Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Coffee Break - Times Of Trouble

"Times Of Trouble"

"The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9

Did you notice the verse said, "times of trouble", not just "time of trouble"? It's because trouble comes to us many times during our life- it is not just a one time event. Wouldn't that be wonderful if we only experienced trouble once in our lifetime and never faced it again! But that's not the way it is. Trouble can come to us daily, and even many times a day. Trouble often comes unexpectedly, and at times it seems to be waiting for us around ever corner.

Times of trouble come to us all- none are exempt- but when it does, we are not at its mercy. We, who know the Lord as our Savior, know that He is also our refuge in those times when trouble comes. As we have said already, trouble doesn't happen to us just once in our lifetime, therefore, neither does the Lord come to our aid only once. He doesn't tell us to pick which trouble we want His help in because He is only going to help us once. No, He is a refuge to us each and every time we face trouble.

Are you going through one of those times of trouble this morning? There is a place of refuge and help for you. It's the Lord Himself. He will make His presence your place of refuge. Go to Him and find help, safety, comfort, strength, guidance, whatever you need to make it through these times.

I guess I should add this too. Trouble comes many times, and God will be a refuge each time so don't get the "mentality" that you should pick and choose which time to go to God. Some people do that. That won't go to Him in times of "certain" trouble because they think this trouble is too small to bother God about. Or they think that they have gone to Him too many times already for His help. That's wrong thinking! That's just what the enemy wants you to think so that you will not go to your place of refuge and help so that he can destroy you. You can't go to God too much! You can't seek His help too many times! There is no trouble too small or too big for Him! You are not bothering Him when you do! It doesn't matter how many times you go to Him because He wants you to come to Him.

So, again, if today you are in one of those times of trouble. Remember you have a refuge- Jesus!

Have a great day. Trouble comes to us many times... and God is our refuge each time.

For further reading:
Psalm 27:5
Psalm 37:39
Psalm 46:1
Psalm 57:1
Proverbs 14:26
Isaiah 33:2

Monday, March 30, 2020

Coffee Break - New Day

"New Day"

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Have you ever given any thought to the fact that God has been in the "day making business" for a long, long time? He has made every one of them since the first day-- And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:3,5) Each day, day in and day out, for thousands and thousands of years, God has caused each brand new day everyday.

What does that tell you about the Lord? It tells me that He is faithful. Each new day speaks of His faithfulness. There has never been a time in history when He skipped making a day. He doesn't quit and He doesn't give up. He continues to provide us with a new day every day.

It also tells me of His great power. God has the ability to continually produce the resources that are needed to make a day. He is not limited to supply what is needed. His power is so great that the sun obeys His word and rises in the morning at the appointed time. He is so powerful that all of creation stands fast by His word.

Lastly, it tells me that He is a wonderful provider. If God is able to make a day, He is certainly able to supply everything that we need each day. As a matter of fact, it was in the six days of creation that we first see what a wonderful provider He is. When did He create man? On the sixth, last, day of creation. Why didn't He create us on the first? Or on the second, third, fourth or fifth? If He had, where would we have lived? We would have been floating around in space. Or what would we have eaten? How would we have seen without light? He created us on the last day after He had created everything for us that we would need. When He created us, everything was already here waiting for us- the provision was already made.

I have to wonder if the dawning of each new day isn't also a sign from the Lord to us on a more personal level. A sign, or perhaps a reminder of the faithfulness of God, of His mighty power and of His wonderful provisions.

Have a great day. With each new day, let it encourage you personally that God is your faithful, all-powerful, provider.

For further reading:
Genesis 1
Psalm 33:9
Psalm 19:1,2
Lamentations 3:23
Psalm 97:6

Friday, March 27, 2020

Coffee Break - Behind The Door

Coffee Break 
"Behind The Door"
"And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." - Exodus 12:7,8
The night that the death angel passed through Egypt the Israelites were in their homes safe behind closed doors.  They were safe because the Lord had given them instruction concerning what they must do to keep death from touching their firstborn.  So, what were they doing while locked in their houses?  
1)  They were preparing the lamb for cooking.
2)  They were baking unleavened bread.
3)  They were preparing to leave the land. 
4)  They were eating the lamb.
In a nutshell, they were eating the lamb and getting prepared to step into the promise of God (to dwell in the land He had given them through Abraham).
Some of us have been closed up in our homes during this virus.  I wonder, as Christians, are we doing the same thing during this time as the Israelites did that night?  Are we "eating" the Lamb?  Jesus is the Lamb of God.  Are we partaking/eating of His presence, His goodness, His grace, His mercy and His loving kindness?  Are we "tasting and seeing" that He is good? (Psalm 34:8)  
Are we learning about His promises by spending time in His word-- studying it and growing in grace and knowledge?   Are we getting acquainted with His precious promises?  Do we know what they are?  Are we preparing so that we will be ready to step into His promises when it is time to come out from behind the doors?
What are you doing behind the "doors"?  Are you trying to find things to do to occupy your time with?  Are you binge-watching your favorite television program?  Are you playing computer games all day, surfing the web or hanging out on Facebook, etc.?  I know we are creatures who are geared to entertainment and recreation, and I understand that we have to have some leisure time in life-- the Lord understands that too.  But does your leisure time outweigh your time of getting into His presence and allowing Him to prepare you to step into His plan for your life?  
The Israelites weren't idling wasting time behind those doors.  They were obeying the word of the Lord, they were eating the lamb and they were preparing for their journey.  Are we doing the same?
Have a great day.  What are you doing behind closed doors? 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coffee Break - Misplaced Value

"Misplaced Value"

"Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich." Proverbs 28:6

The scripture is making a comparison here- not between the rich and poor, but between the one who does good and the one who does evil. Unlike us, the Lord puts more value on what a person is on the inside rather than what he has in possessions. What we have is temporary, what we are is eternal. Riches and material possessions only last for a short time, you can't take them with you when you depart this earth and you have no guarantee that you will keep them while you are here.

Jesus told the story of two men- one was a rich man and the other was a poor man, a beggar named Lazarus. By our estimation the rich man was the one who was prosperous and well off, and Lazarus was the one who was poor. God's estimation was different. God considered Lazarus the richer of the two. How do we know? The story goes on to tell us that Lazarus went to heaven when he died and the rich man went to hell. Lazarus may not have had material riches while he was here, but he had eternal ones when he died- therefore, he was the richer one.

True wealth is not measured by the size of your bank account, the size of your house, what vehicle you drive, your annual income. True wealth is measured by Jesus Himself. If Jesus isn't in your life, then you are poor, even though you may have millions in the bank. Many people have misplaced value- they value the things of this world instead of putting value on the things that are eternal. When the scripture asks,"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26), it is really pointing us in the direction of what we should value more highly-- our eternal soul and making sure that we have eternal life when we leave this world. That's the real riches. Any one who wants to have true riches can have them, they come by putting your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and then following Him as your Lord.

Have a great day. You may have lots of possessions but that doesn't mean that you are rich- having eternal life is what makes you truly rich.

For further reading:
Luke 16:20-26
Matthew 6:21
Proverbs 8:18
Proverbs 11:4
Proverbs 13:7
Proverbs 23:5

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coffee Break - It's Changing

"It's Changing"

"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

Who would have ever dreamed a few months ago that we as a nation, and the whole world, would be facing the things we are facing today.   Because of this virus we are facing health issues, economic troubles, isolation from our families, friends and churches.  Sports events, entertainment events, as well as schools have been canceled.  Businesses and travel to other nations have been shut down.  Food and other necessities have become in short supply.  But that isn't the bottom-line.  Everything at this point in our nation is subject to change.  You don't know what new development you may wake up to in the morning.  "The times they are a changing".

There is an endless list of things that have changed that I haven't even already named.  But amidst all the change and all the uncertainty about tomorrow and the future, there is one thing we can rest assured of-- The Lord does not change.  He is the same today as He was yesterday.  He will be the same tomorrow as He was today.  

So, when we say the Lord hasn't changed, what do we mean?  He hasn't changed in power.  He is still able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.  His power does not diminish with time.  He hasn't changed in His love.  He loved us while we were  sinners, and He loves us still today.  He hasn't changed in His faithfulness.  He is faithful to a thousand generations.  He hasn't changed in His ability to work all things together for good.  He hasn't changed in the fact that He still judges sin and at the same time is still more willing to show mercy.  He hasn't changed in His promise to never leave you nor forsake you.  He hasn't changed in His ability to answer prayer.  There is so much more about Him that hasn't changed-- too much to write.  But the one thing that we can count on for sure is-- He is still your answer.  He has always been the answer to all of life's problems and He still is today-- that will NEVER change.

Have a great day.  Things are changing daily-- all except the Lord God.