Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous fall.
Jesus took upon Himself all our sins and died in our place on the cross. Yet we think He does not care enough about us to look after the things that matter to us, the things we insist on worrying about in our humanness instead of turning all of it over to Him. He promises to sustain us, the righteous, so it is important that we remain glued to Him so He will consider us righteous.
Herbie entered the kitchen, turned the light on, and opened the fridge door. He looked to see if anything appealed to him but all he found was some cold meat. A sandwich might help me get some sleep, he thought as he pulled the covered container with the lunch meat out and grabbed a loaf of bread from the freezer compartment.
His mind buzzed with the information that his accountant had relayed to him that day. His income tax bill was going to be a large one. Where would he get that kind of money? He reached for a plate and then slammed it on the table. He cringed. No sense in waking Janet too.
The business had been growing, he knew that. He and the men in his bible study had been praying that things would turn around for over a year now and they had but…he never considered what that would mean in the way of the tax department. Why didn’t his accountant warn him before now? Because he hadn’t given the man any figures to work with…until now. He grunted. How could he be so stupid?
Herbie slapped some mustard on his sandwich, sliced some tomato and reached back into the fridge for the lettuce. Might as well make it a big sandwich, he thought sullenly. It’s going to be a long night.
Just then, a thought popped into his head. His men’s study had met just that morning, before he’d gotten the bad news. They’d talked about how God had grown his business, among other things, and how He cared about even the smallest details. Then…maybe…would God want to hear about these details? Did He already have an answer to this situation too? Maybe…
Herbie thought long and hard as he chewed on the mustard seasoned sandwich. Obviously worry had not solved anything…and eating himself into oblivion was not going to do anything for him except give him an upset stomach…so why not let God provide the answer. After all He knew all about this a long time before I did.
Why do we always think that God provided a way for us to live abundant lives but then just leaves us to hang out there all by ourselves? Don’t we believe that if He died for us, He must care what happens to us…even the smallest details? God loves each one of us who seek to do His will and follow in His footsteps. He loves even those who ignore Him but for those He calls righteous, we have His added protection. Seek Him. Give over worry that gains you nothing and hand it to the Lord of Lord and the King of Kings.
Father thank You for caring about the smallest details in my life, for loving me so much that You would die for me and then provide answers for living for all the years I have here on earth. Help me seek You first, instead of losing sleep and spending exhausting time with worry. Amen.
Is there something in your life that is consuming your thought life, worrying you into oblivion and yet you’ve not gotten any closer to an answer? Seek the Lord and try Him on for size. See what He has in store for you.by
Psalm 23:3 – He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake
Peace and contentment come only to those who walk with the Lord, in His paths of being set-right-with-God. We see the material things we have as totally sufficient while those who walk in dis-belief strive and thirst for more all the time, never content and certainly not guided by peace.
Christa leaned toward the woman seated on her right. They were going to the mall for a whole day of shopping. Girl-time, just the two of them. “Glenda, are you looking for anything in particular?”
“Naw. I just want some time to wander through the shops. If I see something I just have to buy, I’ll buy it…maybe. But, I really don’t need anything.” The older woman glanced toward her younger friend. “What about you?”
“Oh, I can always find something I want. Usually more than I need but then I love to shop. Some of the people I work with are wearing that new color that came out this spring. I think it would look good on me.” She giggled. “Terry thinks I’m a shopaholic.”
Glenda worried about her friend. Her closets were full of clothes, some she still hadn’t taken the tags off yet. Christa was a collector, never satisfied with what she had but always looking for the latest and the greatest, whatever the other people she knew had. Her husband of one year was getting really concerned for their finances, Glenda knew. He’d shared his concerns with her just last night.
Glenda patted her friend’s hand. “Let’s just enjoy the day. I’m looking forward to lunch at that new restaurant.” Glenda hoped she’d have an opportunity to discuss Christa’s habits over lunch. Lord, she prayed as she looked out the window again, give me the words to say that will make an impression on Christa. Help me to share You with her today.
The two women arrived at the bus stop in front of one of the largest department stores in the mall. They disembarked, strode purposefully toward the entryway and were off, looking in one store and then another. Before they had passed by less than on tenth of the shops, Christa had purchased a few bags full of clothes. Glenda shook her head. “Let’s have lunch before the crowd gets too thick,” she suggested.
Christa was discontented. She had no relationship with Jesus and fed her need of Him with things rather than the Savior Himself. Her excessive shopping could affect her marriage and her budget. Yet, she didn’t recognize the problem. Glenda, a fairly new believer, walked with a new purpose in life and a sense of peace that she didn’t fully understand but knew that was what her friend was lacking. The peace that only God can give, that satisfies the soul, was what she hoped to share with Christa over lunch.
Can you remember when you thought things would satisfy that hunger, that longing for peace, but never knew where to get it? Jesus quenches the soul thirst as nothing else can. People who have absolutely nothing can live a satisfied life with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Father thank You for giving me peace, contentment and satisfaction in all that You provide. Thank You that You care enough about me to want what is best for me. Praise You Lord for being all that I need or will ever need. Amen.by
Psalm 9:4 – For You have upheld my right and my cause; You have sat on Your throne, judging righteously.
In this verse, we see the God who judges righteously as He protects those who seek Him. David writes this praise to the God whom he has walked with, the One who has made sure he ruled even when the current King Saul wanted him dead. King David gives credit where credit is due since he knows that without God’s intervention, he would be dead already.
Gord walked down the dark dusty alley, heading toward the spot where he’d parked his Harley Softail. Shadows slithered along the walls, gathering speed it seemed to the distraught man. What was wrong with the woman he’d married? Why’d she hate him so much?
Three weeks before, he’d come home to find her with another man. She’d told him that she was leaving and taking their two kids with her. She was moving in with this man who, Gord suspected, had no intention of marrying her but was just using her. She wouldn’t listen to reason and the day she’d left, when Gord had tried to stop her from taking his son, she’d hit him with a rolling pin. Then she’d called the police and charged him with abuse.
Tonight, at her request, he’d come to see the kids. He didn’t trust the neighborhood so had parked his bike in a fenced lot with a night watchman who happened to be a friend. When he’d arrived, he found his kids crying and the house in turmoil. His ex-wife opened the door angrily and had ranted on him the entire time. Before he was there for ten minutes, the police arrived. Apparently she’d gotten a restraining order against him.
But…a neighbor came to see what all the commotion was about. This woman had befriended his ex when she’d moved in with her boyfriend but, apparently, was not a loyal friend. She told the police that she’d been in the house when Gord’s wife had called to invite him over. When she’d hung up she’d laughed that now she had him and told her neighbor how she’d planned to get him jail time.
When the police heard the story, they let Gord go but not before they took him aside and warned him that this was not the first time they’d seen a vindictive woman seek to destroy her ex-husband. Gord was stunned that the woman he’d loved for ten years could be so different from the one who he thought he’d married.
He began to breathe a little easier as he approached the fenced in compound where his bike was stashed. He opened the gate just as the night watchman left his hut to make his rounds of the yard. “Hey Grip, You were right.”
“Yeah? What’d she do?” The large black man laid his hand on Gord’s arm as he looked him squarely in the eye. He listened as Gord told him the sorry details of the last hour and about the neighbor’s intervention. “I know that gal. Good head on her. She’s a believer too. In fact, she’s why I suggested you leave your bike here.”
A lone tear trickled down Gord’s cheek. He hugged his friend, a man he’d met when he’d begun attending the church near his almost empty apartment. There, weeks before, Gord had given his heart to Jesus and had been in a men’s Bible study ever since. These men were his support and they taught him how God loved him and would protect him if he walked closely in the paths that God chose for him.
Gord was lonely but he felt loved as he never had before. And tonight, he understood for the first time, how much he needed God’s protection. All of us need to wear the breastplate of righteousness, God’s protection for our heart. We need to be aware of the dangers (the belt of truth) but we also need protection as God intervenes in our lives when we seek Him.
Lord, just as you provided a neighbor who could tell the police the truth, I need You to go before me and cover me with Your protection wherever I travel. Help me keep my eyes on You, to seek Your wise council, and help me discern truth from lies. Protect me from the enemy’s attempts to destroy me. Amen.by
Job 36:7 – He does not take His eyes off the righteous, He enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.
Because we do not take our eyes off God, He calls us righteous and He will protect and defend us. Is that true, you might ask? What about all the suffering in the world today? What about the poor people in Haiti, who one year after an earthquake devastated their country, are still living in squalor and disease ripe conditions? Job is a story of suffering. God protected him, elevated him with wealth and even gave him a new family. The Bible is truth so we can believe the verses that tell us God sees us as righteous when we exalt Him above all else and He will protect us.
Jeremy drove through the sun ripe countryside. His old beat-up Kawasaki had seen many miles over the past year as he’d traveled coast to coast. Every time he’d stopped for food, gas, or shelter, Jeremy had looked for people who needed his help or people whom he could share the love of Christ with. Now he was on the final leg of his journey. Only 800 miles to go and he’d be home again.
The fields on either side of him shimmered in the hot August sun. For miles down the highway, he’d not seen another vehicle, and the communities he passed were few and far between. The farms were very large, it seemed, with crops approaching the time of harvest. The heat beat down on him radiating off the cement highway. His shirt was soaked. He’d packed his leathers under the bungee that held his gear in place. It was too hot to wear them.
Just then, his bike began to sputter. He looked at the gas gage. There should be plenty of gas in the tank to get me where I need to go for a fill, he thought, but the gage read empty. He pulled over to the side of the road, placed his feet firmly on the paved shoulder and tapped the gas gage. It can’t be.
Jeremy looked around. Wheat, as far as the eye could see and there were no vehicles approaching from either direction. He stood and looked farther. He spotted a grain elevator in the distance. I guess I’ll have to walk. Jeremy bowed his head. Father, you know where I am and you know where I can get some gas. Please protect my motorcycle while I walk to that grain elevator to find someone with fuel. Amen.
Jeremy lowered the kick-stand. He turned just as a large tanker truck pulled up behind him. Where did he come from, he wondered. He wiped his hand across his brow. It was so hot out here. A man stepped out of the truck and walked toward the stranded biker. Jeremy smiled, held out his hand in greeting. “Man, am I glad to see you.”
“Need some help?” the man asked as he shook Jeremy’s hand.
“I seem to be out of gas but…”
“Well, I guess I can help.” The man pointed to his truck. The side of his truck had a large Shell logo across the length of it. “A couple of gallons should get you to the next town.”
“I was going to walk over to that elevator.” Jeremy pointed to his right.
“There’s nothing there. That place has been shut down since the nineties. Here let me get the fuel so you can get on your way out of this heat.” The man walked back to his truck, stepped around to the back and returned a few short minutes later with a jerry can in his hand. “This should do it.”
Jeremy’s mouth dropped open. “How much do I owe you?” He didn’t wait for the man’s response as he opened his gas tank cap and began to pour the pungent liquid into it.
“Nothing. It’s only a couple of gallons.”
Jeremy handed the can back to the driver, thanked him profusely and then watched as the good Samaritan returned to his vehicle. He turned toward his bike, swung his leg over the seat and then twisted his body to wave his thanks once again but…
There was nothing there. No truck. No man. Nothing. Where had he gone? Then Jeremy bowed his head again. Lord thank you for sending one of your angels just when I needed him. Amen. His devotions that morning had told of God’s care for those God considered righteous. Thank You, Lord. Jeremy shook his head and smiled, his grin larger than it had been any time on his year long trip.
Jeremy felt warm all over, and not from the summer sun either. God loved him and cared about what happened to him. His provision was right on time. God provided some fuel for a lone biker travelling across the prairie just when he needed it and He will look after you too.
Lord, You care about us even when we aren’t expecting it. You surprise us constantly and yet Your word tells us that You are a caring Father and that You know what we need before we need it. Your provision is always on time. We should not be surprised but we always are. Thank You Lord. Amen.by
The devil often attacks our heart, the seat of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. God’s righteousness is the breastplate that protects our heart and ensures His approval. He approves of us because He loves us and sent His Son to die for us.
Righteousness (acting in a morally correct manner, correct by divine declaration – set right with God)
Genesis 15:6 – Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
Abram believed what God promised him and because his faith was in God, not the promise, he was set right with God or declared by God to be righteous. Our faith, even as little as a mustard seed, needs to have its foundation in Jesus Christ, in His person and His work.
Glade walked into the clubhouse. He smiled his usual greeting to the man heading in his direction. Buzz pushed by him as he stocked toward the door. “What’er you so happy about? Life stinks,” he grumbled. The clubhouse door slammed as Buzz disappeared through it, leaving Glade standing, staring after the unhappy man.
“Hey, Deeter. What’s with him?” He hollered to the one other person in the room.
Deeter looked up from the newspaper he’d been reading. “Don’t know. Don’t care.” Deeter’s gaze returned to the article in front of him.
Glade shrugged but the image of unhappiness that permeated the place reached out and grabbed like a tangible hand. He shivered. What was it about the club that made him feel so unloved and unwanted these days? Then he remembered the sermon his pastor had preached in church the day before. He’d talked about a Christian’s need to guard their heart, to protect their inner most being from the attacks of the enemy.
Was it possible? He scoffed. Of course it was. This place was ripe with Satan’s markings. Everywhere he looked he saw, with eyes that seemed to be clear for the first time, evidence of how the enemy controlled the lives of all who entered the doors of the club. The heaviness weighed them down. He could feel it. I need to leave. Glade marched toward the door he’d just come through.
The pastor was right. He needed to protect his heart by immersing himself in the word, and traveling with people who also loved God. Especially now when he’d given his life to Christ. There was nothing he could do for his fellow bikers until he became stronger in his faith. Maybe one day God would lead him back here but for now he needed to put the club and its members behind him.
Glade was right to take what his pastor preached seriously. If we don’t wear our righteousness, the set-right-with-God shield, openly, we are more likely to step back into old habits. We need to wear it like a badge of honor whenever we step into the world and all that entails, understanding that while we love the people we work with, the people God places in front of us, we also need to be aware of Christ, His person and His work at all times.
Fill your heart and mind with God’s love for the people you come in contact with but never forget it’s God’s love and not your own. Don’t ever take Christ for granted. Be aware of His power to reach out to the lost, the sick, and the weak, as you move through your day.
Father, regard me as righteous. Fill me with Your presence today, so I may reflect You to the people You bring into my path. Keep me sharply aware that it is all about You, not me at all. I can do nothing without You in my life, walking before me, guiding my steps. Thank You Father. Amen.
Look around. Do You see God at work in and through You? Have you taken the necessary precautions to protect your heart, your innermost being from the enemy or do you let unholy thoughts fester and grow like a cancer?