Weekly Devotions

Replace Your Fears with Trust

“And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again.  We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us” (2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT).

 
 

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears.  This is a choice.  Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

 
 

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good—if we love him and follow him (Romans 8:28).  If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good—not that all things are good but they are working together for good.

 
 

That means we can stop listening to our fears, because there is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.  God is at work!

 
 

Did you know that your fears reveal where you do not trust God. This week why not make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas.  Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.  Begin to research the scriptures and write down the promises of God that relate to those fears. 

 
 

Now, this is important:  Expect God to help you start learning to trust Him with each and every fear that has ravaged your soul.  Then, watch to see how He helps you.

 
 

So lets see …

  • What fears have you identified in your life?
  • Why do you think you trust God in some areas and not in others?
  • When have you seen God come through when you thought he wouldn’t?

I love the lyrics in the song “Whom Shall I Fear.”  My strength is in your name For you alone can save You will deliver me Yours is the victory

 
 

Whom shall I fear?  Whom shall I fear?

 
 

~ Pastor Greg


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Follow the Ark

“Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people:  ‘When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them.”  ~ Joshua 3:2-3, NLT

 
 

Another translation concludes … “leave where you are and follow it” (NCV).

 
 

Verse 4 in the NIV states … “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.”

 
 

Sometimes life directs us into new avenues, places we have never been.  God, in His sovereignty, has been influential in these new directions.

 
 

Are you facing any new opportunities right now?  Whatever those opportunities may be, it’s always important to “follow the ark.”

 
 

What do I mean by that? Well…sometimes we can hang on to old, stale situations in life, simply because they are familiar to us, and we’re really just afraid of getting into uncharted territory.  And then there are times we can sense something new ahead of us and we just want to step right into it, before it’s God’s time for us to do it.

 
 

In Joshua 3:3, God talks to Israel about following the ark of the covenant.  The ark represents the anointing of God … the presence of God … the will of God.  It’s very important for us to learn to follow the will of God and not our own will or the will of others.

 
 

God has a plan for you and me, and the only way to see that plan unfold is to follow the ark, or the will of God, and not our flesh or other people or our emotions.

 
 

Remember today that whatever God’s will is for your life, He will provide the way for you to accomplish it.

 

Why not pray: God, like the Israelites, I know that I need to “follow the ark.”  My timing for the new opportunities doesn’t matter … only Your will matters.  As I follow You, I know that You will make a way to bring Your plan for me to pass. 

 

~ Pastor Greg


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“You Better Wise Up” – Getting a Grip on Your Life

“Getting Wisdom is the most important thing you can do.  Whatever else you get, get insight!  Love wisdom and she will make you great!”   Proverbs 4:7-8, GN
 
 
Have you seen those series of books “… for dummies?”  Have you bought one?  Who could have guessed their popularity?  Millions upon millions of copies sold.  The series offers expert advice under titles like these …  Parenting for Dummies.  Law for Dummies.  Fishing for Dummies.  The Internet for Dummies.  And the list goes on. 
 
 
Someone said, “it takes the intimidation out of learning.  It’s all spelled out in simple terms.  They make the complex understandable.” 
 
 
I think of the book of Proverbs like this.  Practical wisdom.  Insightful intelligence.  Priceless principles.  If God were to tell you, “You can have anything you want,” what would you ask for?  Solomon got that opportunity and his response was … give me wisdom.  Essentially Solomon knew that to really have it all you must wise up!  Seek wisdom because wisdom pays.
 
 
The world overflows with information, data and knowledge, but there is precious little wisdom. 
 
 
The problem is we usually don’t respond to life from God’s perspective.  “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death”  (Prov. 14:12).  Our natural inclinations lead us astray.  Our predispositions are preposterous.  They always lead to a dead end. 
 
 
So how do we move away from our own detriment?  (1) READ GOD’S WORD!  Solomon starts off the Book of Proverbs by telling us the purpose of his writings.  “Solomon wrote these proverbs to teach his people how to live – how to act in every circumstance.” ~ (Prov. 1:2, LB).  (2) DO WHAT IT SAYS!  “Never forget what I tell you to do.  Do what I say, and you will live.  Be careful to follow it”  ~ (Prov. 7:1-2, GN).  And (3) GET TO KNOW GOD!  How?  Proverbs 1:7 tells: us “How does a person become wise?  The first step is to trust and revere the Lord.”  In Proverbs 9 we are told, “Reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom.  Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding” (v. 10). 
 
 
Get a grip on your life by getting to know God through His Word and Your Obedience to it.  And remember, 1 Corinthians 1:24, “Christ is the wisdom of God.”  All roads lead to Christ.  He enables you to stand strong when things go wrong.
 
 

~ Pastor Greg


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What Matters to God … Final Thoughts

“Among the gods there is none like YOU, O Lord; neither are there any works like YOUR works.  All nations whom YOU have made shall come and worship before YOU, O Lord, and shall glorify YOUR name.  For YOU are great and do wondrous deeds; YOU are God alone.”
~ (Psalm 86:8-10)
 

 

Worship always begins in the heart as a direct response to God’s mercy and moves towards physical actions.
 

 

Here are some ways that we can glorify our God:
 

 

  • Through our thoughts. The psalmist said, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.”  In contrast worshipers realize that God is always aware, (Omniscient).  HE is always involved, (Omnipresent).  HE is always working things out for our good, and HIS glory, (Omnipotent).  God needs to be a preeminent in our thought processes.  Remember, HE is the great “I AM.”  HE is unshakable, unchanging, and an ever-present reality.

 

  • Through our love. True worshipers do more than just think about God.  They love HIM, (Mark 12:30).  What we love most will determine what we genuinely worship.  Love speaks of the desires and motives behind our relationship with God.  It means you want more of God.  You enjoy HIS presence.  You treasure your relationship with Christ.  You long for the move of the Holy Spirit in your lives.  When we love something we attach worth to it.  We are saying this is worthy of our time, our thoughts, our labors and our affection.  When we truly love God it persuades others that God is desirable, good and satisfying.  Loving God means you exalt HIM.

 

  • Through our faith. Faith is not only a doorway into the Christian life but an ongoing expression of our trust in God.  The purpose of faith is not to secure health and wealth in the hear and now but to remind ourselves that in Jesus Christ, God has already given us everything (1 Cor. 3:21-23; Eph. 1:3).  Exercising faith puts both power and wisdom on display.  I love this verse from Job’s experience and conversation with God when life was going wrong for him.

 

“I know that YOU do all things, and that no purpose of YOURS can be thwarted” ~ Job 42:2
 

 

This list of how we can exalt and magnify God can go on and on.  I trust that this is just the beginning of your own personal worship revival. 
 

 

~ Pastor Greg


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What Matters to God … Part IV

“The Lord is great in Zion; HE is high above all peoples.  Let them praise Your great an awesome name – HE is holy” (Ps. 99:2).
 

“For YOU, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; YOU are exalted far above all gods”

(Ps. 97:9).
 

 

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, may YOUR glory be above all the earth” (Ps. 108:5)
 

 

These verses above tell us of God’s exalted position above all peoples; above all the earth and even the heavens.  He is God, the exalted head above all (1 Chron. 29:11).
 

 

Too often we as Christians can contend with God for worship.  But God is a jealous God and He will not dispute this matter with us.  Through His forever mercy He opens our eyes to see what we have missed.  HE is God and we are not!
 

 

In the nineteen seventies we would sing the beautiful chorus of worship …
 

 

            “I exalt thee …
                        … I exalt thee
              I exalt thee … O, Lord.”

 

This powerful worship focused our eyes on God.   I was moved to devotion.  But can I tell you singing isn’t the same as doing.  It’s like me saying to my wife, Reba, “I hug you,” as I pass by her … thinking the words will be a sufficient replacement for an actual physical hug.  My words are meaningless without action. 
 

 

God wants us to worship HIM not only in song but also with our lives.  That’s why Paul would write to the Roman Christians
 

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship”  (Romans 12:1, MEV).

 

 

In response to God’s mercy, we’re to worship God not simply with our words, but with our bodies, our lives.  Worship to God can’t be confined to what we do in the sanctuary on Sunday morning.  Our worship includes the ordinary things in life.  It’s an exaltation of God in every area of our lives.  It’s an all in response to His amazing grace.
 

 

~ Pastor Greg


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What Matters to God … Part III

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  ~ Psalm 34:1-3
 

 

Last year I began a new journey in which I traveled through the dark valley of depression, anxiety, disconnectedness, tension and a profound, incessant hopelessness.  I can’t tell you why, other than I believe it was a definite spiritual attack.  Added to this attack was the fact that I was physically out of shape.  There were physical abnormalities in my blood work that had to be addressed.  This compounded the impact of the darkness.  Things looked bleak.  All I knew to do was continue to approach God.
 

 

The above scripture came to mind in this difficult moment.  “I will bless the Lord at all times.”  Too often we complain about life’s uncertainties, problems and discomforts.  When God desires we worship Him in good times and in bad.
 
 
Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, MEV).
 
 
I don’t think it was a lack of worship that took me down the dark valley.  It may have been worship in the wrong direction.  That’s when we look in the wrong direction for anything other than God to bring ultimate satisfaction, comfort, security or even joy.  This kind of worship is idolatrous.  It’s as if I’m saying, “Fulfill me.  Console me.  Protect me.  Rule me.  You are worthy of the strength, time, energy and affections.”  We may not bow down to idols physically, but the truth is we do it with our hearts.  We make worship about us.
 

 

Instead of trusting God’s sovereignty it is easy to begin to trust our own abilities.  Instead of magnifying God’s mercy, we promote our own efforts.  Instead of exalting God, we exalt ourselves over the situation.  And when things don’t work out like we want them to … darkness pervades. 
 

 

In Job’s story he accepted both the good with the bad.  He knew ultimately that God would bring about good.  “In all of this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10b, MEV).
 

 

What God wants and what matters to Him is our continual worship.  Sometimes it’s a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 27:6; 50:23; Isaiah 42:8).  Sometimes it’s a Holy Roar! 
 
~ Pastor Greg

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