Reading: Lamentations 3:19-26
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness
Lamentations 3:22 NRSV
When the weather is fair, David and I enjoy walking around our neighborhood for exercise after a days’ work. On some weekends, we do our walking in the mornings. As we walk and stretch, we bask in the warmth of sunshine and blue sky. Sometimes we see white fluffy clouds. We also hear birds chirping and see squirrels running up and down big oak trees. At almost every corner we turn, we see huge, tall oak and pine trees. There are also some Crepe Myrtle trees with clusters of purple, pink, or white petals. During spring and early summer, we see lush green grass that carpets the neighborhood lawns. Some are covered with small white or red clover, and some with yellow and white dandelions. There are also different varieties of beautiful, colorful flowers on well-kept yards.
One morning, I noticed next to the sidewalk the green wild grass was covered with small droplets of water that glistened under the sun. At that time, it had been many days since we had rain. So, I knew the water was not from the rain; it was the morning dew. As I looked at the morning dew which moistens the thirsty and dry ground, I was reminded of today’s verse in the Bible that says, God’s love and faithfulness are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
God takes care of the wild grass, the wild trees, and the wildflowers even though they do not receive care as part of someone’s yard. Sometimes we feel dry and weary from all the cares and concerns of this world. However, like those wild grasses that God refreshes through the morning dew, God refreshes our souls too each morning. The Spirit of the Lord blesses us each morning as we spend time with Him in Bible reading and prayer. Each morning with God is a new beginning because of His mercy and love for us.
Reflection: Like the morning dew, God’s love and faithfulness refresh my soul every morning.
Prayer: Thank you dear Lord God for your mercies and steadfast love that renew my spirit every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26
“We may think that the more civilized or educated we are, the less likely we will do something evil. But that isn’t necessarily so. Even people who are decent and respectable on the surface may be harboring deep hatred and anger in their heart.
Only Jesus can cleanse us from the moral and spiritual filth we have allowed to accumulate in our hearts. When we go to Him, God not only forgive us of our sins, but He comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. God’s promise is for all who turn in faith to Christ:” Dr. Billy Graham, Wisdom for Each Day (Daily Encouragement Calendar).The late Dr. Billy Graham said these words many years ago. Yet, they still ring true today! Only Jesus can change hearts of people. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Would you like a new heart?
Open your heart to Jesus and He will give you a new heart
All Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version.
Why should I worry? Why should I fear?
Inflation, war, violence, shootings, economic crisis, and other crazy things going on in the world can cause one to be fearful! Every time I see the price of gasoline, I pray, “Lord, please let it go down.” One morning, during my Bible reading, I felt the Lord spoke words of encouragement to me from His Word. I usually follow a systematic method in my Bible reading (which I recommend). But that morning, I just felt led to open my Bible randomly, and it opened to Isaiah 51.
Immediately I felt the Words of God speaking to me from these verses in Isaiah 51:
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord… (Isaiah 51:1b)
(The Lord knows my heart; I usually pray for righteousness and justice. My heart longs to see righteousness and justice in the world.)
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. (Isaiah 51:1b)
(Jesus is my rock, the chief cornerstone of my faith.)
Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.
For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
“Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples.
My righteousness is near,
My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait upon Me,
And on My arm they will trust. (Isaiah 51:2-5)
(Again, this is my heart’s longing and prayer for the Lord’s justice and righteousness. Thank you, Lord, for encouraging me, that Your righteousness is near; Your arm will judge the peoples, and on Your arm we will trust.)
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished. (Isaiah 51:6)
(Heaven and earth will pass away. All this “stuff” in the world that people pursue – riches, fame, power, and status – will vanish away like smoke. Life is fleeting and temporary; people will come and go, “But My salvation will be forever…” Eternal life in God through His Son Jesus Christ is forever. Only God and His Words are forever.)
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law… (Isaiah 51:7a)
(Again, the Word of God is speaking to me. Since I have Jesus in my heart and have committed my life to Him as my Lord and Savior, I’m called righteous because of Jesus in me. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in me, I keep the law of God in my heart.)
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment,
And the worm will eat them like wool… (Isaiah 51:7b-8a)
(Thank you, Lord, that I don’t need to be afraid what others think of me, and I should not be afraid of insults or negative words others would say to me. It is the Lord who will judge them.)
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation from generation to generation.” (Isaiah 51:8b)
(Again, the righteousness of God in me through Jesus is for eternity. With Jesus’ death on the cross, I’m saved from sin and from eternal damnation. The salvation of God is from generation to generation. Since Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago, many people have been saved and have received eternal life.)
Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord!
Awake as in the ancient days,
In the generations of old.
Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart,
And wounded the serpent?
Are You not the One who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a road
For the redeemed to cross over? (Isaiah 51:9-10)
(The Lord God is Sovereign and all powerful – He wounded the serpent, dried the sea, and made a road for His people to cross over. God is reminding me of the many times He has made a way for me when there seemed to be no way – “Red Sea moments.” Each time I had an impossible situation, He had made a way and provided. The Lord God can do it again.)
So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?
And you forget the Lord your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:11-13)
(Recently, I’ve been dealing with worries and fears. I have not shared it with anyone, even with my husband, but God sees my heart. When I get concern with the price of gasoline, inflation, war, and other crazy things going on in this nation and in the world, I know I should not worry about the future. In Matthew 6:33-34 Jesus said,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.)
The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed,
That he should not die in the pit,
And that his bread should not fail.
But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The Lord of hosts is His name. (Isaiah 51:14-15)
(Again, the Lord is reminding me who He is, the Great I AM. He is the One who divided the sea. He is omnipotent, all powerful and Omniscient, all knowing. The Lord of Hosts is His name.)
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth,
And say to Zion, “You are My people.” (Isaiah 51:16)
(The Lord of Hosts is my Provider, Defender, and Protector because of the Lord Jesus in me. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, He has put His words in my mouth. I only need to obey and to do His will. I should not fear since the Lord of Hosts, the God of Angel armies is with me).
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12)
Thank you, Lord of Hosts, for Your word. Thank you for your encouragement. Please forgive me for fear of man; forgive me for my lack of faith. Help me, Holy Spirit. Please fill me with your Spirit of faith to trust my Lord Jesus to take care of me and my husband. Our future and needs are in Your hands. Lord, forgive me for fear and worries and for forgetting who You are. You are our Creator, our Maker. You are Sovereign, all powerful. Why should I fear? Why should I worry? Thank You that You are a personal God. You are taking care of me and my husband and will take care of us until the end. Lord of Hosts, You are our Provider, Protector and Defender.
If you are thinking or asking the questions, “Does God care? Does God love me?” Try to think and ponder these Words from the Bible.
From the beginning, from the time God created the world and the first man and woman, God has shown His love and mercy.
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18)
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21-23)
God loved and cared for the first man. He cared for Adam so much that He did not want him to be alone. God loved Adam and brought him his companion, Eve.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
God loved Adam and Eve so much that He cared to look for them, even when they messed up and disobeyed His words.
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3:11)
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
God still loved the first man and woman even when they committed sin; He still provided for them tunics of skin for clothing. How merciful God is!
God’s love and mercy continues throughout all generations!
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9-10)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (I John 4:7-8)
God in heaven, loves you very much!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.” In 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone…. And it came to pass on a certain night that the [d]angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. ” 2 Kings 19:19, 35
Quote from Billy Graham:
“Cover to cover, the Bible tells of people whose prayers were answered and who turned the tide of history as a result. Hezekiah prayed, and God spared his nation when the Assyrians attacked. (2 Kings 19).
Elijah prayed, and God sent fire to confound the false prophets and consume the offering on the waterlogged altar. (I Kings 18)
Elisha prayed, and the son of the Shunammite woman was raised from the dead. Jesus prayed, and Lazarus came forth from the tomb. (2 Kings 4)
Paul prayed and new churches were born. (Ephesians 6:18)
The early church prayed, and Peter was delivered from prison. (Acts 12:5)
We can change the course of events if we go to our knees in believing prayer.”
Quote from Billy Graham,”Wisdom for Each Day” Calendar, An Inspirational Dayspring, Daybrightener
Christ is risen, and Christ will come again! Thus, with these words, amidst the crazy things going on in the world, we followers of our Lord Jesus Christ have all the reasons to have hope and to rejoice!
In Matthew 28, the Apostle Matthew wrote the account of the resurrection of Jesus:
Mary Magdalene and other women came to the tomb and found the tomb empty. An angel spoke to them and said, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matthew 28:5-10)
Rejoice! Rejoice, rejoice!
For the Lord is risen
He is risen indeed!
Death has no more dominion
Death and sin have lost its power
Because the Lord has overcome.
People of God rejoice!
The battle has been won!
Christ has won the victor’s crown.
Rejoice for the Lord has overcome!
Rejoice for the Lord is risen,
He has risen indeed!
Rejoice for the battle has been won.
For Christ is coming back soon!
For the Lord will be here soon!