Archive for July, 2012

Take Refuge in Him

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

“The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge” (Ruth 2:12, NKJV).


The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was a child it was a day of anticipation, knowing Mom and Dad would take us outside the city to park in a spot with just the perfect (FREE!) view of the evening’s fireworks. Other families parked on each side of us, and we kids had a ball.

As I got older I came to appreciate the freedoms represented by this great holiday, as well as the price paid by so many to secure those freedoms. I’m among the first to stand at the sound of our National Anthem, proudly placing my hand over my heart and giving thanks that I have been so privileged to be born and raised in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

But who do I thank at that moment? Those who pledged their lives, their fortunes, literally everything they had to establish this country in the beginning? The brave men and women who have fought (many laying down their lives in the process) since the country’s inception to protect our way of life? Yes to all, and gladly so! But ultimately it is the One who hides us under the shadow of His wings, the great and sovereign God of Israel, who mercifully extends His favor and blessing upon us and enables us to live as a free people.

Ruth, a Moabitess and a foreigner in the land of Israel, switched her allegiance from her pagan roots to follow the one true God. She submitted to His authority and trusted in His care. The Lord God of Israel, who is faithful to His Word and His promises, blessed her accordingly.

As we celebrate whatever freedoms we enjoy today, may we not forget that we experience those freedoms only because we have come under His wings for refuge—and that when we reject that refuge and start believing we can secure those freedoms on our own, we will quickly learn otherwise.

May God continue to bless us, wherever we live, as we continue to take refuge in Him!

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Copyright 2009-2012 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:
Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than Conquerors
The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

A Lying Spirit

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

1 Kings 22:22: “‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.”

I thank God for a pastor who preaches from the Bible and doesn’t say only what is socially acceptable or politically correct.

When Ahab, the king of Israel wanted to fight against the king of Aram, he asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him. The king of Judah said, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”

Each of us will face major decisions in life. We will choose such things as a career, a marriage partner, the number of children to have if any, a home, and a car. I wasn’t a Christian until after I married. I wish I had known the Lord sooner and followed King Jehoshaphat’s advice on several decisions in my life.

In verse six, the king of Israel asked four hundred prophets, and they said, “Go, for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.” They told him what he wanted to hear.

But King Jehoshaphat asked in verse seven, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?”

The king of Israel answered in verse eight as so many in our day would, “There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah.”

The king sent for Micaiah, and Micaiah told him, “Attack and be victorious.” However, in verse sixteen, the king said, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”

The king knew he heard a lie, but he didn’t like the truth when Micaiah told him a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets would entice him to go to attack Aram and lead him to his death.

People haven’t changed. Many still choose to ignore God’s Word and lead lives that will only lead to heartache and destruction.

The rest of the chapter tells us, “The king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle,” but he was killed anyway. Don’t we sometimes think if people don’t know who we are, we can get away with disobedience?

Dear God, help me not to pay attention to a lying spirit. Amen.

Application: Will you listen to God this week?

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Copyright 2010-2012, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Are you “Doing?”

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Our small group showed up for our weekly Bible study.

“Hey, you finally got the new trailer. What’s all the wood for?”

“We have to get some shelves and other storage built.”

“Who’s going to do that?”

“Some guys at church are trying to round up a group.”

“Well, that’s silly. Why don’t we just do it right now?”

And just that quickly, it was settled. Bibles were traded for saws and drills, and in a couple of hours the trailer was ready to be loaded.

We had a great evening together. We joked that Jesus was a carpenter, talked more seriously about our assurance that He would have smiled at this use of our Bible study time. We wondered how 32 5/8” would have sounded in Hebrew.

My friends display the heart of selfless service. They don’t just talk about following Jesus, they do it in simple, tangible ways that change lives. They didn’t even think twice when they saw a need. In fact, they’d be surprised that I even consider it “service” because they were just doing what seemed obviously right.

Even after all these years, it’s still difficult to accept this kind of help. But it’s a lot easier when it comes from such a matter-of-fact attitude of love and grace, from folks who honestly believe what they did was no big deal.

Of course it is a big deal. It’s people doing. It’s Jesus showing up in blue jeans and tee-shirts with a tool belt. When that happens, you’re watching the gospel being lived. Your garage becomes holy ground.

It’s a great way to learn about following Jesus.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

My Shield

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

The privileges of the godly are many and great–but this is an especial one: “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” Psalm 7:10

This implies exposure to foes–Satan, evil men, and death–against these we need defense.

It implies opposition–and the opposition of our foes is great, daring, and deadly.

It implies danger to be apprehended–because we are weak, timid, and unskillful–and our foes are strong, daring, and experienced.

Our safety therefore, stands in what the Lord is to us–He is our shield, and such a shield as no one besides has, or can have.
He is omniscient to see all our foes and dangers.
He is omnipresent to help us at all times, and against all opposers.
He is omnipotent to defend us, and secure us from all evil.
He is faithful to fulfill His word, and carry out His engagements.
He will come between the believer and danger.
He will preserve the trusting soul from all real injury.
He will protect the upright in heart everywhere, and at all times.

What a mercy! What an unspeakable privilege is this!

“You who fear the Lord–trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield.” Psalm 115:11. O for grace to trust the Lord with all, to trust the Lord for all, and to trust the Lord under all! Holy Spirit, strip us of all confidence in the flesh, of all reliance on man, and of all trust in circumstances; and bring us by Your divine and holy teaching–to trust in the Lord alone!

“He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge.” Psalm 144:2

~ James Smith, “Wealth for Souls” 1859

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