“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
When tiredness gets the best of us we need to rest. Before we grow weary or begin to faint, we must rest in the Lord. To truly rest in Him is to be silent or still before Him. If all we do is talk to Him how can we truly listen to what He has to say?
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
Are you resting in Him today? When did you last stand in awe of Him? In His presence is a peace that passeth all understanding. As we rest in Him and wait patiently for Him to work His will within our lives we will find that He is Good.
“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”
We see where Jesus told the apostles to rest for a while after they had returned from preaching the Gospel:
“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
Christ knew that the disciples needed to rest, but He also knew where they could find true rest…in Him. When we choose to rest in Him miracles can happen in us and through us.
Ezekiel 37-38 | Mark 16 | Psalm 123
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”
Sometimes we allow the storm around us to shift our focus from where it should be. We learned this lesson from Peter as he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But why did he begin to sink?
“he saw the wind boisterous”
It was when “he saw the wind” that his courage disappeared only to be replaced by fear. But how do you see wind? You don’t see it – you either feel it or only see the effects of the wind. Sometimes we can’t see the storm around us, we only feel it or see the effects of it.
“he was afraid”
But what was he afraid of? The cause of his fear was ”he saw the wind boisterous”. The effect of which was him “beginning to sink”. When his faith decreased he began to sink. He was fearful; he didn’t sink, but he was sinking. There is a difference between sinking and being sunk. Sinking is reversible. The Lord allowed Peter to begin to sink so that he could see he needed a Saviour. Whatever your fear is today, it can be replaced with faith. Sinking can be reversed through faith in the Lord’s ability to deliver us.
We must call for help before we sink.
The solution to both his fear and ours is in crying for help – “he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Peter had faith that the Lord could save him. What a picture of salvation. He knew he couldn’t save himself, but yet he had faith in the One that could reach down His hand to where Peter was. He simply called upon the Name of the Lord in faith, and he was saved. The Lord did not delay His deliverance.
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
If you feel as if you are sinking today, there is no need to doubt. The Saviour is just a call away. Whatever your need, He’s the answer.
Call upon Him today in faith that He is able to deliver you from sinking.
Ezekiel 35-36 | Mark 15 | Psalm 122
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
As we yield to the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us, our lives will be filled with His fruit. If we bear fruit, it is nothing that we have done, but the Spirit that lives within us.
Notice that the Scripture says “fruit of the Spirit” and not fruits. Paul describes a nine-fold fruit which attributes are found in someone who truly walks in the Spirit. Think of an orange with nine pieces inside. In order to have the entire fruit, all nine pieces must be displayed.
As we become a new creature in Christ and begin to grow in Him, our life transforms into His image as we bear the fruit of the Spirit. However, we either have the Fruit of the Spirit of we do not. We cannot pick and choose. If we leave out even one of the qualities, we do not have the Fruit of the Spirit.
If we do not have love, we have no fruit.
If we do not have joy, we have no fruit.
If we do not have peace, we have no fruit.
If we do not have longsuffering, we have no fruit.
If we do not have gentleness, we have no fruit.
If we do not have goodness, we have no fruit.
If we do not have faith, we have no fruit.
If we do not have meekness, we have no fruit.
If we do not have temperance, we have no fruit.
To have the Fruit of the Spirit, we must be connected to the right Source. Jesus Christ Himself explains this in John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.“
There is no fruit without the branches, and there are no branches without the Vine. We cannot bear fruit on our own; for it is not our fruit in the first place, it belongs to Him. In order to bear fruit, we must abide in Him.
Abide in Him today, and be filled with the Fruit of the Spirit.
Ezekiel 33-34 | Mark 14 | Psalm 121
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Ever know someone who not only has to be the center of attention, but must also be commended for nearly everything they do? Sometimes they seem to beg, whine, or even demand your pity or praise. According to Scripture this is far from how God would have us to portray ourselves.
A lowly mind goes right along with contentment and humility. Nothing we do should intentionally promote us, nor should we have false perception of ourselves.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
This does not refer to us comparing ourselves with those around us, but instead we should be concerned with the needs of others above our own: that is true humility.
Sometimes we get so blinded by what is going on in our own life that we neglect to see what others are going through. When we have a pity party about how something affects us, we are distracted from being a blessing to someone else.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
In Chapter 2 of Philippians we read of Christ’s example to us in His humility and His lowliness of mind in how He looked upon our need instead of His own. It is through His sacrificial death for us that we can truly live.
“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Ezekiel 31-32 | Mark 13 | Psalm 120
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Contentment involves being satisfied with what we have, while trusting the Lord to provide for our needs each day.
Paul had learned what it meant to be content. Where did he learn this? The Lord in which he rejoiced, requested all things, and respected. He learned while at His feet and also while he graciously served and suffered for Him.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
He was bold & content because he depended on Christ’s strength and not his own. We can get through the good times and the bad by His strength. Whether we prosper or we suffer, it is by His strength we flourish and endure.
1 Timothy 6:6
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
We can find contentment when we feel our lives with the Word of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Here we find one of the places throughout Scripture where the will of God for our lives is plainly written and given to us. It is the will of God that we are thankful in every situation.
We may not be thankful for the circumstances, but we can be thankful while we are in them. While that may seem confusing, it is actually quite simple. When we, or a loved one, receive a diagnosis for an incurable disease we are not thankful for the situation, but we can be thankful while we are going through it.
Why? God is still in control, and He is working things for our good and His glory. We may go through the fire, but we can come forth as gold. The trial of our faith can be found unto His praise, honor, and glory if only we remain thankful during it.
Job showed us how we can be thankful despite things not going how we had planned or how we would prefer. Job lost all that he had, yet he remained thankful and God blessed him for it.
“And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
He found himself in trial after trial, yet he never lost his thankful heart. He remained thankful and trusting the One he knew was working things for his good.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
How can we remain thankful in every thing? Pray about every thing.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Evaluate your thankfulness today. Are you thankful in every thing?
Ezekiel 29-30 | Mark 12 | Psalm 118
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
In this well known Psalm we find the recipe for a thankful heart:
“Serve the Lord with gladness”
There is serving the Lord, and then there is serving Him with gladness. We should be full of joy, not because of who we are, but Who we serve.
“Know ye that the Lord he is God”
We forget sometimes that we serve the Lord, the Almighty God, the Creator of the universe. In all the chaos of life we can tend to focus on the things and people around us instead of the One Who created us all.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise”
Thankgiving and praise go hand in hand. One cannot be truly felt without the other. When we thank Him, we praise Him. When we praise Him, we thank Him. Having our hands full of thankgiving and praise is a great way to approach His throne of grace.
“be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
We can bless the Lord by coming to Him with a thankful heart.
Instead of focusing on being thankful during the Thanksgiving season, make an effort to carry a thankful heart into each day. Why? “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
A thankful heart rests in the fact that the Lord is Good, His mercy everlasting, and His truth dwells throughout every generation.
Ezekiel 27-28 | Mark 11 | Psalm 117
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
This exact verse is pinned five times throughout the Scriptures. By His grace, we can give Him thanks.
Not just a day of thanks, not just a week of thanks, not just a month of thanks, or even a year of thanks…but a life of thanks is what the Lord desires.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Thank Him for what He has done in the past.
Thank Him for what He is doing in the present.
Thank Him for what He is going to do in the future.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:”
No matter what you face today, give Him thanks.
Ezekiel 25-26 | Mark 10 | Psalm 116
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
When David prayed, his fears were silenced. Just like him, we can exchange our fears for peace. When we need delivered from our fears, we must realize there is a process to our deliverance. We seek him. He hears us, and then He delivers us.
We cannot be delivered from our fears without Him first hearing our cry, and He cannot hear our plea if we do not first seek Him for help. It all starts with seeking Him. There is no deliverance if we do not do our part of seeking Him.
There are several examples in this chapter alone that can encourage us to seek the Lord’s deliverance from the circumstances and troubles of our lives.
“This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”
“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
His ears are always open to our cries for help. There is no busy signal or need to stand in line and wait. He is always there.
Job tells us that our days will be full of trouble as we live for the Lord. We will suffer persecution; but we can be thankful that though our afflictions are many, the Lord is there to deliver us from every one.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
Ezekiel 23-24 | Mark 9 | Psalm 115
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Using a magnifying glass does not change the size of the object that is being viewed; it changes our perception. As followers of Christ, we must be the magnifying glass through which the world sees our Lord. We are to lift Him up so that He can been seen more clearly.
We can magnify Him with rejoicing and love.
“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.”
We can magnify Him with praise and thanksgiving.
“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
We can magnify Him with our life and purpose.
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”
Magnify Him so that others may see Him instead of us.
Lets exalt His Name together today.
Ezekiel 21-22 | Mark 8 | Psalm 114
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