God is Our Provider: Seek Him & Be Faithful.

God was our Provider from the very beginning. He is the only One Who can enter through the door to provide for and protect us, His sheep.

He showed evidence of Himself as He provided food, rain, and kindness to us, His children.

Acts 14:17: yet He did not leave Himself without some witness [as evidence of Himself], in that He kept constantly doing good things and showing you kindness, and giving you rains from heaven and productive seasons, filling your hearts with food and happiness.”

Acts 17:28: For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

And God not only gives us our daily provisions, He gives us all. Because He didn’t even hold back His one and only Son! He cares about us so much that He has numbered the hairs on our heads!

Matthew 6:25-33: “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life?  And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

So we don’t have to worry about what will happen today, or tomorrow or next week or next month. As long as we seek God and His Kingdom and righteousness first, He will take care of and provide for us. Following and obeying God leads to blessings we could never imagine! When we give to Him, of our lives, time, talents, and money, He will give us more, overflowing. He blesses us when we’re faithful in our lives and what He give us.

Malachi 3:10: Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.

Luke 16:10-11: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?

Ouch. So if we want God to bless us in such a way that we have no more room for His blessings, we need to be faithful in what He gives us and what He provides us with.

From the basics to big blessings, God provides for us. We need to only trust Him and be faithful and honor Him with what He gives us.

Always.

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God is Our Provider – Exploring The Psalms!

God provides for us physically and spiritually. He sustains our souls when we are depressed and sad. He helps us as we fight our spiritual battles and in our weaknesses and hard times.

Psalm 68:5: A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.

Those who feel like they have no one always have God. When we feel alone, we just have to remember that God is in Heaven watching over us and by our side, protecting us.

Psalm 68:9: You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain;

You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary.

Psalm 78:20: “Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out

And the streams overflowed;

Can He give bread also?

Or will He provide meat for His people?”

Of course He will. He takes care of the crops with the rain that He sends. He provides food for His believers. We just have to trust Him with all of our needs. We should wait on God, trustfully, patiently. Expecting that He will provide for us. In our dry periods and weariness, He is there to fulfill us. He will wash over us with His love and peace, reminding us that we’re not alone and that no matter what happens, He is with us, providing for our needs.

Psalm 107:1-9: 1 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For His compassion and lovingkindness endure forever!

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,

3 And gathered them from the lands,

From the east and from the west,

From the north and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a [solitary] desert region;

And did not find a way to an inhabited city.

5 Hungry and thirsty,

They fainted.

6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

And He rescued them from their distresses.

7 He led them by the straight way,

To an inhabited city [where they could establish their homes].

8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,

And for His wonderful acts to the children of men!

9 For He satisfies the parched throat,

And fills the hungry appetite with what is good.

I love this! When the children of Israel cried out to God in their distress, He came to them and saved them. He ‘rescued them from their distresses’ and gave them a place to live. After all of their travels, they were finally able to settle down. And what do they do? They praise and thank God for ‘His compassion and lovingkindness’ and ‘His wonderful acts’! When God gives us what we need, when He blesses us as will with abundance, then we must praise and thank Him as well! We are His redeemed by the blood of Jesus so we should worship Him with all of our heart!

Psalm 132:13-18: 13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;

He has desired it for His dwelling place:

14 “This is My resting place forever” [says the Lord];

“Here will I dwell, for I have desired it.

15 “I will abundantly bless her provisions;

I will satisfy her poor with bread.

16 “Her priests also I will clothe with salvation,

And her godly ones will shout aloud for joy.

17 “There I will make the horn (strength) of David grow;

I have prepared a lamp for My anointed [fulfilling the promises].

18 “His enemies I will clothe with shame,

But upon himself shall his crown shine.”

Those that God has chose as His people never have to worry about where their provisions will come from. He provides all that they need! And that is a promise. And we know that since God never changes, He never breaks a promise or lies either! So we can count on His provision.

Psalm 145:14-18: The Lord upholds all those [of His own] who fall

And raises up all those who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to You [in hopeful expectation],

And You give them their food in due time.

16 You open Your hand

And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is [unwaveringly] righteous in all His ways

And gracious and kind in all His works.

18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him,

To all who call on Him in truth (without guile).

Psalm 145 was one of the Psalms I verse mapped back at the end of January and beginning of February! Check out the deeper thoughts I wrote out for these verses.

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Psalm 146:5-9: How blessed and graciously favored is he whose help is the God of Jacob (Israel),

Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

6 Who made heaven and earth,

The sea, and all that is in them,

Who keeps truth and is faithful forever,

7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,

Who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets free the prisoners.

8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

The Lord loves the righteous [the upright in heart].

9 The Lord protects the strangers;

He supports the fatherless and the widow;

But He makes crooked the way of the wicked.

God made all and cares for His people. I think these verses perfectly sum this up!

God is Our Provider – What The Old Testament Shows Us!

Besides the fact that God literally created EVERYTHING, including us, (Genesis 1-2) there are many specific instances in the Old Testament that show us that God is our Provider.

He provides us with all that we need when we need it. Even when it feels like we’re struggling and barely getting by, He is there and He will never leave us!

Deuteronomy 31:6: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.”

He is there taking care of us and providing for us. He promises to never fail or abandon us. And when God makes a promise, we can trust Him and know that He will never break that promise!

God is no mere human!
He doesn’t tell lies
or change his mind.
God always keeps his promises. –Numbers 23:19 CEV

If we truly believe, trust and rely on God, we know that He will always provide for us.

Good. Peace. Stability. They will be provided for us just like God provided for Jerusalem.

When our hope and confident expectation is the Lord then we will be as nourished as a tree directly planted by the waters. We will always have spiritual security through Him and we will not be anxious and concerned when bad things happen.

Think about a tree for a moment. It needs sun and water to grow, right? With a source of nourishment always nearby, a tree will grow big and strong as it relies on the water. It doesn’t question whether the water will be there tomorrow. Be like a tree. Believe and trust in your source of Nourishment and allow Him to grow you and provide for you.

Allow God to bear fruit in you and don’t be anxious and concerned in a year of drought. God has many things planned for those who love and follow Him and will work in the lives of those who trust in Him always.

God is Our Provider – Genesis Was Just The Beginning.

“Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. So Abraham named that place Heb YHWH jireh. Lit the Lord will see (in the sense of “see to it”).The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it Heb YHWH jireh. Lit the Lord will see (in the sense of “see to it”).will be seen and provided.” “ — Genesis 22:13-14 AMP

The underlined text here is a side note. But it’s such an important side note to help us understand Who God is. One of the key attributes of God is that He is our Provider.

Here is a little bit of info expanding on Jireh/Yireh:

Hebrew: ra’ah. This is the common term used in references to the natural function of the eyes and is thus most often translated as see. The word also has a number of metaphorical meanings, such as acceptance and provision. It can even convey the notion of assurance and salvation. In Job 42:5, the word means “to see” in the sense of “to come to recognize” or “to experience fully” something previously known or understood. At times the word is associated with a prophetic message, as a prophet is described as seeing a vision from God.

Yahweh-Yireh means the LORD will see in the sense that He will see to it because Yireh also translates as ra’ah which means ‘see’ or ‘behold’. One of His names literally tells us that He sees us and that He provides for us! Because He does! And when He sees our need, He will provide for us. This name refers to God as being our Provider!

Here, Abraham was so thankful for the ram he received from God that he named the mountain after God and His Provision! He wanted everyone to be reminded that God is their Provider. Abraham had the faith that God would give him what he needed, just as he told Isaac a few verses back.

Here is an AMP side note for this verse: Abraham had complete faith and trust in God. Because God’s covenant with him depended on Isaac, Abraham may have anticipated that God would reveal to him an alternative to the sacrifice of Isaac, as He in fact did (vv 11-13). But Abraham was determined to carry out what God had commanded him to do, because of his faith in God’s promise.

When we put our faith and trust in God, realizing that everything we have comes from Him, we see clearly the provision in our lives. He gives us everything we need, as we’ll see in this series: God is Our Provider!

My Favorite New Way to Bible Study – Verse Mapping!

Over the past month, after discovering it late in December, I have been verse mapping. I even made pursuing God my main New Year’s Resolution this year! My word for the New Year is sort of two words: simplify/ pursue. I plan to simplify my life and use social media less and pursue God and family time more! ☺️☺️

I get up early nearly every morning and study a verse or two from the Bible. I pick it apart and then write my thoughts down about the verses. Almost like a miniature personal Bible devotional!

And I am loving this personal quiet time with God!

I am learning so much about the Bible and about God and what He desires of us. I am learning about His character and grace. How to rely on Him. How to ask Him to change me (in faith and without doubting!).

Since I love this simple way to study so much, I decided to share it with you!

You don’t have to study as deeply as I do, though I recommend it. It takes me around an hour or so to study how deeply I study but I know that’s not for everyone in every season. Some days even I can’t study that deeply. And I’m sure there will be days in the future where that will be impossible some days (especially with a baby on the way). So I’ll give myself grace and simply do other kinds of Bible study. The important thing is to get into God’s Word every day.

So how do I love to study God’s Word now? Simply click the link below to receive a printable on how!

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/f207b4fe-afcb-40db-8f48-3c6cafd9bac5

If you try out this method, please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below! And before you go, here are a few of my pages from this past month!

Christmas 2017 – The Birth Story of Jesus Christ

This is it. This is what the prophets and Israelites had been waiting for. The birth of their Savior. Jesus was born to a young woman, a virgin, in a smelly little stable in a crowded city on a night that changed the world. His birth is what we celebrate during this season.

Jesus, tiny and mighty, the holy Son of God, born as a baby to a lost and dying world had finally come.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin, betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. — Luke 1:26-27 NKJV

Luke ch1 vs28 NKJV.2

A young unmarried woman was chosen to bear the Savior of the world. And as we all know and can imagine, she was troubled by the angel and his greeting but he assured her that she had found favor with God. (Luke 1:30 NKJV)

He told her of the greatness of the Child she would bear and answered her obvious question of how could she have a child if she was a virgin.

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:31-34 NKJV)

Luke ch1 vs35 NKJV.2

And humble and faithful Mary believed the angel of the Lord.

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 NKJV)

But Joseph, her betrothed, didn’t believe her. It took an angel visiting him in a dream for him to believe.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife,  for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:18-21 NKJV)

Matthew ch1 vs22-23 NKJV.2

So he obeyed the angel and took young Mary as his wife.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (Luke 2:1-5 NKJV)

I feel like that while this was a difficult journey and they most likely missed their family, they were glad to leave the judgemental stares and whispers going on around them. A man married a young woman who was pregnant already.

Luke ch2 vs6-7 NKJV.2

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. (Luke 2:8-9 NKJV)

I mean, can you imagine?? When the solar eclipse covered most of North America earlier this year, everyone went crazy with the minute or two or darkness during the day. But here, the flip-side happened. In the middle of the night, it was suddenly so bright. God’s beautiful glory was shown to a group of dirty shepherds. And you know they had to be dirty if they were living out in the fields!

But that’s really what happened right? The infinitely majestic glory of God came down to earth to us dirty sinners. In the form of a tiny infant, God fulfilled His promise to save us all! Glory to God indeed!

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12 NKJV)

Luke ch2 vs13-14 NKJV (2)

Without hesitation, as soon as the angels were gone, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known (Luke 2:15 NKJV).

And they found Him. They found their King and they spread the knowledge far and wide. Everyone marveled at the things the shepherds told them. But sweet and humble Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 NKJV)

She thought on the things that had happened to her and most likely wondered what the future would bring her and her sweet and most innocent Child.

Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20 NKJV)

And the brightness of God’s glory didn’t completely disappear that night. Instead a star shone in the sky and it led a group of wise men from far in the East to bow down and worship the King of the world. For roughly 2 years, a star hung over where Jesus lived! I wonder what the people of Bethlehem thought of that. Do you think they marveled at it for a while and then got used to the glory? They had to have forgotten that special night because Jerusalem was troubled at the thought of a King being born. So the news could not have traveled very far, despite the constant reminder in the sky every night.

That is something we need to watch out for. We can get so used to moving through the motions and reading our Bible and going to church that we get used to the glory God sent down to us from Heaven. This Christmas season, let’s be careful to not forget what Jesus did for us when He was born that wonderful night. Don’t get used to the glory. Be like the wise men and rejoice with exceedingly great joy (Matt. 2:10 NKJV) at the Star in our lives that is Jesus.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: (Matt. 2:1-5 NKJV)

Matthew ch2 vs6 NKJV (2)

 

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. (Matt. 2:7-9 NKJV)

Matthew ch2 vs10-11 NKJV (2)

They immediately fell down and worshiped Him when they saw Jesus. This tiny Child was the King of the world and they knew it, though His people did not. These star gazing wise men from the East had found the Savior of the world and presented Him with the most costly gifts they had. I doubt He wanted them then and truthfully does not want our costly gifts. He wants us. He wants our hearts full of love and obedience to Him. He wants us to follow after Him with everything we have. He wants us to go out like the shepherds did and share the news of His birth, life and death on a cross. The news that He came to save us all.

During this season, don’t get used to the glory of Jesus and the wonder you felt when you were first saved. Remember it and share it with this dying world so that they too may come to the foot of the cross and worship the King.

Christmas 2017 – The Prophecies of Jesus Christ

This week, I’m going to share about the prophecies of Jesus’ birth. The first prophecy is in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 and 15:

Genesis ch3 vs14-15 NKJV.2

Soon after the Fall, God promised Jesus would come to help and save us . He promised that Satan would be punished by Jesus, crushed by Him. Through the descendants of Adam and eventually Abram, Jesus is promised to be born.

‘Instead, he will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him. 

“On the day that you were gathered at Mount Sinai, you begged not to hear the Lord speak again or to see his fiery presence any more, because you were afraid you would die. So the Lord said to me,

‘They have made a wise request. I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him.’ (Deuteronomy 18:15-19 NKJV)

Here, Moses predicts Jesus’ coming and tells the Hebrews about Him and what He will be like. How He will be from among them, that He will tell people what God tells Him to say and speak in His Name. He also tells them how Jesus will punish the non-believers. Punishment is not something that is normally thought about at Christmastime. His Birth is celebrated during this time because He finally came to save us.

‘O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness forever. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. You said, “I have made a covenant with the man I chose; I have promised my servant David, ‘A descendant of yours will always be king; I will preserve your dynasty forever.’” ‘ (Psalm 89:3-4 NKJV)

David was promised to always have a king on the throne. I imagine he believed it would always be an earthly kingdom. But Jesus is King over all instead of just Israel and Judah. And His forever reign started one night in Bethlehem…

Isaiah ch7 vs14 NKJV.2

Immanuel. God with us. God came down in human form, taking the likeness of a tiny newborn, and He came to be with us. He lived among us and died for us. So that we could one day come to be with Him in Heaven.

One of the most remembered sections of the Bible that tells about Jesus’ coming is Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV:  

‘A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called,

“Wonderful Counselor,” 

“Mighty God,”

“Eternal Father,”

“Prince of Peace.” 

His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace. He will rule as King David’s successor, basing his power on right and justice, from now until the end of time. The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.’

Through exiles and disobedience, a new King rose from the stump that was the line of David.

 The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David’s descendants. (Isaiah 11:1-10 NKJV)

The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people.

He will know the Lord’s will and honor him, and find pleasure in obeying him.

He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless.

At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die.

He will rule his people with justice and integrity.

Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats.

Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them.

Cows and bears will eat together, and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace.

Lions will eat straw as cattle do.

Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake.

On Zion, God’s sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil.

The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. 

A day is coming when the new king from the royal line of David will be a symbol to the nations. They will gather in his royal city and give him honor.

When Jesus comes back, those who were saved through His death on the cross will go with Him to heaven, where He will rule forevermore in peace and justice. Nothing will harm us anymore and there will be no more evil as we give honor to our King!

 

Isaiah ch40 vs3-5 NKJV.2

 

The voice crying out was John, proclaiming the coming of our Lord and Savior. While John wasn’t present at Jesus’ birth because he was just an infant himself, he was still destined to lead Israel to Jesus.

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17 NKJV)

Jesus was coming soon. And John was going to prepare God’s people for His arrival. One day, Jesus will come back. What are you doing to prepare for His return?