What if God made your bed for you?

When you take care of the poor, God takes care of you. Verse after verse in the Bible reiterates this same truth. A person may say that it’s a bad thing to be redundant, but when it comes to important truth, it’s not all that damaging. So, just for good measure, let me say that When you take care of the poor, God takes care of you.

Psalm 41 begins by saying, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” Pretty amazing truth right? But it goes on. The next verse says, “The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.”

Wow, so far you have protection, life, blessings, and deliverance from your enemies! What else could you ask for? Well, the next verse gives you healthcare.

“The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” Incredible! God says that those who care for the poor will be strengthened when they are sick! The second part of the verse is a little harder to understand. God will “make his bed” when he’s sick?

I used a concordance on this part and the word for “make” basically means “to change,” so in essence, God will figuratively change the sheets. So in essence, God will make his bed. I’m guessing this has some significance in saying that the period of sickness is over. But let’s not think too much about this, God is obviously saying that the man who gives to the poor will be healthy, and that’s an amazing promise!

Let’s take advantage of that promise today.

I challenge you, consider those who are less fortunate than you are. Ask God to give you the inclination to help others and send people across your path that need help. Obey God, and watch His blessing flow on your life. Give Him the glory no matter what, and let others see His power.

Focusing on the symptoms, and not the disease?

Imagine if you went to the doctor with a serious illness. You described the symptoms to him, and he told you that you had a serious disease. In our imaginary situation, you have cancer. The doctor explained that the cancer would severely weaken you, so, he prescribed that you should drink a lot of coffee, take a few energy drinks, and stay positive. Now, you would obviously get a different doctor. It’s not that hard to understand. We understand that that we can’t fix a problem by addressing the negative results of the problem. In order to fix the problem, we must do just that.

You may have thought that the previous illustration was a ridiculous one, but i would invite you to truly think about the idea in a spiritual context. Think about the world. When we pray for the world, we often try to fix the symptoms but not the problems. We think, "We need world peace." Or "We need to fix our governments!" Or, "We need to . . ." Consider this, if the people of the world turned to the great physician, would not their social ills be cured? Are not their "problems" only a result of their lack of a savior? Let’s say you taught people to live in peacefully, would they really be cured? Don’t they still need God? Let’s say their government was freed from corruption, would that truly fix society?

I challenge you to rethink your prayer life and rethink your view of the world in general. There is one disease. There is one cure. The disease is sin. The cure is Christ.

It’s easy to get distracted by all the problems of our society. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by every issue that needs to be addressed. My friends, just like a renewed focus on Christ fixes all that is wrong in your life, that same focus when brought to this dying world, will cure them and rid them of a multitude of errors.

I challenge you, pray for your nation. Pray for the world. Pray that God will send laborers and that God will renew His church. Never forget, this world doesn’t need custom cures for each and every problem. They need Christ. Introduce them to the Great Physician, and watch Him do what only He can.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases" – Psalm 103:3

Cleanliness is next to Godliness? Who says so?

Hearing that phrase always confused me. Why is being clean, next to being Godly? That doesn’t even make sense. I mean, God made dirt, didn’t He? Aside from the 2nd grade logic of God made dirt so dirt can’t hurt, I couldn’t understand why these OCD put it in a folder people wanted inflict their lifestyle on us clutter and pile organized people. My argument was always like, Hey, now that my room is clean, I can’t find anything!

If you have felt this way before, or remotely along the same lines, this devotional is for you. Going through life, I have found that it’s easy to be lazy. It’s enjoyable to be freed from organizing everything. But organization, and cleaning require discipline. And discipline requires crucifing your flesh. Every time we discipline ourselves, we teach ourselves to do something that we don’t want to do. After a while, when you develop a habit of doing something that is good, whether or not you want to, it becomes easy to do right.

Proverbs 22:29 reads, Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. God tells us that when we are diligent, we will be recognized. If we decide to work hard, and not be lazy, we will be rewarded.

Galatians 5:24 says, And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Clutter and messiness normally comes from a lazy and sloppy person. Doing the easy thing, and allowing yourself to be unorganized is sucumbing to your flesh, the flesh you are supposed to crucify!

I challenge you, make an effort to be diligent. Make an effort to organize yourself. If we decide to obey in the little things of being organized, then we’ll find that it’s easier to obey God in the big things. Crucifying the flesh is a command from God. Let’s make a decision to stand against laziness and clean up our lives.

BTW: when your place is clean, you’ll find it easier to think clearly too!

The great thing about mercy

God loves all His children. He loves to hear them cry out to Him. He wants them to go to Him in times of distress. God has all the power than anyone could ever need.

Today I would like to share just one simple thought with you. A thought about mercy. It’s simple.

Mercy is not deserved.

In fact, when you look the word up in the dictionary, it says, "to treat an offender better than he deserves." It’s not deserved.

You can’t earn mercy.

So my simple thought to you, is that when you find yourself in a predicament where you deserve serious consequences. It’s not too late to turn to God. It’s not too late to beg for mercy. The Psams records at least 10 times where someone calls out to God for mercy. God has an abundance of mercy, and he loves to act on behalf of His children.

Whatever your situation, call upon God in faith. Ask Him to show mercy. Ask Him to work on the hearts of those in authority that they would show mercy. Call upon Him out of a pure heart. And wait to see the power of the Lord.

God knows that we are frail. He understands that we are dust.

"So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." – Romans 9:16

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." – Isaiah 55:7

"For thy mercy is great unto the heavens," – Psalm 57:10

“Behold to me” vs. “Look to the stars”

Our lives are often fraught with trying situations. Impossible odds and formidable difficulties. Many times, God’s promises to us seem faint and distant in light of our present circumstances. Such was the situation Abram found himself in thousands of years ago.

Abram was faithfully serving God. God had promised Him that his descendants would be a great nation. There was however, an apparent wrench in the works, as it were. Abraham was old. His wife was old. They were past childbearing years. From a human’s perspective, it was impossible to have a child.

This situation is played out in the discourse found in Genesis 15:1-6. Abram is simply asking God about His promise. In Abram’s speech, he says, "Behold to me thou hast given no seed." It looks impossible, in fact, Abram even suggests that his steward be his heir. Think about that for a moment. Think of Abram’s situation. He’s old. It looks like it’s past time. Did he miss out? Did he mess up? Did he misunderstand? What’s going on? Why doesn’t he have a son? Has God forgotten?

Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps you applied for a job and didn’t get it. Or a relationship didn’t work out. Have you ever felt discouraged because of your "impossible" situations? I know I’ve felt that way many times. There is only one solution. You must go to God.

Just like Abram, we must take our eyes off our surroundings and fix them on our all-powerful God. In this account, Abram asks God for reassurance and God answers. God tells Abram that his heir will be his own son and then God pretty much tells him to take a walk.

After they had gone a little ways, God says, "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." That’s a pretty amazing promise for a childless man with a barren wife.

The next verse tells us that Abram believed God, and God reckoned Him righteous. I’d like to ask you a question. Is the Word enough for you? If you were Abram, would you simply believe God? Abram did. We don’t see any further conversation. God says it, and Abram believes it. That’s how our walk with God should be.

Do you believe the promises in God’s Word? Do you claim them as your own or have you forgotten His goodness? When we stray from God, we forget Him, and we forget His goodness. I would challenge you, stay close to God, trust in His Word. Remember how good of a God He is. He’s watching out for you, He’s taking care of you, and everything will be alright in the end. Don’t look down at the world around you, look to the stars, and remember his promises.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." – Hebrews 11:6

A second look at Psalm 23

Psalm 23:2,5 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

Still waters, green pastures, a cup that runs over – these all have a similar thing in common. They are more than necessary. They are blessings that have a little something extra. I’ve been reading some sheep farmer manuals and I’ve gathered that still waters aren’t absolutely necessary for a sheep’s survival. They prefer still water. I’m sure sheep could live off of any old pasture, but the good shepherd gives them green pastures. Lastly,  God gives so much blessing that our cup runs over. Oftentimes, God’s blessings are so plentiful that we cant even contain them!

There are so many blessings we enjoy in our lives that are extra. God provided for us, then He added something just to give us pleasure. God didn’t have to make different colors or tastes. God didn’t have to make nature beautiful, or bless us for doing right. God is good to us, simply because He wants to be.

Today I would like to challenge you: look at God’s blessings in a new light. Next time you enjoy your favorite meal, remember, God didn’t have to give you the best. He did it because He wanted to.

Are you thankful for His blessings? Are you grateful? Realize the goodness of the God we serve. And praise Him for it!

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, andfor his wonderful works to the children of men!” – Psalm 107:8