A Spiritual Inventory for 2013

Bennett Park, Charlotte, Michigan, USA  (Photo by Mark J Booth)

Bennett Park, Charlotte, Michigan, USA (Photo by Mark J Booth)

The year 2013 has arrived .  Perhaps, we have already made some goals for our life.  We may plan to do more exercise or eat less food.  Perhaps, we want to travel more,   or have a goal to get out of debt.  In light of our goals for 2013, will we take the time to do an inventory of our spiritual lives?

God says in Haggai 1:5: “Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” God’s people had returned to their land, but they had neglected to rebuild the temple.  They were too busy with their own affairs. to concern themselves with God and His priorities.  Today, we often neglect our spiritual lives because we become preoccupied with all the activities in this world.  Like the Israelites, have we neglected to take an inventory of our relationship with God?

The word “consider” means to note thoroughly, to perceive clearly, to think deeply.  This word is used sixty-six times in the Bible.  Why does God place such a priority on this word?  Is it because He knows that we have the habit of keeping busy so that we don’t take the time to consider our walk with Him?  Here are some questions to help begin an inventory of our spiritual lives.

1. How well do I know God?  “That I may know Him.” (Philippians 3:10)  These words show Paul’s great desire to know the Lord in a personal way.  He didn’t just want to know about God, but to know Him as His Father, Lord and Friend.  To know God means to spend time with Him in His Word. This means that we study His Word to learn more about His character, His works, and His promises.  To know God means to spend time in prayer with Him.  To know God also means to spend time meditating upon Him in order that our love and desire to please Him will grow.

2. How well do I know myself?  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” (Psalm 139:23) We often find it difficult to allow God to search every aspect of our lives.  We like to focus on all of our “good points” and we tend to ignore our sins or weaknesses.  God gives us His Word to enable us to see areas that we need to change in our lives.  When we read the Word of God, do we allow God to convict us of our sins?  Do we allow Him to show us areas in our lives in which we need to improve?    Do we allow Him to show us our apathy in spiritual matters?  Examining our lives may not be pleasant, but it is a great step in moving forward in our spiritual lives in 2013.

3. How well do I use my time?  “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)  Time is a gift that we often waste on matters that are not very important.  We have many tools today to save time; yet we seem to have less time than ever to do those things that are important.

Big Ben-London England (Photo in Public Domain)

Big Ben-London England (Photo in Public Domain)

The Apostles Paul understood that his greatest priority in life was to mature in his faith.  “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) His time, efforts and focus were upon his spiritual well-being.  We spend a lot of time taking care of our physical bodies, but what about our spiritual life?   Time is a gift that we can invest in those things that promote our spiritual well-being.

4. How well do I encourage those around me?  We often focus upon our own lives and we forget the impact that our lives have upon other people.  One of my favorite Bible characters is Barnabas.  He was a man who was always encouraging others.

  • He encouraged others by his example. He did this with his generous gift to the church (Acts 4:36-37). The Bible also says about Barnabas: “He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:” (Acts 9:23) If people followed our example what kind of Christian would they be?
  • He encouraged others by his friendship.  Barnabas extended the hand of friendship to Paul when nobody else did. (Acts 9:26-27) People need friends, but our culture of isolation has kept us from reaching out to others with the needed hand of friendship.
  • He encouraged others with his words.  Barnabas was a leader who encouraged the early church in Antioch with his words (Acts 9:23)  We can use our words to discourage a person or to encourage them.
  • He encouraged others by giving them a second chance.  John Mark had failed on the first missionary journey.  Paul didn’t want to take the chance to take John Mark on the second journey.  Barnabas choose to give John Mark a second chance.  This same John Mark would later write the Gospel of Mark.  People will fail us, just as we fail others.  Will we give them a second chance?

5. How well do I glorify God in all that I do?  The greatest purpose of our life is to bring glory to God.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)  God wants to be glorified in all that we do.  Do we glorify God in our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions?  De we glorify God in our family? Do we glorify God at work or school?  Do we glorify God with our plans and goals in life?

We have come to another crossroads in our lives.  We have a great opportunity before us.  What will we do with this opportunity?  We can move forward in our spiritual lives or we can remain stagnant.  God desires us to move forward in our spiritual lives.  Will we take the time to make an inventory of where we are spiritually?

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am entering a new year.  I know that I have fewer years ahead of me than behind me.  It is critical that I allow you to clearly show me, what I need to do in this coming year. Help me to know you more intimately. Guide me as to the use of my time.  Use me to encourage the people you bring into my life.  Above all, I want to glorify you in all that I am and do.  Thank you for the blessings of 2012.  Thank you for continuing your work in and through my life. Amen”

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Christmas Thoughts and Greetings for Today

Bennett Park, Charlotte, MI  Photo by Mark J Booth

Bennett Park, Charlotte, MI Photo by Mark J Booth

Merry Christmas to all of you who subscribe to my blog or read my posts.  May each of you enjoy this special time of year with family and loved ones.  This Christmas for me is very special.  Sharon and I are glad to have our whole family with us for three days.

As we think about this time of year we can’t forget the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Here are three thoughts that I pray would be a blessing to those who read them.

1. Do not fear God’s plan for your life. Embrace it! God does know what He is doing. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” (Luke 1:30)

2. Do not ever limit what God can do with your life. What may seem insignificant to man is very significant to God. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2) In the birth of Jesus, God used 1) an insignificant young woman (Mary) 2) an insignificant object (a manger) 3)an insignificant city (Bethlehem) 4) an insignificant nation (Israel). God wants to use each of us “insignificant” people for His purposes and His Glory. Can we say: “Here, am I Lord, use me.”?

3. Do we know the One who was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago?  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
1. He is the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy.
2. He is the coming King.
3. He is the Savior of the World
4. He is the Messiah (the Deliverer)
5. He is the Lord.
6. He is God in the flesh.
 

“Dear Lord
Help me to see beyond the lights of Christmas and see you, the Light of the World.
Help me to see beyond the gifts of Christmas and see you, the Gift from God the Father.
Help me to see beyond the food of Christmas and see you, the Bread of Life.
Help me to see beyond the activity of Christmas and see you, the Rest for my Soul. Amen”

The Wonder of the Babe in the Manger

The Canadian Rockies-Photo by: Mark J Booth

The Canadian Rockies-Photo by: Mark J Booth

Christmas in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1983 was quite different for our family of three. I had always been accustomed to cold weather and snow in Michigan.  In Johannesburg, it was the middle of the summer.  What could we do special with our toddler?  We ventured out one evening to nearby Joubert Park to see the annual Christmas displays.  We were surprised that the displays had nothing to do with Christmas.  Each display depicted a fairy tale story.  What did the Three Blind Mice and Little Jack Horner have to do with Christmas?   Where was Jesus in the manger?  Where was the Christmas music?  Finally, in a quiet corner, we found the manger scene lost in the midst of the fairy tales.

An Old Photo of Joubert Park without the Christmas displays.

An Old Photo of Joubert Park without the Christmas displays.

Today, those displays remind me of how easy it is to forget Jesus in the midst of all the activity, lights, music and shopping of the season.  We may give Jesus a little corner of our lives as the baby in Bethlehem, but are we willing to allow Him to rule in our hearts and lives?

Seven hundred years before Christ’s birth, the prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning the birth of Jesus Christ.  He not only spoke of His birth, but revealed the character of the coming Deliverer of Israel.  These words are quite well-known; yet do we know the meaning of this description of Jesus?

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

This description of Christ creates a spirit of prayer, worship and praise unto Jesus.  Yes, He came to earth as a baby, but He is unique.  He is God in the flesh.  Do we take the opportunity to pray, honor and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  Will you join me in the following prayers based on the greatness of the baby in the manger.

“And His Name Shall be Called:

  1. Wonderful-“Dear Lord Jesus, As I read the Bible, I often treat it as textbook from which to learn truth.  I can lose the wonder of being in your presence.  I can lose the wonder of all that you have done in my life.  Please restore the wonder of your birth, life, death and resurrection in my life. With wonder comes true worship. You are worthy. Amen”
  2. Counsellor-“Lord, you are always there to guide me. When I don’t know what to do, you show me the way. When I need to pour out my heart to someone, you are always ready to listen. Thank you for being my counselor always and in every situation. You are truly the All-Wise God! Amen”
  3. The mighty God-“Dear Lord, I often find myself trying to live the Christian life without you. I try to deal with life’s difficulties on my own. I forget that you are all-powerful and that nothing is too hard for you. Help me to lean upon your all-powerful arms. Help me to trust you in every situation and to remember that nothing is impossible with you. Thank you for your patience towards me. Thank you that you are the mighty fortress to whom I may always flee. Amen”
  4. The Everlasting Father-“Dear Lord, because you are the Father of Eternity, you are always with me. You love, protect and provide for me. Thank you for giving me eternal life. Help me to love you even in a small way as you love me. Help me to learn at your feet and be quick to obey you. Thank you that I can call out to you as My Heavenly Father, and you always answer! Amen”
  5. The Prince of Peace-“Lord, thank you for dying on the cross for me, so that I may have peace with you! I also thank you that when I cast my cares upon you, I may also experience your peace every day. Please work in the hearts of the many people who don’t know you as THE PRINCE OF PEACE. Amen.

This time of year is a great opportunity to renew our wonder in the attributes and works of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  Let’s not view Jesus as the babe in the manger, but as the Savior of the world and the Lord of our lives. Let’s do more than keep in Christ in Christmas.  Let’s keep Christ in the center of our lives.

If I Loved Jesus, I Would …

Sunset at Guincho Beach (Cascais-Portugal) Photo by: Mark J Booth

Sunset at Guincho Beach (Cascais-Portugal) Photo by: Mark J Booth

“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”  (John 21:16) This question addressed to Peter three times, is perhaps the most searching of all questions made by Jesus Christ.  This question also penetrates the deepest recesses of my soul.  Yes, I may say I love Jesus.  Yes, I may think I love Jesus, but do I truly love Him?  He first loved me, but am I loving Him in return?

  • If I loved Jesus, I would believe and trust in His Word..
  • If I loved Jesus, I would repent of my sin and accept Him as my Lord and Savior.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would enjoy walking with Him every day.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would pour out my heart to Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would enjoy opening up His Word and listening to Him every day.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would share His love with my family, friends and others.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would seek to please Him in all that I say, think and do.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would forgive others as He has forgiven me.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would obey Him, no matter the consequences.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would trust him with every area of my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love others as He has loved me.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would serve Him wherever He would call me
  • If I loved Jesus, I would live each day to bring honor and glory to Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love my wife, as He loves the church.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would raise my children to know Him and love Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would look forward to being with Him in heaven.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would quickly confess my sins unto Him.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would give him thanks for all of His blessings in my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would meditate upon His words, His titles and His attributes.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would be content and not have a complaining spirit.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would love His church, of which He is the Head.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would make him the priority relationship in my life..
  • If I loved Jesus, I would sing praises unto Him because He is worthy.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would seek His guidance in every decision I make.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would find refuge in Him during the trials of my life.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would learn to wait upon Him when I get impatient.
  • If I loved Jesus, I would cast all of my cares upon Him because He does care.

“Dear Lord Jesus, your love is beyond anything I can comprehend.  I don’t deserve to be loved by you. You have been extremely patient and merciful unto me.  As I reflect upon my love for you, I can see that I have fallen far short of loving you with all of my heart, my soul and my mind.  I know that you are easy to love; and yet I find it so difficult to love you as I ought.  My selfishness, my pride, my desires and my lack of faith keep me from pouring out my love to you.  Please forgive me for my lack of love towards you. Thank you for not quitting on me. Thank you for your continued work in my life.  Thank you for the fact that one day when I see you face to face, I will love you as I ought.  Though I know my love is incomplete now, I want to say: “I love you, Lord.”

The Distress of My Soul (Psalm 31:7)

A Boca do Inferno (The Mouth of Hell) Cascais, Portugal.  Photo by: Mark J Booth

A Boca do Inferno (The Mouth of Hell) Cascais, Portugal. Photo by: Mark J Booth

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;” (Psalm 31:7)

Physical pain is a warning sign that something is wrong with our body.  The pain is screaming out for attention as though it is saying: “You have a problem, and you need to do something about it!”

Likewise, when we have pain in our soul (our innermost being), it is a warning sign that something is wrong.  The following problems can cause our soul to cry out in pain.

  • Sin in our life.
  • Lukewarmness towards spiritual matters
  • Resistance to God’s will
  • Selfishness
  • Emptiness within our soul
  • Confusion
  • An angry spirit
  • A great and heavy trial
  • Loneliness, etc.

Like our physical pain, we can tell others about the pain, but they don’t really understand.  The Lord God alone can feel the pain of our soul.  He alone can diagnose the pain of our soul.  Psalm 31:7 says: “Thou hast known my soul in adversities.”  God knows our pain. He knows when our soul is crying out in distress.  God wants us to pour out our heart to Him as we share the pain of our soul.

Not only does God know the pain of our soul, but He diagnoses the source of this pain for us.  How is this accomplished?  Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

When we read and study the Word of God, God uses it to penetrate the deepest part of our soul.  An x-ray machine shows what is under our skin.  The Word of God shows what is in our soul.  It shows our sins, fears, doubts, sorrows, pain, hurts, anger, bitterness and many other trials and diseases of our soul.

The Word not only shows us the trials and diseases of our soul, but it also shows us the cure for our soul.  Are we experiencing the following ailments of the soul?  Have we tried God’s remedy for each ailment?

  • Sin? Confess our sin to God. (1 John 1:9)
  • A deep trial? Depend upon His grace (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • An angry spirit? Yield all of our rights to God. (Matthew 5:5)
  • An overwhelming burden? Cast our care upon Him. (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Loneliness? Remember the presence of God. (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Bitterness? Forgive in our heart the offending party as Christ has forgiven us. (Ephesians 4:32)
  • Fear? Lean upon God’s perfect love because love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
  • Lukewarmness? Take time to enjoy deep communion with the Lord.(Revelation 3:20)
  • Confusion? Allow the Lord to direct our way. (Psalm 32:8)
  • Sorrow? Find joy in Jesus. (Psalm 30:5)

The Lord knows us inside and out.  He knows our heart.  When our soul is in distress, we know that he will hear our cry.  He gives us answers for the distress of our soul.  The pain in our soul is God showing us our need for Him in a certain area of our life.  He is ready to apply His cure to our aching soul.

“Dear Lord, my soul often experiences pain.  My words, actions, and attitudes cause much of the pain in my soul.  Other people can also create some pain in my soul.  Regardless of the cause, please show me the source of the pain in my soul and its cure.  I thank you that you are the Great Physician who heals all the diseases and troubles of my soul. Amen”

What about Bad Tidings in the Season of Good Tidings? (Psalm 112:7)

Storm brewing over Downriver Area of Metro Detroit.

Storm brewing over Downriver Area of Metro Detroit (2011)

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7)

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” is a Christmas Carol that people sang since the 16th century in England.  If is a song of joy as expressed in the words: “Good tidings we bring to you and your kin. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”  However, not everybody receives good tidings during this time of year.  We still face trials, sorrow, and pain.  Many people even feel a deeper sense of loneliness during this time of year than at any other time of the year.  Yes, evil tidings don’t stop during this time of year: however there is good news from God in the midst of evil tidings that may come our way.

In the Bible, we see many people who triumphed over the evil tidings in their lives.  Joseph overcame many evil tidings, including betrayal, slavery, and prison, to become the prime minister of Egypt.  Ruth overcame the evil tidings of the death of her husband and living in poverty.  She would soon marry Boaz and become the great-grandmother of King David.

God gives us his Word to encourage us as we face the evil tidings of life that may come our way.  Every day, “bad news” can surprise us. We don’t ask for it, but it is a package delivered to the doorway of our lives.   How can we triumph even in the midst of bad news?  How can we see good news come out of the bad news?  Psalm 112:7 gives us some answers to these questions.

Normally, our first response to bad news is to be afraid or fearful.  Fear paralyzes us.  It causes us to focus upon the bad news instead of our Great God.  God tells us that we do not have to be afraid of the “evil tidings” that enter into our life.  God knows that fear will keep us from seeing Him clearly.  Fear causes us to doubt the goodness and the power of God.  For this reason God gives us many verses that command us to “fear not”.

  • But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob,and he that formed thee, O Israel, FEAR NOT: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
  • ” FEAR THOU NOT; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)
  • “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID.” (John 14:27)

When fear departs in the midst of the bad news, then we are able to do the next step in facing our bad news.  We now can “fix our heart” upon the Lord.  Our bad news is an opportunity to focus upon God.  We can focus upon all of His attributes and promises.  When we fix our heart upon the Lord, it may not change our circumstances, but it will change how we face our circumstances.  We will understand with the Apostle Paul that
God’s grace is sufficient for the “evil tidings” that may come in our life.

Once fear has departed and we have fixed our heart upon the Lord, then we can have faith in Him.  Faith is responding to all that we know about God.  The more we know the Lord, the more we will be able to trust Him.  True faith knows that God will never leave us, nor forsake us regardless of the “bad news” that may come our way.  His love is an unchanging love.  He loves us with an “everlasting love.”.  Faith in our Lord will dispel any fear in our life.  It will enable us to bear whatever “bad news” that comes our way.

In summary, when we receive bad news, Psalm 112: 7 tells us three ways to respond to the “evil tidings”

  1. Do not allow fear to dominate our thoughts and actions.
  2. Fix our heart upon the Lord.  Let our thoughts focus on the Lord.
  3. Place our faith in the Lord.  He will carry us as we face the “bad news’ in our life.

When the “evil tidings” enter into our live, God has a way of turning those evil tidings into an opportunity to see Him work in our life and in the lives of those around us.  God will turn those “evil tidings” into “good tidings” that will draw us closer to Him, and bring glory to His name.

“Dear Lord, the news that I receive is not always good.  I see people who are suffering.  I visit those who have marital problems.  I talk with those who have a loved one who is dying.  I see people who have turned away from you.  I also face difficulties from time to time in my life.  My tendency is to face the bad news with fear.  Help me, to turn my eyes off the “bad news” and fix my heart upon you.  Please, increase my faith.  Help me to believe that you will take this “bad news” and make it into something good. Thank you for your great plan for my life. Amen”

 

Jesus is Knocking. Will I Answer? (Enjoying the Presence of God)

Rogue River Trail-Rockford, MI (Photo by: Mark J Booth)

Rogue River Trail-Rockford, MI (Photo by: Mark J Booth)

The Christian life encounters many pitfalls. One unsuspecting pitfall is that we lose the joy of being a Christian.  We become lukewarm in our relationship with Christ.   Prayer is routine.  Bible study is a chore.  Our worship has become cold and formal. What has happened to our lives?

There was a church in the New Testament that had these same problems.  Jesus spoke these words to the church at Laodicea: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”(Revelation 3:15-16)  This church was religious, but they no longer enjoyed Christ’s presence. They had lost a vibrant relationship with their living Lord.

What was Christ’s answer to their problem? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) Christ was telling the church that they were leaving Him out of their lives.  He politely was knocking on the door of their hearts; so that they would once again enjoy having fellowship with Him.

Chateau-Abbadia (Southwestern France)Photo by: Mark J Booth

Chateau-Abbadia (Southwestern France)
Photo by: Mark J Booth

 A meal in Bible times was a time-consuming event where people enjoyed talking and listening to one another.  Jesus longs for this kind of communion with us.  Have we opened the door?  Christ has prepared a meal for us with His presence and blessings. Have we sat down and taken the time to enjoy His presence?  He is waiting. 

When we take the time to enjoy Christ’s presence, we will view life and our circumstances from a totally different perspective.  We will see life as God sees life.  We will see our problems as God sees our problems.  God has prepared a banquet for us. Here is what He offers to us as take time to enjoy His presence.

1. We have guidance in our life.  “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me;” (Psalm 43:3a) The question is often asked: “How can I know the will of God?”  To understand the will of God means more than following a formula, but we follow the Lord.  As we commune with the Lord, we will discover what pleases Him and what doesn’t please Him.  God’s greatest priority for our lives is that we know Him.  His light and truth will guide us. 

2. We enjoy true worship of God. “let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” (Psalm 43:3b) The Psalmist in the midst of all that was happening in his life saw the importance of worshiping God. Worship is not to please ourselves, but to please our Lord.  He desires worship because He is worthy of our worship.  Our worship is bringing glory to God in all that we say and do.  When we worship God, we recognize His presence and majesty.  

3. We have joy in spite of the circumstances in our life.  “Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy:” (Psalm 43:4a) The Psalmist faced many trials in his life which caused him to become to discouraged and depressed.  He understood that in God’s presence there is great joy.  No matter what is happening in our lives, if we remember that God is with us, we can experience a joy that is not based upon circumstances, but based upon a relationship.

4. We have an attitude of praise.  “yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.” (Psalm 43:4b)  We often give praise for the blessings that we receive from God, but what about giving praise to the giver of those blessings.  When we enjoy God’s presence, we will focus upon all that God is.  We will praise HIm for His attributes and titles.  Every day, we should take the time to praise God for all that He is and does.

5. We have a contented spirit.  They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” (Psalm 36:8)  A lack of contentment is a warning sign that we are not enjoying God’s presence.  When we are walking with God, we will be totally content. When we are close to the Lord, everything else will fall in place. 

6. We receive comfort from God. I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Comfort is not based on circumstances, but upon our relationship with our Living God.  His rod shows his protection against our enemies.  His staff shows His guidance and help in our lives.  When we have His protection and guidance, we are sure of His comfort and love even in the most trying times. 

Enjoying God’s presence begins with salvation, but it continues for all eternity.  We enjoy His presence as we listen to him, communicate with Him, meditate upon Him and pour out our heart unto Him.  Are enjoying His presence today?

“Dear Lord, my life often becomes filled with the routine.  I have lost the joy of being Christian. I haven’t taken the time or effort to enjoy your presence.  Thank you for knocking on the door of my heart.  Thank you for your desire to fellowship with me.  I now open up the door of my heart to you.  Please come in!  I know that the greatest joy in life comes from being in your presence.  Amen.”