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“Settled In Heaven’s 6th Anniversary”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

Psa 105:1-3 – “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.   Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.   Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.”

 

Today, April 28th, is the sixth anniversary of Settled In Heaven Ministries.  Over the past 6 years, the Lord has graciously allowed and enabled us to proclaim His Word through the SIH internet-based ministries.  To honor Him and thank Him for His gracious intervention in this ministry, I would like us to look at three short verses from Psalm 105:

 

(1)  O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Two of the greatest ways we can show our appreciation TO OTHERS for all that the Lord has done for us is:

 

  1. “call upon his name” –

The phrase “to call upon” can refer to a few different ideas.  It can mean “to invite”, “to call for help” or “to proclaim publicly”.   Any of these three can flow from a heart of appreciation for the Lord.

Do we invite our Lord to use His spirit to control every aspect of our life?  Do we invite Him to come and use us as He sees fit?  These are ways for Christians to express our thanks for all He has done for us.

Do we look to our Lord in times of need?  Do we refuse to take the “easy way out” of problems, but instead, ask the Lord for grace to help us do what is pleasing and honorable to Him in any given situation?   If so, we are saying “Thank You” to the Lord for all He has done for us.

Do we unashamedly tell others about our Lord and who He is?  When the opportunity arises, are we willing to risk our relationship with a loved one or a friend to share with them their sinful condition, their inability to save themselves. and their desperate need of Christ?  When we do these things we are declaring our gratefulness to Him through self-sacrifice showing His love to others.

 

  1. “make known his deeds among the people”

The second way that we can show our appreciation for the Lord and all He has done for us is by telling others what He has done for us.  Not only His death on the cross for our sins, but the very personal things He has done for us during our lifetimes.  The times He intervened by grace and healed our bodies (or our broken hearts), the times He protected us during times of danger, and the times He accompanied us through the storms of life granting us peace and enablement.

All of these are important messages that others need to hear from us, as they face many of the same issues that He has already brought us through.  In doing so, we are declaring our thankfulness for the Lord and all He has done for us. 

 

(2)  Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works

Four of the greatest ways we can show our appreciation TO OURSELVES for all that the Lord has done for us is:

 

  1. “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:”

Not only are we to rehearse His greatness to others, but also we should display our thankfulness to Him by telling Him what He has done for us.  In doing so, we are forcing ourselves to notice His acts of grace in our lives and humbles us  It reminds us of our shortcomings, inabilities, and our continual need of Him.

 

  1. “talk ye of all his wondrous works.”

As we pray, we can speak to Him from hearts of gratitude and need throughout the day, constantly reminding ourselves of all He has done for us.   By doing this, we are showing ourselves that we do recognize our indebtedness to Him and our need to constantly hold a spirit of gratefulness.

 

 

(3)  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

 

  1. “Glory ye in his holy name:”

We are to be encouraged and strengthened when we think of His holiness, his character, and the privilege we have been given to serve Him.  We are not to be motivated to serve Him for the praise of men, but simply to see our Lord be glorified and honored in us.

 

  1. “let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.”

When we see ourselves seeking a closer relationship with the Lord, we know with certainty, our seeking is due to His intervention in our lives.   What a cause for rejoicing and appreciation on behalf of the people of God

 

 

SIH ministries is our feeble attempt to say “Thank You” to the Lord for all He has done for us throughout our lifetime.  As we look back at what has taken place over the years, all we can do is echo the words of King David who said…

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.   He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”   (Psa 40:1-3)

That is what has been; currently is; and, by God grace, will continue to be the desire of our hearts… to say thank you to the Lord for all He has done for us by declaring His greatness.  And through it all, to lead men to Christ for salvation and to place a greater reverence of the Lord in the hearts of His people.

 

Secondly I would just like to thank all of you who have so faithfully taken part in the ministries here at SIH…. Thanks to the followers, commenters, likers, visitors, readers, rebloggers and social site sharers.  Believe me, you all have been a great human encouragement as we have sought to faithfully post on a daily basis.

Thirdly, please be in prayer for the ministries here at SIH.  By God’s grace, over the years we have tried to be constantly adding to our ministries in an attempt to reach the most number of people with His Word.

 

To date, in addition to our internet homepage ( http://www.settledinheaven.org/ ), Settled In Heaven can be found on the following websites: 

WordPress (https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/ )

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/SettledInHeaven )

 

Also, you can follow SIH on the following social sites:

FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/settledinheaven )

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/109554571051856737762/ )

Twitter (https://twitter.com/settledinheaven )

Tumblr (http://settledinheaven.tumblr.com/ )

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robbarkman/47/819/4a4 )

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/settledinheaven/ )

GodInterest (http://godinterest.com/profile/136480 )

 

Lord willing, within the next year, SIH will be greatly expanding our ministries on: 

GodTube (http://www.godtube.com/settledinheaven/ )

LiveJournal (http://settledinheaven.livejournal.com/ )

 

 

May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness to Him and…

MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AS YOU STUDY HIS WORD!

Share Christ With Others On Ground Hog Day

SIH HALTAL ICONThe SIH Ground Hog Day Devotional:

Are We Spiritual Ground Hogs?

 

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

For this SIH devotional:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4rv

 

 

Ground Hog Day Devotional

SIH STSTA ICON“Are We Spiritual Groundhogs?”
(GroundHog Day Devotional 2016)

Our modern day Groundhog Day observance is a tradition that has existed, in several different forms, throughout several centuries.

Many people believe that Groundhog Day finds its roots in an observance called “the Feast of Lights” which was celebrated in the beginning of February centuries before Christ. It was a day set aside by pagans (probably the druids originated it) to worship of the sun which would begin to gain strength and warm the earth in the Spring and Summer seasons.

As time progressed, The Feast of Lights was gradually brought into the Catholic church and celebrated under the title Candlemas Day. The candle is the chief point that unified the two observances. Candles are used by Catholics to picture Christ as the light of the world, whereas to those who were pagan, the lit candle can represent the light and heat of the sun.

The Catholic holiday of the Candlemas is observed on February 2nd. It is set aside to celebrate Mary’s purification at the temple following Christ’s birth. In this celebration, many candles are lit and used during the worship service. In prior times, Candlemas also was believed to predict the coming weather. If the day of Candlemas was a bright sun shiny day, it was believed that more winter was yet to come. However, if the day was overcast it was believed that Spring was just around the corner.

This celebration of the Candlemas was brought into the secular world as Groundhog Day. Our modern day tradition holds that on February 2nd the groundhog arises from its winter hibernation, comes out of its hole and looks for his shadow.

If it is a sunny day and he sees his shadow, he believes it is an indication there will be six more weeks of winter weather and so he proceeds back down his hole to continue his time of slumber. However if, on a cloudy day, he doesn’t see his shadow he then believes that spring weather has arrived and comes out of his hole and prepares to enjoy the mild weather that will come to pass.

For much more information about the origin and observance of GroundHog Day please see the following links:
http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/
http://projectbritain.com/year/candlemas.html
http://wildhunt.org/2015/02/earthspirits-a-feast-of-lights-aims-to-drive-the-winter-away.html

For the Christian, we all should recognize the heathen origin of the celebration, but also recognize the great opportunity it gives us to share Christ with others. As Christians who possess the truths of God, we have the privilege, and responsibility, to use this worldly celebration as an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. How can we do this? We do this by using the public attention placed on this day, as a tool to present the truths of God’s Word to the celebrants without believing in, or partaking in, the pagan worship surrounding it.

That is what this devotional is all about. It is using a secular celebration as an opportunity to present God’s Word to a lost and dying world…

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

THE STUDY:

The Groundhog Day celebration centers on the groundhog’s reaction to the sunlight. The tradition says, if the sun is shining brightly the groundhog’s shadow will appear and the groundhog will go back into his hole for another six weeks. However, if it is a cloudy day blocking the sun, then the groundhog will remain above ground and enjoy the spring season that has begun.

Much like the groundhog who comes into contact with the sun, most of us have come into contact with God’s Word which clearly reveals to us the light of knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The question that lies before us is “How do we react in the presence of the light of Christ that has shined upon us?

The Word of God directly addresses the consequences of embracing the light of Christ and making it a living part of our lives…

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Let’s take a very quick look at what this passage teaches to us about our reaction to the light of the knowledge of Christ that we have received…

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me…

If we chose to follow Christ, the light of the world, we will gain two wonderful gifts that are worth more than all the world’s riches put together.

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

First of all, by stepping into the light of Christ, we will receive liberation from the bondage of sin in our life.

Christ is the One who has died on the cross to secure our forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. As we submit to Christ as Lord of our life, and turn from our sins and place our faith in Him, we will “not walk in darkness”. This means that we will no longer live a lifestyle that is dominated by sin and rebellion against Him. He will grant us liberation from sin’s power in our life. Someday, He will deliver us from the presence of sin in our life by taking us home to be with Him at our death or His second coming.

he that followeth me… shall have the light of life.

The second blessing we will receive is the blessing of spiritual life in Him. Folks, as a part of fallen, sinful mankind, due to our sinful condition, we are born in a state of alienation from God. The Bible describes this as being “spiritually dead”. When we willingly turn from our sins and turn to Jesus, by faith, He promises to spiritual life which includes being brought into fellowship with God and knowing we will spend an eternity in His presence this is possessing Christ, the “light of life”.

The question before us is this… what is our reaction to this light of the knowledge of Christ that we receive?

Will we act like the groundhog and run from the light, hurrying back down into the “hole” of sin’s bondage? Will we deny our need of salvation from our sins to continue in spiritual sleep of death?

Or, will we step into the light of the knowledge of Christ by embracing it? Will we turn from a life of disobedience and sinful darkness, to a new life in the light of Christ by placing our trust in Him and His work and submitting to Him as Lord of our life?

How we react to the light of Christ is by far the most important decision we have, or will ever make… for it holds eternal consequences for us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

http://www.settledinheaven.org
http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

As We Enter This New Year… The Lord Will Be With His People!

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Isa 42:16d KJV – “These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pK

Isa 42:16 (6): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(“The Lord promises He will care for us in our future situations. He will not turn His back to us.”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Lord promises He will care for us in our future situations. He will not turn His back to us.

Isa 42:16d KJV – “These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

Throughout this series, we have seen the Lord make a series of promises to His people….
1. “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not;”- He will lead us into situations we cannot foresee
2. “I will lead them in paths that they have not known:” – He will lead us into situations we are not experienced to handle
3. “I will make darkness light before them,” – He will reveal to us our future events in His way and in His time.
4. “I will make…crooked things straight.” – The Lord will clear the way for us to victoriously serve Him in the midst of situations

And His final promises made in this text is:

5. “These things will I do unto them” – to keep His previous promises
6. “and not forsake them” – and to not abandon us

What a blessing it is for us to know He affirms these are promises that we can rely upon and He will not leave us destitute when the future difficult events of life come upon us…

A. Our Lord is in absolute control of our lives and every event that enters into them.

Isa 46:10 KJV- “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”

B. Everything that will take place will be either sent or allowed to come into our lives and they will result in our benefit and His glory.

Rom 8:28 KJV – ”And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

C. He will never walk away from us or turn His back on us. He will always be there every step of the way.

Heb 13:5 KJV – “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, as we enter into this New Year, if we have a living relationship with the Lord God, Jesus Christ, we have nothing to fear, nor do we have reason to be anxious or concerned… He has promised us these things and reaffirmed them to us several times in His Word. We can count on Him to keep these promises to us.

May the Lord bless each one of us with His grace and peace as we enter this New Year trusting Him every step of the way!

Psa 25:4-7 KJV –
“Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.”

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Lord Clears The Path For Us To Follow Him!

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Isa 42:16d KJV – “I will make … crooked things straight.”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pF

Isa 42:16 (5): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(“Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Will Straighten Them Out”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Will Straighten Them Out

Isa 42:16d KJV – “I will make … crooked things straight.”

The New Year will hold situations that make the course of our lives very difficult to negotiate. At times, our paths will be so twisted, we will not be able to see where it is taking us; at other times, it will be so confusing, we will not know what our next step should be.

These types of situations require faith in our Lord, His sovereignty in allowing this situation upon us, His ability to grace us with His leadership, His enablement allowing us to be profitable in His service, and His intervention to remove any roadblocks that stand in our way …

Isa 48:17 KJV – “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

Isa 45:2 KJV – “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:”

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For the Christian, it is these twisted times of life that cause us to recognize our vast inabilities and our need of Christ every step of the way…

1Jn 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

As we begin this New Year, let us enter it with a Godly attitude of humility and appreciation for His enabling graces during the crooked times of our lives.

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Lord Reveals Our Future In His Time!

SIH HALTAL ICON

Isa 42:16c KJV – “I will make darkness light before them”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pv

Isa 42:16 (4): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(“Our future will be revealed to us one event at a time”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Our future will be revealed to us one event at a time

Isa 42:16c KJV – “I will make darkness light before them”

The Lord promises that He will reveal what lies ahead for us in His time and in His way. What a blessing that is for each of us! The Lord, who knows what our tomorrow holds, would only allow us to face our trials in life after He had worked in our hearts, matured us, and strengthened us in preparation for the trial that was to come.

1Pe 5:10 KJV – “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

Keep in mind, there is a very good reason why we are not able to see what the future holds, for many of us, it would be a burden too great to bear. Stop and think about it. Picture yourself, when you were young, what would it have been like to have revealed to you all of the trials you would face during your lifetime. WOW! Would it not have been too much to bear? For me that would have been the case.

I am so thankful the Lord allowed many of my trials to remain hidden from me until the time came for me to face them. It allowed me to enjoy my life prior to the trial and allow me to concentrate on the Lord and His service rather than being constantly obsessed with the future and what trials I would have to face.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, we need to thank the Lord for not being able to know what the future holds for us. Although we know He will be with us every step of the way, if we know all the trials and heartaches that would be coming our way, it would be very difficult indeed.

Likewise, we need to be thankful that the Lord DOES know what our future holds for us. In that way, secretly, He is able to prepare us for what is to take place while still keeping us from days, weeks, or years of anxiety anticipating the trials that are yet to take place. Then, when His timing is right and His secret work of preparation was complete, He then allows the trial to come and accompanies us every step of the way.

What a wonderful Lord we serve. It is this same Lord that is constantly at work in our lives, preparing us for what lies ahead. He will lead and guide us every step for the way as we enter the New Year and the unknown events that it holds for us.

Job 23:8-10 KJV – “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Lord Uses Unfamiliar Life Situations To Grow Our Experience and Wisdom

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Isa 42:16b KJV – “I will lead them in paths that they have not known:”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pr

Isa 42:16 (3): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(“Our future holds events that we have never experienced”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Our future holds events that we have never experienced”

Isa 42:16b KJV – “I will lead them in paths that they have not known:”

In this section of Scripture, we can see a very basic truth that we all have experienced in our lives on earth…

Our future holds events of which we not have prior experience.

As we progress through our lives, we all will face situations of which we have no previous life experience. In many cases, these are the most fearful of all situations we must face.

It is one thing to face a situation of which we are experienced and have a basic idea of how to successfully proceed; but, it is entirely different to face a dilemma which comes upon us unexpectedly and we have no past life experience to guide us.

When we go through these times of inexperience, uncertainty, and anxiety, we are reminded of our inability and great need of our Lord. But beyond working humility in our lives, it also reminds us that experience is a wonderful, and in many cases, unappreciated gift from God. Experience provides us with much wisdom and understanding of how to fulfill God’s will for us as we pass through life’s difficulties. Experience supplies boldness and confidence in the face of difficult life issues.

Job 12:12 KJV – “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.”

With age comes experience and with experience comes wisdom and understanding. This is why Solomon points to gray head as one that has great value and honor…

Pro 16:31 KJV – “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

Pro 20:29 KJV – “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.”

There are many of us that look at old age as a burden to be borne and a hindrance to Christian service, but from the standpoint of experience and wisdom, old age is actually a great blessing that can enhance our service to God.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When we are faced with unfamiliar life problems, we should always remember this is a wonderful opportunity for the Lord to teach us much needed wisdom in this area. Then, with that wisdom we will be able to deal with similar circumstances in the future, as well as help others who are faced with the same type of life situations.

Gaining experience in dealing with life’s problems should be looked upon as a great blessing with a heart of gratitude for the Lord leading us into this new life issue, thereby gaining valuable tools to help us and others as we live our lives for Him.

Pro 4:5-7 KJV – “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

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The Lord Leads Us Into Unforeseen Trials So We Might Grow Spiritually

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Isa 42:16a KJV – “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not…”

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pm

“For We Are But Of Yesterday”

SIH STSTA ICON(The SIH 2016 New Year’s Devotional)

With the coming of each New Year, we are reminded of the quickly passing time and shortness of the physical life that we possess.

For some, the concept of a short lifespan on earth is a thing of dread and fear. They possess dread because they know that the pleasures, possessions and relationships of this world will quickly pass away; and fear, due to confusion and uncertainty about, and an unpreparedness for, a coming afterlife.

However, in comparison, there are those who recognize that life is only temporal and will be followed by an eternal existence that will offer a much better existence. These have prepared for its coming and joyously await its arrival.

As we come face to face with another New Year, I just wanted to take a few moments to review the Biblical teachings on the temporal nature of life on earth and the great need to prepare for a coming afterlife while the opportunity still exists for each one of us.

THE SCRIPTURE:

(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) (Job 8:9 KJV)

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas 4:14 KJV)

THE STUDY:

Job, in our text, describes the quickness of the passing of our life as “we are but of yesterday”. In other words, Job is simply saying that, as we look back to the past events of our life, from birth onward, they seem to have just taken place “yesterday”. How very true this is!

On this New Year’s Day, stop and think about the past events of the previous year. For most of us, these events seem like they took place just yesterday.

Now, stop and think about some of your major life events that have taken place throughout your lifetime: births and deaths; sicknesses; new jobs and residences; anniversaries and graduations; and, for the Christian, the moment the Lord brought you unto Himself, trusting in Him for salvation. As you think about all these events, do they not seem to have taken place just a short while ago? For many of us, even the events of life that took place 30, 40, or even 50 years ago, now seem to be fresh in our minds and hearts, as if only a few days have passed.

Job even goes further in emphasizing the brevity of life when he says… “our days upon earth are a shadow”. See also: (Job 7:6, 9:25, 14:2; Psa 78:39, 89:47, 102:11; Isa 40:6).

Understanding the two basic characteristics of a shadow help us to understand what Job was trying to teach us. First of all, a shadow lasts only a short period of time, much like our life in comparison with the eternity that is to follow. Secondly, a shadow is constantly changing (due to movement of the person casting the shadow and the orbiting of the sun)… this pictures for us our temporal life and the many changes that take place on a day by day basis.

Job is bringing to our minds a very basic principle of living that we experience with every new day… Because our lives are uncertain and experience changes every single day, we do not know what each new day will hold for us. James even implies that because our lives are brief, uncertain, and changing, we cannot be sure if we will live yet another day…

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas 4:14 KJV) see also (Proverbs 27:1, 1 Sam 20:3)

Folks, looking back over this last year, we all know people who have passed on unexpectedly. Whether it be by accident, sickness, or the actions of another, every day people pass on before us suddenly with absolutely no prior warning. Perhaps, they expected to celebrate the coming of this New Year along with us but, sadly, they are no longer with us. In this fallen, sinful world unexpected deaths are a very common occurrence.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

With the passing of this, and every New Year, we are reminded of the changing, fleeting nature of our lives. The most important aspect of these life principles is the need to take advantage of the time we have been given on earth and use it wisely.

What is the wisest possible use of our time? It is living our lives in preparation for the eternity that is to come. Because our physical lives and the world in which we live are temporal in nature, only that which is done for eternity’s sake will be of lasting value…
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1Jn 2:17 KJV)

So how do we live for eternity? For the lost it means by coming to an understanding of the true God, our condition before Him, and our need of faith in Him, and the eternal blessings that await the people of God:

1. The Lord Jehovah is the true God over all men. God the Son, Jesus, is the only One through whom we can gain access to God the Father. (Psa 83:18, John 14:6; 1 John 5:20)

2. All men have committed sin and stand before God as guilty, unable to save themselves through their works of righteousness. (Rom 3:23, Rom 3:19, Titus 3:5)

3. It is by grace through the God-given gifts of repentance and faith that a sinful man can receive forgiveness and salvation from the punishment of their sins (Acts 3:19, Acts 11:18, Eph 2:5-8. 1 Thess 1:10).

4. The newly forgiven individual is adopted into God’s family, made a citizen of the eternal, spiritual nation of Israel, and made heirs of an eternal existence with God. This forgiveness, and the blessings that accompany forgiveness, are eternal in nature, can never be lost, based upon the completed work of Christ on the cross (Gals 4:5, Eph 2:19, Roms 8:16-17, Heb 10:10).

For the saved, it means to take advantage of the opportunities we have to show Christ to others around us, by living a Christ-like life through our words, actions, and lifestyles. (Roms 8:28-30, Eph 1:4)

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Isa 42:16 (2): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(“Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds…

Isa 42:16a KJV – “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not…”

This part of our text gives us a two-fold promise from the Lord…

Promise #1 – “The Blind By A Way That They Knew Not”… There will be times when we will face paths that are unfamiliar to us:

Folks, due to our humanity, we are blinded to life’s unfamiliar, stressful, circumstances that await us. Although we cannot foresee them, they should not surprise us when they occur, for they are a part of living in this fallen world.

These unexpected life events cause anxiety and tensions within us. These worrisome times are trials upon any Christian’s faith. However, although they are some of the most difficult times in our lives, they can also be some of the most profitable as well.

The Apostles Peter and James explain to us that, when we face trying times in our lives, they are blessings in disguise, producing spiritual growth, fruit bearing, and reaping eternal rewards for us…

Jas 1:2-4 KJV – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

1Pe 1:6-7 KJV – “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

These are the hidden purposes behind the many stressful times that enter every Christian’s life.

Promise #2 – “I will bring” … The Lord will be the One that will bring us to these unfamiliar paths in our lives.

Bringing us into ways we do not know is an act of God’s grace and an act of His hand of blessing in our lives.

Is there anyone among us that desires a closer walk with the Lord? From our previous experiences, we know that it is during the unexpected, trying times in our lives that we are brought to a closer relationship with the Lord. It is during these same times that we learn to more diligently seek His will as revealed in His Word, and turn ourselves over to a more complete reliance upon Him…

Psa 119:67-68 KJV – “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.”

Our Lord loves us so much He allows unforeseen trials to enter our lives to bring (or keep) us closer to Him and grow in strength and knowledge. He does it to be of long-term benefit to His people. This is why our Lord actually leads us into these unexpected times of our lives… He is working for our good and His glory.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Just a personal note… Over the years of my lifetime, I have learned that, in some cases, the ending of a trial in my life does not necessarily mean that “better times are ahead”. On the contrary, sometimes the end of one trial was the prerequisite to a greater trial that would swiftly come my way.

Although, at the time, facing a consistent stream of trials seemed to be overwhelming and even unfair; I now realize that many times the Lord bought the earlier trials in my life to prepare me for the greater trial that was to come. Without these preliminary smaller trials, I would not have been spiritually strong enough to handle the greater trial that I was destined to face.

Please always keep this in mind…. As we pass through each surprising difficulty in life one of two principles is at play. Either, it is the Lord wanting to bring us closer to Him so we can live a more useful, blessed, peaceful life in the near future; or else, He is graciously equipping us for a greater trial that is yet to come, that otherwise would be far too great for us to bear.

In either case, the Lord leading us into this time of unpredictable hardship is an act of His grace, working in our lives what is for our good and securing for us eternal rewards as we faithfully walk through our life’s trials with Him.

May we all look ahead to the unknown events of this New Year without fear. Instead let’s look ahead with joy, confidence and faith knowing our Lord will be with us and enabling and caring for us every step of the way as He brings us closer to Him and enables us to handle any hardship that may come our way.

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Are You Prepared For The Unknown That Your Future Holds?

SIH HALTAL ICONJas 4:13-14 KJV – “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4pg

 

Happy New Years For Settled In Heaven Ministries!

NewYears2013

 

 

{Postings of Settled In Heaven’s Daily Devotionals and Bible Studies will resume on January 2nd 2015}

 

New Years Holiday Devotionals:

 

A Christian’s New Year’s Devotional

SIH’s Think On These Things – New Year’s Devotional For 2013

2016 New Year’s Day Devotional: We Are But Of Yesterday

New Years Holiday Devotional Series:

New Years Devotional Series: Entering The Unknown By Faith

Isa 42:16 (1): “Entering The Unknown By Faith”

SIH TOTT ICON(Introduction – “Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!”)

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns.  These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core.  This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.

In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.

Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help us to handle all the “unknowns” that this New Year will hold for us.

Our devotionals will be looking at:

1. Dec 26th – Our Uncertain Future…. Faith Is The Key!
2. Dec 27th – Our Blindness To The Events Our Future Holds
3. Dec 28th – Our Future Holds Events We Have Never Experienced
4. Dec 29th – Our Future Is Revealed To Us One Event At A Time… In The Lord’s Time
5. Dec 30th – Our Future Events May Be Hard To Maneuver But The Lord Straightens Them Out
6. Dec 31st – Our Lord Will Care For Us Every Passing Day

May the Lord bless our study!

TODAY’S TEXTS:

Isa 42:16 KJV; Isa 43:1-2 KJV; Mat 6:25-34 KJV; Heb 11:8 KJV; Jas 4:13-14 KJV;

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Our Uncertain Future… Faith Is The Key!

Folks, as we begin this series I just wanted to remind us of the four basic principles we will be emphasizing in this devotional series…

 

Principle #1 – We cannot know what tomorrow holds…

Jas 4:13-14 KJV – “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

 

Principle #2 – The Lord promises that He will be with us and enable us as we face the coming unknown events in our lives…

Isa 42:16 KJV – “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

 

Principle #3 – The key to handling the coming, unknown, events in life is our trust in the Lord and His promise of care that He made to us…

Mat 6:25-34 KJV – “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

 

Principle #4 Faith in the Lord is what allows us to remain faithful to the Lord as we step out into the unknown.

Heb 11:8 KJV – “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”

These are the four principles that will prepare us the unknown events that this New Year will hold for each one of us.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all look ahead to the unknown events of this New Year without fear. Instead let’s look ahead with joy, confidence and faith knowing our Lord will be with us and enabling and caring for us every step of the way!

Isa 43:1-2 KJV – “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

May the Lord graciously bless us as we embark on this devotional series.

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Have A Blessed Christmas From Settled In Heaven Ministries…

ChristmasBlessings

John 1:18b – “The Word Declared God”

 

(2015 SIH Christmas 18-Part Devotional Series)

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Throughout this series we will be looking at a Biblical character described as “the Word”.

Who was “the Word”?

This is a title given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can clearly see this by taking a look at just a few of the verses we will be covering in this series:

In these verses, we are told that “the Word”…

John 1:1 – “was God” (Matthew 1:23)

John 1:2 – “was in the beginning with God” (Colossians 1:17)

John 1:3 – “all things were made by Him” (Hebrews 1:2)

John 1:4 – “in Him was life” (John 3:16)

John 1:10 – “the world knew Him not” (Isaiah 53:2-3)

John 1:11 – “came unto His own” (Philippians 2:5-8)

John 1:12 – “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (Galatians 3:26)

John 1:13 – “was made flesh and dwelt among us” “was full of grace and truth” (John 1:17)

Etc. etc.

We can easily see from these quotes from our devotional text, and the corresponding references from other parts of the Bible, clearly, without any doubt, our Lord Jesus is the One that is given the title “the Word” in this devotional text.

Why was Jesus given the title “the Word”?

The Greek word for “word” is the word “logos” – one of the definitions of this Greek word is “an expression” or “something that is said”.

In other words, Christ expresses God to man. Through Christ we have God revealed to us. This is much like our words that reveal our thoughts and intents to others. This is the basic reason why Christ is described as “the Word”.

This same truth is brought out in the text of our devotional series as well as throughout the remaining portions of God’s Word…

John 1:18 KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 KJV – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Joh 1:18 KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

 

…he hath declared him

 

Although God is unable to be seen with our physical eyes, (18a – “No man hath seen God at any time”), The Word, Jesus, can reveal God to us.

The Word shares a very close, intimate relation with His Father (18a – “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father”), which allows Him to perfectly know His Father. This allows The Word to “declare” (reveal, unfold) the Father for all of us to see…

Mat 11:27 KJV – “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

The Word declared that He was revealing His Father to us in three ways…

1. The works of The Word were the works of the Father (John 5:36)

2. The Word declared the identity of the True God (John 17:26)

3. The Word’s words are the words of God (John 14:10)

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, do we want to enjoy an intimate relationship with God Himself? Then look to The Word, Jesus Christ, His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection.

In Christ, we will not only be able to learn about the Father, but we will find the way to a relationship with God, forgiveness of sin and the possession of eternal life…

Joh 14:6 KJV – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1Pe 3:18 KJV – “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

For those of us who have come to a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ… may we use this holiday season as an opportunity to share Christ with those around us. It is during this time of year that the lost world seems to be the most open and receptive to listen and receive our testimony of Christ and all He has done for us.

Let all of us hold forth the testimony of the Christians of John’s day…

1Jn 4:14 KJV – “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

May we all have a blessed holiday season knowing our sins have been forgiven and we are enjoying a close relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Christ Has A Perfectly Intimate Relation With His Father…

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Joh 1:18 KJV – “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father,…”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4oM