And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.
While Jacob was wrestling with the Angel, another heavenly messenger was sent to Esau. In a dream, Esau beheld his brother for twenty years an exile from his father’s house; he witnessed his grief at finding his mother dead; he saw him encompassed by the hosts of God. This dream was related by Esau to his soldiers, with the charge not to harm Jacob, for the God of his father was with him.
The two companies at last approached each other, the desert chief leading his men of war, and Jacob with his wives and children, attended by shepherds and handmaidens, and followed by long lines of flocks and herds. Leaning upon his staff, the patriarch went forward to meet the band of soldiers. He was pale and disabled from his recent conflict, and he walked slowly and painfully, halting at every step; but his countenance was lighted up with joy and peace.
At sight of that crippled sufferer, “Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” As they looked upon the scene, even the hearts of Esau’s rude soldiers were touched. Notwithstanding he had told them of his dream, they could not account for the change that had come over their captain. Though they beheld the patriarch’s infirmity, they little thought that this his weakness had been made his strength.
In his night of anguish beside the Jabbok, when destruction seemed just before him, Jacob had been taught how vain is the help of man, how groundless is all trust in human power. He saw that his only help must come from Him against whom he had so grievously sinned. Helpless and unworthy, he pleaded God’s promise of mercy to the repentant sinner. That promise was his assurance that God would pardon and accept him. Sooner might heaven and earth pass than that word could fail; and it was this that sustained him through that fearful conflict.
Courage and Conflict p. 70
—– Just wanted to ask for prayer for my coworker Rita — her son is in Afghanistan and his base has been under attack by Al Qaeda all week. Wanangwa
—– Quick update on Emery age 2. PRAISE GOD!!! Yesterday at 7 something in the evening was the first day in about a week and a half that my niece was seizure-free!!! But please keep up the prayers as the devil will most likely try to counteract this miracle that happened. Thanks again so much for all the prayers. This is going to be day two with no seizures! boldly coming before God asking again for another miracle! Ryan
—–update on Kamerah— She is doing MUCH BETTER. She experienced a very rare complication of the flu and other viral infections.
Turns out, her official diagnosis was rhabdomyolysis, basically muscle death. Her muscles were dying and the torn muscle fibers were circulating through her body. Very scary as you can imagine. 50% of kids that get this end up with dialysis… or worse. Some do not survive. They are almost always hospitalized. We are so thankful that our baby girl was able to fight this off. She is almost 100% back to normal. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers. Lacy
—– Prayers, friends. I have been having throat issues for several months but the pain is now bothering me constantly & making it difficult to talk/ sing/eat. I have an appt on Tues with an ENT & am hoping for the simple answer/fix I think it is. But right now I just want to be able to swallow without pain. Marion
—–Please pray for us as we travel out to see Ronnie Jay and his fiancé as well as other family. We will be gone for two weeks and will be bringing Eileen back home with us until she has her appointment concerning what is going on with her back. Pray for her as well as she and Mike will be meeting us at Ronnie Jay’s. Because I will be on vacation, there will be no devotional until May. I will try to post prayer requests as I am able. Rose
Truly we live in the time when wars, rumors of wars, famines, dangers, and pestilences abound. In these uncertain times, Psalm 91 holds promises that we need to claim daily. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” Ps 91
Precious promises! There are conditions to these promises, however. We must abide in our Great Redeemer, Who tells us, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:1-11
Our Dear Saviour longs for us to serve Him from a love-filled heart. He bids us, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Mark 12:30 Our sweetest thoughts should be of Him. Just as David’s heart filled with love, joy, and praise; so can ours. He writes, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” Ps 63:5-8 As we “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thes 5:17) as we meditate upon His Holy Word, our Loving Redeemer will become the focus of our life. We will walk secure in His presence no matter what circumstances surround us, no matter if friends or family forsake us, no matter if in this world we are alone. With Jesus at our side, we are never alone.
May we so live, that we may claim the protection promised in Psalm 91. May we declare as did David, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. . . . I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” Ps 119:10-16 May we “abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28
Last night, when I called my mother, we began to talk about what she calls “this scary old world.” She was telling me that the events that she is now hearing about on the news are the very events that the preachers were preaching about when she was a teenager. I felt like jumping for joy! The Holy Spirit is showing my mother, who has spent her life apart from Christ, “that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Rom13:11
Truly that old hymn by G. W. Sederquist is so applicable today.
Tis almost time for the Lord to come,
I hear the people say;
The stars of heaven are growing dim,
It must be the breaking of the day.
The signs foretold in the sun and moon,
In earth and sea and sky,
Aloud proclaim to all mankind,
The coming of the Master draweth nigh.
It must be time for the waiting church
To cast her pride away,
With girded loins and burning lamps,
To look for the breaking of the day.
Go quickly out in the streets and lanes
And in the broad highway,
And call the maimed, the halt, and blind,
To be ready for the breaking of the day.
O it must be the breaking of the day!
O it must be the breaking of the day!
The night is almost gone, The day is coming on;
O it must be the breaking of the day!
Our Dear Saviour has given us signs whereby we may discern the times in which we are living. He tells us, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemptiondraweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 21:25-31
Let us diligently study God’s Holy Word, that we may be able to discern the fast-fulfilling signs that are happening all around us. Let us “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure, for surely now is the time to get ready for Jesus’ grand and glorious appearing. 2 Peter 1:10 “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;” “that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” Heb 12:1,2; 1 John 2:28