Abiding, Affliction, Bible, Enemies, Hope, Power, Scripture, Security, Strength

THEY’RE COMING

HABAKKUK 2:7

“‘Will your creditors not rise up suddenly, and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.’”

We have all heard stories from friends who have suffered financial hardships. The creditors start calling and don’t let up. Answering the phone is scary. Even knocks on the door cause fear to enter. Knowing creditors are literally at your door is a frightening thing.

The Lord is telling Habakkuk that these Chaldeans, who think they are so strong and terrible, will be trembling as their enemies fall on them suddenly. They will collapse under the hand of those who they had so cruelly reigned. They will become the plunder. Their “creditors” are going to destroy them.

APPLICATION

Are you living in fear of something? What or who is knocking at your door? If we are not relying on Jesus, we are living dangerously. There is nothing that can protect us outside of Him. He is the only One Who can! He not only knows what is coming. He knew it before they did.

If that doesn’t calm your heart, nothing will. The God of Ages has your back. I do not mean to imply that you won’t go through hard times. We all do. But knowing that the Lord is there to defend you should give you the confidence to forge forward.  I am not trying to paint a rosy, pie-in-the-sky picture. I know this to be true because His Word tells us.

He tells us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Dy 31:6; Heb 13:5). He is our strong tower and the righteous run to Him (Pr 18:10). I could go on and on, but there are literally hundreds of verses that tell us He is there. Trust Him. Let Him defend you.

You are my strong tower, Lord. I will run to You.

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Bible, Hope, Obedience, Salvation, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

WHAT I SAW

HABAKKUK 1:1

“The pronouncement which Habakkuk the prophet saw:”

Have you ever seen anything that you just had to tell someone about? I witnessed both my children being born. I had to tell someone about that. I saw an incredible catch in a football game recently that I immediately had to rewind and then call my wife to see. Some things you just have to tell others about.

Enter Habakkuk. He has seen some things which the Lord has shown him and now he is telling the people about them. He is prophesying the overthrow of Israel by the Chaldeans, a hated group of people. Habakkuk hates the vision, but he has to tell it. The vision is too incredible not to tell. Perhaps the people will repent, and the end result would be different. One could hope, right?

APPLICATION

What has God shown you that you need to tell? If you are a believer, He has shown you salvation. That is definitely something worth sharing. In fact, it is your responsibility to share that with others. You are, in a way, prophesying. You are “telling forth” the good news.

Now, I am not calling you a prophet. But we should do what Habakkuk is doing. We should warn people about the pending judgment by God. All will be judged one day. For the unbeliever, they will face a judgment that will doom them to hell. We should not desire that for anyone. So tell them!

My testimony has been told hundreds of times since I came to Christ back in 1977. It’s been over 45 years, but the story never gets old. God spoke and showed me the way to salvation. I have not lost sight of that path. Did I ever stray? Of course, I have, but He has tenderly and gently led me back to the path. And He tells me everyday to tell others. Let’s do that today.

I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.

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Belief, Bible, Fear, Hope, Salvation, Scripture, Strength, Victors

TO NO AVAIL

NAHUM 3:15

“There fire will consume you, the sword will cut you down; it will consume you as the creeping locust consumes a crop. Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, multiply yourself like the migratory locust.”

I do not like being told there is no hope, so quit trying. But there are sometimes when we just know we can’t do it. A few years ago, I had to go through a physical challenge and score so many points to become a Reserve Officer with my local Sheriff’s Office. Due to a bad, left shoulder I could not complete the necessary pull-ups or push-ups. My other scores were okay, but not good enough to accomplish the score needed. I had to stop the challenge before I finished. I hated that.

Today’s verse may not be clear at first glance. But Nahum is continuing the prophecy against Nineveh. He ends this verse basically daring Nineveh to try to strengthen themselves against the hand of God. They could become as numerous as the locusts, but they would not prevail. It was all to no avail.

APPLICATION

Don’t listen to the naysayers. While we are in Christ, we never give up. There is always hope. He will never leave you or forsake you. We know that because He tells us that repeatedly in Scripture. I have not personally counted them, but I have been told that “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible. That’s enough for every day of the year!

When the world says, “Just give in. Quit trying” you look them right in the eye and tell them you have a Conqueror on your side who cannot be defeated. Your life is in Him, not your circumstances. Do not give in!!! Do not!

There have been times in my life when I wanted to throw in the towel. I had believed the lies. I thought it was all to no avail. Why keep trying? But my precious Lord and Savior reminded me of what He had saved me to accomplish for Him. He didn’t so much save me from something as He saved me toward something. Life was worth it because of Him. Believe that today.

I will believe in You, my Lord, when all else seems to fail. You are my rock and my salvation.

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Advocate, Bible, Future, Hope, Scripture, Security

A “HOPECOMING” 

MICAH 7:12 

“It will be a day when they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, from Egypt even to the Euphrates River, even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain.” 

Right now, here in the U.S. where I live, we have millions of people pouring over our southern border. I am not going to talk about the legality of this or point fingers at who is to blame. I want to look at what is happening. Millions of people are coming to the U.S., most of them in hopes of a better future. They see the U.S. as this great “hope giver.” 

Micah prophesies in today’s verse about a similar immigration to Israel from all over. People would return to Israel, while others would come for the first time. Micah could see the throngs of people pouring over their border. They were seeking more than hope. They were seeking Jehovah, the God of the land. 

APPLICATION 

Ask yourself today what you put your hope in. Is it in the stock market? Don’t fool yourselves. How about your job or source of income? That could change today. Is it your family? Sadly, that can change too. There is no sure thing down here on earth in which to place our hope. 

But…there is the one place we can all place our hope – Jesus Christ. Just like in Micah’s prophesy, people have come to Him from all corners of the earth. People of all languages have made their way to Him to find the fulfillment of life. He is more than hope. He is God, the giver of hope. 

I am so thankful for the hope I have in Jesus. I do not have to worry about my future. It is sure and steadfast in the arms of Jesus. He is my everything. Is He yours? Do you place all your “anxieties on Him because He cares for you”? (1 Peter 5:7). He can give you all the hope you need. 

I hope only in You, Lord. Your promises never fail.

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Bible, Blessing, Compassion, Covenant, Encouragement, Eternity, Following, God's Will, Goodness, Hope, Remnant, Salvation, Scripture

DEW DROPS

MICAH 5:7

“Then the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on vegetation that do not wait for man, or delay for mankind.”

I went fishing early in the morning recently. I took my son and granddaughter. Of course, the grass was wet from the dew that had fallen during the night. In fact, it was very wet. My granddaughter is only 4 years old, so the wet grass got her little jeans wet, even though she was wearing rain boots. She didn’t care too much for that (but she loved the fishing).

The remnant of Jacob is compared to the dew that falls from heaven. They shall bring refreshing moisture to a parched land. All hope was gone when the people had been taken into captivity, but the Lord, through Micah, promises a remnant will return. And through that remnant, salvation shall come.

APPLICATION

Isn’t it funny how God orchestrates things? The people of Israel and Judah were taken in and out of captivity during those years of judgment. All the while, God’s plan of salvation was waiting to be implemented. The Law could not give what the people really needed. He had to show them the helplessness of their efforts in the Law.

Through Judah, Christ came as a baby in a manger. The Lion of Judah was born weak as a lamb. But His life on earth came like that remnant to give hope. This hope will last for eternity, unlike the hope from the remnant. This plan for man’s salvation is eternal.

Are you secure in Christ? Do you know Him as your personal Lord and Savior? That is the only way to find the hope you need. I am thankful for the dewdrops from heaven that I receive each morning as I study His Word and pray. They remind me how blessed I am in Jesus.

Father God, thank You for dewdrops that are sent to remind me of Your faithfulness.

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Angels, Belief, Bible, Born, Compassion, Covenant, Encouragement, Forgiveness, Gospel, Hope, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture

LABOR PAINS

MICAH 5:3

“Therefore, He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth. Then the remainder of His kinsmen will return to the sons of Israel.”

I vividly remember my wife’s labor pains with our first child. She was in labor for quite a while. Her doctor kept her comfortable for as long as possible. When the contractions got closer, he knew it was time to move her to the delivery room. She almost broke my finger squeezing it so hard (note to my male readers: If you are in that position, take off your wedding ring BEFORE she starts squeezing, lol).

“Until the time when she who is in labor has given birth” refers to the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus. It is prophesied here. But the prophecy does not stop there. It goes on to say, “the remainder kinsmen will return.” How glorious! God promises redemption after the coming of His Son.

APPLICATION

The long-awaited Savior was born to a virgin. Salvation has come. Why have so many people been blinded to this fact? Why have they spurned this incredible news? I know people who just cannot wrap their heads around the fact that salvation is free and for everyone. They either think they cannot earn it or that it is meant for only certain people.

It is our job to spread the good news of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection. We need to tell the whole story. The Christmas story is nice, but it was only the beginning of Christ’s story. Mangers and shepherds, angels and wise men make it a memorable event. But that empty tomb tells it all.

I am so thankful that God told us way back in the Old Testament His plan. It should come of no surprise. I am secure in my faith because of what He did through Jesus. I did nothing to earn it and can do nothing to lose it. My salvation comes from Him. Do you know that today?

Away in a manger…Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son, promised so long ago.

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Advocate, Belief, Bible, Hope, Rescue, Salvation, Scripture

O BETHLEHEM

MICAH 5:2

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will come forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His times of coming forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

“Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above
While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love
Oh morning stars together, proclaim thy holy birth.
And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.”

Bethlehem Ephrathah, of course, is known for the prophetic birthplace of Jesus. What you may not know is that this little town was one of the smallest of the smallest in Judah. It was not considered in many of the numberings, but was ridiculed because of its low position in the rank of towns, cities and villages. That is the town chosen by God to bring forth His Son into the world. Of course, it was. Jesus was to come for all, even the lowest of the low

APPLICATION

Never think that you are too low for Jesus. He came for everyone. I was recently in a meeting where we discussed the escape and recapture of four inmates from our county jail. One man said repeatedly that we must remember that those men also need Jesus. How true.

You may be going through a hard time right now and not feel you are salvageable. Not true. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Satan wants to keep us confused about our position in Christ. If you are a believer, you are a child of the King. If you are not a believer, the King awaits you. He welcomes you into His court.

I am thankful for the assurance I have of my salvation. I am thankful that Jesus came two centuries ago into a lowly village named Bethlehem (house of bread). He was indeed the bread of life sent to rescue me and you. Embrace Him today.

“And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.”

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Advocate, Anxiety, Battles, Bible, Comfort, Courage, Devil, Encouragement, Hope, Rescue, Satan, Scripture

BEAT TO PIECES 

MICAH 4:13 

“‘Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs bronze, so that you may pulverize many peoples, and dedicate to the LORD their unjust, and their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.’” 

Have you ever beaten anything to smithereens (that is a good ole Southern word)? That is the same idea as the word “pulverize” here in today’s verse. I can remember taking one of my dad’s hammers outside and crushing rocks with it. I would pound those things, so they were just dust. Ah, childhood memories! Lol 

The Lord is telling Israel that one day they will pulverize their enemies. They will be defeated and blown away like chaff. They will be totally destroyed. This was welcome news since they were on the other end of that timeline, being defeated themselves. But the day was coming when He would restore them. 

APPLICATION 

Maybe you are feeling pulverized right now. Perhaps the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders. You cannot get rid of that beaten down attitude. I have good news. The Lord of all creation knows exactly where you are and how to get you out of that spot. We must remember that Satan wants us to feel that way. When we are down, we usually are not about the Father’s business. 

I only know one way to get rid of that feeling – time with Jesus. As you spend time in the Word and in prayer, that dark cloud seems to lift. Jesus tells us to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Suffering is not all bad. I know that sounds too spiritual for you. But believe me, it is true. 

I have learned to bring all my cares to Him each day. When I am faced with a difficult decision or things do not seem to be going well, I pause and pray. I listen for His voice. Psalm 118:5 says, “From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.”  Let Him set you there also. 

Father, thank You that You hear my cries for help. When I am in distress, I know I have Your ear.  

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Affliction, Belief, Bible, Choices, Comfort, Death, Deception, God's Will, Grace, Healing, Hope, Scripture

JUST LET ME DIE

JONAH 4:3

“‘So now, LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.’”

Unfortunately, I have heard those words from too many people. I remember a young lady that was on my caseload at a children’s home who tried to kill herself. I was called to the cottage to find that she had cut her wrists. We quickly bandage them, applied pressure and took off for the hospital. She kept saying all the way there that she just wanted to die. “Just let me die.” Fortunately, she did not and worked out the issues that led her to this decision.

Jonah wanted to die for two reasons. The first was because he just could not stand the idea that Nineveh was saved. He wanted them dead. He had rather die than see that. Secondly, Jonah did not want to see his own country suffer under the hands of these Assyrians. He had just as soon die than see that. Life simply was not worth living, or so it seemed.

APPLICATION

I pray you never feel this way. I pray you never feel so hopeless that taking your life seems the only option. God has so much for you. I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” That is still true today.

When all seems lost, turn to Jesus. When troubles and trials flood your days, turn to Jesus. He can soothe any wound. He can heal any broken heart. But you have to ask Him. He will not intervene where He is not wanted. But the very second you make that first step towards Him, He is there with a warm and kind embrace.

Trusting Jesus with your life is more than just an eternal decision. It is a daily decision. He longs to guide and direct us. He does not want to see us stray off the narrow road. But He will let us. We are not tied to Him and drug along. Run up beside Him today and grab His hand. He will gladly hold yours.

Oh Father, for the thousands of souls out there today who have no hope, will You send someone in their lives today to share Jesus?

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Abiding, Advocate, Affection, Bible, Commands, Eternity, Heaven, Hope, Refuge, Scripture

REFUGEES

OBADIAH 14

“Do not stand at the crossroads to eliminate their survivors; and do not hand over their refugees on the day of their distress.”

Man, we have all seen the flood of refugees from Ukraine these past few weeks. People are fleeing a war-ravaged land seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Poland, in particular, has welcomed hundreds of thousands. People of all ages, women, children and the elderly are leaving their homes behind to find a safe place to live.

God warned Edom to treat the refugees from Israel (their brothers) with care. They should not mistreat them in any way. They were to not hand them over to their enemies or kill any trying to escape. God cares for those seeking refuge in times of trouble.

APPLICATION

I love Psalm 62:8 which says, “Trust in the Lord, you people; pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” We are all refugees. We have all left our earthly home to move to that heavenly abode. We seek refuge in the God of the universe. He welcomes all.

A refugee forsakes all to find a new home. They may leave behind homes, businesses, cars, boats – everything. Their hope is in that place they are headed. They are seeking somewhere to call home. We are just the same. We are seeking that home with God.

I am so thankful that my permanent residence is already prepared for me in Glory. I may have a home here on earth, but my permanent dwelling place awaits me. I will make that journey one day and never return. I am ready. Are you?

Take me home, Lord, whenever You are ready. The longer I stay here, the more I long for home.

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