Christianity 201

March 1, 2020

Courage to Face Fear

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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A year ago, I introduced you to Rev. Tonia Slimm’s blog Growing with God nothing that, “Not to many writers use The Voice Bible as their base text.” Actually, in today’s selection, she uses a variety of the more modern translations, which is a sentiment I share. She’s working her way through Proverbs 30, and I encourage you click through and read other devotionals in the series. To start, click the header below to read this on her site.

Take Courage – Proverbs 30:29-31

Proverbs 30:29-31 (NIV)
“There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing: a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing; a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt.

(MSG)
There are three solemn dignitaries, four that are impressive in their bearing—a lion, king of the beasts, deferring to none; a rooster, proud and strutting; a billy goat; a head of state in stately procession.

(AMP)
“There are three things which are stately in step, even four which are stately in their stride: the lion, which is mighty among beasts and does not turn back before any; the strutting rooster, the male goat also, and the king when his army is with him.” 


“So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up.” ~GOD (Isaiah 41:10 VOICE)

We now find Agur listing four things that he feels are quite stately and majestic. He points out the lion, king of the beasts, the rooster, king of the farmyard, the male goat, in that time used to lead and guide sheep, and the king, leader of country and great armies.

“As always, the Bible uses many natural illustrations so that we can gain spiritual truths. What causes an animal like the lion to walk in such a stately step? He is known as one of the strongest beasts, but it is not just his strength that causes him to stride confidently. It is his lack of fear. He is known as “King of the Beasts” and his strength and prowess give him this advantage; however, his confidence comes because he is not afraid of any other animal and does not turn away for any of them. The spiritual truth that we can glean from this observation is that we also can be strong and unafraid if we walk with God and claim His strength and His confidence.” ~Ronald Nordman

“There are three creatures with majesty in their stride, no, make it four that move with grace: the lion, which is the strongest of the animals, does not back down from any other creature; the strutting rooster, the male goat, and a king as he goes out with his army.” -(VOICE)

We may wonder what the connection is between these four entities; what makes them stately and set apart? Each of these entities is courageous, tenacious, forceful and commands respect. Agur saw wisdom in their examples.

“There are three stately monarchs in the earth—no, four: the lion, king of the animals. He won’t turn aside for anyone. The peacock. The male goat. A king as he leads his army.” -(TLB)

What is it that Agur is trying to teach us in this passage? What bit of wisdom is there for us to learn?

It is this, that just as the lion, the rooster, the goat and the king; we too can have courage and confidence through the Lord. It is God Almighty that will help us to be strong and of good courage. Is that not what God instructed Joshua to do?

“This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9 (VOICE)

David knew what fear was and he knew who to turn to when he was feeling it too. In his time of panic and fear, David was fleeing from Saul, he wrote these words:

“Show mercy to me, O God, because people are crushing me—grinding me down like dirt underfoot—all day long. No matter what I do, I can’t get myself out from under them. My enemies are crushing me, yes all day long, O Highest of High, for many come proud and raise their hands against me.When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone. In God—whose word I praise—in God I place my trust. I shall not let fear come in, for what can measly men do to me?

All day long they warp my words; all their thoughts against me are mangled by evil. They conspire, then lurk about. They eye my every move, waiting to steal my very life. Because they are wicked through and through, drag them out. In Your just anger, O God, cast them down! You have taken note of my journey through life, caught each of my tears in Your bottle. But God, are they not also blots on Your book? Then my enemies shall turn back and scatter on the day I call out to You. This I know for certain: God is on my side. In God whose word I praise and in the Eternal whose word I praise—In God I have placed my trust. I shall not let fear come in, for what can measly men do to me? I am bound by Your promise, O God. My life is my offering of thanksgiving to You, for You have saved my soul from the darkness of death, steadied my feet from stumbling so I might continue to walk before God, embraced in the light of the living.” -Psalm 5 (VOICE)

Remember, this strength and courage does not come through our own abilities, but through the Lord. Paul told the Ephesians:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God.” -Ephesians 6:10 (VOICE)

Paul then goes on to instruct them about what their job was in this mutual relationship with God. Yes, God was going to be their strength and might, but they had something to do as well. Paul told them:

“Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes. We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:11-12 (VOICE)

My friend, learn from the lion, rooster, goat and king; do not let fear rob you of what God wants to do through you. Take courage! Do not be afraid! God will be your strength. He will use you for His glory, beyond your wildest dreams, if you will allow Him to.

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” ~Moses (Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG)

My Prayer:
Almighty God, I need your strength to help me; especially in those times when I am afraid. Please, give me courage to face those challenges that come my way. Remind me that you are always with me and I have nothing to fear. Please bring to my mind your promises; so that I may grab hold of them. When I hear those whispers in my ear from the Enemy of my soul help me to speak forth a rebuke and speak your words of TRUTH. He is a liar and I do not want to fall into his traps. Fill me, Lord, with your wisdom and help me to walk in your ways. Thank you, Lord.

January 28, 2019

God in Your Life Losses

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
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We’re returning today — for the 14th time — to the site, Counseling One Another by author and pastor Paul Tautges. This has been a great source of excellent articles for us and I hope you’ve taken an opportunity to visit the page and read more. Please click the link below to read this one at source.

God Speaks Life Into Your Loss

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (Psalm 119:150)

Scripture heals. It ministers grace to your deepest hurts, since it is the voice of the one who created and redeemed you.

In the beginning, the voice of God brought the universe into existence—brought life out of nothing. “God said” and it was so (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). Now the voice of God revives your soul. The writer of Psalm 119 experienced this inner rejuvenation. In the midst of his “affliction,” the warmest comfort came from the words of God which give “life.” Earlier in the psalm, he affirmed the same:

“Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!” (Psalm 119:24-25)

Loss brings sadness. In turn, sadness sometimes stalls and cracks open the door to depression. Sometimes suddenly. Most often it’s gradual, even unnoticed. Either way, you need help from God. In the middle of your thick fog you need the piercing light of divine truth to break through and speak words of grace and comfort to your hurting soul. So, you can pray something like this:

“Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.” (Psalm 119:77)

Or this:

“Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.” (Psalm 119:143)

When the trials of life drain every ounce of spiritual, physical, and emotional energy from you, God’s Word will be your strength. It ministers to your deepest agonies, and helps you gain eternal perspective.

You can receive strength by appreciating the testimony of others, like Paul: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” is a healing balm (Romans 8:18). Or, again, David: “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction” is a testimony of persevering grace (Psalm 119:92).

Scripture heals because God has spoken. But Scripture still speaks. It is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). In Scripture, the living Word of God—Jesus, the Man of Sorrows—speaks. As you meditate on the Bible, the Spirit speaks life-giving words into that part of you that feels like it died along with your loss.

How about opening your Bible, and inviting the Lord to speak healing truth?

April 7, 2011

Video Devotional By Warren Wiersbe

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:33 pm
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I thought we’d hang on to Warren Wiersbe for another day, this time looking at a couple of video devotionals at YouTube. This one is based on Psalm 30.

Here’s another one, from Psalm 33. You’ll be one of the first people to watch this…