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Comfort Like None Other

“Who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.”  (2 Corinthians 1:4 ESV)

My eyes met her tear-filled eyes as we both stood at the door of the hospital room of her sweet daughter.  I could feel the gaze of discomfort on her face.  Her girl child was lying hooked to every machine that medicine could offer to keep her alive.  Her gaze made me stop in my tracks and reach out to here.  She said, “My heart goes out to the family in the waiting room.  Their mother is dying.”  She had spent time with them in their grief and distress giving comfort.  Her situation was dire but her heart for that time was focused on the comforting of others.  She had spent time with Jesus in deep sorrow and distress yet remained hopeful.  She had graciously received that soothing hope from God and could now come outside of her own discomfort and soothe another grieving soul. 

Sister, we can go through some tough times in the scheme of life.  In our difficult circumstance, God will comfort so that we can give comfort to others.  Be willing to receive comfort from Jesus.  It is in that place that we can extend to others the comfort that God has given us.

Prayer

Dearest Father, Thank you so much for your gracious love.  Your comfort in difficult times is sweet in the midst of bitterness.  Help me to receive that comfort and in turn comfort someone in need.  I bless your Holy name.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Waiting Well

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”  (Lamentations 3:25 ESV)

Waiting seems to be a part of life.  We find ourselves waiting in line in retail stores, waiting on the phone with customer service, and waiting on people. 

Now, how does the picture change when we are waiting on the Lord?  What happens when we are waiting on God to move His mighty hand on our behalf?  Know this about our God.  God’s time is His appointed time and God’s way is His appointed way.  Rest assure as we surrender to that He will strengthen our hearts while waiting. 

We all are called on to wait in whatever circumstance that we in.  During that time, let’s cultivate soul care.  Learning to be still in heart is important in delay.  Learn to stop where you are with eyes wide open to see God move.  Sometimes in our rush to not wait we miss Him.  Speak hope while waiting.  During our waiting season, let’s declare that we will only wait on God.  Our hearts can easily be pulled toward expectations of others and our eyes turned from the one who is the mover of life.  Sister, remember, the Lord is good to those who wait for Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father.  Thank you so much for life.  Help me as I navigate through times of waiting in my life.  Help me develop my soul to wait well for you.  Thank you for being so good.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Moments of Grace

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

Have you ever found yourself pleading with God to do something on your behalf?  I have and in my experience this pleading can go very deep.  From a simple whisper to laying prostrate before the Father. 

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, we find the apostle Paul in this place.  He is petitioning the Father to remove his thorn in the flesh that has plagued him.  Paul understood that the purpose of the affliction was to keep him humble.  Still, he beseeched God to remove it.  It was in that time that God whispered a sweet moment of grace to his soul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.

Life will always have a “thorn in the flesh”. A pleading heart is in order.   I encourage you to look for those moments that God covers you in His sweet whispers of grace.  Expect those moments where God will encourage, strengthen and give reassurance.  God will let you know that His power is completed in your weakness, inadequacies, and through trial.  Know that you will hear from your Father.

Prayer

Dear Father.  In this moment I praise your name.  Help me to hear those sweet moments of grace.  Thank you for seeing my weaknesses and are so willing to carry me through with your power.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Well Met Challenges

“Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees , and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”  (Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV)

We are forever met with challenges that test our faith.  No matter what season we are in, I am sure we are navigating challenge.  Some of these shake us to our very core and leave us crippled and without strength.  It can leave us mentally and spiritually exhausted.

The writer of Hebrews chapter 12 gives us remedy and encouragement when we are depleted.  First, he encourages us not to faint.  Sister, once you faint, you can’t do anything.  We are encouraged to lift our weak hands.  Reach with new purpose while praising Him that gives more might.  We must strengthen our knees and stand firm.  God sees.  Contemplate the path that is set before you and me. What is it to accomplish?  With belief in what God is doing, with intention and purpose, we must put one foot in front of the other.  As we step in faith, the path will become clear.  Isaiah 42:16 declares that God will bring those that are blind in a path that they do not know.  Let the difficulties accomplish what it is supposed to.  Remember, let’s keep our eyes on the cleared path so healing can be achieved.

Prayer

Father in heaven.  Give me courage to face the challenges in life.  Help me to be strengthened through your power.  Help me to see with clarity the path that is set before me.  In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

God in the Middle

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love, he will exult over you with loud singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

God sees you.  That is a simple enough statement.  We say it all the time.  When we are going through a difficult time and we need to encourage ourselves we whisper it in our hearts.  When we want to encourage others, we declare it as a fact.  Sometimes, even when we question if God truly does see what is happening in life, we say it with a twinge of doubt.  How is it possible in our world of 7.7 billion people that God sees you? 

Let me tell you!  Our God not only sits on the throne and his eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, (2 Chronicles 16:9) our strong and mighty God positions Himself in the very midst of His faithful children.  And while He is centered on you, He delights and rejoices in who you are.  Envision that!  The presence of the King of Glory right in the middle of your joys, difficulties and just plain old life.   When He sees you in trouble, He is ready to deliver and settles your heart just because He loves you.  Our mighty God sees you and He sings over you.  Imagine what that heavenly music sound like!

Prayer

Oh Lord in Heaven, thank you so much for keeping your eyes on me.  I praise your Holy Name for being in the midst of my everyday life.  I ask that you give me the courage to separate myself from anything that separates me from you.  In Jesus name. Amen.  

Confident Hearing

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:13 ESV)

One thing in life that causes me much apprehension is questioning whether I have heard from God.  It can stop me dead in my tracks.  It can bring out all kinds of bad habits like procrastination, wavering or just not doing the thing.  How many of you go through that same song and dance?  I knew that I needed to address the issue of my heart and I wanted to share with you what God laid on my heart.  And yes! It was Him speaking. 

The Bible says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:13 ESV) God has given you and I an opening into receiving guidance from Him. We have been promised the Holy Spirit to guide us. (John 16:13) Ask for guidance and believe in the promise. When we set up the barriers of wondering if God is speaking to us, we open the door for doubt and close the doors that give us the benefits of being an ambassador of Jesus Christ.  Anticipate with confidence that God will guide you.  

Prayer

My Father.  Thank you so much for offering the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Please help my heart to be tuned into what the Spirit reveal.  Forgive me for ever doubting your goodness of revelation.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Love Mercy

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with you God?” (Micah 6:8 ESV)

It was nearing the end of my twelve hour and I was feverishly charting to end the day.  But I was called yet again to tend to my restrained patient that was agitated, using foul language and attempting to throw punches at me.  Not only were my bones physically tired, but my soul was worn and weary.  I reluctantly and with haste made my way back into the patient’s room and tended to what was needed.  As I turned to leave, the Spirt of God slowed me down and declared in a quiet and gently whisper, “He is my son.”  My demeanor changed and my heart was tugged with that simple reminder.   

The scripture reminds us to not only be merciful but to love mercy.  Being merciful can draw from us acts of kindness which is right but loving mercy comes from the very heart of God.  It comes from the Power that works from within.  I am encouraged that even when we are stretched and the soul is tired and weary, we can rely upon the Spirit of God to empower and inspire our hearts beyond merciful act to acts infused with the Spirit of God that changes lives.

Prayer

Dear Father, I lift my hand to you praise for your compassionate heart.  Please teach me your ways of kindness and mercy.  I ask for the power and spirit of the living God so even when I am weary and can stretch my hand a bit further to minister to those in need.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Before the Throne of Grace Bible Study

There is a quiet place
Far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind

Sheltered by tree and flower
There is my quiet hour
With Him my cares are left behind

Whether a garden small
Or on a mountain tall
New strength and courage there I find

Then from this quiet place
I go prepared to face
A new day with love for all mankind
Ralph Carmichael

I am so glad you have decided to join us for the next 7 weeks as we explore some beautiful gems of truth that can ease the soul in troubled times.

During this study, you will hear some expressions such as:

  • Most Holy Place
  • High priest
  • Throne room
  • Sanctuary
  • Christ’s sacrifice
  • Mercy seat

These concepts are truth written and at times difficult to understand.  They tell us about the elaborate plan of salvation that only a sovereign God can execute.

Other concept we will run across are:

  • Mercy
  • Rich grace
  • Compassion
  • Steadfast love
  • God’s faithfulness

These concepts tell us the “why” of the more difficult things that we talk about. 

“But God, being rich in mercy because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.”  Ephesians 2:4-5

This study will run for 7 weeks.  At the beginning of each week, I will place the video devotional and study guide in A Gathering of Friends FB Bible study group.  If you have not joined the group, please do so now.    We will meet each Saturday morning via ZOOM conferencing at 0830.  Please know that registration for the study is important.  It is how you will get the link for the video conference. 

Register Here:

Name

Like and follow A Gathering of Friends Ministries with Marilyn Salmon here

Join A Gathering of Friends Facebook Bible Study Group here. It is in this group where you will find all the materials you need for the study.

Take a Stand

“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.” (Habakkuk 2:1 ESV)

Have you ever wrestled with God because of His silence or wondered why His ways were just not jiving with what you thought? It is here that we find the servant of God in Habakkuk 1.  He is standing in the backdrop of Judea amid wickedness, strife and oppression and he is asking God why He is being silent and why was He not delivering them.  God goes on to answer Habakkuk with a message of further doom and judgement upon the people.  I am pretty sure it is not what Habakkuk wanted to hear.  But it is here that the prophet of God makes a clear declaration.  “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower and look to see what He will say to me…”  Habakkuk 2:1

Sisters, I encourage you when you feel like God is silent and you don’t understand what He is doing, run to the Lord who is your strong tower. Stand firm and remain at your post.   It is where you will find power and safety.  It is where you will be able to look out above the fray with more clarity.  God is moving on your behalf.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for being my strong tower and a place of safety.  I ask that you give me courage to stand firm and remain at my post.  I pray for clarity of mind and understanding through tough times.  rI praise your name in thanks for deliverance.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Reflect

What are some of the obstacles that keep you distracted from standing at the watchpost that God has placed before you?

Complete in Christ-Dwelling in Colossians

The world and its madness
Humanity always looking for the “next thing” to validate their purpose and life
You can see it in eyes of those close to you…
You can see it in the actions of humanity…
You can hear it in the voice of the person standing next to you…
There is no fulfillment found and people are left feeling incomplete
Looking for the “next thing” in all the wrong places
In philosophy
In “false” truth (what an oxymoran)
In deceit
There is hope!!!
Complete in Christ
If you are looking for the “next thing” or know someone that is looking for the “next thing”…
Join us for a week 5 study on Colossians.

Join in a weekly live video conference
Weekly video upload
Weekly study guide available
Reading plan

You can find all the material, videos and reading plan on A Gathering of Friends FB Bible study group.

I am looking forward to spending time with you.