Today's reading: Psalm 27:1-14
Fear is a powerful emotion that can pull our attention right off of God--if we allow it. David doesn't do that. Instead, he fully grasps and claims God as his light, salvation and stronghold, followed by the bold declaration of "whom shall I fear?" and "of whom shall I be afraid?" (vs. 1)
What encouragement do you draw from this passage? When life throws you a curve ball and fearful thoughts come crashing in, is it your habit to turn to God and His Word? Do you have a particular verse or passage that has helped you overcome fear and being afraid?
Mark of Divine Approval
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown Of Life, which the LORD hath promised to them that love Him" (James ).
Yes, he is blessed while he is enduring the trial. No eye can see this till he has been anointed with heavenly eye salve. But he must endure it and neither rebel against God nor turn aside from his integrity. He is blessed who has gone through the fire and has not been consumed as a counterfeit. When the test is over, then comes the hallmark of divine approval -- "the crown of life." As if the LORD said, "Let him live; he has been weighed in the balances, and he is not found wanting." Life is the reward: not mere being, but holy, happy, true existence, the realization of the divine purpose concerning us. Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love. The LORD hath promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only lovers of the LORD will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world. Come, my heart, dost thou love thy LORD? Truly? Deeply? Wholly? Then that love will be tried; but many waters will not quench it, neither will the Roods drown it, LORD, let Thy love nourish mine to the end.
An Everyday Retreat
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians
Have you ever attended a weekend church retreat or fellowship outing? It is usually a great time of fellowship filled with a lot of love and laughter. It is an opportunity to meet new friends, share hidden struggles and spend time together. But why do we often wait until we attend such an event to reach out and enjoy others? Why can't we get along like that all the time? In one weekend, we can find out more about a person than after a whole year in church together. What happens at a retreat that causes our barriers to come down and our kind, loving, accepting personalities to come out? There are many burdens carried by people who attend a retreat, but somehow those burdens become a lot lighter by the end. The answer is God.
A retreat is the one place that we incorporate the Lord in everything we do. We sing to the Lord, we learn about the Lord, we talk to others about the Lord, we pray together to the Lord, and we are at a facility that is dedicated to the Lord. It is all about the Lord. We live out Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus said unto him, 'You shall love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
We need to pray that we can understand this kind of love and kindness all year round. We get busy and focused on our own struggles, trying so hard to make it through the day that we forget others are in need too. But what we are really forgetting is a Who—the Lord. We need to include the Lord in the busyness of our days so that we can represent Him to others. Pray that you can be used by the Lord and that you can incorporate Him in everything you do today. You just might be able to help someone along the way. And, keep going to those retreats—we all need those special weekends with the Lord and with others.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~