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Archive for the 'Encouraging Verses' Category

“Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God…”

Deuteronomy 8: 11-14a



Seasons of Color

Posted by Jessica

Nov

5

Living in the mountains, we get to enjoy beauty all around us, all year long. This fall, the leaves have been more colorful and vibrant than we’ve had in a long time. With changing seasons, we are reminded of beautiful truths.

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The seasons of each year come and go. Colors around us change and fade. But our Lord and His faithfulness never change. Malachi 3:6a – “I am the Lord; I change not.

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Spring arrives, and with it leaves burst forth on the trees. Just a few months pass, and before we know it, those leaves are changing into varying colors, and then, one by one, they lose their grips on the branches that held them and fall quietly to the ground, arraying the grass below in stunning beauty. Life is a vapor; the days pass swiftly by. We must continually be seeking the Lord and His will for us, moment by moment. James 4:14-15 – “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

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Every day is a gift from the Lord. Each day contains in it many blessings from Him. Even small gifts, like a beautiful sunset or bursts of color during autumn… each is a gift from our Lord, who created everything and allows us to enjoy it.  Psalm 96:6 – “Honour and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

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Bask in the goodness of God. His love for us is unchanging. He is our Light, giving us direction and guidance to take the next step on our journey heavenward. He is our Shield, protecting us from the evil around us. He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace.

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… in the night, His song…

Posted by Kathryn

Oct

13

There is a sweet elderly friend of our family who is known for perpetually having a song in his heart. You know – one of those delightful people that just exude cheerful music no matter what time of day or night it is or what is being encountered. Well, this man (we call him “Grandpa”) has a reputation far and wide for humming, singing, playing the harmonica in duo with his dear little wife, making up new words to match old tunes, or simply listening to music – constantly. “Grandpa” has been a part of lives ever since I can remember, and he is one of those that we can all say has had a tremendous influence on our walks with the LORD. One evening years ago, we sat together around our table enjoying a meal, and as always, throughout the course of the repast many topics came and went in the discussion. Even though eating together was a very common occurrence, this particular dinner stands out in my mind because of a specific challenge Grandpa gave to us young people. In essence, he exhorted us to be intentional about storing up a treasury of the rich, quality, Scripturally-sound songs and hymns that godly men and women have written, while we were young. Having entered the stage where memory is not always as clear as in earlier years, he shared the testimony that, while many things have faded from his mind, it is the songs of the faith that have remained with him, continuing to bring fresh stores of comfort and strength on his journey heavenward.

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Throughout this year, the LORD has brought specific songs to my attention with beautifully perfect timing. Earlier this spring, one of my dear sisters spontaneously designed something which included the hymn, Jesus, Lover of My Soul. Without her even realizing it, it was just what I needed at that time. Shortly after that, another dear sister pulled an old recording from our closet and put it in, directing my attention to a lovely song titled, Fear Not, I am With You. This song spoke volumes to me, as it is an almost word-for-word musical rendition of one of my favorite verses – Isaiah 41:10. Another time God used a violin student’s assignment to remind me of All the Way My Savior Leads Me; a later one was Abide with Me.

It was not until recently, though, that the LORD opened my eyes and revealed what He has been doing. As the experiences of life have deepened, and trials, joys, tests, decisions, victories, and struggles have come and gone, it has seemed that with each new dimension, He has had a new song for me.

Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8

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Through the writings of many saints throughout history, the Psalms, and other passages of Scripture, God has given us a musical wealth of encouragement and blessing. He has been demonstrating to me, that, as we are faithful to learn them, He mercifully brings them back to our remembrance right when we need them most. His songs come to us “in the night” – times of darkness, doubt, decision, disappointment, and discouragement – and illuminate the shadows. How graciously kind He is!

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A few weeks ago, I was blessedly reminded of yet another song by yet another dear sister. We’ve known this song for years, but in a passing conversation, she mentioned it; and oh! how much it has meant during this season of my life.

 

Bow the Knee
M. Harland & C. Machen

There are moments on our journey, following the Lord,
When God illumines every step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
[But] when the path grows dim and our questions have no answers – turn to Him.

Bow the knee; trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee; lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One Who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of your King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall;
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee; trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee; lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One Who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of your King, bow the knee.

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So this week, this month, this year… through whatever night you may be passing, may His song be with you.



YES

Posted by Kathryn

Sep

17

Oh what a wealth of strength and encouragement there is to be had in learning from and sharing with other dear believers within the body of Christ! In talking with a sweet friend recently, who is potentially facing some major changes in her life, I came away tremendously blessed with her testimony of what it means to discern, and follow, the will of God. In essence, she summed it all up in one word: YES. Since our heavenly Father has promised to lead, guide, and direct His children, she shared that her decision lay more in saying YES to what she knew He would reveal – difficult and uncomfortable as that may sometimes be – than it did in attempting to figure out exactly what the future would look like and choosing between different options.

It was such a simple thought, yet one that really resonated with me.

All throughout our lives, we are called to discern God’s will. Some decisions are simple, some are complicated. Some are joyous, some are painful. Some seem to have very little ongoing effect, and others are pivotal in deciding the destiny of not only ourselves but those around us.

There is certainly much need for fervent prayer, for diligently seeking the LORD for His way, for crying out for wisdom and direction. This is crucial. Scripture is packed full of commands to seek, and promises for those who will do so while trusting and waiting with patience. But when faced with such a decision, I am beginning to see that half the battle is won when we reach the point that we have no will of our own, and can – trustingly, submissively – say YES.

No matter what that entails.

There is true rest when our hearts are in such a state.

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May God give each of us grace to say YES.



With Gratitude to the LORD…

Posted by The Neely Team

Sep

11

… for a dear brother!

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“Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour…” Psalm 112

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We are unspeakably grateful to the LORD for you, Matthew! May His richest blessings continue to rest upon you.



Blessed…

Posted by Kathryn

Aug

8

…are those who TRUST.

Blessed are those who WAIT.

Blessed are those who SEEK.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Psalm 34:8-10

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For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalm 84:11-12

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:24-26

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Trust in the LORD and do good: so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him… Psalm 37:3-7

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Their strength is to sit still… In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength… And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him… He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry ; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. Isaiah 30



Jul

2

Today marks the 183rd day of this year – which, for those of you whose brains automatically calculate everything you see and hear, you will recognize as the halfway point in the average year. (And for those of you who, like me, don’t calculate so readily, put your minds at ease with the knowledge that it was only a handy calendar that told me this Winking smile). At the close of each and every month, I am always amazed at how the time has flown by, but especially so with the end of the month of June. Only 50% of the year is left! How quickly the days are passing.

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For the Neely Team, June held a schedule of almost non-stop traveling. Our final trip of the month (a sort of grand HUZZAH! to all of the consecutive road-time) was to attend the wedding of one of our dear “sisters” – but more about that later. Suffice it to say that, upon coming home from that trip this past Monday, and added to everything that had come before it, we were all rather emotionally chaotic – excited, sad, praising the LORD for His goodness, exhausted, teary, exuberant, delighted, and on and on. On top of that, several of us had been fighting some sort of virus. By the time we pulled into the driveway late in the evening, I was burning up with fever, had a bad headache, and overall, looked and felt just plain terrible.

After spending the next day in bed, I felt much better and early yesterday morning (Wednesday), we headed to Greenville for music lessons. Try hard to be early as we did, we still didn’t arrive home until close to midnight after a wonderful but tiring day of music instruction, fellowship, and some necessary shopping.

You can probably imagine… but coming out of such an intensely busy, exciting, fun, encouraging, and adventuresome month, coupled with the effects of sickness, lingering chaotic emotion, discouragement about the rapidity of passing time, pressure from continuous “to-do’s” that kept mentally piling up, and the weight of other concerns on my heart, I wasn’t feeling the most enthused or inspired last night.

Though almost no one would have guessed it, an inward battle was raging. Somehow the future looked quite bleak to my sleepy, faithless eyes.

LORD, where am I going find the energy, the hope, the courage, even the desire… to accomplish what You have for me to do tomorrow… this weekend… these next weeks and months?

The effects of sweet rest – truly one of the good gifts the LORD sends to His children – left me much refreshed, but still the question remained as I prepared for the day this morning.

I asked the LORD again to renew my joy in the work He has called me to do. To give me enthusiasm with which to attack the second half of this glorious year. To send me something during my time in the Word to which I could cling.

And He did.

He is so faithful, so merciful. And He brought verse after verse to my eyes and heart – each with fresh power and meaning – that answered the anxious cries that had resounded.

“…I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40:5

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalm 139:17-18

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass… Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37:4-7

“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

Delight in doing His will for the “here and now”… peace in knowing that He is always, only good, and that His plans far surpass comprehension… rest in being reassured that I am not alone, but that His presence is with me every moment of life’s journey… unutterable joy in knowing that He chose me and that He loves me with an everlasting love… all of this began to thrill my heart once again.

To Him be praise.

And so may we step forward into the remainder of this year with abundant joy in the One Who walks beside us, trusting His promises without reservation and depending upon His grace to finish what He has called us to do, for His glory.



Simple Truths

Posted by Kathryn

May

28

Recently I was inwardly questioning the progress being made in my walk with Christ, because it seemed that, rather than continuously learning “new” things and receiving “exciting” insights from the Word, I was dwelling upon what seemed to be considered simple things… truths such as His love.

That is so basic… something that I have heard and understood ever since I can remember, I mused. While I had been receiving immense comfort, joy, and encouragement through many different passages related to this subject, I still wondered if I would someday look back and regret spending so much time on such “simple” concept.

It may sound silly to some, but thoughts such as these came as a substantial concern to my mind.

While zipping through the house one day, endeavoring to accomplish some pressing projects and check things off of my [ever growing] to-do list, the question resurfaced. Right then, the LORD brought a passage to mind that I had read several weeks before.

“For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; the ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Suddenly my heart was at rest.

The LORD used these verses to show me that, if to know the love of Christ results in my being filled with more of Himself (which is a part of the means in which He carries out His purpose of conforming me into His image, for His glory), than an eager quest to know more of that great and wondrous love is one of the best pursuits that can be made. Basking in His love is what I am supposed to be doing on a moment-by-moment, every-day basis! My reason for perpetual joy and rejoicing, no matter the circumstances I am encountering or the feelings that are raging in my heart, can and should come from the truth that He loves me.

So graciously, my heavenly Father reminded me that it is indeed right, and glorious!, to spend much time meditating on what may have (sadly) become “commonplace” or “simple” truths.

 

“…God doesn’t typically comfort you with something strange and unfamiliar. He usually comforts His people as they prayerfully meditate on the basic truths He has revealed about Himself… Don’t [always] look for comfort in ‘exotic places.’ Look for it in the theology that four-year-olds can grasp. Assume that you need to experience more deeply what you [think you] already know. J.I. Packer says it so well: ‘We must turn each truth that we learn about God into a matter of meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God’ (Knowing God, 23). God comforts you with simple, prayerful meditation on Himself.” Joe Tyrpak (Gospel Meditations for Prayer)

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A few pictures from a recent family photo shoot… such fun!

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“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3



Promises

Posted by Jessica

Apr

14

Spring has arrived, and with it many elements of beauty created by our Heavenly Father. The buds on the trees are ready to burst into full bloom. The tulips are brilliantly arrayed in their colorful petals. The mountains are about to break forth into a vibrant shade of fresh green as the leaves begin to appear on the trees. These things, among many others, suggest the promise of spring’s arrival.

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God has given us many promises in His Word. His promises are more sure than the arrival of spring. We can trust them.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” Hebrews 10:23

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“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

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Look for these promises. Some are conditional promises, and require us to take action in order to receive the promise. Some are unconditional promises, and relate to God’s unchanging character.

“The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.” Proverbs 10:3a

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalm 5:4

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“…Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” Psalm 58:11

As we discover and meditate on the promises of God, we will grow in the knowledge of our infinite, holy God and Savior and be drawn ever nearer to Him. What more could we desire, than to deepen our relationship with the One Who has “saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9)?
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“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 2 Thessalonians 5:24

Search the Word for these blessed promises. Claim them. Seek the Lord’s will through them, and delight in the will of your heavenly Father, knowing that He “only doeth wondrous things.” (Psalm 72:18b) This is a promise.



Today (April 10th) marks the 100th day of this year! Here are the words of a beautiful hymn, as well as some Scripture passages, that the LORD has used to bless and encourage my heart recently; I pray they will be used thus in your lives as well.

 

All the Way
Fanny J. Crosby

All the way my Savior leads me – what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me – cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before, lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me – oh the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings it’s flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.

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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

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8