now that Satan tries to get his hooks into everyone on earth as soon as he can.
Thankfully Father you came into my life! Did I immediately stop wanting what others had? Did I immediately stop drooling over or getting angry that other people were leading such a carefree (and even unrighteous) lives when I was going through hardships? No! It took time Father, time to grow and understand.
First I accepted you into my life.
The first thing I did was to acceptyou into my life.It took studying your Word and praying with you. Then asking for forgiveness and being cleansed of all the past mistakes, angers and frustrations I had.
Once you were in my life, I started to heal. Followingthat you put the peace that passes understanding into my soul. It was then that I became relaxed and happy, regardless of what was or wasn’t in my life.
Does that mean I never have bad or sad days? Am I able to be happy each and every day? No, not at all. I still have times where life just seems to overtake me and I fall.
I have learned that the important thing to do is to turn to you Father. As soon as I realize that I am in an area of loneliness, depression, unhappiness, or whatever has gotten me down, I ask for help!
The enemy may be involved in whatever circumstance I am going through. However, Father, you will walk with me through-out the entire situation. Do I always receive a good ending? No because I live in a fallen world full of sin. But what I do get, comes from you. The ability to deal with whatever comes my way, with you by my side.
In a number of cases, I have found that when I look back on the troubling periods, I realize that those were the times of much growth for me.
I am grateful for all you are doing in my life. It is my honour and privilege to serve you Lord. I delight in studying your Word and talking to you. I am so thankful that I can rest in the Lord. And best of all, I look forward to spending eternity with you.
James 2:14-17, often misunderstood is the focus of this week’s post. He is believed to be the 1/2 brother of Jesus, is not contradicting Paul. James is not saying that faith and good works are the way to God. Some even profess that James is saying that only good works will get us to heaven. That is not so!
The Jewish council and Christians were listening to James, explaining that everyone can be saved by faith alone.
But then he takes it one step further. James says that once saved, our hearts should be changed as we are totally a new being. And then to the group surrounding him, James asks a question. Can anyone be authentically saved if we are not following it up with good works?
Be the extension of Jesus Christ here on earth.
We are to be his hands and feet and a servant to others. If Jesus is actually in us, then we should be growing in love every day and if we are growing in love, then it ought to be showing in how we live and how we treat others.
James gives us an example. If for instance, someone has a need of clothes or food, etc. we tell them to “trust in the Lord”. Then, perhaps we say “I’ll pray for you, go in peace”. How then, has that helped the persons situation?
James wants us to understand that as Christians, if we do not follow up our salvation with works, then chances are, we have not really become a new person in Christ; have we?
Did we really accept Jesus into our being or did we just say some words and not truly believe with our hearts?
I suggest the message James was trying to get across was; if there is some way we can actually help others and don’t, do we genuinely have salvation? Or perhaps we just have a worthless faith?
My Prayer for James 2:14-17
Jehovah – Tsidkenu, Father, The Lord of Righteousness
I ask in the name of Jesus that I have the kind of faith that James was talking about here. Yes, I have accepted Jesus by faith but now Lord, I ask that you allow me to grow in that faith the way you intended.
By “serving” others the way Jesus did, will show that I am growing in my faith. Lord, it’s my desire to grow in you every day, to please you by my works, to honour you and to give you all the glory.
In the name of The Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour.Amen
“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”
Jesus saves from guilt or penalty of sin. We become “just” or justified when we accept Jesus into our lives.
Faith in Jesus Christ makes us “perfect”. However, this could not happen until Jesus finished his work on the cross.
Paradise (also known as Abraham’s Bosom)
Sheol is a place for the dead. it is divided into two sections. They are named: hades and paradise or Abraham’s bosom)
See also Luke 16:19-31.
A place (ofblessings) in Sheol, for those faith believers of God, during the Old Testament times.
Because Christ had not been born and crucified, he was not able to take their sins. This meant they could not go to heaven, into the presence of God, at that point in time.
After His death, Jesus went to paradise (also called Abraham’s Bosom) and took the Old Testament believers to heaven.
God would never send believers in Jesus Christ to paradise again.
Because, paradise is no longer open.
Every person (with faith in Jesus), from then on, will immediately be in the presence of The Lord, upon death.
The Law is God’s instructions concerning the moral, social, and spiritual behavior of His people found in the first five books of the Bible.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The modern definition of a “gentile” is:“relating to the nations at large, as distinguished from the Jews.”
In North America, that there are generally three groups of religion. That being Jews, Christians and Gentiles.
A belief and trust and loyalty to God.
Belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion.
Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
God has always been looking for faith in him, not merely law keeping and doing good works.
Faith in Jesus is what gives us salvation.
In the Old Testament era, many of Abraham’s people were justified. God forgave the people of their sins, when they took sacrifices to the temple.
By the shedding of an animals blood, the people became justified.
Because, they had faith in God, they got into paradise.
They went to paradise so Jesus could justify them after his crucifixion. See Hebrews 11:39-40
However, many people continued to live only by the law of the priests and Pharisees.
The non-believers (unjustified) people of the Old Testament era did not receive salvation.
The law requires unwavering obedience, which man cannot do!
Christ bought us with his blood.
The Bible tells us that once Jesus was crucified on the cross everything changed. Our faith today must be in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Even though Christ was sin-free, he bore our sin and was crucified, on the cross (tree) in our place. He suffered what he did not deserve and died to take away our sins.
We will not be saved by the law. Nor will we be saved by doing good works, or animal sacrifice or by being a descendant of Abraham. In other words, we are saved by our faith alone. That is, faith in Christ Jesus!
My prayer for Galatians 3:11-14
Thank you for sending your only begotten Son to earth to become our Saviour.
Good works and obeying the law do not save us. Furthermore, because we are sinners, no amount of living by rules and regulations could atone for the times we fail. No one on this earth would ever make it to heaven, if that were the path.
Saved by faith, believers then do their best to live by your guidance and moral rules. Once saved Christians show their love for you by doing good works.
Allbelieving gentiles are now included in the promises you made to Abraham.
Furthermore, many people of all nations are now accepting you, as their Saviour.
And most of all Father, thank you that you have given all people an easy way to come to you – through faith and a personal relationship in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, our Redeemer.
Thank you that everyone who declares Jesus as Lord, has true faith and asks for forgiveness of sins, can join your family for eternity.
Noah’s descendants became sinful. Amongst other things, they built the Tower of Babel.
They disobeyed God and stayed in one place instead of spreading out all over the earth.
Therefore, God confused their language so they couldn’t understand each other. So they finally spread out.
Many years after the flood the Lord called Abram
God decided to start a personal relationship with one person, Abram. It is also interesting to note that’s God asked for only one thing in return from Abram; obedience.
God commanded Abram to leave his country. Furthermore, leave his family and friends and go to a land where God would lead him.
God was moving Abram from an idol-worshipping area and people.
At this point in Abram’s life, he was a 75 year old man living in his father’s house, married but childless.
His father and family were also idol-worshippers.
However, God allowed Abram to take his wife and nephew with him.
This was God’s test to Abram.
In other words, would he be able to leave everything behind and follow God without even knowing where he was going?
God first promises he made to Abram:
To create a great nation through his descendants
Furthermore to build Abram’s name great
As a result, to make Abram a blessing (to all obedient believers who would follow Abram’s lead)
The first promise is to Abram alone. God will bless him in three ways. However, the rest of the promises involve other people.
God will bless those who bless Abram.
And God will curse those who curse Abram.
When the Lord called Abram – Abram obeys and with faith he follows God. Which then became a turning point in history.
The Nation of Israel (Abram’s/Abraham’s heirs) are promised to become a great nation.
My prayer for Genesis 12:1-3
Heavenly Father, Almighty God,
Lord called Abraham. You promise you made with Abram/Abraham still stands today. In the same way, the people who bless Abraham’s heirs (Israel) will be blessed and those who curse her will be cursed.
We can see that you kept your promise to Abram. That is to say that even today, he is known as: “a friend of God”, “the father of all those who believe” and is considered the founder of 3 religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity).
Why would we have any reason to doubt that you are still holding those promises you made with him?
Father, allow me to always bless Israel in any way I can. Furthermore, I know one of the best things I can do right now and everyday is to pray for Israel.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity and privilege of praying for the people and for their city.We are blessed that your word is true always.
 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Enoch knew God and wanted to please Him and set out daily to do just that. He walked with and pleased God by faith. How?
Believed God is who he says he is
Had confidence and trust in Him
Knew that God is truth
Kept close to God continually
Understood that God always keeps his promises
Like Enoch, we need to have total faith that God exists. In other words, everyday we must be actively drawing him near to us.
As we grow in our faith, we draw near to Him, and in turn, he draws near to us. When we believe with faith, our soul changes and we become obedient to God’s will and yearn to make Him happy.
Many people believe, that by saying they know there is a God, it would be enough to draw them near to God. Some people also think that by doing good works, they will get to heaven. They are wrong! Furthermore, no matter what we think, say or do and no matter how many good things we do for God, nothing will compensate for a lack of true faith.
In return for our faith, God loves and gives us peace. We can know that regardless of what our circumstance, the Lord is always watching over us and we have the assurance that He will keep His promises to us.
We see in verse 7 that Noah was another person who walked with God and had total belief and faith in the Lord.
God gave Noah a divine warning. (Genesis 6:13).
And then, he immediately reacted and completed God’s assignment.
However, Noah was not afraid of God. In truth, he acted out of a reverential fear (awe, respect) and love for God.
Noah loved God. God asked Noah to build a boat and he built it. Furthermore, whatever God requested, Noah and his family were committed to doing the task. It was by faith that they were the only people on earth, saved in the flood.
God sent Jesus
Since then, God has sent his son Jesus, to earth for our salvation. In the same way, it is imperative that we must have faith in Jesus Christ if we want to become a child of God.
Why? Because we become righteous heirs through Jesus Christ.
Every person has the option and ability to become a child of a God through belief in Jesus Christ.
Humans are given free-will, however, it is human pride keeps many people apart from God (the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
These above two verses from the story of Enoch show us that anyone who wants to become a child of God must believe. And also, have true faith in God (Trinity).
My Prayer for Hebrews 11:6-7 Without Faith
I know Lord that to be counted as your child, I must have faith, belief and love for you and it’s important that I draw near to you each and every day.
The more I do that, it then becomes a constant circle – the more I draw near to you, the more you draw closer to me.
Please help me Father to be more like Enoch and Noah and to also be prepared, on a daily basis, to do your will. Let my eyes always be open to see ways that I can draw closer to you.
Thank you Father that it is your desire for every person to turn and come to you, through Jesus. In the same way, I understand that you have given people the choice of free-will. I will alsocontinue topray that pride and unbelief is broken in many people today. It is also in my heart to pray for those lost souls Lord.
Praying that they may find faith and belief and then grow to love you. For without faith, it is impossible to please you Lord.
Thank you for your love Father. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Exodus 13:21-22 Exodos is a Greek word meaning departure. The Biblical Exodus means the “Book of Departure from Egypt”. The Book of Exodus tells us of the Jewish people’s escape from Egypt and the start of Israel as a covenanted nation.
The Biblical meaning of the word pillar means stability and the presence of God.
Broken pillars. The meaning of a broken pillar is death and mortality.
An example of a broken pillar: Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt, because she craved the sinful way of life and looked back at her town, yearning to go back to it.
In the book of Exodus, Moses reminds people that God looked after the children of Israel, even while they were in the desert . He gave them shelter, protection, food, drink and everything they needed to live in the barren area.
Why were the Hebrew people sent to the desert for so long?
God needed them isolated to the point where they had to become totally dependent on him. In that way, they would see him as the one true God who could care for them completely, even in places like a desert.
While the people were wandering through the desert, they followed a pillar of a cloud that God sent. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud stood still, they stayed in place.
Did the cloud do anything else; other than lead them?
Yes it most certainly did! In the day; the cloud covered them from the sweltering hot sun during the day and, in the night; it burned as a pillar of fire, keeping them warm.
It was a constant reminder that God was with them and would always look after his children. As long as they were faithful to God, He would always be faithful to them.
My prayer for Exodus 13:21-22
You are the one and only true God. You love us, nurture us and carefully watch over us each and every day.Some days we see you working in our lives and sometimes we don’t. Regardless you are always there.
It seems like the children of Israel felt you weren’t with them during their time in the desert, even though they were right in the midst of your miracles.You fed them, their shoes never wore out, and they were always clothed. The people were kept safe and looked after by you. And yet, still they murmured and complained. Unfortunately, today is no different.
Lord, your miracles happen so often, that many times we take it all for granted. Every day you keep the earth and people under your surveillance. You provide for us in ways that we aren’t even aware of anymore. You bestow to us the sun, rain, soil, water, knowledge, etc. Without you Father God, where would be?
Please Lord, help me to remember each and every day to thank you for all your gifts to me.Never let me forget that you are my one and only provider.Thank you Father.
In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.Amen.
God called on Abraham, asking him to leave his home and go to a land that God was promising him. Even though Abraham had no idea where it was, what it was or how long it would take to get there, he obeyed God. Further more, Abraham had no idea of what he would eat or drink or even what the promised land would offer for shelter. He did as God asked.
Abraham was a man of faith!
Father God told Abraham to go, and he did. By faith he went and eventually God lead him to the land of promise.
Abraham was waiting for God to give the go ahead of when to lay down foundations of a city. However, it never happened in Abraham’s time. Further more, it was at the Lord’s request that he stay living as an alien and as requested, that’s what he did.
Abraham was a very rich man. Despite his wealth, he always lived as an alien in tents in the promised land, as God asked. The only land Abraham ever bought was to bury Sarah. Then at his death the people buried Abraham in the grave alongside Sarah.
We see that from the time God called Abraham until his death, Abraham did as God asked. If you read his story in Hebrews 11:8-12 and Genesis 11:10 to Genesis 25:10 at www.biblegateway.com . You will see Abraham had some extremely hard times during his lifetime, but he always remained faithful to God. Following Abrahams death, Isaac, and then Jacob became heirs of the promise that God had made to Abraham.
My prayer for Hebrews 11:8-10
I bless your holy name Lord. Thank you for being present in my life as you were for Abraham.
Abraham’s faith was very strong. Thereforehe knew you, he loved you and he respected you. During Abraham’s lifetime, he faltered, however, he always came back to you in repentance.And in your grace and mercy, you cleansed him.
Allow me always to have the faith like Abraham. When you say go, give me encouragement to go. And when you say stop, I will stop. When I falter, have the Holy Spirit convict me and help me to repent. Whatever you lead me to do, allow me to hear it, accept it, and do it!
Thank you Fatherthat I am your child now and forever.
In the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
The Lord is good! The angel of the Lord encamps around those people who fear the Lord. As a result he also delivers the people who trust in Him. This scripture does not say one angel but a sentinel of angels to watch over God’s children.
This scripture was written at a time when David was failing in his life. God sent angels to surround David, to help him as he began wandering from the path of righteousness. David was in prison and needed God’s help to get out.
So, David faked an epileptic seizure in Palestine. Because of this, many people believe that David sinned. However, because David pretended to be mad, he was released from prison and kicked out of the town. David praised God for his release. Whether God told David to fake his way out, or not, it was correct for David to give God the glory for his release.
Angels All Around David
David says that an angel of the Lord was all around him. We, as believers, know that the Lord watches over his beloved. So no matter where we are or what we are doing, thinking, saying and feeling at all times, the Lord is with us..
Since God knows everything, does this mean that, as his children, he will pull us out (deliver us) of every bad situation? No!
However, as his beloved, we can rest assured that He is aware of every situation. And because sin is in the world and we have free will, God will sometimes allow what has to happen, to occur. We also must keep in mind that God will always give his children, what is best for us.
What about non-Christians?
God has placed inside the heart of every person in the world, (no matter of the era or country) the ability to know the truth about Him. In the same way, every person has the right to examine and know that God is real. God will not force us to come to him. Meaning, that we must open our hearts and ask him in, when he calls.
The good news is that God meets us exactly where we are. Because of this, we don’t (and can’t) have to become perfect. If we waited until we had everything under control, we would never turn to God.
We are to be in fear (awe) of God. And, as his children, we will always receive exactly what we need (not necessarily what we desire).
Verse 10 says that even the young lion will periodically go hungry. Even the strongest animal in the jungle, sometimes lacks and suffers hunger. His strength and ability does not always bring him the food he desires.
What about non-believers?
If non-Christians work hard and believe in their own abilities, they may feel that they are just fine by themselves. However, there will always be a hunger inside them, for something that seems just beyond their reach…God’s love. This hunger will last their lifetime here on earth and will continue into eternal death.
Whereas, the Christian has no hunger for love as it is already filled, with the love of the Lord. With the love of God, we have everything we need now and into eternity. Meaning, not necessarily in the material sense but in the feeling satisfied and loved.
Prayer for Psalm 34:7-10
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you Father for all you do for me each and every day. You have an angel assigned to watch over me and you deliver me from evil on a daily basis.
When you called out to me, I heard your voice, saw your goodness and came running to you.As your child I am in fear (awe) of you. When I put my trust in you Father, my heart is full, and never hungry.
I worship you Father God for who you are. You deserve my worship. I’ll praise your name forever more.
In the Holy name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
As I studied this particular Psalm, there were different points of view. Some people felt the Father was speaking to David. And, other’s believe that David was telling his people what had been taught to him. Either way it’s a wonderful message sent by God.
We are asked to follow God. As a result, if we do follow him, the Lord will instruct and teach , lead and guide us. We are not to be stubborn like the mule. The point made here is that we need to willingly follow Jesus. And because God will not force or pull us in a certain direction as horses and mules need to be lead. Meaning, we are to gladly follow wherever our Father leads us. He leads and we follow!
There are two paths offered to everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live or what the family situation. Everyone is given the same two choices…the path of righteousness (goodness) or the path of unrighteous (wickedness).
Everyone follows the one of their own choosing.
As followers of the Lord, there may come times when we fail and slip off the path. God will allow certain obstacles to come our way, with trials to go through so we can learn through these afflictions and get back on our true path.
The people who choose not to be his children are left to wander on their own and they have no guidance. This leads to wicked ways because sin is of the world. Sin eventually leads to eternal sorrow and unhappiness.
Some might say God is cruel. He is not! The choice is our own! He has lovingly given us the free will to choose how we want to live. So in choosing, we are creating our own life and then our eternal destination.
So, when making our choice, we need to remember that sorrow comes to those who choose to live the way of the world and mercy comes to those who have choose to walk the way with the Lord. The better choice is to allow the Lord to instruct and teach us.
My prayer for Psalm 32:8-10
You are majestic Lord. You are the one and only true God. Above you there is no other.
I don’t understand how people cannot choose to live for you. There is so much peace and love in being your child. I have changed so much in the years that I have been your child. I would never want to go back to the times before I knew you.
In you Lord, I feel contentment. I get up every morning, knowing that whatever happens, good or bad, in my day, that I will be able to relax in you and handle the situation.
Does this mean that I don’t worry, or I will never be sad or angry?
No, it doesn’t. I am still living in a world full of sin and so the things that I deem bad, sad or absolutely horrible will still happen. But…as a child of God, I can rest in your arms. The Holy Spirit will give me the peace that passes understanding and Jesus will help me to go on with my day, regardless of the circumstances.
With the promise from you Father, that you will always be with us, and a promise of an eternity with you, why do people still choose to live a life without you?
Please Father, help my friends and family see, through me, how wonderful you are. I pray Father that every one of them thinks carefully before they automatically turn away from you, to go it alone.
You don’t put restraints on us.
You don’t demand us to change in any way. Or ask us to give up any of our bad habits. You accept each person, just as we are; sin and all. It doesn’t even matter how much sin or even what kind of sins we may be carrying or committing because you meet every person exactly where we are.
I had a boat full of sin when I first came to you. Many of those sins I thought were unforgivable. But…when I truly repented, through Jesus, they were all forgiven, taken away immediately. What a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Praise you Jesus!
Many people change right away at the time of forgiveness. They stop swearing or excessive drinking , stop holding anger, stop critiquing or gossiping. Some carry their sins while they learn and grow. Either way, once we repent and ask Jesus into our lives, the Holy Spirit will lead us and we will grow and thrive as children of God.
Thank you Father that you love us.
We can pray to you through Jesus anytime, anywhere, in any situation and you are right there waiting for us to turn and lean on you.
Thank you for your love, understanding and for allowing me to have the free-will to live as I chose.Thank you that my choice is to live for you!
With delight and reverence and in the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I pray.Amen.
I didn’t know how to overcome anger because I was lost in sin. However, I love the way the Lord works! I am always aware that whatever scripture he leads me to study, God has picked it out on purpose. And as for you, reading this right now, I believe that God has also lead you to it for a reason.
This morning, I told my Father that I am very unhappy with the way I am reacting to the fighting and hatred that is happening in the world today. I cringe at the horrific atrocities taking place. It angers me that newscasters and newspapers actually headline them in the spotlight everyday, giving sex offenders, murders, insurrectionists, etc. recognition they don’t deserve.
I asked God to show me how to overcome anger
How can I handle my behaviour, emotions and thoughts and he led me to 2 Peter 1:1-8.
As I read each verse above, (keeping in mind, the reason why God led me to these particular passages) many different emotions zipped through me. I could feel my entire body and heart tightening and hardening. Add brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness add charity. God wants me to love these enemies! How?
I know that, as a Christian, I am to love everyone! I want to love others the way God loves me. But if truth be told, sometimes it’s hard to keep a open heart, especially in these days and situations. If I am truthful, I don’t even want to like the people that do horrific things to innocent people.
At this point in my writing
I took a deep breath, prayed for peace and guidance. Then together, the Lord and I dug in and broke the scripture down into smaller parts, to find out why He led me (and you) to these particular verses.
Simon (Peter) the apostle, is telling the people that God has already given Christians (Messianic Jews and Gentiles) his greatest and most precious gifts: faith and righteousness. We gain these gifts by knowing Jesus through his work on the cross.
All Christians can know God on a introductory level, however, to gain better knowledge of Him we need to be reading the Bible, talking to God and being around other godly people.
Peter continues by saying “And besides this” (referring to faith, righteousness, free salvation and eternal life) God will give us even more. However, the next set of gifts (qualities) that God will give us will require an whole-hearted effort on our part!
Giving all diligence – (watching over, supervision)
Diligence will help us to pay attention to what we are doing, thinking, and behaving. When we give due diligence, we will grow in the Lord.
We must be content to know and believe that Jesus is our Saviour. We must have faith that even though we (today) have never seen God the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit they are who the Bible says they are. Furthermore, the Word of God is absolutely true. If something is happening in a way we deem bad, we can relax. God gives his children the ability to have that kind of faith in him and in his ways. Remembering that God is always aware of everything that is happening can give us peace, if we allow it.
In verse 5, Peter says that we must grow in virtue (high moral standards). In today’s world, it is becoming harder to remain virtuous. However, Peter tells us; that God has given us virtue, we just need to pick it up, put it on and use it.
A Christian can behave in a virtuous manner that shows we are different than others. Not with a “better than you” attitude, but by showing a reflection of who God is and how he can work in us.
God has given each of us the ability to gain knowledge of him. We need understanding of what the Bible is teaching us. It doesn’t do us any good to read the Words of God and not understand them. That’s why he has placed people (Pastors, Sunday school teachers, Scholars, the Church etc.) in our lives. That is to say, they can help us, teach us, lead us and guide us, as we grow in the Lord. We also need to study and spend some alone time with God. Knowledge is the key to understanding.
There are many things we would like to say, act or do that we know we shouldn’t, but we may do them anyway. Have we lost the method or desire of restraint? Is it possible to overcome anger?
We need temperance (self-control) in so many ways. Addictions, for instance, can sometimes be seen as lack of self-control. So often our anger can become an addiction. Are we allowing the people or situations of today to beat down our God given gift of temperance? By leaning on the Lord, we can overcome.
Patience is a hard one for many people. We must have the patience to stand in faith, knowing that the Lord is with us at all times. We need to keep our faith that God has everything under control. He will give us the patience to get through whatever is happening in our lives. But again, we must pick up the patience and put it on. God will only do so much and then it’s up to us to do our part. A good way to wear patience is to remain content in all circumstances. Smile and wait with patience for whatever has to happen, to happen.
If we are to truly love God then we need to have godliness. We need to have a reverential fear of the Lord, that is; to always be in awe of the Lord. Having godliness comes from within and shows outwardly.
It is important to join a church and have Christian friends. We need to have brothers and sisters in the Lord so that we can grow in our faith. By having a relationship with others members of the congregation, we can help and love one another in times of troubles. Furthermore, we can lean on each other when we feel weakened in our faith and can rejoice along side of them in the good times. People who know and love the Lord can and should give a different type of love and support than those who do not know Him.
Charity takes form in many different ways. As a Christian, it is our duty to overcome anger, and to love all mankind, yes even those who persecute us. It is our duty to treat everyone with kindness and love. It is our duty to give love, provide help, not be selfish, but to give willingly to all who need help. And to that, we need to pray for everyone, especially those living in sin. Charity can be seen in a missionary’s life. Some go into situations, knowing the dangers they face but are willing to serve God, regardless to the danger.
God is not saying to let others walk all over us. However, we should love them enough to pray for them (and us) to change. With that change they (we) might see the error of ways and come to see the true light of God, through Jesus.
Whether we are in a foreign land or in our own homes, it is our duty to live in a way that shows God working in our lives. Furthermore, overcome anger and tell and show others of God, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for 2 Peter 1:1-8
I know that the time of this world is winding down to a close. Each day the events we see happening, are things you said would have to take place before the end.
Without a doubt Lord, you alone are in charge and have total control. I understand that the horrors we see now are brought on by Satan and they have a place in the larger scheme of things.
However Lord, when I am watching the news, my heart automatically turns hard with anger and fear towards the people and situations that are happening today. I find it hard to overcome anger and tokeep my heart in a loving state when I hear of beheadings, rapes, murders and bombings. Especially when innocent people are involved. Each time I see or hear about another incident taking place, I feel my anger growing.
Anger and fear are tools of the enemy.
I ask you Father to help me.Knowing that to hold any emotion not based in love, is a sin and sin comes from the enemy. I confess Father that I am holding sin, anger, resentment and many times even hatred. And worse than that, at times I hold judgment towards an entire race, because of a few bad apples.
Lord, I can feel myself slipping away from you asSatan slowly creeps into my being through this anger and hatred. I need your help so that I can live a godly life. Especially now, when sin is growing rapidly and wickedness runs rampant.
Asking for forgiveness.
I’m confessing to you, that my heart is hardened against people who do not share the same ideals I have during Covid-19. Furthermore, I admit to you that voicing my anger sometimes give me a “way to blow off steam”. Acknowledging that in all of these situations (and more), I cannot and do not let Jesus been see in me. I am so very sorry Lord that I let you down and I repent of these sins.
Please forgive me, cleanse me and give me grace. Then teach me how to be worthy of living a life of diligence, faith, virtue ,and knowledge. As well impart in me temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. in all situations, whether I deem them good or bad.Please have the Holy Spirit convict me when I begin to slip onto the path of unrighteousness.
I now consciously accept your forgiveness and grace Lord. Thank you for loving me so much that you can and have forgiven me and allowed me a clean start.Father, please show me how I am to love the people who are causing so much pain and loss to others.
Answers from the Lord
As a Christian, hold firmly onto Jesus. Then stand solidly in Him and in love, regardless of what we are witnessing in the natural world.
Live in a manner that pleases God, despite what our earthly situations may be.
Pray fervently for all my sisters and brothers (including those of different colours and races). It is difficult to keep a hardened heart when I am praying for them!
And, I am to remember: If, as a Christian, I don’t set an example of the goodness of God, then who will?
Thank you Lord, for revealing to me the ways I can lean on you during these days of Satan’s rule of our world.
I know that “through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” I can truly pray for all people.
I am blessed that you will help me to stay above the hatred. Please have the Holy Spirit convict me right away, if I fall short. Also, have him immediately encourage me to repent and make things right. I know that if my hatred were to continue to grow, I would be of no use to you.
Thank you for keeping my feet firmly planted on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that “His strength in me” will be seen, in all situations, enabling me to outwardly bless and confess the name of Jesus.
I am so thankful that you lead me to this scripture. It has empowered me (as always) to know you in a deeper sense and will help me to live an honourable life. I will serve you, when and wherever you need me.
In the mighty and wonderful name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.Amen
I wrote this post in 2016. It is now 2021! Every time the news comes on and I feel myself slipping towards anger, sadness, mixed emotions, etc., I remind myself that we may be in the birthing pains stage of God’s plan. These events must happen before Jesus returns. This gives me the peace that passes understanding and I can relax, knowing God’s plan is coming to fruition.