“I Am With You to Deliver You”

Good morning. It is Tuesday post-Monday, March 24, 2015. 13 days until Opening Day!!

Today’s word of the day is gammock. This is a noun, meaning “A piece of fun; a game, a jest; a frolic. Freq. in pl.: antics, ‘tricks’.” It can also mean, “As mass noun: fun, sport; foolery.”

Today is Chocolate Covered Raisins Day. While I am not overly fond of raisins, I love chocolate, and am of the opinion that it makes just about everything better. Except for maybe Jello. I haven’t tried chocolate covered Jello.

Yesterday wasn’t bad, for a Monday. The day went by really fast, for me. Christi had a late meeting, and didn’t start home until around 6:00 PM. I cooked chili for dinner, and we got caught up with Secrets and Lies. As of right now, we think the wife did it. 😀

Tonight, I have the Huddle meeting, which I have missed for three consecutive weeks. Wait . . . one of those, we didn’t meet, for Spring Break. So I’ve missed two consecutive meetings. It will be good to meet with my brothers again.

Not much else going on, so, now that the gammock is done, I will get to the serious stuff. See what I did there? 😀

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.

Psalm 24:7-9

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

(From Solid Joys)

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 1:8

Today’s reading is “Ministry and the Fear of Man.”

The sermon that this reading was taken from was directed more toward young people, but the message of the reading applies to all who would be involved in any kind of ministry.

“A great obstacle to serving the Lord, especially among the young, is the fear of rejection and opposition.” Yes, this is true. I confess that I am sometimes afraid to share the Gospel or to minister to people. I don’t know how they are going to react or respond. Several times, I have asked a person at work if there was something I could pray about for them. One time, I even asked a Sonic carhop. I have gotten mixed answers, but no one has ever seemed angry. Usually, the reaction is surprise, at first, and then gratitude, even if nothing is requested. But I still fear the response of men. As I get older, that fear declines, but it is still there. “The fear of man is a great hindrance to ministry.”

So, God tells us that we should not be afraid, because he is with us and will deliver us. “God’s presence and approval is more valuable than all the accolades of men.” He will deliver us. We will triumph; we will be more than conquerors, in Christ Jesus.

. . . for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Right before the initial verse for today’s reading, in Jeremiah 1:7, God tells Jeremiah, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’.” Here are some reasons why God would say this, and these reasons are good for any of us, no matter what our age.

  • “Because your life is rooted in the unshakable, sovereign purposes of God. You have been chosen and consecrated and formed and appointed for a great purpose.”
  • “Because God’s authority, not your own, is behind your going and your speaking.”
  • “And because God himself will be with you to deliver you in all your trials.”

Father, I need to learn this in my life, that my life is rooted in your unshakable, sovereign purpose. I know this, my brain knows it, yet my heart forgets, and I experience fear and anxiety over silly things. I need to remember that I have been chosen and consecrated and formed and appointed for whatever purpose you have for me, whether it be great or small. Are there truly any “small” purposes in your Kingdom? I need to remember that it is your authority, not mine, that is behind everything that you you have called me to do. And, most importantly, I need to remember that you will be with me and you WILL deliver me!

I pray for this day, that we would have safe and smooth passage to work and back. I pray for Christi’s work day, that she will be able to accomplish that which you have set aside for her. I pray for Stephanie, that you would show your great love to her, and show her the purpose you have for her life. I pray for my work day, that it will go smoothly, and that I can get caught up with the work that I have to do.

I pray for my parents, that you would continue my mother’s healing and recovery. I pray for healing for my father, that you would restore his muscle strength. May you keep them safe in their home, and give them your peace over everything. I pray for Rachel and Justin, that you would open the doors for Rachel to achieve her career goals, and that you would give them whatever they need for this day.

I pray for our Huddle group that meets tonight. May you draw us closer together, as brothers, even as you draw us closer to you. Teach us how to be and make disciples.

Your grace is sufficient.

These words are very encouraging, and we would do well to remember them. God will never leave us or forsake us. He is with us, to deliver us.

Grace and peace, friends.

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