Happy Thanksgiving week! Impossible to recount God’s goodness toward us, His gifts, His mercies, all has been grace. And here we are, ready, and with hearts overflowing with gratitude for this Bible Reading Challenge. We will start week 11 next Monday and I want to encourage you to take the Book of God, and read it. Today. Yes, today, not yesterday. Today, not tomorrow. Today is a good day to come to His Word and be fed, nourished, and strengthened. Come, let your heart be enlarged with gratitude as your come to His Word.
I want to share with you today this quote from J.R. Miller (1840-1912) that I am sure you will find encouraging:
“Many of the blessings we seek in prayer, can come to us only through the Word of God:
We ask to be kept near the heart of Christ — but our Master tells us that only those who keep His commandments shall abide in His love. In order to keep His commandments, we must know them — and we can know them only by reading and re-reading them.
We ask God in the morning to guide us through the day, and in one of the psalms is the prayer, “Order my steps according to Your Word.” That is, God leads us by His Word. If then we do not read the words of God, how can we get His guidance?
The leading He promises is not general, by long stretches — but by little steps. The Psalmist says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet.” It is not said that prayer is the lamp — but the Word. We must carry it in our hand, too, as one carries a lantern to throw its beams about his feet.
We pray to be kept from sin, and in the Scriptures one says, “Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Our prayers to be kept from sin, can be answered only by getting the Word of God into our heart!”
Isn’t that a much needed and wonderful reminder? Let’s be in the Word and in prayer, Friends. We will be surprised to see how much we will grow and how much we will love.
This week we will finish reading Joshua and Acts (I absolutely love this pairing of books!). In Joshua we see God commanding His people to possess the land through warfare, in Acts we see God commanding His people to possess the nations, to advance the Kingdom, through Evangelism.
Both, the Israelites and the early church will face great opposition, but both advance strongly because they are grounded in God’s Promises. God’s promises enables them to be strong and courageous so that they can have the kind of faith that faces enemies and doesn’t shrink back.
I think these two books are especially important for us to read and meditate upon, considering the times in which we are living. We live in a time in which opposition is real and can look very frightful, and we need to learn from these two books how God tells these kinds of stories. We want to learn how God uses ordinary and not so ordinary means to bring victories; we want to learn how God expects us to live, to respond in situations like these. We want to make sure we know how they were tempted, so that we may be able to anticipate temptations and overcome them. We want to advance the Kingdom of God. And as we read, we will see how it is impossible to do it without being in the Word of God, leaning on His promises, and praying fervently.
God has not promised us a life without trials, but He has promised us, His people, that He will be with us through those. So as we read, let’s pray asking God to help us persevere in the Word so that we can be indeed strong and courageous to do the next thing He puts in front of us to do -even when, at the moment, that “next-thing” may look pretty much like our daily, ordinary life.
May our prayer this week be this, “Father, help us to be very careful to love you and trust in your Promises, knowing that not one has ever failed, and not one will ever fail.” (Joshua 23: 11-14)
Reminder: Our weekly Webinar meets at 10:00AM PST. Find it here:
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the team of Christ Church Ladies Fellowship