Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness and right standing with You. You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.”
Psalm 4: 1
“The devil may wall you ‘round
But he cannot roof you in;
He may fetter your feet and tie your hands
And strive to hamper your soul with bands
As his way has ever been;
But he cannot hide the face of God
And the Lord shall be your light,
And your eyes and your thoughts can rise to the sky,
Where His clouds and His winds and His birds go by,
And His stars shine out at night.
The devil may wall you ‘round,
But the Lord’s hand covers you,
And His hedge is a thick and thorny hedge,
And the devil can find no entering wedge
Nor get his finger through;
He may circle about you all day long,
But he cannot work as he would,
For the will of the Lord restrains his hand.
And he cannot pass the Lord’s command
And his evil turns to good.
The devil may wall you ‘round,
With his grey stones, row on row.
But the green of the hedge is fresh and fair,
And within the circle is space to spare,
And room for your soil to grow,
The wall that shuts you in
May be hard and high and stout,
But the Lord is sun and the Lord is dew,
And His hedge is coolness and shade for you,
And no wall can shut God out.”
Annie Johnson Flint
Today’s Study Text:
“This is what the Lord says…I have called you by your name; you are mine.”
Isaiah 43: 1
“Consequences of a Fulfilled Life” Part 1
“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue…developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
Philippians 1: 6
Since God has called me by name, what will be the consequence of His completed fulfillment in my life?
“Nothing that is attempted in opposition to God can ever be successful.”
“A tragic mistake that is often made…is to assume that the Will of God is bound to be something very dull and uninviting, if not positively unpleasant. The truth is that the Will of God for us always means greater freedom, greater expression, wider and newer and brighter experiences.”
I don’t know about you but I’ve always had a rather negative view of the word “consequence.” It seems to me when you hear someone say, “You wait until you see the consequence of this,” it is never a good thing they are referring to.
Perhaps part of the problem is that as children, we often associated the word “consequence” with something bad which would happen. If you did something your parents told you not to do, the consequence was discipline chosen to encourage you to change your behavior.
As a teen, if you were caught driving too fast, the consequence might be a traffic citation and a revocation of your driving privileges.
Unacceptable behavior had consequences, most of which were not pleasant.
Well, I’m here to bring you some very good news. Not all consequences are bad or painful or negative. And over the next few days we will look at some “wonderfully fabulous” consequences which occur in our lives as God brings fulfillment and completion in us. In fact, would you believe me if I told you there isn’t one negative element in relationship to the fulfillment God gives us? As author Ernest Holmes wrote, “The will of God is always good.”
This is why I want to take a look at seeing how fantastic the consequences of Heavenly fulfillment are.
How would you feel to know that the consequences of a God-filled life are beyond anything you could ever imagine? Wouldn’t you love to have an attitude of contentment? Would you like a satisfied frame-of-mind along with a spirit of gratitude permeating your life everyday? And how would it make you feel to be delighted because you know you are accomplishing what God intends for your life?
Recently, I read about how some people in India catch monkeys.
They cut a small hole in a sturdy box; then put a tasty nut in the box. The trick is that the hole is only large enough for the monkey to put its hand through, but it’s too small for the monkey to withdraw its hand once it has clutched the nut inside.
So the monkey has two choices. It can let go of the nut and go free, or it can clutch the nut and remain trapped.
Monkeys usually hang on to the nut.
I invite you to let go of anything that hinders you from experiencing the ultimate consequences of God’s “purposeful fulfillment” in your life today. And guess what, you won’t feel trapped anymore in an unfulfilled life! That’s God’s promise.
“The goodness of God knows how to use our disordered wishes and actions, often lovingly turning them to our advantage while always preserving the beauty of His order.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
“Show Me the Way”
“It’s as if I live two lives a part of my mind knows how it ‘wants to act.’ My heart, ripped apart by fear, does the opposite, anger and bitterness are the seeds I’ve shown.
“But deep inside there’s love and I drive myself crazy as I watch that love take a back seat to my defenses.
“I feel trapped, void of any answers to end this madness. Father, please hear the cries of one in the wild; longing to be heard and answered, comforted and loved. One willing to be shown Your way.”
In My Father’s Arms
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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