The Father’s Love

1 Peter 4:8 (WEB)

I like how the NIV Bible translates this verse… Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (NIV) When Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, they realized that they were naked and felt shame for the first time in their lives. It is terrible to feel uncovered and exposed. That is why so many of us try and cover our own spiritual nakedness with activities, accomplishments and possessions.

I love today’s promise because it says that love actually covers us. Not only does it cover all our sin, but love covers every area in our life where we feel naked and ashamed. The best definition of love that I know of can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It talks about how patient love is, how kind it is, how it doesn’t get easily angered, how love believes all things, hopes in all things, and endures all things.

The love that we were created to receive will never fail. Ever. If you are struggling today with a feeling of being uncovered in some way, be encouraged to know that love will cover you completely, for that is what love does. It always protects.

My prayer for each one of us is that we would know more of our Father’s love today than we did yesterday and tomorrow will be a new opportunity to know even more of His unending, amazing, eternal love!

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Angels: Our Unseen Helpers

Psalm 34:7 (WEB)

There are many references in the Bible that talk about angels and how they relate to God’s people. In Psalm 91:11 we read that God commands His angels to take care of us. In Hebrews 1:14 angels are called ministering servants to the heirs of salvation. In today’s promise from Psalm 34:7, we read that the angel of the Lord actually camps around those who fear Him.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of angels that often. I know they are real and I know that they are involved in our daily lives. I choose to focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my salvation and on growing in my relationship with my heavenly Dad through the very active work of His Spirit. But today, I want to encourage you, that God has sent His angels to minister to us and to protect us because we are His heirs.

Just because we can’t see angels, doesn’t mean that they are not close by. And the reason why they are there and active on our behalf is because we belong to God and are His kids. The presence of angels surrounding each one of us, is simply a token of our Father’s affection. What an amazing thought! The angel of the Lord surrounds you and me!

Heavenly Silence

Why Isn’t God Speaking?

Job 34:29

The Bible speaks of times when God chose to be silent—to an individual or to humanity as a whole. David cried out to Him but discerned no answer (Psalm 22:2). Then there was Job, who must have felt the Lord had abandoned him. And during the gap between the Old and New Testaments, God had no prophet for 400 years.

We don’t always hear from the Lord when we expect to. Sometimes we’re so caught up in the world and our own interests that we simply can’t detect His voice over all the noise. There are also other reasons for His silence—He may be choosing to remain quiet because …

He wants our attention. We can’t expect God to answer simply because we’ve summoned Him. Perhaps He is reminding us that He is in charge.

There is unconfessed sin in our life. When we’re willing to deal with our sin, God is ready to talk to us. To continue living in sin, however, communicates that we’re not interested in His will for us.

We’re not ready. If we’re doing our own thing and are unwilling to walk in obedience, God might be waiting for us to make up our mind to follow Him.

He’s teaching us to trust Him. If we’re motivated to love God only when there’s indication that He’s listening, our relationship with Him is based on feeling rather than faith.

He’s teaching us to distinguish His voice from others. When God speaks softly, we listen more closely and eventually recognize His voice better.

Whatever the situation, we can be certain of one thing: God’s quietness is always for our good.

The Gift of Forgivness

Matthew 22:36-40

Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.

But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?

God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.

Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.

Trust In God

Trust In God
Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
All things pass; God does not leave.
Patient endurance attains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing
God alone is enough.

 

Overcoming Obstacles

Matthew 17:14-21

Nothing is impossible for the heavenly Father. No obstacle confuses God or poses any kind of challenge for Him. Though we know He is sovereign over every situation, we have trouble maintaining this perspective, just like the disciples in today’s passage. Too often when difficulties arise, we …

Experience a shift in focus. During trials, we tend to take our eyes off the Lord and instead see only our problems. The longer we look at our circumstance, the larger it seems. As we dwell on it in thought and conversation, our mindset can become very negative. Though God still has a direction for us to take, we are no longer concentrating on His purposes.

Develop an incorrect assessment of resources. In our troubles, we start taking inventory of our own strength and abilities. When they prove insufficient, we become discouraged. The truth is that we don’t have what is needed for life’s trials—Jesus Himself told us that. (See John 15:5.) But God’s capabilities are unlimited, His power is never-ending, and His wisdom is complete. We need to take stock of His resources, not our own.

View obstacles as barriers. For the obedient believer, impediments represent opportunities, not problems. The Lord can demonstrate His awesome power through our difficulties. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.) At such times, we grow in our faith and learn more about our Father. If we view hardships simply as troubles, then we can miss demonstrations of God’s love, power, and wisdom.

Start each day committed to a Christ-centered focus, a dependence on His resources, and an “opportunity” mindset.

The Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:13-18

Human wisdom is meaningless in the Lord’s eyes. The truth is, God’s “foolishness” is wiser than man’s understanding. (See 1 Cor. 1:25.) While it may feel risky to set aside our own reasoning to seek after the Lord’s, the benefits of walking in His wisdom are great.

The first blessing is greater knowledge of God. The Lord is personally involved in every facet of our lives. The better we know His character, the more we will understand His viewpoint, recognize where He is working, and be able to respond properly to life’s circumstances.

A second way we profit is by receiving clear guidance. God sees everything—His perspective is eternal, and every decision of His is right. He knows exactly what is needed to accomplish His will in our life and what it will take to resolve problems in a godly way, making us more like Christ.

A third benefit is divine protection. As Proverbs 28:26 tells us, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” We are not to rely upon our emotions, which are easily influenced by ungodliness. Nor can we trust the world’s opinions. Wisdom’s protection comes when we have a discerning spirit—one that is sensitive to the Lord’s purpose and will for our life. With it, we gain insight into the unseen and the unspoken because nothing is hidden from the Spirit of God.

Knowing God, clear guidance, divine protection—human wisdom can’t provide any of these. They come only from the heavenly Father, and He offers them freely to all who believe.