Psalms 97 – The Lord is King!

Verse 1-3  Almighty

The Lord is king!  Let the earth rejoice!  Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround him.  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire spreads ahead of him and burns up all his foes.

In times of darkness and doubt, we have an almighty God who is king over all creation.  His foundation is built upon righteousness and justice.  There can be no covering of His truth.  No media can darken His justice.  He sees all and is above all.  God is above all powers that seem strong on the earth.  Know, the Lord is King.  He is righteous and just.

 Verse 4-6  Power

His lightning flashes out across the world.  The earth sees and trembles.  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,  before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.

As you look up toward the distant stars and the glorious majesty of the heavens, remember, God spoke them into existence. He sustains moment by moment all creation by His presence.  All creation, no matter how strong and majestic it looks to us, is like melting wax in the presence of God.  His creation glorifies Him.  The beauty and balance of creation and animal life cycles proclaim His might, wisdom, and righteousness above all knowledge.

Verse 7-9  Above all powers

Those who worship idols are disgraced.  All who brag about their worthless gods: for every god must bow to Him. Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,  and all the towns of Judah are glad because of your justice, O Lord! For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth;  you are exalted far above all gods.

All who oppose God and truth will one day bow before Him and proclaim He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  All who oppose God will be humbled.  While the darkness seems so strong, they are nothing but a passing cloud before God.  All darkness will be destroyed.  All hidden things will be revealed. Let us know and be convinced that nothing is hidden before God.

Verse 10-12   God Rescues and restores.

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of the godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whos hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name.

God is at work in the lives of all who love Him.  God is at work to rescue His people from the power of the wicked.  You may feel trapped and overwhelmed by the power of those who lie and clothe themselves with man’s power.  God is at work to rescue you.  Remember, His Light shines on the righteous.  Allow His joy to flood your heart as you rejoice in His Holy Name.

Meditate on these truths

The Lord is King!  He will never be put out of power.  Let this Psalms 97 make your lightnside shine bright with hope and eternal knowledge.

Remember to Forget

Philippians 3:13  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

The past isn’t always easy to forget. Whether it’s a success or failure, the past can take hold of our minds in the present day. Bitterness or dreaming of days gone by are mostly caused by looking and focusing on the past. Some of us have wrestled with words spoken to us by another who may not have intended to harm, but we may have misjudged their original intent and kept harmful words attacking our looks, talk, and acceptance.

Do you have words or events from the past that have defined some personal self-evaluation causing you to withdraw from a Biblical Truth or restrict your confidence in yourself? Most of us have these past issues. 

Today, this scripture is a turning point to free us from past bondage and refocus toward the now and future. Easy to say, hard to do.

Forgetting what is behind

“When Paul says that he forgets what lies behind, he refers to a forgetting which is no mere passing effort; it is active obliteration so that when any harmful thought of the past would occur, it would be banished from our mind. It is a constant, deliberate discarding of any harmful thought of the past. Forgetting is stronger in Greek. It means to ‘completely forget.’ To translate Pauls words, “I, in fact, am forgetting completely the things that are behind.”

F.B. Meyer wrote, “learn to forget and do not dwell upon past sin.” He explained, “There may be things in our past of which we are ashamed, that might haunt us. But if we have handed them over to God in confession and faith, He has put them away and forgotten them.” “So you forget them and the sin which blackened your record and reach forward to realize the beauty of Jesus.”

“Forgetting” is a present, active word

Forgetting is not a one time task. It is part of putting on the whole armor of God including the Helmet of Salvation (mind), the shield of faith (against the devil’s attacks about the past), and the sword of the spirit (the power you have through the Holy Spirit to rebuke the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-17 

Moving forward in faith

Straining or reaching forward should be the healthy focus of all Christians. You cannot change the past, but the future is wide open for you. What are you striving for? Where in the future do you feel God is taking you? There are five characteristics of forward-moving Christians.

  • They know where they are going.
  • They have a sense of God’s call on their life.
  • They understand the purpose of their life.
  • They focus on God and God-given goals.
  • They choose wisely from their options to move toward their goal.

Do you know Christ as your savior? If not, you are missing out on the blessings of His forgiveness and peace. You are also missing out on the help of the Holy Spirit to help guide your path. Most important, when you die, you will be missing heaven and be lost in torment without God forever.

Today, right now is the time to decide you are moving forward with Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. It all starts by calling out to Jesus and asking Him to be your savior. Tell Him you have sinned, and you want to repent. Tell Jesus you believe He is the Son of God who has died for you. Ask Him to come into your life right now. Tell Jesus you will follow Him for the rest of your life. If you prayed this prayer, I know you are feeling a new peace in your heart. You have a new lightnside to light your path. The next step forward is to find a church with good worship and strong preaching. 

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Part of this blog comes from the book ‘Loving God with all your mind’ – Elizabeth George

Worry only about today

Matthew 6:34 NKJV Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This verse is from the Sermon on the Mount and deals with our tendency to look at massive mountains ahead of us instead of today’s small hill. Have you caught yourself worrying over all that needs to get accomplished in the coming weeks and it ruins your sleep and energy? It can be overwhelming! So today, we deal with only today. This verse is a type of practical planning from Christ to deal with the mountains of the future by taking planned steps each day.

 Prepare the night before

Do what you can at night to prepare for the next day. Clean up, decide what’s for dinner, and put out what is needed. If there are special requirements for tomorrow, help get things in order before you go to bed. then rest

 Plan ahead 

Take a look at the long-range mountains and plan what can be done in small steps on designated days to accomplish the goal. Break down and put small tasks on a calendar or a todo app. This helps fix our today. Once written down, don’t worry about it; when the day comes to take some steps, you will be ready. So don’t worry about it today.

 Start each day with prayer

Four transactional prayers (1) I give God everything. Say out loud “Today Lord, I give myself to you.” God is ready to assume responsibility to bless and help me. (2) I give God my home, possessions, my time, my body, and my mind. (3) I give God the people in my life. My spouse, kids, in-laws (and out-laws), employees, friends. (4) I give God my plan A for the day using my schedule I have worked on to move my projects forward. I also give God my plan B…His plan if He decides to change my day. It is OK to move with plan B as God opens doors or leads me into a separate direction by the Holy Spirit. I will be willing, available, and ready for plan B; otherwise, I start with Plan A.  

1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, [7] casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

 Move forward

After preparing, planning, praying…proceed. Take the first steps. Begin working plan A until interruptions from plan B happen, which is OK. It is God at work, and we switch to plan B until we return to plan A. No worries, we move forward. Interruptions and sudden problems are how God moves. Flow with them. Tomorrow’s plan A may contain some of what was not finished today, no problem…move forward and don’t worry about tomorrow, deal with today. Use small goals as you move through the day.  

TRUST GOD TO PROVIDE   

Have faith in God and His Word. Know He is in control, and His word is true.

God provides wisdom James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. [6] But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.)  

God provides Strength Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

God will provide our needs Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

When we move out in faith, God supplies, guides, and provides. 

This blog has material from ‘Loving God with all your mind’ by Elizabeth George.  It has helped me and I trust you will be blessed following this truth.  It will make your lightnside shine “happier.”

Love the Lord … Soul & Mind

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,  “soul, and mind”. Matthew 22:37-38.

The soul and mind are very close. Our soul is how we connect with God. Our soul is the awareness we have of God and the ability to be inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. With our soul, we confess to Christ and believe in Him. 

Our mind is the thinking, planning, everyday decisions we make. Through our minds, we communicate with others, and in our minds, we generate self-talk. Through our mind, we evaluate what we see and hear. We choose what to think about and what to believe. Stress and anxiety are a common part of our thinking. Because of the fall of man, our mind and soul have been taught to dwell on failures and fear. It is much easier to dwell on negative thoughts and fearful outcomes than to choose hope.

A Command

To love the Lord God with all our soul and mind we must obey a command. This command is not a suggestion but a focused chore. To Love the Lord with all our soul and mind, some re-training is required. The result of these efforts will increase your love toward God and help bring healing to your mind and soul.

Philippians 4:4-8  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Command for our soul

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!  This is a command to us as we begin to train our soul and mind toward loving God more. In everything…rejoice in the Lord. The scriptures do not say rejoice in every situation. Would you rejoice for pain, sickness? Would you rejoice in murder or loss? No, but we can rejoice in the Lord. 

We can rejoice that God is aware of our situations. We can rejoice that we have access to God and that He has compassion for us. We can rejoice that we have the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ to cover and strengthen us. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice” Not “IN” the situation but “IN” the Lord. It is difficult to rejoice and complain at the same time. To rejoice is to choose God’s mercy, promises, and love and not anger, self-pity or unforgiveness. Think of your most challenging situation. Got it? Now rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice that He is God and is aware of that situation. Rejoice because God can take all things and use them for good. Choose to rejoice, and again I say choose to rejoice!

Don’t overreact in situations. Take a deep breath. With thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Don’t let your mind wander to dark areas (more about this soon). With just these two commands for our soul (rejoice in the Lord, be calm, ask God in prayer for your needs), there is a promised peace that will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Did you get that last phrase? Through Jesus Christ. This is our soul connection to God. This is our soul working daily to love God more.  

Command for our mind

We start with the command found at the end of Philippians 4:8..meditate on these things.   The order is to focus or control what is running through our minds. Generally, most people (including myself) tend to reflect on negative “with if” or “if only”. “What if” and “if only” are not the present. They are not what is true right now. So in the situation, you have right now, filter out what is negative and replace it with what is good. “If only” and “What if” thinking is counter-productive because it does not deal with now. Remember Martha and Mary in John 11 confronting Jesus after Lazarus had died. They said, “If only You had been here, my brother would still be alive”. Jesus however, said. “I AM” the resurrection and the life. Right now is today. Not yesterday or someday. Think about what is real right now. Also, control and meditate the new thoughts according to scripture.

Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Meditate, think on these things. If you are like me, I have some retraining of my mind to do. As I am writing this, I am determining to capture my thoughts that lead to doubt, fear, what if’s, and things that bring on frustration and anger. I will CHOOSE to think on what is true, noble…

Loving the Lord with our soul and mind through the commands of Phil. 4:4-8 will produce more love for God and health in our communication with God, self, and others. Your lightnside will become brighter as you always rejoice and meditate on proper thoughts.  

Deut. 6:5 Love the Lord your God…

“Love the Lord your God…”

This was a commandment given to the Israelites after being rescued from Egypt and traveling in the wilderness. They were getting ready to go back to Jericho and would win the battle with God’s help. They now needed a standard to live life by. They needed a focus to keep them close to God and out of trouble with each other each day. The command that has all of the commandment build into it…Love the Lord your God.

Built to Love

We are all built to love. It’s a powerful emotion that focuses our life on the object of our love. When we stand to get married, we pledge a promise to love. For better or worse, richer or poor, to love honor and (often omitted) obey. It is the love for one another that brings all the other commands and duties into action. The more we love, the more we want to do for our mate.  

My wife worked for Crisis Pregnancy’s Center for several years.  As a pregnant girl comes in thinking about an abortion, the goal is to have an ultrasound performed. Most every time the girl sees the baby, love is generated toward that child. Because of love, the mother will overcome many difficulties to protect and nourish that child. 

First & Greatest Commandment

In Matthew 22:36-40 a lawyer asked Jesus “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

All the laws of God are automatically wrapped in love for God and love for others. With these two loves focused in our lives, almost every situation would be dwelt with as God would have intended.  

Ignoring & Hating God has consequences

It is when we don’t love God that many problems and dangers come into our lives. Some people hate God. They blame God. That anger produces such hate and darkness around them, and it gives the demonic kingdom a new soul to destroy. Violence, jealousy, selfishness, rebellion, self-hate are all elements of misplaced love. Love of darkness. Love of self.  Love of stuff. Love of sin. This sinful focus only steals, kills, and destroys themselves and others around them. Pride and selfishness ignores God. They become their own God. No respect or honor to Almighty God except to ask for blessings and rescue. Life revolves around themselves. This self focus eventually brings about destruction of self and others.

Love of God Revival

We could use a revival of Love for God in today’s world. Such hate and violence in our streets and politics. What would happen if suddenly a mighty move of God’s presence comes down and repentance begins in the churches and places of power? What if love for God became our national focus? We would start to love one another no matter the political side, the race, or the confused sexual perversions. Healing would come to our cities because the Love of God would change our focus. 

“Lord, help each one of us to evaluate our love for you. How much do I love You? Your word says we should love you with all our hearts.” Is God my main focus of love? Do I declare my love for God? “Lord, help me to love you more. Help me to honor you more. Help me to focus on You rather than on me most of the day.” Love God more and your lightnside will grow bright red for all to see.

The next blog will deal with the added commandment “all our soul, mind, (strength).”

The Lord our God is ONE

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

A healthy connection with God begins with this statement. It is a command to be spoken daily. It is a simple but profound truth that needs to saturate into all the fibers of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. 

This statement in English is not as clear as the original Hebrew. 

We will look at each part of this statement to feel its importance and relate it to ourselves.

Hear, O Israel

Stop everything you are doing. Focus on these words that are coming. They will be the most important words you will hear today, tomorrow, and forever. If you forget these coming words, your life will suffer. You will be following other false truths that will lead you astray.

“Hear, O America.” Stop for a moment and pay attention. Pull away from TV, texts, emails. Pull away from the calendar and today’s agenda. Pull away from social media and what others are saying to you. 

Stop everything and focus. Hear these coming words. Let these words have your complete attention. They will bless your life.

The Lord (Jehovah) -The name of the Lord used by Israel. Our God (Elohiym) – a Plural sense of God (Trinity), powers, creation

This short statement brings in the broad sense of God around us. The Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit.) His glory in creation, His diving direction, and acts upon the earth and it’s people. Miracles of life, gifts of love. The wonder and beauty of creation on land and in the heavens. The powers of the universe that are established and managed. All that is life and wondrous are part of and from our God.

Take a look around you today. Not at the man-made things but nature, birds, weather, the sun. God established them. One time God said, “Let there be trees,” and today there are still trees.  Even man’s ability to create is only possible because God established the mechanics of elements and laws of physics. God gave man the ability to imagine and discover. Hear, O American… The Lord our Trinity, active creations, life in nature, cycle of life to death and new life.

The Lord is one.   

There is only one. The Trinity, majesty, mercy, miracles, control of the universe, life to all creations. All from only one God. There is no other. All other names of gods are fake gods. They are made up replacements for the only God. The One God. Your God.

This truth must be in us.

It must be stated repeatedly so we don’t focus on other colorful sayings that might weaken this truth in us. Like national agendas of emotional outbursts that are trying to take divine focus away from us. State it out loud with me, “Hear, O (you name), The Lord our God, The Lord is one.” He is all and everything. He is mighty and all-powerful. 

Allow this simple statement to daily flood your mind, heart, body, and understanding. In this noisy emotional world, stop, look upwards and say “Hear O (your name), The Lord my God…HE IS ONE.” He is the center of my life. God is the center of my hope and thoughts today. With this truth, my Lightnside will burn bright.

Seasons of Life

“To everything, there is a season…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Changes in life can challenge us. Although some transitions are smooth and joyful, others suddenly come at you like a sudden storm that leaves destruction in its path. We all have these seasons in life. The outcome is not based on the event, but on how you deal with the event. 

Maturity or misery is the outcome of managing life’s challenges.

The reality is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 are so right. To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

How do we handle life’s challenges? It isn’t very reasonable to expect life always to be happy and joyful. As we get older, our bodies begin to wear out and become a challenge. We enjoy our kids as they have kids. We move forward in this life toward the eternity with Christ, which will last forever.

Handling Transitions

The first step of successful transitions is to accept these transitions as normal for everyone. It is normal to have emotional pain for a season. The Bible says, “Blessed are those who mourn…for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4“. A recent sermon I heard stated “there are events in your life you will never get over…but you can get through them. “Unexpected tragedies happen to us, and we never get over them, but we can with God’s help get through them. I remember the phone call from my sister that our dad died in a car wreck. We did not get over this tragedy; we got through it by God’s Grace. His Grace was sufficient for our emotions and times of grief.  

Allow the changes to do a work in you.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Know the God is at work in your time of struggle if you have faith in Him and love Him. This verse applies to those who “love Him.” Allow your love toward God and your faith in the Holy Spirit to produce strength and hope for the future. Embrace times of weeping to bring healing and sharing of love with others around you. 

Perseverance

Romans 5:3-4 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” It is the difficult times of life that produce deep, strong roots of faith and trust in God. As you mature in life’s struggle, you become a person of strength for others younger in life who need direction. Teach them to live life’s transitions in the Godly way.

Allow God’s purposes to unfold

God has a plan for your life. During that life, transitions will take place. Difficulties and seasons of joy and peace will dot your life. Be patient in these events and trust in God. Follow God and allow His plan to unfold in your life. Getting through the good and bad times are part of God’s path. They produce strength, hope, and faith for an eternal future.  

Maybe this is a difficult time for you personally. Certainly, this year is a challenge for us all. How should we manage in this time of transition? Love God, trust God, be patient, allow His Grace to deepen roots of faith and hope in your life. There will be some things you will never get over…but you can get through. May your lightnside grow bright, especially in the darkness.

My Weakness / His Strength

1 Corinthians 2:1-5  

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

The greatest’s paradox of the Christian walk is this. God’s power comes alive in our weaknesses. It promotes trust in God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Just the opposite is also true. When we feel we have all the strength and answers, we discover life is better, trusting God in weakness than believing in ourselves.

Trusting God in weakness is a sign Christian maturity.

Walking through life’s difficult times and sometimes fearful situations is not easy. However, trusting God’s provision and believing God is in control of our life places all the responsibility in His hands. We simply walk in faith. We become weakest when we do not admit we are weak. When we think we are strong and smart, we are heading for more frustration and failure.

Paul’s example

Paul had a thorn in the flesh that he asked God to remove several times. He begged God to take this trouble away. God did not. Instead, God told Paul, My Grace is more powerful than your weakness. It is because you have a weakness that My power will grow in you. Most of us would continue to grip and be downcast because of our problems or troubles. Let us instead embrace our weaknesses and look to His greatness. During these stressful times, let us call upon God to lead us and to show His power even through impossible situations. That is where He lifts us beyond our ability to His glory.

Paul began to glory in weaknesses, in tough situations, in hunger and beatings. It was because when he was hurting, empty, and did not know what to do, God’s mercy would show up in power, direction, situations, and everybody recognized God’s power through Paul.

Lord, help me to see my difficulties as opportunities for your power to work through me.

Are there difficult things in your life that have your focus? 

Lift your eyes to Christ and ask for His grace. Allow God to show His power through you. In our weaknesses, God is strong and will gladly share His mercy, power, presence in your life. Let your lightnside shine with God’s Mercy.

Laughing with joy

What makes God laugh? We do, of course!

This devotion is from a writings by Liz Curtis Higgs on Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Joy and laughter are part of God’s plan for us. Consider these verses:


Psalms 16:11 ” You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Psalms 32:11 “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”

John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

How one laughs with the Lord is as individual and private a decision as how one prays. Laughing is an expression of joy that comes from the heart of God Himself. Laughter and music are two of God’s finest gifts. They give us the ability to express our inner feelings about God with a sense of joy, anticipation, and participation. “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”

World vs. Godly humor

The best source of humor is right at the end of your nose as you are looking at a mirror. The ability to laugh at ourselves is a sign of maturity, healthy self-esteem, and having our priorities straight. Remember, God is on the throne, and we are on the ground!

Worldly humor – Glorifies sin / Puts others down / Ridicules Righteousness / Hurts the Spirit

Godly Humor – Avoids offense / Builds up others / Honors the Lord / Heals the spirit.

Laughter aids Healing

Laughter puts the emotions and the physical body in a healing mode. Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Laughter is a pain reducer; it increases our ability to cope with life. Laughter massages our internal organs and exercises our facial muscles. Laughter increases the heart rate and improves circulation.

Let us look at light and eternity and see the big picture. Let us rejoice in the Lord. Let us make sure we are not practicing the wrong kind of humor that is destructive but bring joy to others, and ourselves and all our lightnsides will shine bright.

How many men does it take to fix the light? Only one…on a cross. And He fixed the light for all who believe.”

Revival in our bondage

Ezra 9:8 …”That our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.

In my daily devotions, I came across this verse, and it would not let me go. “Give us a measure of revival in our bondage.” This passage is found in Ezra, where God has directed King Artaxerxes to allow some of the captive Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God. 

Israel had been taken captive by enemy kings because of their failure to stay faithful to God. Israel was in bondage in a foreign kingdom and away from God’s blessings. But a change is beginning to take place. Now Israel is allowed to return to Jerusalem with a repentant heart. God has shown them mercy and His blessing so that in their bondage, revival could break out.

2020 – The year of bondage.

This year has been like no other in our memories: a world pandemic virus, great hatred in politics, and the cities. Sexual perversions and destruction of the Biblical family have attacked our schools and even churches—rebellion toward authorities. Financial challenges are pressing in on cities, businesses, and families. This year is a year of bondage like no other in my life.

Two things must happen for revival to break out in our bondage.

  1. God must enlighten our eyes. God must make clear the eyes of our heart and understanding of the path toward sin our nation has traveled.  2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
    • Are there areas in your life that needs repentance?
    • Pastor, do you preach a message of holiness and repentance?
    • Are you praying for our nation to return to God?
  • God must send the revival. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. Man cannot create revivals. We can seek and pray for revivals, but only God can send His presence into a place or nation to bring about sincere repentance. I was a part of the Brownsville Revival in 1995 to 2000. God brought revival into that sanctuary on Father’s day. An outpouring of God’s presence caused thousands to travel and experience a true revival of His presence. This revival changed my life forever.
    • Seek God for revival.
    • Return to daily devotions and prayer.
    • Love the Lord you God with all your heart.

As followers of Christ, we must again look to God and ask for a revival in our bondage. We must ask God to enlighten our eyes as we repent of the sins of our nation. 

Revival in our bondage

I believe God will send us His presence. I believe this nation built with faith and guidance from God will once again see His glory bring about a great revival. This verse in Ezra encourages me. Take the time to read the rest of this chapter that starts with (verse 9) “For we were slaves, Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage…” (click here to read)

Allow your lightnside to seek God’s favor on America and a measure of revival in our bondage.