STUDY OF PSALM 91 – 2

“For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The first thing that comes to mind is that God protects! He knows where the traps are, He knows what brings about diseases and He is willing and able to protect His own from them all without fail. God’s protection is pictured like a mother bird sheltering its baby. The baby is covered by her wing, feels her feathers, hears her heartbeat. Who can be afraid? When we have placed ourselves under God’s protection we have the same feeling of peace as this baby bird. He shelters us and we feel his presence. What can harm us? We must all place ourselves and our situation into God’s hands and trust in His ability to keep us safe. He will replace our fears with his perfect love. And then the peace of God, which surpasses our human understanding, will keep your heart and your mind through faith in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).

RUN TO GOD TODAY!

THE CHOICE

by Max Lucado

He placed one scoop of clay upon another until a form lay lifeless on the ground.

All of the Garden’s inhabitants paused to witness the event. Hawks hovered. Giraffes stretched. Trees bowed. Butterflies paused on petals and watched.

“You will love me, nature,” God said. “I made you that way. You will obey me, universe. For you were designed to do so. You will reflect my glory, skies, for that is how you were created. But this one will be like me. This one will be able to choose.”

All were silent as the Creator reached into himself and removed something yet unseen. A seed. “It’s called ‘choice.’ The seed of choice.”

Creation stood in silence and gazed upon the lifeless form.

An angel spoke, “But what if he … ”

“What if he chooses not to love?” the Creator finished. “Come, I will show you.”

Unbound by today, God and the angel walked into the realm of tomorrow.

“There, see the fruit of the seed of choice, both the sweet and the bitter.”

The angel gasped at what he saw. Spontaneous love. Voluntary devotion. Chosen tenderness. Never had he seen anything like these. He felt the love of the Adams. He heard the joy of Eve and her daughters. He saw the food and the burdens shared. He absorbed the kindness and marveled at the warmth.

Heaven has never seen such beauty, my Lord. Truly, this is your greatest creation.”

“Ah, but you’ve only seen the sweet. Now witness the bitter.”

A stench enveloped the pair. The angel turned in horror and proclaimed, “What is it?”

The Creator spoke only one word: “Selfishness.”

The angel stood speechless as they passed through centuries of repugnance. Never had he seen such filth. Rotten hearts. Ruptured promises. Forgotten loyalties. Children of the creation wandering blindly in lonely labyrinths.

“This is the result of choice?” the angel asked.

“Yes.”

“They will forget you?”

“Yes.”

“They will reject you?”

“Yes.”

“They will never come back?”

“Some will. Most won’t.”

“What will it take to make them listen?”

The Creator walked on in time, further and further into the future, until he stood by a tree. A tree that would be fashioned into a cradle. Even then he could smell the hay that would surround him.

With another step into the future, he paused before another tree. It stood alone, a stubborn ruler of a bald hill. The trunk was thick, and the wood was strong. Soon it would be cut. Soon it would be trimmed. Soon it would be mounted on the stony brow of another hill. And soon he would be hung on it.

He felt the wood rub against a back he did not yet wear.

“Will you go down there?” the angel asked.

“I will.”

“Is there no other way?”

“There is not.”

“Wouldn’t it be easier to not plant the seed? Wouldn’t it be easier to not give the choice?”

“It would,” the Creator spoke slowly. “But to remove the choice is to remove the love.”

He looked around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three figures hung on three crosses. Arms spread. Heads fallen forward. They moaned with the wind.

Men clad in soldiers’ garb sat on the ground near the trio. They played games in the dirt and laughed.

Men clad in religion stood off to one side. They smiled. Arrogant, cocky. They had protected God, they thought, by killing this false one.

Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the hill. Speechless. Faces tear streaked. Eyes downward. One put her arm around another and tried to lead her away. She wouldn’t leave. “I will stay,” she said softly. “I will stay.”

All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue. All eternity poised to protect. But the Creator gave no command.

“It must be done … ,” he said, and withdrew.

But as he stepped back in time, he heard the cry that he would someday scream: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) He wrenched at tomorrow’s agony.

The angel spoke again. “It would be less painful … ”

The Creator interrupted softly. “But it wouldn’t be love.”

They stepped into the Garden again. The Maker looked earnestly at the clay creation. A monsoon of love swelled up within him. He had died for the creation before he had made him. God’s form bent over the sculptured face and breathed. Dust stirred on the lips of the new one. The chest rose, cracking the red mud. The cheeks fleshened. A finger moved. And an eye opened.

But more incredible than the moving of the flesh was the stirring of the spirit. Those who could see the unseen gasped.

Perhaps it was the wind who said it first. Perhaps what the star saw that moment is what has made it blink ever since. Maybe it was left to an angel to whisper it:

“It looks like … it appears so much like … it is him!”

The angel wasn’t speaking of the face, the features, or the body. He was looking inside—at the soul.

“It’s eternal!” gasped another.

Within the man, God had placed a divine seed. A seed of his self. The God of might had created earth’s mightiest. The Creator had created, not a creature, but another creator. And the One who had chosen to love had created one who could love in return.

Now it’s our choice.

From In the Eye of the Storm

Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1997) Max Lucado

A STUDY OF PSALM 91

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The first thing that comes to mind is that we live in the shelter of the Most high, that is our dwelling place, we don’t visit there and later move on but we dwell and live there. There is a sense of permanence to the living arrangement. The shelter of God is our permanent home address!

Secondly is to find rest in His shadow, to stand in someone’s shadow you have to be close to them. So close that their shadow can fall on you and shield you from the vagaries of the weather, When you are that close to God you are protected! When you are that close to God, you know that you can trust Him. He is going no where, He is ever present, always there, always available, steadfast, sure.

Thirdly is that He is our refuge and place of safety. A refuge is defined as the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficulty, a place or situation providing safety or shelter. The starting point for protection is being close to God. If you need protection today, I encourage you—don’t look out at your enemies. Don’t look around at your circumstances. Rather, get closer to God. Trust him to be your shelter and your refuge.

GOD NEVER FAILS!

AMAZING GRACE

Culled from The Longing Within Devotional

It is the mercy of God that allows us to feel the impact of our sin. Until we fully understand the weight of our sin, we can’t truly celebrate the beauty of our costly redemption through God’s grace. Until we feel that weight, we hold onto sin. Grace is amazing, as the song goes, but it doesn’t erase the effects of our deliberate sin. Yet the pain of these consequences serves a purpose when we turn to God in repentance. We have real hope and wisdom to offer to those who come after us.

God is so much bigger than our past. He is so much more merciful than our sin. He is so much stronger than our weakest moment. His plans for us are so much greater than our failures. He is for us. Always for us! He restores us so you can walk from that renewed place and share our story with others who are broken. It’s a message this world is longing to hear. And when we’ve been shown that kind of grace, we can’t wait to share it with others.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found

Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

My chains are gone

I’ve been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy reigns

Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me

His word my hope secures

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures

[2x]

My chains are gone

I’ve been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy reigns

Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow

The sun forbear to shine

But God, Who called me here below,

Will be forever mine.

Will be forever mine.

You are forever mine.

FINANCIAL TIP OF THE DAY

*GETING CLOSE TO RETIREMENT!! WHAT IS IN YOUR MIND*

*HAVE A PLAN TODAY*

*1. one day you will retire.* You won’t be going to work. You won’t have office power any more. No influence or at best, a reduced influence. Your cash flow will also reduce.! Check retirement date on your payslip.

*2. Always  go for your 30days annual leave.* Whatever you do during your leave, is what you will be doing when you retire. If all you do is to sleep or watch TV, then that’s what you are likely do do in your retirement. Remember the book of Proverbs. A little sleep and a little slumber, so shall your poverty multiply.

Watching Big Brother Naija will not save you heartache in retirement. Learn a trade or a skill during your leave. It will come handy. Spend your after-office hours learning something. Don’t spend it sleeping, Gossiping, watching TV!! Same goes for your weekend. Make them productive. You will thank yourself for spending your time productively.

*3. Invest for your retirement.*.. your children are not retirement investment. Don’t bank on your children’s support or the support of friends or relations. That’s a BIG risk. It may not happen. Be ready to take care of yourself!! Everyone has his own responsibilities. They won’t be able to help you that much. You will also lose your dignity and respect if you adopt a life of begging.

*4. Start a hobby* early in your working days to take you along when you retire. Rearing chicken, farming or own a shop. Acquire marketable skills ( not useless paper certificates) Etc

*5. Where shall you retire.* Build yourself a home. Don’t retire and start to rent a house or refuse to vacate government house. You will be at the mercy of your landlord at a time when your cash flow is not only reduced but unpredictable!!

*6. Who shall be your dependants.* By the time you retire, your children should be above 18, and self reliant.

*7. Don’t retire and stay in a big city* unless you can TRULY afford it. You can’t continue living in a big city after 60 with limited financial resources. The language and the hustle will be hard for you. Where possible, Relocate to a less expensive town where your reduced take home (pension) can go further.

*8. Have property which can be rented or converted into cash*. Have shares that pay good dividends. Plant cash trees. Rear goats, cultivate vegetables etc. these activities will not only give you income but will also keep you healthy. FOE LAND IN RIVERS STATE, PLEASE CONTACT ME ON 08037517672

*9. Live a simple life*. If you never built a house at your rural home, dont use your retirement package to build. It is unwise unless you plan to live there on a permanent basis or you are super rich and therefore can afford the luxury. The choice is yours.

*Note that many of retirees die early because of the following*:

1. They are Not mentally prepared to retire.

2. Lack of finances

3. They Lapse into Depression

4 They develop Hypertension/ Diabetes because of worries, anxiety and uncertainty “and financial pressures.

*YOUR DESK AT YOUR WORK PLACE IS NOT PERMANENT. PLAN  FOR YOUR RETIREMENT.

ARE YOU A FRIEND OF GOD?

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The scripture above tells us that friendship with the world and it’s systems is enmity with God,. The question before each of us then today is Are you a friend of God? Are you willing to do all that is needed to maintain friendship with God?

Are you allowing God to change your world – through you? Are you a city changer?