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

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

Week Ten, Day Four

 

“He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2 (HCSB)

 

When Jesus Christ suffered betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, the ultimate rescue plan for all mankind was pushed further forward. When Jesus Christ died upon the brutal killing instrument of the Roman world, the cross, reserved only for the worst criminals, rocks split and the earth shook. Although those watching from a first hand account could not fully comprehend what was unfolding before their eyes, as the “King of the Jews” had been crucified—the beauty was yet to be revealed three days later with His empty tomb. Psalm 40:2 reminds us that Jesus Christ brought Himself out of this world as He had fully accomplished the redemption of mankind through His own death and resurrection (John 10:17-18). At that time, Jesus was given the name above every living creature above the earth, on the earth and below it. All authority in heaven and on earth was given to Him as the rightful and forever King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Matthew 28:16-20).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, You are good. You are eternal. You are victorious over death. For Your love of all mankind, You stepped down from heaven in order to redeem the filth, failings and screw ups that each soul to walk this planet—even while we were each still living in our rebellion against You. Thank You for loving not only mankind, but also me as an individual. Please help me to recall Your love amidst this trying season. Allow me to put off these mortal perspectives of circumstances, and truly embrace Your eternal perspective which works all things together for good for all who love You and are called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28).

Declaration of The Lord’s Goodness Amidst the Chaos–Week Nine Review In PRAISE

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

Week Nine Review In PRAISE

 

Declaration of The Lord’s Goodness Amidst the Chaos

Your goodness floods through the streets of chaos and subdue unrest. Your faithfulness covers each and every wound to bring about healing in Your perfect time. Your holiness wipes clean all the filth of every situation that has brought shame and disgrace as grieving hearts turn to You for restoration. Your sovereignty stretches over each heart and mind to bring about good and blessing in the midst of severe turmoil and destruction. Regardless of what we see, regardless of how much we understand, may we cling to the fact that Your love and faithfulness are never ending. I choose to put my hope, my trust and my allegiance in You, Jesus Christ the Risen King. May I see through spiritual eyes, the blessings that are available during seasons of sincere mayhem and chaos. Your purposes are good and You are trustworthy in all You do. May my life declare in unabashed boldness that my hope is alone found in You.

 

Now—It’s your turn.

Take at least ten minutes to sit quietly before the LORD. Think about the situations He has been faithful to rescue you from. Recall the times that He has answered your prayers. Then, pen your own declaration of purpose back to the LORD.

 

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Check Point and Week Six, Day One

Check Point Two: Be Advised–Severe Thunderstorms with Hail

 

During our last few weeks in the Middle East, prior to parting ways with my husband for a year due to his next assignment, we encountered an incredible storm—unlike any we had ever heard of in this part of the world. Hail, severe wind, booming thunder and flashing lightning lit the sky as pelting rain attacked the backside of our home. As the rainwater and desert dirt were blown violently into the house as the storm raged, a poignant lesson was ingrained in my heart. It is not until we encounter the “storms of life” that we actually see where our “leaks” are. Whether your leaks (or holes) are within your perception of God, your relationship with your spouse, or another topic entirely, the reality remains the same—until the waters hit the house and the winds rage, you would be unaware of the hole. Speaking from personal experience, while weathering the storm, it is vital to remember where your hope and security are found as a follower of Jesus Christ—and that is in the Lord Himself. The storms have proven to be perfect opportunities, if I have been willing to see them as such, as ways to learn to follow the Lord more closely as the chaos, stress and strife of difficult times pound on the walls of my heart. Thus, rather than becoming paralyzed by the overwhelming reality of water “leaking in”, may this current “storm” be used by God in your own stories to push us to the Lord for rescue. May this “storm season” prompt you to take the needed steps to further fortify and protect your “home”—be it your heart, your relationships or even your faith in Almighty God (Proverbs 16:9). Why? Because you are worth it to an Eternal God who loves you (Galatians 2:20).

 

Theme of Week Six: God Knows The Way

Week Six, Day One:

 

“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11 (HCSB)

 

When we follow hard after the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, there will come a time when persecution will come. At that moment, may we be shown as faithfully aligned to the Lord as we call out to Him in both sincerity of need and urgency of deliverence. God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Thus, the Lord will be our defender and the One to ensure that all who call upon His name will be redeemed for His glory—in His perfect time. If you find yourself in a place today that leaves your faith feeling attacked or trampled on, realize the great opportunity you have been given to highlight the source of your strength. In the midst of hardship, as Christians, it is in our raw cries for rescue and our heartfelt need for salvation that the world is able to plainly see God on display. Ask the Lord to equip you, this very day, with an ability to stand tall in the midst of insults and crushing circumstances. In doing so, as a Christian you can declare with boldness He will see you through and that there is nothing unrighteous in the Lord (Psalm 92:12-15).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, I don’t know where to begin. You see the opposition. You see the massive obstacles I have to get around. I am overwhelmed. Help me to look beyond these present challenges. Help me, as is echoed in Psalm 92:12-15, be firmly grounded firmly in You like the palm and cedar of Lebanon so that I can withstand the storms and challenges that are all around. I want to be found faithful to declare Your goodness and righteousness to all. Please help (name)_________ to be like a palm and cedar as well; sturdy, grounded and bearing fruit until old age, for Your glory. You are bigger than this circumstance. Thank You that nothing catches You off guard. I trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

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

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

Week Five, Day Seven:

 

Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:10 (HCSB)

 

When we make a conscious decision not to partake in lawlessness, gossip, lude living and other outward expressions of rebellion to God, a separation is made between those willing to engage in such behaviors and those not. Isolation, slander and even physical harm can result from stirred and convicted hearts of those witnessing righteous lives. This very thing was proven true through the account of Jesus Christ’s righteous life, brutal death on a Cross and glorious victory from the grave on the third day (Isaiah 53:5). May this be an encouragement to hold the legal, moral and ethical ground in the name of Jesus Christ; for regardless of the suffering endured here on this earth, we too will be lifted up in His proper time (1 Peter 5:6-7). For, as Matthew 5:10 clearly states, those persecuted for doing good and righteous things will be satisfied by access, through Jesus Christ, to God Himself in heaven. Although it is not always easy to “take the higher road”, may these words of Jesus in Matthew 5:10 charge your spirit to focus not on the words and actions of this world, but rather on the approval and acceptance of God Himself. Even in the hardest and most dark of circumstances, we can still stand for righteousness in the name of Jesus Christ. Consider how might the Lord desire to use you this day to take a stand for good and righteous living regarding the valley through which you are currently traveling.

 

Prayer for today:

Dear Jesus, what a terribly hard road this is to travel. Teach me to do good and love pure things—including the conversations, texts shared and even online sites I visit. Convict me of things I need to give up to You and apologize to You for. I want to find my satisfaction in You rather than another source. Help (name)__________ to be drawn to You in the midst of this storm and abuse. You have heard the things said. You know all things. Please, please realign our focus to You and living righteously in order to bring glory to Your name. You are faithful to sustain us and give us a place to stand up under the pressures all around. Thank You for this truth Jesus. In Your name I pray, amen.

 

**Week Five in review: Please write down the most meaningful verse from this past week below. As you do, please take the time to thank God for His Word. How beautiful to meditate on the very words of Jesus Christ! I have sincerely enjoyed studying the Beatitudes over this past week. I hope that they have blessed your heart as well.

 

**Optional Service Project (Acts 20:35): A Steaming Basket. Whenever something good happens, find someone to thank. A simple basket of assorted coffees, teas, ciders, hot cocoas, rehydration drinks, waters and flavors, etc. would be a real blessing to someone who has made an impact on you this past week to press further into your pursuit of Jesus Christ.

 

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.

 

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley of Achor” Check Point before Week Three

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

Check Point before Week Three

 

Check Point: The Heartache of Hello

 

Within a new season of trauma or intense stress, there are many things that change rapidly to alter our surroundings from comfortable to chaotic. In this time, we are forced to not only give up things and routines that have been familiar to us, but we also have to acknowledge the arrival of something new—something unwelcome and foreign into our lives. If you are reading this today and feel that you cannot bring yourself to meet another new doctor, read and sign yet another paper within the court case or even face another day of this present anguish—may your heart be encouraged this very page.

 

As we are willing to realize that heartache is a blessing, we can more fully grasp the fact that our work on this spinning planet is not yet done. Stop and think about that for a moment. The moment that we stop having to work hard to benefit the lives of those around us either directly or indirectly through direct acts of service and prayer, we are surrendering our calling as believers in Jesus Christ. Ladies, in times of debilitating distress, may our hearts and hands reach for the LORD. It is in Him alone that we will find our rest, our hope, our assurance and our peace in the midst of the storm. And as we prayerfully continue to walk out each day, as difficult and gut wrenching as they may be, we are bringing glory back to the LORD—which is our purpose for drawing each breath.

 

May we not allow the devil to taste the victory of our own defeat due to devastation. No, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the ability to tap into the eternal source of life giving power. What is that power? The mighty and undisputed name of Jesus Christ. Remember, the demons know the power of Jesus Christ’s name and have to flee (Matthew 8:28-32), the angels know the powerful name of Jesus Christ and cannot stop worshipping (Revelation 7:9-12), and creation itself stands still when told to by His mighty word (Mark 4:36-41). The question is, do you sincerely understand the power that you have been entrusted with, as a follower of Jesus Christ (John 14:27, Romans 8:15 & 2 Timothy 1:7)?

 

 

Thank You, Jesus Christ, that You alone are the Mighty Healer and Eternal King (Deuteronomy 10:17, Psalm 89:27 & Revelation 1:5-8). Thank You for Your perfect knowledge and grace (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Allow me to claim the truths found in Your Word in times of trouble and tattoo them to my heart (Psalm 119:9-16 & Psalm 119:105).