VIDEO Comfort

Do not be afraid… do not be afraid… for I am with you. Jeremiah 42:11

What’s your heaviest burden today? Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22).

Did a problem keep you awake last night? I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me (Psalm 3:4-5).

Is a fear nagging at your mind? Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear (Psalm 56:3-4).

Are you battling weakness in spirit? You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).

What a blessed thought! We can trust God and cast all our cares on to Him! We can pray at night, for He hears us in the darkness. We can trust Him when fearful, for He resides above all circumstances. And when we’re weak, He provides daily strength for our daily needs. Today, rely on Him—and relax in Him.

Blessed are those who realize the uncertainties of this life are a reminder to prepare for the certainties to come. Erwin W. Lutzer

Job 42:1-17, Confession, Repentance, Restoration

True Identity

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

As my friend reviewed the pictures I took of her, she pointed out the physical characteristics she saw as imperfections. I asked her to look closer. “I see a beautiful and beloved daughter of the Almighty King of Kings,” I said. “I see a compassionate lover of God and others, whose genuine kindness, generosity, and faithfulness have made a difference in so many lives.” When I noticed the tears brimming her eyes, I said, “I think you need a tiara!” Later that afternoon, we picked out the perfect crown for my friend so she would never forget her true identity.

When we come to know Jesus personally, He crowns us with love and calls us His children (1 John 3:1). He gives us the power to persevere in faith so that “we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming” (2:28). Though He accepts us as we are, His love purifies us and transforms us into His likeness (3:2–3). He helps us recognize our need for Him and repent as we rejoice in the power to turn away from sin (vv. 7–9). We can live in faithful obedience and love (v. 10), with His truth hidden in our hearts and His Spirit present in our lives.

My friend didn’t really need a tiara or any other trinket that day. But we both needed the reminder of our worth as God’s beloved children.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

What personal faults and past failings have you allowed to determine your identity? How can knowing you’re loved, chosen, and crowned as God’s child help you live in righteousness and love?

Loving God, thank You for reminding me that who I am is based on whose I am—Yours, simply Yours.

Learn more about your own identity

Reluctant Obedience

God doesn’t just want our obedience; He wants us to obey with loving, glad hearts

Jonah 1

Have you ever resisted obeying God because His instructions were something you didn’t want to do? That was the case with Jonah. The inhabitants of Nineveh were Assyrians, a people known for aggression and cruelty. Since they were enemies of Israel, Jonah thought he had good reason to resist the Lord’s command to preach to them. 

While the goal was to draw the Ninevites to repentance through Jonah’s preaching, the Lord was also working to change the prophet’s unloving spirit—Jonah did not want that hostile people to experience divine grace and forgiveness. Though he eventually obeyed and went to Nineveh, his heart didn’t change.  

The same thing can happen to us. It’s possible to go through the motions of obedience while harboring resentment, anger, and a rebellious spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 warns us that even our greatest acts of sacrificial obedience, done without love, profit us nothing. God wants more than begrudging compliance; He wants us to do His will from the heart (Eph. 6:6). 

The next time you’re reluctant to obey the Lord, ask Him to change your heart. He wants His children not simply to obey but to delight in doing His will.

God’s Shining Face

“The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.” (Numbers 6:25)

This request is part of the well-known Mosaic benediction for the children of Israel (Numbers 6:24-27). The first occurrence in verb form of the word “shine” is in this verse, although in the noun form, translated as “light,” it appears in the third verse of the Bible when God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).

True light comes only from God, since “God is light” (John 1:5). As the world depends on the sunshine for its physical life, so we continually must receive the Son’s shining in our hearts to sustain our spiritual life.

It is noteworthy that the prayer of our text occurs seven other times in the Scriptures. These are as follows:

“Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake” (Psalm 31:16); “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah” (Psalm 67:1); “Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved” (Psalm 80:19; also vv. 3, 7); “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes” (Psalm 119:135); “O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake” (Daniel 9:17).

Since God, in His omnipotence, dwells “in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16), He shines on us for salvation, spiritual illumination, and daily guidance only through His Son, the Word made flesh, for “in him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). “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” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM

David’s Response To His Enemies

As for the heads of those who surround me, let the trouble their lips cause overwhelm [them]. Let hot coals fall on them. Let them he thrown into the fire, into the abyss, never again to rise. Do not let a slanderer stay in the land. Let evil relentlessly hunt down a violent man. I know that the Lord upholds the just cause of the poor, justice for the needy. Surely the righteous will praise Your name; the upright will live in Your presence (Psalm 140 vv. 9—13).

This psalm is best grasped against the backdrop of the Judeo-Christian ethic. God is holy, righteous, and pure. Man is evil, unfair, and deceitful. The morality is clear-cut and unrelenting. Because I desperately want to give people the benefit of the doubt, I sometimes tend to be”marshmallowy” about ethics,

David’s intimate walk with God produced an objectivity that enabled him to see things monochromatically (in black and white). Artistic thinking in grays doesn’t work in the areas of personal morality. This kind of reasoning results in a naive and shallow view of sin. We need to learn how to hate evil as much as God does, but we are more addicted to happiness than committed to holiness.

While David’s prayer may seem a little shocking to those of us living in a society tainted by secular humanism, we must bear in mind that his enemies were malicious men. They were as annoying as insects, as repulsive as reptiles, and as lethal as sharks. They were cunning and predatory—out to kill!

He responds with equal passion. He prays that the poisonous words of the wicked will boomerang. He prays that “hot coals” will fall on their heads like volcanic residue from Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). He prays that their slander will be self-defeating and that disaster will pursue them and bring them down.

Like the clash of cymbals, a stunning thought strikes my consciousness: David’s righteous wrath was not directed against his enemies but poured out to God in a prayer song!

Personal Prayer

O Lord, I’m glad David was a passionate person too! And I’ve learned today that I don’t have to act on my negative impulses but can pour them out before you in healing, restorative prayer and praise!

The Language of Music


An improvisation or composition suggestive of improvisation.

A piece that has a somewhat casual, spur-of-the-moment, feeling. The “pneumatic odes” of Ephesians 5:19 were somewhat like impromptus.

God Is a Father

I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning.—1 John 2:13

God is a Father in the creative sense and the familial sense. So, for whom was the Lord’s Prayer designed—for everyone or only for God’s redeemed children? There is no doubt in my mind that it was intended for Christ’s true disciples. Obviously many people outside the Christian church find the words of the Lord’s Prayer greatly appealing, but much of the appeal is sentimental rather than spiritual.

To understand the Lord’s Prayer and apply its principles in the way our Lord intended, one needs to have experienced a genuine conversion. Then, and only then, does its meaning become apparent. Jesus shows us in the first sentence of His prayer pattern that true prayer must begin with a concept of God as Father. Someone has pointed out that the term “Father” answers all the philosophical questions about the nature of God. A father is a person; therefore God is not an impersonal being, aloof from all our troubles and trials. And, above all, a father is predisposed, by reason of his familial relationship, to give careful attention to what his child says.

When we pray, then, to the Father, we must hold in our minds the picture of our eternal Creator as a being who has a father’s heart, a father’s love, and a father’s strength. This, then, must be the second note we strike when praying—God is a Father, and we must come to Him with all the trust and frankness of a child. Otherwise it is not a prayer.


O God, I am so grateful that in the word “Father” I discover the greatest truth about You. My heart pillows itself on that glorious and wonderful fact. Thank You—Father. Amen.

Further Study

Jn 1:12; 5:17-47; 2Co 6:17-18; Gl 4:5-6

How did Jesus speak of His Father?

What is God’s promise to those who believe?

Send the Fire

Luke 3:16

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,

Send the fire!

Thy blood-bought gift today we claim,

Send the fire!

Look down and see this waiting host,

Give us the promised Holy Ghost,

We want another Pentecost,

Send the fire!

God of Elijah, hear our cry:

Send the fire!

To make us fit to live or die,

Send the fire!

To burn up every trace of sin,

To bring the light and glory in,

The revolution now begin,

Send the fire!

‘Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,

Send the fire!

The fire will meet our every need,

Send the fire!

For strength to ever do the right,

For grace to conquer in the fight,

For power to walk the world in white,

Send the fire!

To make our weak hearts strong and brave,

Send the fire!

To live a dying world to save,

Send the fire!

O see us on Thy altar lay

Our lives, our all, this very day,

To crown the offering now we pray,

Send the fire!

William Booth, The Salvation Army Song Book