Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
In the Old Testament, there was a place where God met with His people. In Exodus 25:22, God said, And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony… This place was above the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant, under the wings of the two cherubim. The psalmist calls it the secret place of the Most High under the shadow of the Almighty.
The mercy seat covered the ark which contained the three emblems of mans rebellion: the golden pot of mannamans rebellion against Gods provision, two tablets of stone on which God wrote the Ten Commandmentsmans rebellion against Gods standard, and Aarons rodmans rebellion against Gods authority. Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificed animal on the mercy seat and so make propitiation for the sins of Israel.
Today, it is not the blood of animals that makes propitiation for our sins, but the holy blood of the Son of God. (Romans 3:2425) The word for propitiation in the original Greek text is hilasterion, which actually means mercy seat. So Christ is our mercy seat. His blood speaks for us and puts God on our side. God does not see our rebellion. He sees the blood of His Son and accepts us!
That is why we can come boldly to the secret place of the Most High, in Christ, and feel secure that we have every right to be in Gods presence. We can come boldly to Him to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
And because Christ, our mercy seat, covers us with His blood, we are under Gods protection. We are in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Here, no evil will befall us, nor will any plague come near our dwelling. (Psalm 91:910) In the secret place of the Most High, we are favored and kept safe from all harm!
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. —Proverbs 25:11
You may have heard the adage, “Timing is everything.” According to the Bible, good timing applies to our words and speech too. Think of a time when God used you to bring a timely word to refresh someone, or when you wanted to speak, but it was wiser for you to remain silent.
The Bible says that there is an appropriate time to speak (Eccl. 3:7). Solomon compared properly timed and well-spoken words with golden apples in a silver setting—beautiful, valuable, and carefully crafted (Prov. 25:11-12). Knowing the right time to speak is beneficial for both the speaker and hearer, whether they are words of love, encouragement, or rebuke. Keeping silent also has its place and time. When tempted to deride, belittle, or slander a neighbor, Solomon said that it is wise to hold our tongue, recognizing the appropriate time for silence (11:12-13). When talkativeness or anger tempts us to sin against God or another human being, resistance comes by being slow to speak (10:19; James 1:19).
It’s often hard to know what to say and when to say it. The Spirit will help us to be discerning. He will help us use the right words at the right time and in the right manner, for the good of others and for His honor.
Heavenly Father, thank You for using others to speak words of encouragement and challenge to me. Help me to be wise in how and when my words or my silence may be helpful to someone else.
Timely words are works of art.
GROWING THROUGH DISCOURAGEMENT :
‘Lord, where do I put my hope?’ Psalm 39:7 NLT
Here are four suggestions to help you survive and grow through upheavals such as an unexpected job loss, the death of a loved one, a failed marriage or a serious health issue:
(1) Admit how you feel. That doesn’t mean sitting around wallowing in negativity; it means trusting God enough to acknowledge how you really feel. Pretending things are fine when they’re not, makes it harder to get back up. We all have down times. The Psalmist asked God to help him cope with despondency (Psalms 42–43). And at one point Paul was under so much pressure he ‘despaired even of life.’ (2 Corinthians 1:8 NKJV)
(2)Identify the source. Discouragement often comes on the heels of a setback or disappointment. Did something you set your heart on fall apart? Were your hopes unrealistic to start with? Did somebody let you down? Or is your dejection coming from a generalised feeling of burnout?
(3) Talk with a trusted counsellor. Solomon said, ‘…there is safety in having many advisers.’ (Proverbs 11:14 NLT) Don’t let pride prevent you from opening up to those who will listen empathetically and respond wisely. Talking to the right people can lessen your sense of isolation, and also pave the way for others who are hurting to do the same.
(4) Be open before God. He, not fate or circumstances, gets to write the last chapter. Maybe He’s trying to teach you something or redirect your energies. David said, ‘Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.’ When your hope is in God, He replaces discouragement with confidence so that what you’re going through can become a path to spiritual growth.
LET GOD MINISTER TO YOU :
John 13:8 “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.”
Peter’s refusal to let Jesus wash his feet came from a knowledge that he was totally unworthy to have the sinless Son of God serve him as a common servant would. Peter was correct in his assessment of his relative worth, but what he missed was that God doesn’t minister to us because of our worth but because of His love.
Even though Peter’s attitude looked holy and humble, he was actually resisting God’s will and committing an act of pride. Pride is not only exalting yourself above what is proper, but also, it can be debasing yourself below what is proper. Pride is simply self-centeredness or being self-willed instead of God-centered and submitted to God’s will. Peter should have been humble enough to know that Jesus knew what He was doing and he should have submitted himself to God’s will.
Likewise today, some people refuse to let God bless them, thinking they are unworthy of His favor. While it is true that our actions don’t warrant God’s goodness, a truly humble person will receive the Lord’s blessings as an expression of His love and grace toward them. Misguided humility is every bit as damaging as exaggerated pride.
Peter wanted to serve Jesus, but did not want to be served by Jesus. Jesus was telling Peter that unless he received His ministry to him, Peter would be unfit to serve Him. We cannot cleanse ourselves or others. We are totally dependent on the work of God’s grace in our lives. Then and only then, are we equipped to minister to others. Before we can be the blessing that we desire to be to God or to others, we have to let God be the blessing to us that He desires to be.
WHEN PRAYER IS HARD WORK (2)
‘Come near to God and he will come near to you.’ James 4:8 NIV
We all want what successful people have; we’re just not willing to pay the price they paid to get it. When you see someone with sculpted abs and a well–toned body, they probably spend time sweating in a gym. There’s a reason Paul talks about ‘labouring…in prayers.’ (Colossians 4:12NKJV) When you pray, you must be passionate, persistent and positive, expecting good things from God. You’ve got to put your heart into it and believe God will do what He promised. It’s not easy to fight off distractions and focus on Him. Don’t expect your fleshly nature to co–operate; it comes to the place of prayer kicking and screaming. And don’t expect your intellect to cheer you on; your self–sufficient nature will always choose prayer as a last resort. But God will urge you, and draw you into His presence. ‘If you draw near to Me, I will draw near to you.’ An unknown poet wrote: ‘I got up early one morning, and rushed right into the day. I had so much to accomplish, I didn’t have time to pray. Troubles tumbled about me, and heavier came each task; “Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered. He answered, “You didn’t ask.”…I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.’ Many problems can be resolved, or avoided altogether, when you take time to pray and include God in every part of your day. ‘Oh what peace we often forfeit; oh what needless pain we bear; All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ (Joseph M. Scriven, 1855)
JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST JESUS :
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirsheirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…
As long as you are born again, you are no longer a slave, but a son of the Most High God. And God does not just call you His son. He also calls you an heir through Christ. (Galatians 4:7) In fact, Romans 8:17 says that you are joint heirs with Christ.
As a joint heir with Christ Jesus, you inherit everything that He is. How precious Jesus is to the Father, is how precious you are to the Father. The way the Father loves Jesus, is the way the Father loves you!
How accepted are you by God today? Look at Jesus. That is how accepted you are! Christ is the measure of your acceptance. How favored are you by God? Look at Jesus, who is seated at the Fathers right hand. You enjoy that same favor today because whatever Christ enjoys, you enjoy!
As a joint heir with Christ Jesus, you also inherit all that He has obtained from the Father. How much Jesus has, is how much you have. How prosperous is the one who made all things, and who put the gold, silver and diamonds in the earth? So are you in this world! (1 John 4:17)
I used to read the Bible to find out how to be a successful and victorious Christian. But now, I read it to find out more about Jesus because I know that when I find Him, I find my every blessing in Him. (Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3)
My friend, all that Jesus is in heaven today, you are in this world. All that belongs to Him belongs to you. That is why it is in your interest to know Him more, to see Him in all His glory and beauty. And because Jesus is so glorious, it will take you a lifetime to discover everything that He has done for you and has for you.
Beloved, you are an heir of the Most High God. You are a joint heir with Christ Jesus. So find out all the blessings that your rich inheritance includes and start walking in them today!
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