DauA Psalm 91 Life

By Sodwana Bay

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalms 91:4   Issues of the day begin to crowd my mind as I sit in my chair, trying to decide what to write. Will there be an economic collapse or boom? Will upcoming congressional decisions mean change for the better or the worse? Will there be war? Will there be another terrorist attack in our country? Then on a personal level: will I be able to lose the weight I want to lose this year? Will I get my first book published? Will I move forward financially? What will it be like being a grandfather? Just one of these questions can lead us down the road of fear and anxiety if we allow it. Put them all together and we have a mountain of uncertainty. Many people are fearful and panicked because of these questions, including many Christians. They are asking, “Is there hope? Can I survive? What, if anything can I do?” Yes, there is hope in God! In the Bible, God promises, “Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:9-10, AMPC) God also states in Psalm 91 that He will cover you; He will give angels charge over you, no pestilence (no disease), no sudden death, nor any evil shall befall you. And the list goes on. The key to these promises is found in verse 14, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness — trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].” (Psalm 91:14, AMPC) As you determine with your mind to love God and set your heart to do so, you take the first turn of the key for the promises of God found in Psalm 91. Many of you have taken that first turn of the key by accepting Jesus Christ into your heart. For those who have not, there is no better time than now. The next turn of the key is equally important. It is getting to know God with personal knowledge of His mercy, love, and kindness. It is discovering who God is, and not just by reading the Bible and praying. This happens two ways. First, meditate; don’t just read the Bible, but think about what you are reading. According to Webster’s Dictionary, meditate is “to engage in contemplation or reflection; to focus one’s thoughts on; reflect on or ponder over.” In other words, take time to think about what you are reading. In our fast-paced society, we scan more than we read. Take time with the Bible; stop and ask, “What does this mean? How does this apply to my life?” Ask the Lord to help you understand and to teach you. Don’t scan it and walk away saying, “I’ve done my Bible reading for the day,” and check it off of that never-ending To-Do List. Secondly, it happens by making time for God, spending time with Him. Remember, God created man to spend time with Him. An example of this is in the Bible. “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19, AMPC) God would create an animal, and then bring it to Adam to name. God was interested to see what name would be given. I imagine there was some discussion of the creature’s design and purpose between God and Adam. This took time. Also in Genesis, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day … But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9, AMPC) This shows God coming to spend time with Adam and Eve. This was not unusual for Adam and Eve. They even knew the sound of God walking and would go out to meet and spend time with God. This is what God wants, for us to know Him. This is why Jesus came to earth so that a way would open for man to be able to spend time with God and know him again. Set aside time every day to get to know Father God better. Sit and listen for His voice. Get to know His presence. Have personal knowledge and relationship with God. This will unlock all the promises in Psalm 91 and much more will become yours. It will not matter what happens, good or bad, for you will be hidden in God’s presence and protection. Copyright © 2012 Richard Spangler, used by permission.


Why I Know We’ll Be Happy in Heaven

By Sodwana Bay

Our Heavenly Father enjoys blessing His children. This is evident on earth and will be more so in Heaven. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I loved blue jeans and climbing trees. I’d shimmy up the trunk of a tall pine the neighborhood boy couldn’t reach without standing on his bicycle. My trees were forts, castles in the clouds, and hothouses for daydreaming. My arms and legs no longer scale trees or swing from branches. But I still feel the magic when I peek through leafy limbs. Our kitchen sits over our garage. The crepe myrtle growing beside our garage spreads its lovely branches in front of a bank of casement windows. When I look out from my kitchen table, my heart smiles. I’m living in a heated and air-conditioned treehouse. I wasn’t thinking about how much I enjoyed the view from trees when we picked out our house plan or when we planted the crepe myrtle. But God remembered. Our round kitchen table, which doubles as my workstation, reminds me of happy times around my grandmother’s kitchen table. Max, my brilliant standard poodle, ties me to Pepper, another lost treasure from my childhood. Jesus said, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:2-3 (NLT) When I recognized how God had restored these long-lost pleasures in my earthly dwelling, I got excited. How much more will my heavenly home be filled with special touches that show God’s intimate knowledge of me? What deeper joys await us in heaven? Not only does this help us face our own death, but it also softens the grief we feel when we lose a loved one. When our daughter graduated from university, she wanted to live in French-speaking Switzerland. Mixed emotions swirled inside of me when she secured a job there. I rejoiced with her that her dream was coming true. But tears seeped out of my eyes when, after our final hugs, she turned to go through airport security. I wasn’t sure when I’d see her again. When we lose a loved one, we grieve. We know how much we’ll miss them. But when we remember they will be living the biggest dream of their lives, we can also rejoice for them. Heaven will be better than all of our childhood daydreams combined. The landscape will beat any treetop view. And the air will be honeysuckle sweet. “… No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) In what ways has God granted you the desires of your heart? How does that boost your hope for heaven? Copyright © May 2018 Debbie W. Wilson, used by permission.


Verse of the Day: 1 Peter 5:5

By Sodwana Bay

Be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” — 1 Peter 5:5 Thoughts on Today’s Verse…. The word “submissive” is often positive or negative based on its relationship to us personally. It’s nice having someone serve us submissively, but serving someone else submissively is hard work. Unfortunately, we are selfish way too much of the time. But God is at work in direct opposition to anyone who is full of pride and unwilling to serve others, especially if those “others” are older believers! Whether it’s easy to wear the clothes our Father demands or not, we are to intentionally clothe ourselves with humility! My Prayer… Father, thank you so much for the great heroes of faith listed in Scripture. Thank you for those other heroes of faith who have shared their examples and lives with me. Bless them with strength and health. And Father, please use me to bless and to serve all of your children, especially those who have lived many years in faithful service to you and your Kingdom. Because of the grace of Jesus, and in his name I pray. Amen.


Everything is waiting…

By Sodwana Bay

. . . and he will give you the desires of your heart—Psalm 37:4 When the Apostle Paul wrote the word “good” in the passage below, what did he mean? “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). He certainly meant the works—the things we are to do, the ways we are to serve—are good things, in and of themselves. And, of course, he meant the works are good for others, good for those people we are meant to serve. Going a bit further, though, could it be he also meant the things we are to do, the ways we are to serve . . . are good for us, too? Of course he did; of course they are. That’s precisely what Jesus was getting at when he said it’s “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) . . . or, as Eugene Peterson translates: “You’re far happier giving than getting” (Acts 20:35 MSG). It’s been nearly two thousand years and that notion is still counterculture. But the truth is . . . to give, to serve, to notice, to care, to love, to offer our strength to others, to live for others, is actually what brings purpose, fulfillment, joy to our lives. It’s how we men actually get to fully-alive and what-you’ve-always-dreamed-of kind of stuff. It’s one important reason why King David sang, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Okay, so what do we do? It’s simple. The only way to figure out whether Jesus was right on this or not, is to test it—personally. Someone needs you today. Someone needs you, right now. Look around. Who is it? Reach out. Go ahead and help him or her . . . and then, examine the state of your heart after you do.


Jesus, the Messiah

By Sodwana Bay

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. Romans 8:2 MSG