October 31 So Much For Us

Photos by Laura Jostes

Photos by Laura Jostes

Lamentations 4:1-5:22;  Hebrews 2:1-18;  Psalm 103:1-22;  Proverbs 26:23

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life

from the pit,  who crowns you with steadfast

love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good so that your

youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

~

Golden snapdragon

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

~

Pop of Color

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting

to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.”

Psalm 103, select verses

IMG_0037

Lord God, I’m awed by your majesty and power–and by your never ending love for us.  Above all, I’m awed that one so holy would take on the likeness of us, to live like us, be with us–Jesus–the One and Only One who kept the covenant perfectly and followed all of your commandments.  Because of Him who suffered and died for our failure to obey, we now have hope of everlasting life.  Because of Jesus you see us as ones on whom to lavish your compassion and mercy.  Lord, may we faithfully share the reason for our special place in your heart to those who need to hear, to have hope, to be healed from all their diseases.  In our Savior’s name I pray, Amen.

October 30 Infusion Of Hope

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Lamentations 2:20-3:66;  Hebrews 1:1-14;  Psalm 102:1-28;  Proverbs 26:21-22

“He has walled me in..He has weighed me down with chains….He shuts out my prayer…He has barred my way with blocks of stone; He has made my paths crooked.  He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver…He broke my teeth with gravel.”

What God ordains is always good:

His will is just and holy.

As He directs my life for me,

I follow meek and lowly.

My God indeed in every need

Knows well how He will shield me;

To Him, then, I will yield me.

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”

What God ordains is always good:

He never will deceive me;

He leads me in His own right way,

and never will He leave me.

I take content what He has sent;

His hand that sends me sadness

Will turn my tears to gladness.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness,’ I say to myself; ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'”

What God ordains is always good:

His loving thought attends me;

No poison can be in the cup

that my Physician sends me. 

My God is true; Each morning new

I trust His grace unending,

My life to Him commending.

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;  it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

What God ordains is always good:

He is my friend and father;

He suffers naught to do me harm

Though many storms may gather.

Now I may know  both joy and woe;

Someday I shall see clearly

That He loved me dearly.

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.  For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

What God ordains is always good:

This truth remains unshaken.

Though sorrow, need or death be mine,

I shall not be forsaken.

I fear no harm for with His arm

He shall embrace and shield me;

So to my God I yield me.

~Hymn written by Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708)

~Jeremiah’s Lamentations taken from chapter 2:7-33, Selected verses

Lord God, you remind us that you are forever loving even when bad things happen in our lives.  You are there in the midst of our sorrow, pain and suffering, just as you were with the prophet Jeremiah who witnessed much suffering and experienced it as well.  Thank you for the words of hymnwriter, Samuel Rodigast, who penned words of hope and comfort that still encourage us today.  Thank you for giving us Hope everlasting through your son, Jesus Christ.  We look to Him and do not lose heart.  Please bring this message of hope to those who have no hope because they do not know you.  Open their hearts and minds to see your compassion and your desire to forgive and restore, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

October 29 On The Basis Of Love

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes


Lamentations 1:1-2:19; Philemon 1:1-25; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 26:20

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ…Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold…yet I appeal to you on the basis of love.” Philemon 1:6,9″

Intriguing story.

A slave named Onesimus leaves his master, Philemon, and ends up by the side of a prisoner chained to a Roman guard. And not just any prisoner, but the Apostle Paul, a ‘prisoner of Christ Jesus.’

Did Onesimus overhear what Paul preached–freedom for all people? Did he want to hear more? To be free?

His yearning was strong enough to bolt him from his master’s house and take him to the man in chains.

Rather ironic. But as the chained man spoke of the freedom everyone can have through faith in Jesus, the slave man’s bonds, the chains of sin and guilt and shame, broke. Onesimus, a man on the run, was set free!

Onesimus risked all and received all through faith in Jesus Christ.

And now Paul wants to return an even more useful Onesimus–one whose life is driven by love for the same Savior that Paul and Philemon worship and adore.

Even though Philemon had every right to punish his slave for leaving, Paul’s appeal to love paves the way for an unusual reunion.

We don’t get to hear the end of the story, but as Paul trusted Philemon to do the Christ-like thing, we too trust that Onesimus received a grace-filled welcome and that he was a great help to his masters–his earthly master, Philemon and his Heavenly Master, Christ Jesus for the rest of his days.

Lord God, thank you for this story of Onesimus and Philemon which shows us the power of the Gospel at work in the lives of these believers. Thank you for the faithful preaching of your Word which moved Onesimus’s heart and made him a new man by faith. Thank you for Paul’s appeal “on the basis of love” to his friend, Philemon, who had felt the loss of his ‘property’, his slave, but received an opportunity to take not just ‘property’ back, but a brother in the Lord. Thank you that by faith and through love, relationships can be restored. Above all, thank you for Jesus, who on the basis of love, gave His life for us who were slaves to sin; who set us free from the bonds of sin and death and gave us new life. I pray that our faith can be active in living out this amazing grace and by doing so, give others hope for reconciliation not only with You but with others. Heal and restore broken relationships, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

October 24 I’ll Be Back–In The Meantime…

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately.  Blogging has taken a back seat temporarily so I can tend to celebratory family matters!  I plan to get back to “What’s The Good Word?” later next week.

In the meantime, open His Word, seek, savor and rest in our Savior’s Love and Grace. Seek His face!  He dearly loves to spend time with you!

“How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!…Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the Lord on high is mighty.”  Psalm 92:5, 93:4

Blessings!

Laura

October 18 God’s Sweet Spot

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Jeremiah 31:27-32:44;  1 Timothy 3:1-16;  Psalm 88:1-18;  Proverbs 25:20-22

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:  I am the Lord, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for me?

You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon': but this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says:  I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath;  I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.  I will make an everlasting covenant with them:  I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.  I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.”

Jeremiah 32:36-41

~

“but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:6

~

Amazing love,

He has planted in our

hearts

and nurtures us with all

his heart and soul.

He rejoices

in doing good for us.

He promises to make us

stand firm in our faith.

Thank you for this

indescribable gift

which we have in

Christ Jesus

our Lord!

Amen.

October 17 Why Pray?

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26;  1 Timothy 2:1-15;  Psalm 87:1-7;  Proverbs 25:18-19

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone–

for kings and all those in authority, that we may live

peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

This is good, and please God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.”

1 Timothy 2:1-6

~

Why pray?

It keeps Satan at bay,

the name of Jesus on our lips

curls his toes,

scats this enemy of God away.

*

Why pray?

It ushers in the peace of God

into our hearts and minds

and overflows,

over throws

all dark demise.

*

Why pray?

Many have yet to hear

the Good News as

time grows shorter with

each passing day.

They need to know

that there is One

who loves them;

seeks to draw them near

and save them from

 despair.

*

Why pray?

Because He bids us as

He himself prays for the souls

of those under His care.

He prays for us.

Lord God,  thank for the faithful prayers of the saints who have gone before us–who prayed for peace so that Your Word might be spread;  prayed that evil would be stayed;  that your truth of Salvation would be heard and believed.  Press upon our hearts the incredible urgency to continue the prayers of the saints.  And we beseech you, to hear the prayers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who intercedes for us.  In His name we pray, Amen.

October 17 Teach Me, O Lord

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26;  1 Timothy 2:1-15;  Psalm 87:1-7;  Proverbs 25:18-19

“Teach me your way, O Lord,

and I will walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart,

that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, O Lord my God,

with all my heart;

I will glorify your name forever.

For great is your love toward me;

you have delivered me from the

depths of the grave.”

Psalm 86:11-13

Lord God,  thank you for your grace and mercy that rescued me from a most unholy path.  Through water and the Word you destined me for another path–one of faith in a Most Holy God–a path paved by the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Continue to teach me, guide me, direct me in all your ways, O Lord, today and every day until you return.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.