In The Lord

Photo by Chris Meirose

“In the Lord I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

“Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow

to the string to shoot in the dark

at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?

The Lord is in his holy temple;

the Lord’s throne is in heaven;

his eyes see, his eyelids test,

the children of man.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind

shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.”

Psalm 11

Troubled world, troubled people

striking out blindly but boldly in the name of their cause.

Whether race, economics, politics, or creed

all are in vain for none of them can save.

Only One can save, give peace;

the One who gave His life as a ‘ransom for many’

for you, for me.

Turn away from strife, pride, ego, self-seeking

Turn to Him–Jesus Christ–who makes us new creations

through faith–

New creations capable of loving and forgiving and reconciling

peoples of all races, economics, politics and creed.

In the name of Jesus

Believe.

Lord God Heavenly Father, when we were dead in our sins You came to us and gave us life in Your Name.  Through the Water and the Word you placed your name–Father, Son and Holy Spirit upon us.  We are Yours.  Open our mouths that we might declare your praise in this world where many other voices can be heard.  May Your sweet Gospel ring true above the din.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

O keep me watchful, then, and humble;

Permit me nevermore to stray.

Uphold me when my feet would stumble,

And keep me on the narrow way.

Fill all my nature with Thy light,

O radiance strong and bright!

~Johann Scheffler, 1624-77

 

 

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Refuge

Kyle Wright cross

Image by Kyle Wright

Jesus, refuge of the weary, blest Redeemer whom we love, fountain in life’s desert dreary, Savior from the world above:  Often have Your eyes, offended, gazed upon the sinner’s fall; yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all.

Do we pass that cross unheeding, breathing no repentant vow, though we see You wounded, bleeding, see Your thorn encircled brow?  Yet Your sinless death has brought us life eternal, peace and rest; only what Your grace has taught us calms the sinner’s deep distress.

Jesus, may our hearts be burning with more fervent love for You; may our eyes be ever turning to behold Your cross anew till in glory, parted never from the blessed Savior’s side, graven in our hearts forever, dwell the cross, the Crucified.

Hymn text by Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-98

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”  Jeremiah 31:25

 

March 19 Testing, Testing

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

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

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the ordeal that has come to test you…you are sharing what Christ suffered; so rejoice in it.” 1 Peter 4:12

Many a waiting hour was needful to enrich the harp of David, and many a waiting hour in the wilderness will gather for us a psalm of “thanksgiving, and the voice of melody,” to cheer the hearts of fainting ones here below, and to make glad our Father’s house on high.

What was the preparation of the son of Jesse for the songs like unto which none others have ever sounded on this earth?

The outrage of the wicked, which brought forth cries for God’s help; then, the faint hope in God’s goodness blossomed into a song of rejoicing for His mighty deliverance and manifold mercies.  Every sorrow was another string to his harp; every deliverance another them for praise.

One thrill of anguished spared, one blessing unmarked or unprized, one difficulty or danger evaded, how great would have been our loss in that thrilling psalmody in which God’s people today find the expression of their grief or praise!

To wait for God, and to suffer His will, is to know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings, and to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.

So now, if the vessel is to be enlarged for spiritual understanding, be not affrighted at the wider sphere of suffering that awaits you.  The divine capacity of sympathy will have a more extended sphere, for the breathing of the Holy Ghost in the new creation never made a stoic, but left the heart’s affection tender and true. ~ Anna Shipton

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.”

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5,8

Lord God, thank you for keeping us dear to your heart in our times of testing.  In Jesus’ Name, who suffered for our sake, Amen.

March 3 Storms Are Stilled

Photo by Mitch Dobrowner

Photo by Mitch Dobrowner

Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54;  Mark 11:1-25;  Psalm 46:1-11;  Proverbs 10:23″

“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear, though the

earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart

of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Psalm 46:1-11

* * * * *

Political waters  foam,

churn,

toss to and fro

the opinions of men

seeking power

wanting peace

wanting it all

without the shedding

of blood

but getting

dangerously close

to the point of no return.

O God,

direct your people

to pray

for the nations

who desire annihilation

of one over the other.

Help us to bear in mind

that you would have had

us all destroyed–all

who do not come to You

in holiness,

and that you destroyed Your Son

on the cross

so that

the power of the devil,

of sin,

of death

over us.

Through Christ,

the raging storm in our souls

are stilled.

We sit and wait

to see that

You will be exalted among the nations,

You will be exalted in the earth.

You, O Lord, are with us.

“You are our refuge and strength,

an ever present help in trouble.”

Lord God, calm our fears, still the raging waters, give us peace.  Thank you for being our ever-present help each and every day.  We need your help–each and every day.  We need your forgiveness.  We need the peace that only you can provide.  Thank you, dear Jesus, for coming down from Heaven to be with us and to become the solution for all our problems.  We give You thanks and praise.  In Your name we pray, Amen.

February 13 Taste and See

Image

Photo by Kelsey Johnson

Exodus 35:10-36:38;  Matthew 27:32-66;  Psalm 34:1-10;  Proverbs 9:7-8

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Oh fear the Lord, you his saints,

for those who fear him have no lack.”

Psalm 34:8-9

 

Taste and See

Salvation came as manna in

the desert

sustaining a nation for forty years.

Taste and See

The Bread of Heaven,

our daily bread,

Jesus,

whose Body and Blood

are given through

Bread and Wine,

sustains us

in our wilderness.

Taste and See

Salvation satisfies the hungry soul.

The Bread of Life,

the Word of Life

fills us, sustains us

even when pantries are low,

when illness steals our appetite,

and rice is our daily fare.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!”

O Lord, thank you for filling us with Heavenly food–with faith that sustains us–with salvation that fuels us–with the Body and Blood of Christ that works forgiveness of our sins.  May we be strengthened through your Word this day and lead a life pleasing in your sight.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.