Who can live in your tent, Lord?
Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
Psalms 15, 1
Yes, who can be a guest at our God? Who is allowed to remain in His presence? Or is it all a little too big for us simple people?
Well, actually it’s impossible that we humans are so close to the holy, great God. But God himself wants to draw us to His heart! Therefore He has taken everything unclean and unholy of us and placed it on Jesus, who suffered for us on the cross. Through this exchange, our unholiness for the holiness of Jesus, we are pure and holy before God. But, we need to be wary and not fall back into the old life style! Our heart should remain truthful, lies and deceitful thoughts should disappear from our thinking. Greed and bad words, but even bad words and thoughts about others are inappropriate for a child of God. Not keeping a promise others rely on, and also corruption are surely not characteristics for God’s people!
Then the presence of God quickly disappears from our hearts and the peace of God moves. We prefer to be filled and guided by the Holy Spirit! His peace in our hearts is a good scale to make sure everything is correct. And His good Spirit will warn us when we are in danger of slipping down from the ways of the Lord. He would like to live with us and overwhelm us with His blessings, His love and peace.
Thank You Father, You are so good to us! Again and again You free the way for us so that we can come to You and can find comfort, encouragement and healing. You’re a really good father who faithfully cares for His children and loves them. Where else can I find so much comfort, hope, peace, love and acceptance?
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15, 5
Jesus is longing for His church, His beloved bride, for whom He sacrificed Himself on the cross. HE loves her hot and dearly!
But the beloved bride has no time. She cares about her well-being. She needs holidays, rest, edification, worship parties and seminars with her superstars. She also has to take care of her physical well-being and work hard to keep the cash register. One wants to go on holiday, the children should be well and a new set of couches could be available. So time passes and the LORD stands at the door and knocks. But hardly anyone wants to hear him or has time for him. They praise him, but do not care about him.
Then the lord becomes sad and says: How can I win back my bride? – and He sends problems and viruses and diseases and suffering. But at first this is of no use either. Only when the governments impose isolation does it become quiet. Now everyone’s sitting at home twiddling their thumbs with boredom. Some get “camp fever” and want to escape, but that’s not possible. Jesus is happy, now His church has the chance to become quiet and listen to Him.
Let’s use the chances this time brings us and seek His face! Let us seek new insights with Him, answers to our questions, new hope and new goals! Let us study the Bible, now we have time! Let us finally pray seriously for our family, neighbors and friends! Let us not waste this time too, but use it wisely, as the LORD wants us to do! Let us remain united with Him, the vine, and new life will spring from us. Let us stop our Christian activities that prevent us from having contact with Him!
Do you know how long you are still alive? How many days do you have left? Use them so that you can stand before the Lord and say: Lord, I have lived for you.
Thank You, Jesus, You want to show yourself in silence and talk to us. You have words of life. We want to turn back to You and become silent and let ourselves be filled anew by You. You yourself, and not a program, shall be alive in us. Thank You for loving us so much!
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. …. Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.
Matthew 4, 1. 11
We as Christians should obey our government and keep the laws. It is not good when a famous pastor of a mega church in the USA holds large meetings, although it is forbidden. Although it is written in the Bible that one must obey God more than man, it is also written that we should obey the authorities. We should seek the best for the city and the country, and pray for our leaders.
When Joseph was in prison, in isolation, God was with him. He was not alone. Jesus is with our brothers and sisters who are imprisoned in North Korea and other countries because of their faith. HE is the LORD who loves us dearly, especially when things get hard. Then He is faithful and does not leave us.
He will also help us through the quarantine, even if we cannot keep contact with our brothers and sisters. He provides a balance, and is much closer to us in these difficult times than in normal times. It is important that we do not lose our gratitude, but continue to praise Him and trust Him. There are still many possibilities even in quarantine. I think of a video from a prison in the USA where many prisoners got to know Jesus and changed the atmosphere in the prison. There is now joy and gratitude and many turn to Jesus. So prison becomes a blessing.
Jesus went into solitude to be alone with His Father. And to be tested in the fight against Satan. When He finally sent Satan away, the angels came and served Him. So it can be with our loneliness: If we affirm it and ask the LORD how we can fill this time meaningfully, He will be there and make us a blessing; – and thus make this time a blessing for ourselves. It may not be so easy to live with only the Lord and no work and distraction. But HE will make it wonderful if we continue to worship Him.
Do not be afraid! HE blesses our way! He is here! Let’s thank and praise Him!!
Thank Jesus that You are here, very, very close to me. Thank You for Your comfort, Your joy and Your palpable closeness!
Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them.
This virus hinders us Christians from our foundation of faith: fellowship with one another.
For us it is vital to have fellowship with other brothers and sisters and to strengthen each other in faith. Now we are supposed to keep contact barriers and no longer be able to hold church services, house groups and prayer circles together. We should do everything alone. Well, we can encourage each other on the Internet, but fellowship is more intense and goes much deeper. Internet is no substitute. We feel alone and we are not doing so well without our brothers and sisters.
That is why we want to meet and talk in twos or threes, have fellowship and pray for our needs and for the world.
Jesus attaches great importance to this. And I think it is feasible. We can meet in twos or threes for walks or in shopping malls or apartments and have fellowship. It would be nice if intensive relationships grow out of it, which will last later. If we learn to trust each other and appreciate trust, then we can pour out our hearts to each other and deep friendships can develop. These dualities are like strong ropes that survive even difficult times and carry us through and the best thing: Jesus is always in our midst. He takes part in everything we talk about and everything that moves us. That’s how small prayer groups achieve great things.
There is always room for a third person. You can take good care of people in need and include them in this two-way relationship and cultivate friendship with them so that they open themselves to Jesus and become Christians. Without community we will not remain Christians for long – just as a coal cannot burn alone. This is why Christians have always sought fellowship, even when they risked their lives for it. At least that is what the LORD wants: stand together and pray for each other.
Thank You Jesus, for the brothers and sisters. They are my brothers and sisters. Thank You, together we can pour out our need in prayer and pray together for others. Thank You, you are then noticeably with us and pour out Your blessing. You are wonderful and it is wonderful to be near You.
If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked way,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
I heard from people that they do not want to make business with Christians because they cheat and lie best. The adultery- and the divorce rate among them is not better than the national average. Even when they live quite well as employees in Christian aid organisation, they are still registered with social welfare offices. They promise a lot but keep little. As Christians they are not better bosses for their collegues. They exploit them more than in secular companies.
It is true, lies, cheating, theft, false promises, oaths, egoism, adultery … that all you will find in Christian communities as well – a disaster for the country that wants to be a Christian nation.
And what is when we check ourselves? Are we then in a good position? It depends on the examiner! One often sees oneself as a super Christian, but when the Holy Spirit checks us we discover ourselves as failures and sinners.
Therefore, please forgive, if I owe any of you anything. Please forgive where I made false promises, where I did not tell the whole truth. Please forgive me. I say so with all my heart. I bow before God and beg for forgiveness, ask Him to change my life, especially free me from selfishness, pride, stubbornness. Forgive me Lord, help me!
Our country needs healing. It has badly sinned. Our Christianity needs repentance otherwise it will go astray. It has to move away from sheer piety to the living Jesus Christ. Only then prayers are answered, only then healing can come in Christian communities and in the whole nation. Let us pray for that but with a humble heart, that also needs forgiveness.
Oh Jesus, You see the misery in our country. Please, bring healing! Forgive me where I did wrong. Yes, I need healing and Your sanctification. Please help me, Lord, and our country.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
you are mine.
Isaiah 43, 1
We are seeing some terrible pictures at the moment. Anxious feelings arise: Am I safe? Is my family safe? Who will die, who will live?
All of a sudden we ask ourselves these basic questions again. What about death? Is Jesus my protection, so that I won’t get sick? What about my faith?
As I was pondering this, the LORD reminded me of the verse that is above my life: “Fear not.”
I know that Jesus has prevented many infections and diseases in me. But this will not prevent me from getting sick now. But I do know that it is He who decides and not this virus. HE is the LORD.
I might even die. But still I know: HE is the LORD, and the decision is His. I am completely in His hands. I will not die from the virus, but when He decides. And that’s always right.
I think of the ten plagues that hit Egypt. The first plagues struck Egypt and Israel alike. But soon God made a difference and the plagues no longer affected His people. How good, HE is still the LORD. HE determines what we can bear and when He makes a difference and spares His people.
Safe in Him; – so it should and must be. Anything else is not faith. So I am safe in Him, have peace in my heart and rejoice in Him.
But I also see the world around me. Everything is in panic, so many are dying. I feel God’s mercy on these people, even if they never wanted to know anything about Him in their lives. This is why prayer comes almost automatically for all those who are infected and perhaps already in hospital. Lord, have mercy.
And I pray for my country, my city, my village, for the government that needs more wisdom, for the doctors and nurses, and also for my brothers and sisters, that they may be protected ….. there is much to pray for.
The virus is pretty much the opposite of what God is, for example also because of the quarantine. We need fellowship and the virus prevents it – and that is why I bind the power of the enemy and proclaim the victory of Jesus. I ask forgiveness for the sins of my people. I pray that God will open the eyes of many for Jesus. HE is the savior, even in this epidemic. Trust Him.
Thank You Jesus, I am safe in You. Please help that many people may recognize You as Lord and Savior. Let signs and wonders happen. Forgive us, have mercy and help my people.
He said to them, “It’s written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a hideout for crooks.”
Luke 19, 46
The temple of God should be beautiful and glorious. The worship of God should constantly take place there and the presence of God should bring healing and peace to the people. God should live and reign in His temple noticeably. There all tears should be dried and healing should be brought to the wounded hearts. But: All sorts of things can be found in the temple, only God himself you have to search. Jesus spoke about the temple which stood in Jerusalem. But the temple of God is our heart today. There the Spirit of God wants to live. Our heart, a house of prayer, without all the trash of this world, pure and holy to the Lord! Our heart, a place of rest, of healing that brings the presence of God. It is supposed to be in a permanent, intimate communion with our Heavenly Father and His peace and joy will reign there. But sometimes our heart is full of bitterness. Lord, help us to forgive as You have forgiven us! Then the peace of God can come into our hearts again. And if we are too busy to find peace, we should ask God if everything we took on us is really necessary. His burden is light, ours often is heavy, too heavy for one human alone.
Father, help me to find rest in You! I give You my bitterness and unrest; help
me to live according to Your will. Your peace should fill my heart!
Jesus said in a loud voice:
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Yesterday I spoke a little bit about wells. Digging a well is a lot of work. But it is worth every effort when finally fresh water is available. Certainly you have to scoop it up from the well always again as stale water tastes bland.
Some do not bother digging like many do not ask about Jesus. Jesus, however, said: Who seeks Me from the heart, will find Me. Words of life we hear from Him. He himself is the living water. who can quench our thirst. As said above, it may take some effort to go to the well, but all water that does not come from Him is not fresh, is stale, has no life.
Indeed, we absolutely need the encounter with Him, the daily talk. the listening to Him. We never want to be satisfied with hearing His word only on Sundays to drink stale water the whole week through. No, we want fresh water all the time, we want Jesus always!
One has to take care that the water in the well is not polluted. Therefore the wells are covered with large lids. Enemies want to poison the water to have easy play with people, to confuse and deceive them. Sin then pollutes the living water being now a deadly danger to us. With the gift of discernment we have to purify all again that clean water can continue to flow. Wonderful, Jesus then forgives and does not require any further exercises of penance. He loves us so much.
The living water we drink flows through us and bless all people around us. Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit who touches people we are talking to. Living water are flowing to them when we pray for them.
What a great blessing we can be for them all!
Thank You Jesus, You quench my thirst for truth, forgiveness, hope and peace, for harmony with God and answer all my questions about meaning and purpose of life. You are the living water that heals my soul and refreshes my heart. What a grace that I found You. All honor to You!
Thus says the Lord God:
…and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 36, 2+11
Yes, that’s the way the Lord speaks. Everything that He says happens, He always keeps His word; – HE has the last word over everything.
The people of Israel had to endure heavy judgments, and the neighbors mocked and plundered them. But the fate of Israel will be turned around and the LORD will do them more good than ever before.
Sometimes things are not going so well for us either. There can be times of weakness and illness, or unemployment, housing shortage or tensions in marriage and family. Sometimes the LORD needs it to purify us, just as He prunes the vine to make it more fruitful. Sometimes it is His education to make us strong and mature in faith. Sometimes it is judgment because we hold on to sin.
But God never leaves us to these things forever. He wants to free us from them and bring us to glory. He wants to do good to us all our lives (cf. Psalm 23).
Even from the worst illnesses He wants to free us and bring us to His house so that we can be well again; – He takes us away from pain and brings us to safety.
Our little missionary work has already had several setbacks. But always the LORD has lifted us up again and done us more good than ever before. We do not know His ways in advance, but we entrust ourselves to Him; – HE is our LORD, who means well with us.
It is like Isaac with his wells. Whenever others disputed him about the well, he went on and dug a new well until he found rest. That well had the best water in the world, living water. The other wells that were taken from him became filthy and their water turned bad. But the LORD opened a living well for him, and the water became living for many. He always gives something new and better after a fight or struggle. Is He not wonderful?
Thank You Jesus, You are alive and Your Word is alive and it is living food for my soul. Yes, I live only through You, my Lord. Thank You, You care for me and make good all harm.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate
and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love
This is the description of God: merciful, gracious, long-suffering, gracious and faithful.
And still there are brothers praying, filled with doubt, whether God hears their prayer … Of course He hears our prayer! Only doubt and small faith limits God in His action.
Whoever does not believe that God is gracious and merciful, how can he pray? He can try to persuade God or annoy God by constant repetition, or he can pray rituals and fine words, he can make a deal with God: If you do this, I promise you …
But this is not the kind of praying Jesus taught us! HE came to His Heavenly Father in childlike trust. HE did not need many words, because He knew: the Father hears Him. He knew that God loves Him above everything and does everything that the Son desires. And yet He only asked for what He knew was God’s will.
If my earthly Father were like this: Long-suffering, gracious, merciful and faithful, then I would have had a thousand wishes as a child. And if my father had been the king of the whole world, then I would have prayed immediately (like “The Little Lord” in the book) for all the people living in misery. My earthly father could not have refused me, because He loved me.
And we? Do we not have a Father in heaven who loves His children? Is He not gracious, merciful, long-suffering, patient and faithful? Why do we pray so little, and when we do pray, why with so little confidence?
HE likes to hear prayer. HE likes these conversations with us. He likes to make us happy. And especially He likes it when we look away from ourselves and pray for others.
In prayer we realize how wonderful He is. How much He is Father. How His being is full of grace. Oh, HE is so wonderful, and so wonderful is the encounter with Him in prayer! Ah, that we would seek God’s face more, then the world would be different today ….
Thank You Father, You love me, You hear my weak prayer! You know that I trust You and love You. How beautiful that You are so gracious and long-suffering, so faithful and reliable!