Day 23: You Can Rest on God’s Promise-pedic!

Sleep is a necessary part of life. Sleep gives our physical bodies the opportunity to rest. Medical professionals recommend that human beings need a specific amount of hours of sleep every night to function at their best. This is true but the quality of that rest is much more important. We can sleep for the recommended amount of hours and still wake up tired, cranky and frustrated. What we sleep on is just as important as how long we sleep.

There are many mattress companies which promise us the best sleep possible. There are mattresses which offer the best back support. There are mattresses which contour to the shape of our body. All of these are good but they cannot promise us the rest we really need. They cannot promise us that everything will be alright in the morning. They cannot promise us that all of our sorrows will be turned to joy. They cannot promise us that we will be victorious in life. There is only one mattress that can do that:

God’s Promise-pedic

This mattress is supplied, tried and verified by God Himself. Many people in the Bible slept on this mattress during their lives on earth. Jacob slept on this mattress. While Jacob was on his way to his uncle Laban’s house, he stopped somewhere to sleep. Jacob slept on the ground and used a rock as his pillow. While he was sleeping he had an interesting dream:

…he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the LORD… (Genesis 28:12-13 NLT)

The LORD God told Jacob:

…The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.

 I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:13-15 NLT)

When Jacob received that dream he was homeless. He was alone. He had no soft bed to sleep on but God gave him a Promise-pedic. God’s Promise-pedic is a mattress full of God’s promises. God gave Jacob promises that he could rest on for the remainder of his life.

  • God promised to give him the ground he was lying on.
  • God promised to give him many descendents
  • God promised to bless the families of the earth through him and his descendents
  • God promised to be with him
  • God promised to protect him
  • God promised to bring him back to that land
  • God promised to never leave him

You may be alone, in debt, distressed and frustrated with life but you can still have a good night’s rest on God’s Promise-pedic.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

Day 22: God Always Finishes His “Good” Work! (Part 2)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

I want to encourage all who work for the Lord in any capacity. I want to encourage those who are spending energy, money and time to ensure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is spread within their community, their nation and the world. The Bible reminds us that serving the Lord is “good work”, but sometimes that work can overwhelm us and feel more like a burden than a pleasure. However, there are three things we must remember as servants of the Lord:

  1. God started that “good work”
  2. God will continue that “good work”
  3. God will complete that “good work”

The Church at Philippi was always eager to support the Apostle Paul financially. While the Apostle Paul travelled from country to country, the Philippians would send supplies to him whenever they could:

As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. (Philippians 4:15-16 NLT)

The Philippians were not financially rich but God started a “good work” within them. The Apostle Paul reminded them that the same God that started that “good work” will continue it until it is completed. Some serve the Lord through giving financial support. Some serve the Lord through public ministry. Some serve the Lord through private ministry. Some pray for others. Some encourage others. Some bear the burdens of others. Whatever you do to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ is “good work”.

You may not be financially rich but God started that “good work” in you. You may not be physically strong but God started that “good work” in you. You may have made mistakes while working for God but God started that “good work” in you. God will continue that “good work” in you and He will complete it.

That “good work” that God has started in your life is like a puzzle with many pieces. Every step you take for God, every minute you spend with God, every cent you give to God, everything you do for God are just pieces of the puzzle. God will ensure that all of those pieces come together perfectly to produce a beautiful picture. Don’t give up but be encouraged:

God Always Finishes His “Good” Work

Day 21: God Always Finishes His Work! (Part 1)

There are many projects which human beings have started which were not finished. These projects were not finished for these main reasons:

  • The person who started it died
  • The person who started it did not have enough resources to finish it
  • The person who started it changed their mind and decided to stop working on it
  • The work was hindered or destroyed

God is not limited by any of the above reasons. God can not die:

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. (Isaiah 40:28 NLT)

God has unlimited resources and power:

“O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! (Jeremiah 32:17 NLT)

God does not change His mind:

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? (Numbers 23:19 NLT)

God’s work can never be hindered or destroyed:

 “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” (Acts 5:38-39 NLT)

Before the world began, God started a great project:

The Plan of Salvation

God wanted to redeem His creation from sin. God ensured that every part of His plan was carried out. He called Abram (Abraham). He gave Abraham and his wife a son (Isaac) in their old age. He blessed Isaac’s son, Jacob with twelve sons. These twelve sons became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. These twelve tribes became a nation. God preserved the nation of Israel from destruction. God used a virgin, named Mary to give birth to His “only begotten Son” Jesus. This Jesus, who was without sin and found to be without fault before Pontius Pilate, was condemned to be crucified on a cross (the worst punishment a criminal could receive). Before Jesus died on the cross, He said these words:

It is finished! (John 19:30 NLT)

The redemption of mankind from sin was finished. It took a long time but God finished His work:

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5 NLT)

Has God promised to do something in your life? Are you waiting on God to work on your behalf? Don’t give up. Keep praying and trusting in God. At the right time you will see that promised fulfilled. At the right time you will see that situation turned around. In those moments when you feel like giving up, remember:

God Always Finishes His Work!

Day 20: God Does Not Take Vacations!

On several occasions I have entered a government department to conduct business and I was informed that the person who can help me is on vacation. When I enquired when that person will be back in office I was unable to obtain a definite answer. Sometimes life can make us feel as though God is on vacation. Sometimes, we pray and pray and pray to God for deliverance from our problems and nothing happens. In those moments we believe that God is ‘out of office’. However, the Bible gives us a different account of God’s work schedule. The Bible records that since the beginning of creation God only took one day off:

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. (Genesis 2:3 NLT)

God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and He rested on the seventh day. He rested because His work was finished. However, God was not finished working on behalf on His creation. God planted the Garden of Eden so Adam and Eve would have a nice place to live. After Adam and Eve sinned, God made clothes for them to wear. God continues to work on behalf of His creation:

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8 KJV)

There is no doubt that God does wonderful works on behalf of His creation. The Psalmist revealed that God delivered and saved His people when they were distressed and in trouble. However, there is something that occurred before God worked on their behalf:

Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (Psalm 107:6 KJV)

Those who were in trouble “cried unto the LORD” and the LORD “delivered them out of their distresses”. God works on behalf of those who put their trust in Him. God worked on behalf of David when he was running from King Saul. God worked on behalf of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. God worked on behalf of Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions. God worked on behalf of Jesus when He died and was buried in a tomb.

Are you in distress? Are you faced with trouble? There is Someone Who can help you and He does not go on vacation. God is not so far away that you can not reach Him. Call on Him now:

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6 NLT)

Day 19: God is the Righteous Judge!

Have you ever been deprived of your rights by someone in authority? We live in a world where persons in authority ignore the rights of others on a daily basis. Those who are not considered to have a high standing in society suffer the most. Even though the United Nations is present and many Treaties protecting the rights of human beings have been signed by many different countries in the world, the rights of many human beings are not protected by those in authority. These things occur in this world but they do not occur in the Kingdom of God. Those who do not have a high standing in the eyes of the world are considered highly in the eyes of God. God ensures that the rights of such persons are upheld.

One day Jesus told His disciples a parable about a woman who was a widow. This widow had a legal problem and she needed justice quickly. She went to a Judge but she faced a great obstacle. The Judge was a person:

“who neither feared God nor cared about people” (Luke 18:2 NLT)

In other words, the Judge was unrighteous. Even though persons came before Him with legitimate claims, He did not care. He would refuse legitimate claims at any time and against any person. However, this widow woman did not give up. She went to that unrighteous Judge on several occasions and said:

‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ (Luke 18:3 NLT)

The parable continued:

The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people,  but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” (Luke 18:4-5 NLT)

The widow continued to bother that unrighteous Judge with her requests for justice. Jesus said we should learn an important lesson from this widow:

So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly… (Luke 18:7-8 NLT)

The lesson is this:

The people of God should not give up asking God for justice. The people of God should not give up praying to God for victory. God is the Righteous Judge and He will uphold your legal rights.

NEVER STOP PRAYING (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT)

Day 18: You Have Legal Rights!

Every human being has legal rights! I am not referring to those legal rights given to us by the laws of the country in which we reside. I am referring to those legal rights given to us by our Creator, the King of Heaven. Everything that God does is legal. In other words, no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge the legality of God’s actions on the earth. When God decided to save the world from sin He used the legal process of Redemption. Redemption may be defined as:

The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. (English Oxford Living Dictionaries)

The Apostle Peter says:

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT)

Adam left mankind with a great debt that we could not clear. However, it was not the will of God to leave us with this debt hanging over our heads. It was God’s will to pay that debt in full. There was only one price that was acceptable in the eyes of God:

The Blood of a sinless Man

That sinless Man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross every human being obtained the legal right to be set free from sin. Through His death, Jesus has given every human being the opportunity to abandon sin and live righteously in the eyes of God. All who take this opportunity are legally declared to be forgiven of their sins. The Bible records:

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT)

Every believer in Jesus Christ has exercised their God-given legal right to be forgiven of their sins. However, every believer in Jesus Christ has also received other legal rights . These legal rights must be embraced and exercised to overcome Satan, the enemy of our souls and every obstacle and difficulty in life. The Prophet Zechariah gave us a glimpse into what redemption looks like:

Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zechariah 3:1-4 NLT)

God has snatched us from the fire of sin. Our clothes were filthy but through Jesus Christ, God took away those filthy clothes and gave us new clothes to wear. This is redemption!

You were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Your redemption was paid for in full by Jesus Christ. You are legally free from sin and no human being or spiritual being can successfully challenge your redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Day 17: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 2)

It is my desire to encourage you today. We all need encouragement at some point in time in our lives. The best boxers need their trainers to encourage them. The greatest athletes needs encouragement from their coaches. Children need encouragement from their parents. Christians need encouragement from their God and Father. Our Father in Heaven is the God of Encouragement. He encourages us through His Word. He encourages us through His presence. He encourages us through His servants.

Joshua was given the great responsibility of leading Israel to possess the Promised Land. God encouraged Joshua through His Word:

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.(Joshua 1:6-7 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His presence:

So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the LORD your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you…Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!…as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away… And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. (Joshua 3:9-16 NLT)

God encouraged Joshua through His servant:

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.” (Joshua 5:13-14 NLT)

God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. God showed Joshua that He was with Him by moving the waters of the river Jordan so Israel could pass over to the other side. When Joshua had to conquer the city of Jericho, God sent a man with a sword in his hand to meet Joshua. This man revealed himself to be:

The commander of the LORD’s army

This man did not reveal why he was there but I believe he was there to encourage Joshua. I believe His presence alone encouraged Joshua to continue doing the will of God. If the commander of the army is present, his army cannot be too far away. Joshua was faced with the great task of conquering the city of Jericho but God’s army stood ready. If you are faced with a great difficulty today, be encouraged by Joshua’s encounter with the commander of LORD’s army. God’s Army Stands Ready to help you!

 

Day 16: God’s Army Stands Ready (Part 1)

Semper Paratus is a Latin phrase which means “Always Ready”. This Latin phrase is the motto of the United States Coast Guard. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready at a moment’s notice to protect and to save. It paints a picture in my mind of the United States Coast Guard always being ready to handle any danger or evil that it is called to respond to. The United States Coast Guard is an earthly army. There is a Heavenly Army whose motto is also “Always Ready”.

The Bible records that in the time of greatest need God’s Army stands ready to protect and deliver those who put their trust in God. One day Elisha the Prophet and his servant were in a city called Dothan. The King of Aram heard of Elisha’s presence in Dothan and the King sent a “great army with many chariots and many horses to surround the city”. Elisha’s servant became afraid. However, Elisha had a different response:

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:16-17 NLT)

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a great army but that great army was surrounded by an even greater army:

God’s Army

God’s Army stood ready to protect Elisha, the servant of God. Are you one of God’s servants? Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Then be certain of this:

God will never leave you nor forsake you!

God has provided around the clock protection for you. His Army stands ready to protect and deliver you at a moment’s notice. While surrounded by armed men who came to arrest Him, Jesus told Peter:

Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (Matthew 26:53 NLT)

Trust God today!

Day 15: You Are in God’s Army

Wouldn’t it be great if the earth was filled with peace everyday? No wars, no battles, no pain, no trouble? God promises to give His people this kind of life. However, until that promise is fulfilled we have to live on an earth filled with war, conflict and pain. Every day we hear news of some kind of evil that has taken place in our country or in a foreign land. Very often we are powerless to do anything about the evil that has occurred. We may lack the strength, resources or knowledge to help those who have been hurt or wounded by conflict and other evils. Sometimes we lack the strength, resources or knowledge to help ourselves.  However, there is good news for those who believe in Jesus Christ:

YOU ARE IN GOD’S ARMY!

Let us look at the army of any nation. Any nation that has an army is responsible for training the members of the army. That nation is also responsible for equipping each member of the army with the tools, resources and weapons he/she needs to operate effectively. That nation is also responsible for appointing experienced men and women to lead that army to victory.

God has an army on earth. That army is the Church (all believers in Jesus Christ). God is constantly training us and equipping us to be effective members of that army. God has given us the Holy Spirit to train us:

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. (John 14:26 NLT)

God has given us resources to equip us:

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT)

God has given us His Son to lead us to victory:

God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. (Ephesians 1:22 NLT)

Jesus is the General of the Army. He has been appointed by God our Father. Jesus was victorious over Satan in the wilderness. Jesus was victorious over death. He wants to lead us to victory also.

Let us stay in God’s army and follow our leader to victory!