Be Ready Be Alert

February 11, 2024

Be Ready Be Alert

Good guys do NOT always wear white hats! Bad guys MAY wear white hats!

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

We must continually be ready and alert.

Be Ready

Know the word of God, the Bible.

Hide His word in your heart.

Be ready to apply His word.

Make reading, studying, and memorizing the Bible a daily routine.

Keep yourselves in the love of God … (Jude 21)

Be Alert

Watch and pray.

Be discerning about what you see and hear.

Compare what you see and hear to what God says.

Recall His word, reciting verses, throughout the day.

Praise God

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24–25)

Remembering Cures and Fuels

February 4, 2024
MegRichardsPhotography.com

Scripture tells us to remember who God is and what He has done. Here are two of the reasons:

Remembering cures fear, depression, and more.

David, when he was in despair, deliberately remembered God.

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You. (Psalm 42:5–6)

Jesus told us not to worry because God knows about our needs, for example, the Father feeds the birds and we are worth more than them. (Matthew 6:25-34)

In a tough, awful place? We are reminded that, no matter what, our loving Sovereign causes all things to work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

But we have to remember! So we have to know!

(See Remembering Cures Scared)

Remembering fuels thanksgiving, praise, and worship.

Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. (Psalm 150:2)

To praise Him, worship Him, we need to know—and remember—His mighty deeds and His excellent greatness.The more we know Him, the more we remember Him, the more we give Him thanks, praise Him, and worship Him.

How

In order to remember, we have to know, and, in order to know, we must know His word. Study the Bible! Make pouring over His word a daily routine. The more we hide His words in our hearts, the more our difficult emotions are cured, and the more we worship Him.

For almost four years, I posted every month about praising Him for something specific. You might want to look at Praise A to Z Volume 1 and Praise A to Z Volume 2. Perhaps something there could give you a boost.

Praise God!

Don’t Listen to Lies

January 28, 2024

Don’t Listen to Lies

In the book of Ezekiel, Yahweh declares wrath and woe on the false prophets who speak out of their own imagination. Those false prophets disheartened the righteous and encouraged the wicked (Ezekiel 13:22). They misled Yahweh’s people. They did much harm by “lying to My people who listen to lies.”  (Ezekiel 13:19)

We are harmed by listening to, heeding, lies.

There are at least two things we must do:

We must take care how, to whom, and to what we listen

So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him. (Luke 8:18)

We should avoid listening to, heeding, some people and to ungodly assertions.

But, how can we know?

We must be able to distinguish truth from lies

The way we become more and more able to distinguish truth from lies is to know God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—and know His word, the Bible.

God is truth (Psalm 31:5).

Jesus Christ is truth (John 14:6).

The Holy Spirit is truth (John 16:13).

The Bible is truth (John 17:17).

If a person or a position doesn’t line up with God and God’s word, it’s a lie. Be careful!

Mission Critical!

Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter.” (Isaiah 59:14)

~~

Father, help us know You and Your Word better. Help us be able to use Your standard in assessing truth from lies. Help us tell others of the Truth.

False Accusations

January 21, 2024

False accusations hurt!

Job suffered false accusations for much of 35 chapters.

Paul, after pouring himself into the Corinthians, was accused by them of not being a true apostle, being deceitful, taking advantage of them, speaking poorly, and more. (2 Corinthians 10-12)

Most, or maybe all, of us have been accused of character, motives or behavior that were not true. The closer the accuser was to us, the more we cared about him or her, the more it hurt.

But God

I love that phrase: “But God!”

But God, our sovereign, loving God is for us and with us. He has a purpose for those accusations in our lives.

The Accuser

We may not ever know the motive of the accuser. Perhaps they are just mistaken and don’t mean harm. Sometimes the accuser knows his or her own tendencies/sins and assumes we have engaged in the same problem. Sometimes the accuser is bearing false witness sinfully (Exodus 20:16).

In any case, pray for your accuser.

What to do

Go to God!

Check your conscience. Is there any truth in the accusation? If so, confession and atonement is in order.

Job was bewildered, and defended himself. God eventually answered Job out of the whirlwind, and Job repented and worshipped God. Job never learned why all that had happened, but we know God, for His own purposes, allowed it.

Paul responded to the accusations because the gospel was at risk. He proved himself to prevent the Corinthians from turning from the truth of the gospel to lies.

Defending ourselves may, or may not, be a good idea. Ask God!

There may be steps to take with your accuser, which will help. Ask God!

Remind yourself about God’s good purpose for you. Everything God brings into our lives, including false accusations, are to make us into the image of Christ.

In Paul’s case, and most likely in ours, God’s purpose was to humble him, to keep him from exalting himself (2 Corinthians 12:7).  It was a gift of God.

Praise God

Praise God that He is making us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

Praise God that He is bringing us to glory (Romans 8:30).

Praise God that He is for us, and with us (Romans 8:31, Matthew 28:20).

Praise God that His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Press on

Stuck on Past Sins or Failures?

January 14, 2024
HarryDurgin.com

Stuck?

I, much too often, mentally dwell on my past sins and failures. Perhaps you do as well. And it is easy to mourn our current situations, reflecting how our sins and failures led to circumstances we don’t like.

Satan likes us to be stuck. He likes to bind us to our past in order to prevent us from serving God in the present.

The Bible lays out the sequence we should follow to get unstuck and serve God here and now.

Confess our sins.

Receive God’s forgiveness. Believe Him! (He promised! 1 John 1:9)

Receive God’s cleansing. Believe Him! (He promised! 1 John 1:9)

Press on!

I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12–14)

While, after confessing, we should not focus on our sins and failures, God does teach us through them. We need to learn what God is telling us, and, with His help, make changes in our thoughts, words, and deeds in order to prevent a repeat of sins and failures.

If we hear yourselves saying “If only,” we are thinking about how we shouldn’t have done something, or should have done something else. That means we are stuck in the past. When we hear ourselves saying “Next time,” we have learned and are pressing on.

God has work for us to do. We can’t be stuck in the past and, at the same time, tackle His work for us today.

Contentment During Trials

January 7, 2024
The big guy doesn’t care at all about the little guys fighting in the background!

Contentment During Trials

We (Christians) can and should be content regardless of our circumstances. Paul, in prison, certainly was. I know contentment is possible if we know and trust our loving Sovereign.

Discontent

I had a four-day, big to me, trial, and contentment was nowhere to be found. Alas.

Even worse, I didn’t even think about stopping to remember who God is, who I am to Him, and determining to rejoice that He is in control and has a loving purpose for my situation.

Grumble. Angst. Agitation. Discontent. Sin! Alas. Alas.

The trial showed me the weakness of my trust. Alas! Alas! Alas!

Next Time

Next time I resolve immediately to:

Acknowledge God’s sovereignty over my situation and over me! I am dependent on Him and know that He is trustworthy to bring good out of the trials He brings to me. He is in control.

Gratefully thank Him for His work in my life, for His presence in me, for showing me in His Word that trials bring blessing.

Pray not only for the resolution of the situation, but also pray that I listen to His guidance and follow it!

God is at work!

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

Thank You, Father!

Bye Bye 2023

December 31, 2023
MegRichardsPhotography.com

Bye Bye 2023

A number of years ago I realized that annually I assessed my work performance for my boss, but that I wasn’t doing the same for my Lord.

Now, I prayerfully review my year:

How did I spend my time?

How did I use my financial resources?

Did I stay in God’s word, daily studying and learning what He would have me know and do?

How was my “prayer life?”

If I made specific (spiritual) resolutions for the year, how did I do?

Are there unfinished issues that I need to address?

Etc.

I ask my Lord: “Next year, what do You want more of? What do You want less of?”

One year, I received a thrilling, new objective that had never, ever, entered my mind. That happened only once, but I do regularly come to know changes I need to make.

My goal is to increasing know Jesus Christ; abide in Him day by day, hour by hour; and joyfully serve Him for His glory.

~~

Father, help me, help us, please You in 2024.

Incredible, but True

December 24, 2023

Incredible, but True

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The Word, Jesus Christ, is eternal God, and was with God from eternity past. (John 1)

At Christmas, we celebrate His coming. God with us!

The non-believer says: “Incredible,” and turns away.

But Jesus Christ, the Son of God, coming as a human, is incredibly, awesomely, true!

This reality should take our breath away. Our Creator humbled Himself that He might manifest God, seek the lost, die as a sacrifice for our sins, and save those who repent and believe in Him.

Praise God!

Merry Christmas!

Prepare for Christmas: Repent!

December 17, 2023
HarryDurgin.com East River, Brooklyn

Prepare for Christmas: Repent!

John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)

 Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

God, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent. (Acts 17:30)

Saving faith

Repentance is mandatory for saving faith. Unless you repent, you will perish. (Luke 13:3-5)

If you don’t know you are a sinner, you won’t repent. And if you don’t repent, you will not be saved. “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)

If you don’t know Jesus Christ, take stock of your life. Honestly look at what you intuitively know displeased God, don’t blame others or downplay your sin. Admit it to God, turn in belief to Jesus Christ, and ask for forgiveness. Ask to be saved from the wrath of God.

A Christian’s Daily life

Repentance and confession is a daily part of a Christian’s life as well, and is fundamental to living a godly life. But we have the joy of knowing that when we confess sin, God forgives us.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Get ready for Jesus Christ

In a few days we will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Let’s be ready to meet Him with joy and not shame.

~~~

Repentance is a great preparation for New Year’s also. Repentance is life changing and good works follow repentance. How are you going to show your changed life in Christ next year?

He Warned Us

December 10, 2023
HarryDurgin.com

He Warned Us

While we don’t know when, God has told us a lot about what.

He warned us on purpose.

Jesus, in the upper room, just before His betrayal, told the disciples that He would be betrayed, and that He would be crucified. He told them in advance for a reason.

From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. (John 13:19)

Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. (John 14:29)

But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. (John 16:4)

God, in His Word, tells us much of what is to come. We are warned that difficult times will come. We are told about coming trouble and persecution and chaos. We are told in advance so that we might be ready and believe in Him through those times, resting in His presence and settled in His promises of glory.

In these increasingly hard times, we should praise God for warning us, for knowing this is part of His holy plan, for His presence and power in our lives, and for being a righteous judge.

We may strain under the circumstances, watching the evil in the world, and wanting God to bring His final victory soon. Although we may be dismayed at His timing, we must trust Him and rejoice at His unfolding plan. He is doing all things according to the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)

When it happens, as it is happening, believe in Him, trust Him, and rejoice.

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When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?

When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready? helps Christians not fear bad news, shows them how to handle current trouble, and helps them emerge stronger on the other side.

If when storms come will you be ready.

About me

I'm a Christian, wife, retiree, and author.
I love studying and putting knowledge into action. I'll share what I'm learning, encourage you, and urge all of us to press on to become more like Christ.

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