Monthly Archives: February 2012

Be Strong in the Lord

“Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, nor dismayed: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9

Joshua, Moses’ successor and leader of the Hebrews in conquering Jericho, was told by God to be strong and courageous, and unafraid because God would be with Joshua wherever he went. He was strong in the Lord.

A while after slaying Goliath who defied the entire army of Israel, the psalmist David wrote, “Blessed be the Lord my strength….” (Psalm 144:1) Verse 2 of the same psalm describes what God was to him—his fortress, deliverer, and his shield in battle. Unlike the humanists who boast of their own strength and wisdom, David knew that his strength came from God. He was strong in  the Lord.

Samuel. a prophet and judge of Israel, called God “the strength of Israel. As long as the Hebrews trusted in their God alone, the Lord would give them victory over their enemies. But if they began to exalt themselves, He would allow other nations to rule over them.

Believers, often called “spiritual Israel” need to remember that our strength is not in who we are or what we can do, but it is only in the Lord. Isn’t the builder of the house greater than the house itself? That thought should keep us humble, even when God’s blessings pour down upon us. If we boast of our own strength, God can reduce us to spiritual poverty. How can we ask Him for anything more if we don’t give him recognition for the victories that we have already been given?

If we know that our strength comes from God, then he will hold our head up and calm our heart as we fight our inner battles or external persecution.  Max Lucado, a well known Christian author wrote, “The key question in life is not “How strong am I?” , but rather “How  strong is God?” Christ follows every believer and gives him strength to endure in all situations. Let us not faint in our unbelief! (Judy Whittaker)


The Peace of God

“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you” (Isaiah 26:3)

There is a peace like a gentle river that comes from within our soul when our self becomes aligned to the mind of God. This peace is the source of tranquility, power, and strength. It is when we are at our creative best.

When we are at peace with ourselves and with God we can bring peace to others—individuals, groups, family, and even the world. It is possible to have world peace and order but only if everyone submits  to the will of God. Idealistic? Yes. Impossible? All things are possible with God who said, ” If my people which are called by my name  shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” ((2 Chronicles 7:14)

George Washington once stated, ” My first wish is to see the whole world in peace and the inhabitants of it as one band of brothers.” What a wonderful goal to aspire to!

As we listen to the sound of water caressing the riverbed rocks, let us imagine that this water is flowing into our soul–the river of God….As we surrender our will to the plans of our heavenly Father, we will notice that we are in one accord with our Creator, the sustainer of all life. Is there any better place to be?  (Judy Whittaker)

The Word of God

God spoke the Word and the earth and heavens were made. (Genesis 1) The Word is like rain and snow coming down from heaven, watering the earth, giving “seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” (Isaiah 55:10,11,12) The Word becomes a tree and the birds of the air lodge in its branches.

Flowers, in order to find air and breathe, break through rocks with a pulverizing force, just like the Word pierces through the soul. It sharpens the believer for prayer and from sin as a whetstone sharpens a tool. (Psalm 119:28) “Is not my Word like a fire and a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)

Faith grows by hearing the Word of God .(Romans 10:17), and according to the Bible, Jesus is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1,14)

The Word is like a bottomless sea, and the more we explore its caverns, the deeper we want to go……. (Judy Whittaker)

Christian Worship

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)

According to the International Bible Encyclopedia, the definition of Christian worship is “the uplifting of Holy joy before the Creator.” It embraces all of a believer’s life and walk with God. The place doesn’t matter, and worship can occur individually or in a group setting. What does matter is the condition of our heart. Worship involves praise, submission, service, and consecration.

The Bible has a lot to say about worship. In the old testament, the Hebrew word for worship is shacah, which means to bow down, prostrate, or serve. Mind and body are included. In the new testament, the Greek word is proskuneo, which means reverence, adore, and serve, but the most common definition is “to kiss”.

The focal point of worship is God in Jesus Christ, because in worshipping Jesus, we worship God. Jesus gives us access to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18). God is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24), so true worship is made possible only through the intervention of the Holy Spirit

Worship is “our attempt to pay the unpayable debt of love…” (International Bible Encyclopedia) We worship God because of His mercy and grace, expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “But God commendeth His love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Prayer can be a type of worship that leads to praise. Praise Him for what we have, what we are, and what we hope to be. Thank God not just for what He has done, but for who He is—our Creator. Be filled with the Spirit! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!!!  (Judy Whittaker)

Bear the “cross”

“And when he had called the people unto him, he said to them, ‘Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

It has been said many times that our “cross” represents our infirmities and our circumstances. I’m sure you have heard someone say, “My cross to bear is my handicap, or my cross in life is my rebellious child, etc.,etc., but is this what Jesus means?

According to the Bible, to pick up one’s cross and follow Him is to experience persecution, rejection, and possible death for the sake of Christ. It involves dying to ourselves ( our hopes, our plans, our dreams), and living for Christ in all that we do. This will spur us on to good works– some of which are-feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned, praying for the world, and esteeming the needs of others higher than ourselves. Living for Christ will  increase our burden for the lost, inflame our desire to serve, and reveal to us our true purpose in life–to glorify God.

The cross is the source of healing, deliverance, and miracles, bridging the gap between heaven and earth. At the cross is a guarantee of future glory and a reuniting of those who have died in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:14)

In a movie were the words, “When two roads are presented to you, choose the one most difficult to travel.” The cross is not easy, but blessings will follow. When we lose ourselves, we find Jesus…….(Judy Whittaker)