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God Is Love.

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1).

What Kind of love?

What kind of love is this? It’s the “agape” love of God. It’s a supernatural love, not superficial. Selfless, not selfish. Sacrificial, not stingy. Sincere, not shallow. It specializes in seeking God’s very best for others, not one that specializes in stripping people of their dignity by degrading them.

Supreme, not a sham

Supreme, not a sham. Special, not superfluous. It’s strong and steady, not shifty and shaky.

On this Valentine’s Day

On this Valentine’s Day, embrace the supernatural, selfless, sacrificial, supreme, special, strong and steady love of God and express it to others! God bless you.

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February 2021

Great and Gracious Father

Great and gracious Father, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and give strength to all” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, ESV). Indeed, words will not suffice to thank You for all that You did for us in the month of January 2021.

You Provided Life and Breath and All Things

You provided “life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25) for us. Lord, You preserved us. Father, You protected us from dangers, seen and unseen. God, You partnered with us in Your divine work of sharing Your good news. Holy Father, You put up with us. Gracious Lord, You picked us up when we fell and failed You. You pulled us out of our despair in January 2021 when things were going from bad to worse politically, economically and socially.

You Have Brought Us into a New Month

Now in Your lovingkindness and favor, You have brought us into a new month, February 2021. We heartily and humbly admit to You that it’s all because of Your goodness and grace that we are blessed to see the first day of the second month of the New Year of 2021. Many who started the New Year with us are no longer with us.

But We Are Still Here

But we are still here. It’s not because we are better than them. No! Not at all! It’s all because of Your unceasing, unchanging, undying, and unending love for us. Furthermore, it’s because we have not lived out the full number of the days You have ordained for us even before we were born (Psalm 139:16).

You Are the All-Knowing God

O righteous Father, You are the all-knowing God. You have infinite knowledge and understanding of all things. You already know the cares and concerns, the challenges and crisis; that will visit us in this month of February 2021. But You also have already prepared the counsel and comfort we will need in such times.

Your Compassion Will Be Ready to Meet Us

Not only that, Your compassion will be ready to meet us as You work through all these circumstances in our lives to change and conform us more into the blessed likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, “Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).

We Dedicate the New Month of February 2021 to You

Because of who You are and what You do for us out of the kindness of Your good and gracious heart, we specifically and sincerely dedicate the new month of February 2021 to You, in the holy and hallowed name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Loving and Living Lord of the universe, please accomplish all that concerns our families, our friends and fellow-believers, and us; Israel – Your chosen nation, Your Church – Your called-out people, and Your world – consisting of all the nations and the lands You created under the heavens – for the praise of Your blessed name.

We Desperately Need You

We humbly and honestly confess to You that we desperately need You and Your gracious work on our behalf every single day of February 2021. Please shepherd us. Strengthen us. Sustain us. Save us from ourselves and from our spiritual enemies and their attacks on us. Speak to us and set us on the path of righteousness. Seek us when we go astray from the path of righteousness, for our hearts are prone to wander from the God we love. Show us things in the spiritual realm for us to set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).

Heavenly Father, Be our Shield

Heavenly Father, be our shield, our shelter, our stronghold, our strong tower, our security, our stay, our support, our salvation, and our sanctification. Be our sure defense and deliverer. Be our singular focus in this month when the world celebrates Valentine’s Day. Enable us by Your Holy Spirit to reflect and radiate Your love to the world. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Holy Father, We Love You

Holy Father, we love You, because You first loved us (1 John 4:19). We lean on You to do for us what seems good in Your sight. We long for You to accomplish what concerns us. We look to You alone to be our sure hope and help throughout this new month of February 2021. We leave all that concerns our souls in Your caring and compassionate hands; believing that You are “able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). It is in Jesus’ name, “the name which is above every name,” (Philippians 2:9) that we pray. Amen.

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New Year – 2021

Loving and Living Father

Loving and Living Father, “You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God” (Psalm 86:10. Truly, “Your way, O God is holy; what god is great like our God?” (Psalm 77:13). You alone are God. There is none like You. There is none besides You. You are “God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39).

You Are in a Distinguished Class

You are in a distinguished class all by Yourself. You have been with us. You have cared for us. You have watched over us. You have helped us. You have defended us. You have been compassionate to us. You have been good to us. You have loved us. You have shown us Your great mercies. You have been patient with us. You have been gracious to us. Your forgiveness abounded for us. You have shown us Your great lovingkindness in 2020.

You Have Blessed Us

Yes, You have blessed us. You have Yourself fought on our behalf in all our spiritual battles. Indeed, in Your great faithfulness, You have watched over us and carried us, just as a man carries his son (see Deuteronomy 1:31b) through a difficult and distressing year.  Though 2020 was difficult and distressing, yet You have not forsaken us nor forgotten us. Indeed, to You be all the glory! We give thanks and praise to You for all the good that You did for us in 2020. Blessed be Your name! “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth” (Psalm 115:1).

We Are Very Privileged

Now, in Your grace and goodness, You have brought us into a brand New Year – 2021! We humbly acknowledge that it is not because of our righteousness that we are very privileged to see the very first day of the very first month of the New Year of 2021. It’s all because of Your unconditional and unlimited love for us. And, it will be because of this unfailing love that You will sustain us throughout this New Year. When 2020 began with great pomp and pageantry, we did not know that COVID-19 would wreak havoc in the nations. But You knew of it all along. In fact, You have complete knowledge of all the events, crisis, conflicts and circumstances that will befall us, not only in January 2021, but also in all of 2021. You already know the end from the very beginning of 2021.

You Are Fully Aware

Yes, You are fully aware of the way it will begin and how it will end. A great spiritual awakening, renewal and revival may burst forth in the nations in 2021. You know far in advance if that will be happening in 2021. It’s likely that economic crisis, political upheaval and unrest in the nations and natural disasters can occur in this New Year. You are fully aware if their occurrence will be a reality. Indeed, You alone, fully knows what this New Year will be like and what will dominate the news in the nations. This is because, You are the all-knowing God. You are the Lord of the nations. You are the Controller of all the affairs of the universe. You are “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5b). You are truly the One in charge and in command and in control of all creation.

Faithful and Forgiving Father

It is therefore, with surrendered and submissive hearts that we dedicate the New Year to You, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Faithful and forgiving Father, please, gladly and graciously accomplish all that concerns our families, our friends and fellow-believers, and us; Israel – Your chosen and cherished people, Your Church – Your called-out and consecrated people, and Your world – made up of all the nations and lands You created under the heavens – for the praise of Your great and glorious name.

Lord of All and Our Loving Father

Lord of all and our loving Father, we look to You in humility and hope to sustain, strengthen, and shepherd us in the New Year of 2021. We accept as coming from Your good and gracious hand, all that You will permit to occur in our personal lives in 2021. We acknowledge that, in every situation, You know what is good for us, and that You have a purpose for everything You allow in our lives. We admit that even though we do not know the future, You know and hold the future.

We Appreciate You

We affirm that You always want the very best for us, not only in this life, but also in the life soon to come. Oh Lord, our God, we appreciate You for Your unending and unfailing love for us. We adore You, for who You are – “compassionate and gracious slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:6-7). We pray all these things in the precious and powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

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December 2020

Good and Great Father

Good and Great, Gracious and Glorious Father, You are worthy of all our praise and thanksgiving. In Your goodness and grace, You have carried us through a difficult year, characterized by the COVID-19 pandemic and protests. Thank You for bringing us safely to its last month. “There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). You are “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth” (Exodus 33:6b).

We thank and praise You for Your abounding lovingkindness

We thank and praise You for Your abounding lovingkindness shown to us all throughout this year till today. Truly, You have been good to us. You have been gentle with us. You have been gracious to us. You have been generous to us – giving us “life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25b).  You have been kind to us. You have been faithful to us. We are glad and grateful for blessing us with the privilege of being among the living on this first day of December 2020. We thank You for the opportunity to celebrate Your Son’s Birth in this month. We humbly acknowledge that it is in You we live and have our being (see Acts 17:28).

You know all things

We heartily affirm that even before this month began, You have been faithfully working behind the scenes on our behalf. You have been planning and putting in place all that You intend to accomplish in, and for, and through our lives in this month. You know all things. Yes, You know the changes that will come into our individual and corporate lives. You are aware of the conflicts that will arise in the nations and in our individual lives. You have advance knowledge of the challenges that will threaten to undo us. You also know far ahead of time, the comfort and calm that we will experience in this month.

You are also in control

Not only that, You are also in control of all the affairs of the nations and their peoples. Indeed, nothing that happens in this month will be a surprise or a shock to You. It may be to us, but not to You, the omniscient and omnipotent God.  

We dedicate the month of December 2020 to You

It is therefore with glad and grateful hearts that we dedicate the month of December 2020 to You, in the holy and hallowed name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Please accomplish all that concerns our families, our friends and fellow-believers, and us; Israel – Your set apart people, Your Church – Your separated people, and Your world – made up of all the nations You created under the heavens – for the praise of Your glorious and great name.

We rest in Your goodness and grace to us

We rest in Your goodness and grace to us. We rejoice in Your continuous care for us. We receive the blessings which You have gladly and generously stored up for us just for this month. We repent of all our pride and self-sufficiency. We release our future into Your faithful hands. We rely on You to do what is best for us in this month. We regard You highly. We respect You and Your ways with us. Above all, we revere You for who You are – a loving, compassionate and caring Father – who loves us with unceasing, unchanging, unconditional, undying, unending, unfailing, and unlimited love. We pray all these in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Lover, Life, and Leader! AMEN!

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November 2020

Mighty and Merciful Father

Majestic and Marvelous, Mighty and Merciful Father, “in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10); we are so grateful to You, for all the grace and goodness You willingly and wonderfully bestow upon us. “Who is like unto You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). We thank You for blessing us and bringing us into the month of November 2020.

You Are Truly Our Emmanuel

You have seen us through 10 months of the year 2020. You have been with us through thick and thin. You are truly our Emmanuel. We are so thankful for the beginning of this month today because we know that no matter what happens in our countries; You are in charge and in full control. In fact, You are the One who is sovereignly orchestrating events and circumstances in the nations and their governments to accomplish Your divine purpose without fail. You said: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:33).

You Know All Things

As such, no results of general elections in the remainder of the year 2020 will be a surprise to You. You know them all far in advance. Indeed, You know much more than what election results will be. You know the blessings that will come our way in this new month. Of a truth, You are the One who has ordered that they come our way. You also know the bad circumstances which will come knocking on our doors. You already know all about the delights and the disappointments we will experience in this month even before it begun. Indeed, You know in advance the peace we will enjoy in November 2020 as well as the problems we will face in it.

Accomplish What Concerns Us

So, we humbly and heartily dedicate this month of November 2020 to You, in the great and glorious name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish all that concerns our families, our friends and fellow-believers, ourselves; Israel – Your chosen and cherished people, Your Church – Your cleansed and consecrated people, and Your world – made up of all the nations You created under the heavens – for the praise of Your glory and honor. We adore You for who You are – “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). We appreciate You for all Your continuous grace and generosity toward us. We bless You in the matchless and magnificent name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! AMEN!

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Your Protection Is a Chief Concern for God!

We Live in a Broken and Fallen World

We live in a fallen, broken, evil and dangerous world. As such, nations and individuals invest a great deal of their time, talents, and treasures in making themselves secure and protected from attacks. Nations and individuals invest in cyber security to protect themselves from crippling cyber-attacks. They also spend a great chunk of their resources in acquiring the most technologically advanced security cameras and accessories to monitor their physical properties and valuable assets. While these efforts are commendable and comforting to man, they often fail us. Cyber securities are breached. Security cameras, however sophisticated they are disabled by crooks and criminals, therefore, defeating their purpose. The only One who can offer us security that can never be breached is the loving and living God, the only true God of the universe. He is fully and finally revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s nature (see Heb. 1:3). He revealed to His early disciples in His High Priestly in John 17 that our protection is the Father’s chief concern.

Jesus’ Prayer for Our Protection

As our Lord transitioned from praying for Himself to praying for His disciples, He specifically requested the Heavenly Father for His gracious work of preserving His own who are in the world.  

“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are one” (John 17:11).

Keep Them in Your Name

Pouring out His heart to the Father on behalf of His disciples, the Lord Jesus acknowledges three things to the Father in the above verse. First, He is no longer in the world. You see, the Lord Jesus was so sure of His sacrificial death on the cross and departure back to the Father that He treated His departure as an already accomplished fact. Actually, earlier in His prayer for Himself, the Lord Jesus did a similar thing with regards to His work. Being so certain of His death and subsequent resurrection, which He had not yet accomplished, the Lord Jesus confidently declared to the Father: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Second, His disciples are in the world. Third, He clarifies why He is no longer in the world. He is coming to the Father.

Having acknowledged these three things, our Lord then asks the Holy Father to keep the disciples in His name. He prayed specifically to the Father to preserve the disciples because they would be exposed to the world’s hatred, hostility, snares and schemes. You see, He would no longer be with them physically to give them spiritual protection and covering. So Jesus prayed to the Father to take over the responsibility of protecting His own. “Based on the eternal nature of immutable God (“name”), he prayed for the eternal security of those who believed. He prayed that as the Trinity experience eternal unity, so may believers,” says pastor and preacher John MacArthur.

Jesus Prays for the Protection of Believers

To further stress the urgency and importance of His request of the Father to protect and preserve those who believed in Him, the Lord Jesus lovingly reminded Him that He did not fail in keeping and guarding them while physically with them.

“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” (John 17:12).

I love how the Lord Jesus communicates with the Father. The Father knew that the Son had faithfully served His purpose up to this point. He did everything He had called, consecrated, and commissioned Him to do. Yet, it was the Son’s delight to remind the Father, that without fail, He protected the disciples and kept them safe and secure from the world. But He also reminded the Father that not all were kept and protected. I believe that it was with a heavy heart that the Lord Jesus made this known to the Father. I know that because the Bible tells us that God does not delight in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11). Judas’ death was no pleasure for Jesus or the Father.  The son of perdition would perish. But it was no delight for the three persons in the Godhead.

The expression “the son of perdition” points to Judas Iscariot’s eternal damnation. Judas was a betrayer not a believer. Judas’ damnation and doom was not at all a failure on our Lord’s part. Rather, He affirmed to the Father that Judas’ damnation was foreseen and foreordained in Scripture (cf. Ps. 41:9; 109:8).

Jesus Reminds the Father

Our Lord continues to remind the Father of what He has accomplished on earth and why He is asking Him to protect the disciples who had expressed genuine saving faith in Him.

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:13).

Should the Disciples of Christ Not Depart Also?

During His time on earth, our Lord faithfully instructed the disciples in the way of God. He gave the God’s word. Giving the word was the great passion of Christ our Lord. He gave much attention to instructing His disciples. He made certain that they understood the word of God. They would in turn declare God’s word to a hostile world. It’s no secret to the Father that the world hates the disciples. But our Lord sweetly and gently brought it to the Father’s attention. How lovely! The Lord Jesus makes it clear in His prayer to the Father, that just like Him; believers are not of this world. But Jesus has just announced to His disciples that He is leaving the world. He is going to the Father (v. 11). So the natural question is: should the disciples of Christ also not depart this world and go to the Father? In other words, should they not be taken out of the world which hates them and is hostile to them? If I were in charge of the world, I would have taken the disciples out of the world, to save them from all the hatred and hostility of the world. But thank God, I am not in charge of the world and you are not. God is. Moreover, He knows better than we do. Also, He has divine and dependable power to defend and deliver His disciples from all evil should He choose to leave them in the world. This is what our Lord now prays about.

There Is a Difference in Jesus’ Asking and Our Asking

“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

The verb used for “ask” is “erotao.” A very distinct meaning of the verb “erotao” is to pray but in distinction from the verb “aiteo.” The first provides the most delicate and tender expression for prayer or request with the one asking and the one being asked, on equal level, such as the Lord Jesus asking of the Father. This is made very clear in John 14:13, 14 where the word “aiteo” is used in the case of us asking God as an inferior to a superior, leaving it up to Him to do that which pleases Him. In John 14:16 when the Lord Jesus is praying to the Father, or asking the Father, the verb “erotao” is used, also in John 17:9, 15, 20. ~The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, p. 1835

Jesus Is Equal with the Father

The point here is that, as One who is equal with the Father, the Lord Jesus requests the Father not to remove from the world those who have genuine saving faith in Him, but to preserve them from the evil one or evil. Our Lord did not entertain any doubt about His Father’s ability to preserve and protect His disciples. He has divine and dependable power, not only to defend us, disarm and defeat the enemy of our souls, but also deliver us from the works of the enemy. In other words, God has taken our protection in the world very seriously. As such, the Lord Jesus, who is equal with God, fervently sought Him on our behalf to protect us from the evil one or from evil [Greek, poneros] in the moral and spiritual sense. Poneros is Satan as the first author of all mischief in the world. The point here is that our Lord is specifically praying for our protection from Satan and all the wicked and evil forces following him and doing his bidding. You see, though Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross would result in the defeat of Satan, he is still loose and orchestrating his evil system against believers. He has come to steal and to kill and to destroy (see John 10:10) and to devour believers (see 1 Peter 5:8). But thanks be to God! He is their protector and defender and defense and deliverer. Indeed, even though believers are living in a world that hates them and is hostile to them, their protection from the evil one is the chief concern of God. In other words, you are protected. I am protected by the all-powerful God of the universe.

The Key Verb Jesus Uses in His Request

It will interest you to note that our Lord uses the same verb in His requests for our protection. The verb is “keep.” It’s “tereo,” in the Greek. This also means: “to watch,” “to preserve as opposite to leaving.” In His first request for our protection, our Lord asked: “Holy Father, keep them in Your name” (v. 11). In His second request, He asked: Keep them from the evil one” (v. 15). Then also, in reminding the Father of accomplishing His purpose on earth, He stated: “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them” (v.12). What we learn here is that “tereo,” occurs three times in our Lord’s prayer on our behalf. What’s the point of all that? It’s to emphasize that our protection is our heavenly Father’s chief concern. In other words, the repetition of “tereo” is to stress the point that God takes full responsibility for our protection here on earth. It’s a major concern of His.

You Are Protected

In these days of the Covid-19 pandemic and protests, protection and peace of mind are what we desperately need. You see, when we feel protected, our minds are at peace and at rest. This is what Jesus prayed for. Yes, the days in which we live, are disturbing and distressing. We have seen thousands of people die as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Millions more have contracted the virus. But the pandemic is still wreaking havoc in our world, showing no signs of slowing down. But if you have expressed genuine saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can have peace of mind. Why? It’s because your protection from this pandemic and from all evil, here and hereafter, is the chief concern of the heavenly Father.  Our protection and preservation and peace are all God’s concern. He will not fail to take care of us. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity!

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October 2020

Heavenly and Everlasting Father, we give You praise and thanks for giving us life and breath and all things on this first day of the month of October in the year of our Lord 2020. We bless You because Your word declares: “My times are in Your hand.” It also says: “In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:16). Truly, You are in control of our lives. Father, forgive us for thinking that we are in control of our lives here on earth. You are the God of infinite knowledge, knowing the end from the beginning. You know all the trials, troubles, tribulations, and tests that will come our way and the triumphs testimonies that will arise from them to the honor of Your name. As such, we dedicate the month of October 2020 to You, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish all that concerns our families and friends and ourselves, Your chosen nation of Israel, Your Church – made up of all genuine born again believers, and Your world – made up of all the nations – for the praise of Your glory! Thank You Lord for Your grace and goodness toward us! We give You all the glory in the precious name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior! AMEN and AMEN!

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You Are Loved!

One blessed assurance our Lord Jesus had while ministering here on earth was the Father’s love for Him. He was keenly aware of the Father’s unfailing love for Him. As such, He spoke of it repeatedly, especially in John’s Gospel. John was traditionally called the “Apostle of Love.” “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel” (John 5:20). Again in John 15:9, our Lord briefly but blessedly speaks of the Father’s love for Him as He personally affirms His love for His disciples. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” Also in His High Priestly Prayer for Himself, His disciples, and those who would hear their word, the Lord Jesus once again confidently spoke of the Father’s love for Him. “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:24, 26).

What’s the point of all these references revealing our Lord’s own personal assurance and awareness of the Father’s love for Him? Simply, they are to encourage us to also be firmly assured and aware of God’s unconditional and unchanging love for us, no matter what life throws at us in these uncertain days! You are loved by the loving and living God! Please remember that each day!

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Dedication of September 2020

Gracious Father, we thank You for giving us life and breath and all things on this first day of September 2020. Since You already know of all that will occur in it, both the difficult and delightful ones, the heart-warming and heart-breaking ones, we gladly and gratefully dedicate it to You in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish what concerns our families, our friends, and ourselves, Israel – Your chosen people, the Church – Your cherished people, and Your world – made up of all the nations – to the praise of Your glory, both now and to the day of eternity! We love You Father for first loving us with unceasing, unchanging, unconditional, undying, unending, unfailing and unlimited love!

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Trust God to Give You What He’s Promised!

“And it will come about when you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, that you shall observe this rite…”(Exodus 12 :25; cf. 13:11).

Just before His very last plague on Egypt, that is, the death of all the first-born in the land of Egypt, God took time to institute the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread. God gave Moses specific instructions to communicate to the people of Israel regarding the celebration of these feasts to Him throughout their generations. On the tenth of the first month, each family or household is to select an unblemished lamb for themselves. The unblemished lamb is to be kept until the fourteenth day of the same month. At twilight, literally between the two evenings, the lamb is to be slaughtered for the celebration of the Lord’s Passover. For their first Passover, God instructed Moses to inform all Israel to take some of the blood of the lamb and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintels of the houses where they eat their Passover lambs. God explained that the blood would be a sign for them on their houses where they lived. Upon seeing the blood, He would pass over them. They would be safe from His destructive plague  (see Exodus 12:1-13). However, in giving these specific instructions, God was not only concerned about the present, but also about the future of Israel in the Promised Land. Knowing the end from the beginning, God spoke of the day when Israel would settle in the Promised Land as their homeland. So, even before Israel would leave Egypt or take their first step toward the Promised Land, God made it clear to them that He expected them to keep the Passover in the Promised Land. As far as God was concerned, He would get Israel to the Promised Land. In other words, He would keep His word to His people. He would not fail them. He would not falter in fulfilling His promise of bringing them to the Land of Promise. With this as His motivation, God spoke these words to Israel through His prophet Moses: “And it will come about when you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, that you shall observe this rite” (Exodus 12:25). The main spiritual lesson preserved in this verse is simply this: God’s believing people can count on God to give them what He has promised them.

Notice God begins by saying “when.” What’s the significance of this simple observation? It is to establish the certainty of what follows. God is saying,  “it’s simple a matter of time before My promise to give you the land is fulfilled. Never doubt that. I am taking you to the Promised Land. I will make sure you get there. I will do everything in My power to give you that land as your homeland. Take Me at My word! Trust Me in this!” As if to further strengthen Israel’s faith in Him, God used the language of certainty to assure them of His intention of bringing them into the land. Please observe the words, “the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised.” There is no uncertainty in these words. These words are sure and steadfast. God is saying, “I will give you what I have promised you. I will do as I have spoken to you. I am not a man that I should lie, nor a son of man that I should change My mind. Oh Israel, My people, let this be known! What I have said, I will do. What I have spoken, I will also make good. I speak and I act. I promise and I fulfill. You can count on Me to give you what I have promised you, no matter how long it takes.”

Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness. Not only that, there were those who rebelled against God and chose a leader to take them back to Egypt. Others grumbled and griped about the journey. Still, others made life so difficult for Moses and Aaron, God’s chosen and appointed leaders, by their jealousy and envy of them. The grumblers and gripers suffered the consequences of their sins. All died in the wilderness. But all these negativity on the part of Israel didn’t change God’s promise to them. He finally brought them into the Promised Land. Thank God, despite our fickleness, failures, and faults, He remains faithful to His promises. What a faithful God we have! What a promise-keeping God we have! What a gracious God we have!

Before Israel ever took their first step out of Egypt, God taught them a precious lesson. They could count on Him to keep His word to them. Actually, God repeated the lesson in Exodus 13:11 by saying: “When the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you…” Earlier, God said, “when you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised.” Now, He uses a stronger expression, “as He swore to you.” The repetition and the use of the stronger expression, “as He swore to you,”served to drive this spiritual lesson deep down into the hearts of the sons of Israel. But please understand that this lesson is not only for the sons of Israel. It is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. God’s believing people today, can also count on God to give them what He’s promised them. Why? It is God’s nature to fulfill His promises to His people. God is not interested in giving empty promises to His people. Presidents, prime ministers, parliamentarians, politicians, parents, even pastors, preachers, and people may give us empty promises. But believers can always count on God that He will indeed give them what He’s promised them. Why? No empty promise has ever come out of the holy mouth of God. He always gives His people promises He intends to make a reality in their lives.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, how convinced are you of God’s word of promise to you? How confident are you in God’s ability to do exactly as He’s spoken to you? How certain are you that God will do what He’s promised you? On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, how would you rank your confidence in God’s ability to fulfill His promises to you? May we rely on the Holy Spirit to rise to the ranks of believers who count on God to give us what He’s promised us! May He not be ashamed of our confidence level in His ability to keep His word to us!