Facing A Vast Army?

Image by Adrienne Olguin

Image by Adrienne Olguin

“Then Jehosophat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in front of the new courtyard and said:

‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in Heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.

* * * * *

But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us an inheritance.  O our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

2 Chronicles 20:6-13

Lord God, you knew of the “vast army” facing us –you knew its tactics, its strength, its means, its plans to destroy us.  And you sent us your Son to do battle for us.  By Jesus’ death on the cross he defeated forever Satan, sin and death’s grip on our lives.  Ours sins are forgiven.  We can use the name of Jesus to ward off Satan’s attacks.  We can look death in the eye and not fear.  Lord, there are other battles that we face day to day because we still are in the world and so we look to you today asking for your strength, your help, your deliverance and we give to you all glory and praise!  We pray in the strong name of Jesus, Amen!

“Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength;

we will sing and praise your might.”

Psalm 21:13


No Trouble At All

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“The fear of the Lord leads to life:

Then one rests content,

untouched by trouble.”

Proverbs 19:23

* * * * * 

Troubles from within,

from without

come to all in this world.

From within:

our sin,

our weakness,

our bad judgments,

our missteps.

From without:

all of the above

found in those

with whom we



and play

from day to day.

Multiplied by thousands,


of those who’ve

walked this earth,

who walk it now.

The world is full of trouble,

but there is One who was among us

whose life was trouble free

from within.

His goodness and mercy

followed Him

wherever He went.

And because the world knew Him not

it caused trouble for Him

to the point that it got rid of Him

or so it thought.

We are of that world–

our sin and unbelief

put Him on the Cross.

Our trouble

became His trouble.

He suffered and died for it.

So great was God’s love for us.

Because God is God

trouble does not touch Him

or keep Him down.

Death did not destroy

our Lord–

He destroyed the power

of sin, death and Satan’s

trouble over us!

We can rejoice!

God has called us

to be His own

through faith.

Nothing can ever separate us

from God’s love

no trouble within

no trouble without

for His Spirit dwells in us

and gives us


Blessed God and Father, thank you for calling us to be your own; for taking on all of our troubles and destroying their power over us.  No matter what seems to be troubling us, we give you thanks and praise for Your victory which is now ours through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with You in highest Heaven!  In His name we pray, Amen!

One Door

Photo by Matt Gruber

Photo by Matt Gruber

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens.  The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”  This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

* * * * *

Photo by Simeon Hughes

Photo by Simeon Hughes

“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:1-10

* * * * *

Wandering down the

bookstore aisles

titles jump out at me

proclaiming better life

 through this and that

all for one low fee.

Book after book

offering what only

my Good Shepherd gives–

life eternal

peace of mind and heart

release from sin and guilt.

My Shepherd calls

for no step-by-step

effort on my part.

He simply calls me by my name,

bids me follow

where He alone can lead

to Heaven above

this earthly scene

from sin and death and strife.

Praise to my Shepherd

the One true Door

that opens wide

the gates to life!

Image by Pierce Brantley

Image by Pierce Brantley

Lord Jesus, You have called me by name and made me one of your own; with your life blood you have bought me.  Nothing of my own I bring, but your All I have received!  Thank you, Lord, for opening the gate of Heaven to me through faith in you alone.  Thank you for being my Door.  You protect me.  You keep out the evil one.  You alone keep me safe from my enemies.  Thank and praise you, Jesus, for your saving grace!  In your name, I pray, Amen.

May 27 Unending Needs Met In Christ’s Unendless Riches

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“Bring them hither to me.”

Matthew 14:18

Are you encompassed with needs at this very moment, and almost overwhelmed with difficulties, trials, and emergencies?  These are all divinely provided vessels for the Holy Spirit to fill, and if you but rightly understood their meaning, they would become opportunities for receiving new blessings and deliverances which you can get in no other way.

Bring these vessels to God.  Hold them steadily before Him in faith and prayer.  Keep still, and stop your own restless working until He begins to work, and He will surely do so;  and the very trials that threatened to overcome you with discouragement and disaster will become God’s opportunity for the revelation of His Grace and glory in your life, as you have known Him before.  “Bring them [all needs] to me.”  ~ A.B. Simpson

“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

What a source–“God!”  What a supply–“His riches in glory!”  What a channel–“Christ Jesus!”  It is your sweet privilege to place all your needs over against His riches, and lose sight of the former in the presence of the latter.  His exhaustless treasury is thrown open to you, in all the love of His heart; go and draw upon it, in the artless simplicity of faith, and you will never have occasion to look to a creature-stream, or lean on a creature-prop. ~C.H.M.

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

Lord God, today I pray for a dear friend whose life seems to be filled with undending needs, trials, and crises of health, of home and car woes, of the unknown.  Please shower upon her your peace that passes all understanding and bring her to a place of complete rest and trust in your promises.  Lord, you know all of her needs in mind, body and spirit and I give you thanks and praise that you will meet her needs in Christ Jesus.  Lord, I pray that you will give her eyes of faith to see you working in her life.   Strengthen her faith and keep her from falling.  Wrap your everlasting arms of love around her this day.  For Jesus’ sake, I pray, Amen.

May 18 I’ll Stick With My Shepherd

Photo by Tim Pirfalt

Photo by Tim Pirfalt

1 Samuel 22:1-23:29;  John 10:1-21;  Psalm 115:1-18;  Proverbs 15:18-19

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep who are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.”

John 10:11-17

* * * * *

Jesus, my shepherd

knows my frequent wanderings

my heightened anxiety

resulting from my “going it on my own”

or giving in to flock mentality

following the crowd

even when that crowd leads me

away from Him.

He gently calls my name,

waits until I follow

once more

in His footsteps

that lead to pastures green.

He bids me come to His

calm waters

to refresh my soul

to wash away the foulness

from my heart and mind.

Jesus–my Good Shepherd–

thank you for leading me

and giving me all that I need

for this day

and for life in eternity.


* * * * *

“May you be blessed by the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 115:15

Did you know that in 2006 in Turkey 400 sheep plunged to their deaths after one sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine?  (Sheep 201: A Beginner’s Guide to Raising Sheep, Susan Schoenian)

May 8 Sweet Is The Road


Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Walking in the midst of the fire.”

Daniel 3:25

The fire did not arrest their motion; they walked in the midst of it.  It was one of the streets through which they moved to their destiny.  The comfort of Christ’s revelation is not that it teaches emancipation from sorrow, but emancipation through sorrow.

O my God, teach me, when the shadows have gathered, that I am only in a tunnel.  It is enough for me to know that it will be all right some day.

They tell me that I shall stand upon the peaks of Olivet, the heights of resurrection glory.  But I want more, O my Father; I want Calvary to lead up to it.  I want to know the shadows of this world are the shades to an avenue–the avenue to the house of my Father.  Tell me I am only forced to climb them because Thy house is on the hill!  I shall receive no hurt from sorrow if I shall walk  in the midst of the fire.  ~George Matheson

“The road is too rough,” I said;

“It is uphill all the way;

No flowers, but thorns instead;

And the skies over head are grey.”

But One took my hand at the entrance dim,

And sweet is the road that I walk with Him.

* * * *

“The cross is too great,” I cried–

“More than the back can bear,

So rough and heavy and wide,

And nobody by to care.”

And One stooped softly and touched my hand:

“I know. I care.  And I understand.”

* * * * *

Then why do we fret and sigh;

Cross-bearers all we go;

But the road ends by-and-by

In the dearest place we know,

And every step in the journey we

May take in the Lord’s own company.

Lord, hand in hand we walk with you through sunny days and dark.  You have promised to never leaves us nor forsake us.  Your compassion comforts us and gives us strength to carry on.  Thank Lord God!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 27 OK To Hate?

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Judges 7:1-8:17;  Luke 23:13-43;  Psalm 97:1-98:9;  Proverbs 14:7-8

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil,

for he guards the lives of his faithful ones,

and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

* * * * *

“Light is shed upon the righteous

and joy on the upright of heart.

* * * * *

“Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,

and praise his holy name.”

Psalm 97:10-12

* * * * *

OK to hate?

Take a stand and hate:

Aborting innocent babies,

Taking a life through assisted suicide,

Acquisition of wealth while impoverishing the spiritual, social and emotional lives of one’s family,

Pornography so easily accessed

and seen by so many,

Senseless killing of children by children

by means of guns, drugs, alcohol,

Worship of “tolerance” instead

of the true God whose Word

is sharper than any two edged sword,

Easy come, easy go attitudes

towards sexuality:

cohabiting before marriage,

recreational sex,

adulterous affairs,

threesomes, mixedsomes, samesomes,

anything but one man, one woman

in a lifetime marriage,

Abuse of any kind–physical,

mental, sexual, emotional,

Consumptive greed that feeds the need

for wars and conflicts,

Indifference to the things of God:

holiness, mercy, compassion, salvation

through one means only–faith

in Jesus Christ.

Hate what God hates

and pray,


and give thanks

that He has rescued you

from such evils.

Think upon Him

and His faithfulness to all


to you.

One day you will be with Him

in Heaven

where His light that shines upon

your heart now

will continue to illuminate

and cause exceedingly great


* * * * *

Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He

is good

and His mercy endures forever!

O Lord God, merciful Father thank you for saving us from the darkness of sin and for shedding abroad in our hearts the light of your salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.  We gratefully receive your grace and mercy with joy!  Let us not grow weary or lose hope though the world around us churns with turmoil.  May we keep our eyes on Jesus–our beacon of light.  In His name we pray, Amen.

March 30 God’s Paths

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks:  walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks you have kindled.  This shall you have of mine hand; you shall like down in sorrow.”  Isaiah 50:11

What a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and yet who try to help themselves out into the light.  They are represented as kindling a fire, and compassing themselves with sparks.  What does this mean?

Why, it means that when we are in darkness the temptation is to find a way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him.  Instead of letting Him help us out, we try to help ourselves out.  We seek the light of nature, and get the advice of our friends.  We try the conclusions of our reason, and might almost be tempted to accept a way of deliverance which would not be of God at all.

All these are fires of our own kindling; rushlights that will surely lead us onto the shoals.  And God will let us walk in the light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow.

Beloved, do not try to get out of a dark place, except in God’s time and in God’s way.  The time of trouble is meant to teach you lessons that you sorely need.

Premature deliverance may frustrate God’s work of grace in your life.  Just commit the whole situation to Him.  Be willing to abide in darkness so long as you have His presence.  Remember that it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light. ~From The Still Small Voice.

* * * * *

Cease meddling with God’s plans and will.  You touch anything of His and you mar the work.  You may move the hands of a clock to suit you, but you do not change the time; so you may hurry the unfolding of God’s will but you harm and do not help the work.  You can open a rosebud but you spoil the flower.  Leave all to Him.  Hands down.  Thy will, not mine. ~ Steven Merritt

* * * * *

His Way

God bade me go when I would stay

(‘Twas cool within the wood);

I did not know the reason why.

I heard a boulder crashing by

Across the path where I stood.

* * *

He bade me stay when I would go;

“thy will be done,” I said.

They found one day at early dawn,

Across the way I would have gone,

A serpent with a mangled head.

* * *

No more I ask the reason why,

Although I may not see

The path ahead, His way I go;

For though I know not, He doth know,

And He will choose safe paths for me.

From The Sunday School Times

Gracious Heavenly Father, help us to trust you for all things–for deliverance from difficult circumstances, for strength to persevere in the midst of trials, for humbleness to submit to your divine leading, for quietness of a heart that believes in You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

January 26 Oh, Love How Deep

Photo by Marian Trinidad

Photo by Marian Trinidad

Exodus 2:11-3:22;  Matthew 17:10-27;  Psalm 22:1-18;  Proverbs 5:7-14

“During those many days, the king of Egypt died and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help.  Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.”  Exodus 2:23-25

As ones who believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we still can fall into ‘slavery.’  Our sins, our fears, our guilt, our unwillingness to forgive, our hurts, our grievances can all entangle us and keep us from experiencing the freedom that Christ won for us on the Cross.

But God is faithful!

He knows the condition of our hearts.

And He desires to extend His mercy and compassion.

He wants to rescue us!

Cry out to Him with your needs and He will hear.

He will act.

He will save!

His love for you is very great.

He invites you to “Come to me all you are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Oh, love how deep, how broad, how high,

Beyond all thought and fantasy,

That God, the Son should take

our mortal form for mortal’s sake.

* * * *

For us by wickedness betrayed

For us, in crown of thorns arrayed.

He bore the shameful cross and death;

For us he gave his dying breath.

* * * *

For us he rose from death again;

For us he went on high to reign;

For us he sent his Spirit here

To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer

* * * *

All glory to our Lord and God

For love so deep, so high, so broad.

The Trinity whom we adore

forever and forevermore!

~Thomas a Kempis

Lord God, you know and hear the cries of our hearts this day.  To you we leave our burdens at your feet.  You know what they are.  You know what we need.  Thank you for answering all our prayers through your son, Jesus Christ.  To Him we give our thanks and praise.  In His name we pray, Amen.

November 5 His Promise True

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Ezekiel 12:1-14:11;  Hebrews 7:1-17;  Psalm 105:37-45;  Proverbs 27:3

“Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among his tribe who stumbled.  Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it.  He spread a cloud for covering; and fire to give light by night.  They asked, and he brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.  He opened the Rock and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.  For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant.”  Psalm 105:37-42

God delivered the children of Israel from the hands of the Egyptians just as he had promised Abraham.

It was not the first, nor the last time, God’s promise of Deliverance would be made and kept.

I know.

I’ve prayed for deliverance from the bonds of sin’s slavery.

I’ve rested on God’s promise found in his Word:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just

to forgive us our sins

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9

He has set me free

and now guides me,

provides for me,

protects me,

and continues to love me.

Praise you, Lord, for

Your promises, kept!

I trust, O Christ, in you alone;

no earthly hope avails me.

You will not see me overthrown

When Satan’s host assails me.

No human strength, no earthly power

Can see me through the evil hour,

For you alone my strength renew

I cry to you!

I trust, O Lord, your promise true.

~Konrad Hubert