DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eleven, Day Seven plus Review

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eleven, Day Seven plus Review

 

“Out of the depths I cry to You, O LORD; O Lord, here my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:1-5 (NIV)

 

How gracious is the Lord Jesus Christ to pardon the iniquities of each breathing soul who cries out to Him for forgiveness. Jesus spoke very plainly on the topic of the consequences of sin and not entrusting our hearts to Him for eternal keeping in Luke 16:19-31. In this account, Jesus clearly affirmed not only the reality of hell and hadees, but also the sheer agony and torment experienced by any and all who choose to ignore the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. The suffering within hell will be eternal (Isaiah 66:24) and it is for the love of those created of God, humanity as a whole, that Jesus Christ stepped down from heavenly glory in order to redeem the mess that each of us contribute to the fallen human condition (Ephesians 2:8-9). Ezekiel 33:11 encourages us in that the Lord does not take pleasure in having any experience the eternal torment, unprecedented suffering and utter separation from God, that is the reality of hell and hadees (John 3:16). Yet, for all who do not choose Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and do not confess their sins to Him, this is the coming reality (1 John 1:9-10). Ladies, hear this today, as hard as things may be in your present sufferings—NOTHING experienced on earth can match or surpass the excruciating pain and torment of hell. Praise the Lord that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself now holds the keys of death and hadees (Revelation 1:18). There is eternal freedom from suffering through Jesus Christ alone (John 11:25). He alone holds the keys after He victoriously conquered the grave on the third day (Matthew 16:21, Romans 6:9, Romans 14:9 & 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)! If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ in the past, or are reading this today, and are sincerely unsure as to where you would go if you died today—pray with me now to accept Jesus Christ into your heart this very moment.

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

I confess that I am a sinner—a person who has messed up in life—and need to be forgiven by You. I believe that You are the one and only Son of God, and that You were raised from the dead on the third day. I ask You to come into my heart and be the boss and Lord of my life from today into forevermore. Thank You for loving me enough to make a way for me to avoid eternal punishment. You are now my Savior, Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, You alone reign. You have told the stars where to stand and defined how far the tide should rise. The migratory patterns of birds, mammals and aquatic life are all ordained by You. With all Your splendor, with all Your grandeur, You make time for a mere mortal like—me. Lord Jesus, You assured Your disciples with compassion, that not even a sparrow falls from the sky without Your notice and stated that we are so much more precious than birds (Matthew 6:26). As my nerves are shot and anxiety builds with yet more changes and challenges on the horizon, teach me to pour my heart out to You in praise and worship. Teach me to love well those You have given to me and praise You while I practice servanthood towards them. Teach me to worship You rather than worshipping comfort and all its forms of pleasure for You alone deserve my loyalty and praise. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

**Week Eleven in review. Please write down the most meaningful verse from this past week below. As you do, tell the Lord how mighty He is. Remind your own soul of the greatness of God. In the midst of hardship, remember that God is at work in your life, encouraging you to keep trusting Him for a solution to each difficulty and heartache of life (Isaiah 49:13).

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eleven, Day One

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Theme of Week Eleven: Our God is Mighty

Week Eleven, Day One

 

“The LORD of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah” Psalm 46:7 (HCSB)

 

Despite being dear to our hearts, people who we trust can see the difficulties we are experiencing and encourage us to turn back from where God has called us. Much like the story of Lot and his wife (Genesis 19:15-26), we are called to obey the LORD; no matter how many others choose to ignore His leading. People in our own spheres of influence can try to persuade us to reject God’s call and return to comfort and familiarity. Yet, if the LORD has called us to walk this path (e.g. being am “married-single parent” of tired and hurting children while daddy is deployed, battling through another moving season with attitudes flaring amidst the chaos, etc.) it’s not a matter of appeasing those we admire-but rather taking our difficult situations to the Lord in prayer; for He is the God of Jacob Who is our stronghold.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, You are good and Your faithfulness endures to all generations (Psalm 100:5). Thank You for being my refuge. Thank You for giving me the strength to keep going when all others share their own worries and discouragements with me. Hold me fast to the course You have called me to, Lord Jesus. For Your honor and for Your great name’s sake, keep me faithful to Your teaching and leading (Psalm 119:9-16). Thank You for Your divine protection and victory over the attacks and divisive words coming night and day from multiple directions (Psalm 91:13-16). I cling to the promise of Psalm 46:7 that You alone are my refuge and stronghold. You are my God in Whom I place my trust (Psalm 91:2). In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Five

 

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (HCSB)

 

These words of Jesus Christ are very encouraging, indeed. Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of our past, regardless of the odds—we can ask anything according to the will of God, and it will be given to us. Whether we need more faith, an infusion of hope, a new heart filled with God’s love, etc. If we pray for a request that aligns with the will of God, He will grant us the favor of our request. Prayers for deliverance, healing and revival are all things we should indeed pray. The Lord sees our heart motives (1 Samuel 16:7). And at times, he very healing and deliverance God desires to bring to our souls can only be found on the other side of great suffering. Our Lord Jesus Christ, within the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed for God the Father to allow the cup of suffering (brutal torture followed by death upon a cross) to pass. Yet, in keeping with the truth of Matthew 7:7, Jesus Christ humbled Himself to the will of Father God and boldly stated that He desired the will of Father God above His own (Luke 22:42). May we remember that the greatest blessing humanity will ever know only came on the backside of Jesus Christ’s torture and death—this being His victorious resurrection over death and suffering (Matthew 16:21, Acts 2:24 & 1 Corinthians 15:4). No matter what the current suffering, if you are a believer in the resurrected Jesus Christ, you will see victory over this hardship in the Lord’s perfect way (Romans 8:37).

 

“No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

Claim it personally over your own life and story. Briefly write about your own circumstances that need to be conquered. List them below:

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

Now write them at the beginning of each sentence. Claim the truth of this powerful verse over your own life and situation as you declare the Lord’s truth to your own heart.

 

1._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

2._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

3._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

4._______________: “No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (HCSB)

 

Ladies, as we grasp hold of the solid and unchanging truths of the Bible, we will feel a depth of security in the pit of our souls. Why? Because the God of all creation, the One who spoke and created all that we see, has made a way for each of us to escape the hurt and trials that come our way in life (Romans 5:8). Remember, the original plan (Eden) was not at all like the reality we experience today. Adam and Eve experienced perfect communion with God in the garden, until they believed God no longer knew what was best for them (Genesis 3:8). As the weight of our circumstances seem to increase, may we encourage our own hearts and those of other suffering, to cry out to the Lord. God has broad shoulders, Ladies, and He is willing and ready to carry our loads (1 Peter 5:7). But, just like any true gentleman, the Lord is waiting for us to ask for His assistance. Call out to Him this very moment.

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Three

 

“Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.” Psalm 119:34 (HCSB)

 

At times, the very ways in which God asks us to travel are the ones that seem the most harsh and daunting. If we are not willing to take our gaze off the immediate circumstances and ask the Lord for His eternal perspective on the matter, we can loose heart. The psalmist asks the Lord to grant him divine understanding for the ways and methods God is leading. When we do not understand the Lord’s ways, we are tempted to doubt His goodness and intricate involvement in our personal stories. Yet, the Bible assures us that the Lord cares for us (Isaiah 49:15, Matthew 10:30-31 & 1 Peter 5:7), keeps track of our sorrows (Psalm 56:8, Psalm 126:5 & Revelation 21:4), and has only the best plans in store for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11, Zephaniah 3:17 & Ephesians 2:4-5). Thus, when hard times hit, may we cry out to the Lord for His perfect understanding in order to walk the road marked out for us—in obedience of both word and deed—with the knowledge that God can and does use any hardship to strengthen our relationship with Him.

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Lord, I am at a loss for words. As much as I do not want to walk through this difficult time, I see that it is not going away. Prayers for immediate healing and imminent rescue have seemed to fall to the wayside. And, to be honest, I am tired; so very tired. Give me Your understanding to walk this extremely difficult road. Help me to lift up (name)_________ in the midst of the tiring journey. God, You alone know the outcome. Yet, with all the uncertainty, I trust in the truth of the Bible. I believe Your promises are true. Help me to pray scriptures back to You when my heart feels faint. I want to be found faithful to obey Your leading. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Five:

 

9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10for the administration of the days of fulfillment — to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.” Ephesians 1:9-10 (HCSB)

 

The Apostle Paul had seen first hand, on a road near Damascus, that God’s plan of salvation was indeed through Jesus Christ the Messiah. Although He had murdered and imprisoned many followers of Jesus, the Way, Paul was shown divine grace as Jesus audibly spoke to Him and used Paul as an example of a radically changed life. The same man who had breathed murderous threats to those who followed Jesus, was now the very man being used by God to proclaim that Jesus was in fact the Messiah to those both near and far (Acts 9:1-31). The fact that God would choose to continue to extend undeserved grace and unmerited mercy to each and every one of us, is indeed, a mystery of our loving God (Ephesians 1:9-10). May we make the conscious choice to love God fully and submit our worries, our doubts and our prejudices to the feet of Jesus (Ephesians 1:22-23). Each and every hardship and difficult circumstance can in fact be radically changed due to the transformative power of Jesus Christ. Paul, who was once a murderer, was now the very man leading the charge to further the message that Jesus Christ was Messiah. God truly can make all things new (Isaiah 43:19).

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear LORD, thank You for the encouragement found in Your Word, the Holy Bible. Help me to look afresh at the situations around me that seem too difficult for You to fix. Help me to counsel my heart with Biblical accounts, like this one, that show You can do the impossible time and time again. Help me to show (name)_____________ the mysterious gift of love and merciful grace that is found through Jesus Christ alone—regardless of the details in our stories. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Three:

 

“Lord, there is no one like You among the gods, and there are no works like Yours.” Psalm 86:8 (HCSB)

 

How incredible to ponder that time itself was an invention. Sound, light, fire and love were also created elements from an Infinite Mind. Yahweh, the LORD, taught the lion to roar, the sun to set and the eagle to soar. All authority was given to Jesus Christ over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). Thus, it is our great honor to proclaim His salvation for every heart. No matter if their origins of birth are Tel Aviv or Togo, Paris or Pakistan, California or Kirgizstan—we are called to proclaim God’s supremacy around the globe for the hope of winning hearts and minds for Jesus Christ. In the middle of the conflict, in the center of the struggle, I encourage you today to not loose sight of this larger picture. Prayerfully ask the Lord to reveal to you whom He would choose for you to declare His goodness to in the midst of trying circumstances.

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Jesus, help me to be a bold witness for Your redemptive work on the cross and resurrection from the grave—even now. Help (name)________ to experience the freedom that is found in You alone. Help me to pray for (name)_________ in this time. Please speak to (name)__________ through visions, verses in Your Holy Word and dreams. Make Yourself so evident that You cannot be ignored or denied. Please use me and my story to further Your message of hope and grace to the people around the world both here in my city as well as where You may choose to send me in the future. In Your name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Six, Day Four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Six, Day Four:

 

“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.” Proverbs 11:14 (HCSB)

 

Whether in a season of chaos or not, we were created for community. Thus, if we are not making time for others to enter into the messiness of a given season, there is a great loss experienced by both parties. You will experience a loss due to not sharing life with others who can walk with you during a difficult time and encourage you to press into the Lord. On the other hand, the other individual misses out on your insights and companionship during the same chaotic season. Do not believe the lie that you must “have it all together” before reaching out to others. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Proverbs 11:14 assures us that there is deliverance through godly guidance. Without the guidance of God fearing individuals, deliverance and freedom from the circumstances that entrap us will not be experienced. If you are not already, allow this to be your encouragement to reach out to a Bible teaching church and plug into the women’s ministry, grief and support group and/or weekly Bible study. Remember, we are called to community (Acts 2:42)! The Bible assures us that the devil roams through the earth, like a hungry lion seeking to devour those who can be easily persuaded (1 Peter 5:8-9). Do not allow those who do not love the Lord to guide you in the midst of grief (Luke 6:39)—for their wisdom is not based in the Lord. Plug into a group of followers of Jesus Christ and allow them to walk with you during this season.

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, please help me. I do not know what details to share and to whom. Help me to find a Bible teaching church that has a women’s ministry I can get quickly plugged into. I need the fellowship. I need the community. I need counsel from other God fearing believers. Please help (name)_______ in the midst of this horribly stressful time. Please work out all of the loose ends. Please grant peace to (name)__________ heart when I don’t know what answers are correct for our situation. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Please help me to honor You by seeking godly counsel.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Four, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Four, Day Five:

 

“Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The chief official gave them other names: he gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel, Shadrach to Hananiah, Meshach to Mishael, and Abednego to Azariah.” Daniel 1:6-7 (HCSB)

 

Daniel and his three friends were among those captured by the Babylonians after Jerusalem was taken over (Daniel 1:1-7). In an attempt to make the hostage Israeli youth forget their heritage, their very names were changed—seeing as their names reflected names or aspects of the God, Yahweh that they served. In the same way, when we are captured by fear, doubt, depression or trauma, our identity may also seem changed. Remember, you were ransomed and rescued for the ultimate price and your eternal name was forever changed to reflect the one and only King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Isaiah 62:4). As a follower of Jesus Christ, when your identity feels threatened in the midst of captivity, claim truth about who you really are and where your strength comes from (1 John 5:1).

 

Prayer for today:

Dear Jesus, thank You that my true identity is found not in my sorrow, my bank account or relationship status, but in something eternally concrete. Thank You that my identity and sincerest strength is found in You alone. Help (name)_________ to come to realize this pivotal truth as well. Our identity will forever be shaken and tossed by emotions and changing situations, if we do not know who we are in You. Help (name)__________ to rest in this today and accept Your love.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week four, Day four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Four, Day Four:

 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NASB)

 

When we put our hope in Jesus Christ, we are not promised a life free of strife and suffering, but rather granted protection in the midst of the chaos. The Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt. It was beyond the laws of science that God would deliver them through the Red Sea as He chose. Yet, God is not bound by created elements such as science. Thus, it was God who held back the tall walls of ocean water to create a dry path for all His beloved people to walk into literal freedom, away from those who had held them captive (Exodus 14:21-22). Also illustrated through the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, it was not that the fires of oppression did not come, bur rather that the LORD delivered them in the midst of the flames (Daniel 3:27). As we find ourselves up against an ocean that seems too large to cross or fires to big to survive, call upon the name of the LORD to be saved.

 

Prayer for today:

Dear Lord God, I am astounded by how powerful You are. You see all the details of every situation and desire that not one should perish. Thank You for these stories of faith. How encouraging to hold fast to the truth that we serve the same living God as the saints of old. Please rescue (name)_________ from the ensuring attackers as You were so faithful to do with the Israelites leaving Egypt. Please deliver (name)_________ from the fire and flames as You did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego for Your glory. Nothing is too difficult for You and I thank You for intervening in this today. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Four, Day Three

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

 

Week Four, Day Three:

 

4Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (HCSB)

 

 

The psalmist declares that the LORD is his shepherd (Psalm 23:1) and acknowledges that it is the LORD, none other, who is the protector and guardian of his well being (Psalm 23:4). In our own lives, no matter how dark the situation may be that brews before us, as Christians, we are to take comfort in the LORD’s guidance and protection. In the darkest valleys, may we walk closer to the LORD, our good shepherd, and hold fast to the deepest devotion our Savior Jesus Christ, had for us as He defended each of us by laying down His life on the cross—to defeat the predator, the devil, who had come to destroy our souls. May we take hold fast to the truth we know and cry out to Him in our hour of need for He cares for us.

 

Prayer for today:

Dear LORD, thank You for Your protection and guidance. Thank You for ensuring my safety as You stepped between me and the evil that tried to destroy me. Thank You for rescuing me from the hell I deserve. Thank You for providing a rescue plan for (name)__________ as well. You are the Good Shepherd and You do not make mistakes. Please allow (name)________ to invite You into the darkest valley and declare Your protection in the midst of the fears. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.