My Trust Is In God

I absolutely love this song from Lauren Daigle entitled, “Trust In You.” I debated whether or not to only post the song because the lyrics about trusting in God are just so perfect. So I decided to only include some scripture from the Book of Psalm, so that you can listen to the song and the lyrics, and then meditate on the scripture. I truly hope this song and the scripture blesses you as much as it did me this morning.

Psalm 9:10 NIV: Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

  • God is faithful to those who love him and trust in him. This doesn’t imply that we will not face difficulties or disappointments in life, because we certainly will. This scripture reminds us that God is always present with us in good times and in difficult times and he will guide us through those trying times if we will only trust him.

Psalm 22:4 NIV: In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

Do you trust God to deliver you from whatever circumstances you find yourself in?

Psalm 25:1 NIV: In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

  • Do you trust God with your very life and allow him to help you navigate the many uncertain decisions and challenging moments that everyday life sends your way? Do you trust God even when there is not an answer to your prayers or the answer is no?

Psalm 49:6 NIV: those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?

  • Do you place your trust in your bank account or material goods or do you trust in God for things that are eternal? The things of this world will pass away but the promises of God are eternal.

Psalm 62:8 NIV: Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

  • Whatever life sends your way – trust in God – and look to him as your safe haven from the worries, fears, and uncertainty of this world. Pray and talk to God and tell him your worries and fears and allow his loving presence and mercy to overwhelm you and wash away your doubts and fears.


Doing The Very Next Thing

My son-in-law John sent me a message telling me about this song from Casting Crowns called, “The Very Next Thing,” and he suggested that I do a devotional on this topic. Immediately, I loved this idea of doing the very next thing that God places in front of you. So often we focus on long-term goals and we miss out on so many opportunities that are placed directly in our path. If we would only slow down and pay attention to those many divinely appointed moments that we so often overlook and miss out upon, because our eyes are fixed so far ahead. God often speaks and works through us in the many common moments of life.

In the Great Commission, Jesus emphasized this to his disciples. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). In other words, as you go, make disciples! Jesus didn’t say, “Make disciples from the comfort of your sofa at home or your pew at church, instead, we are commanded to pay attention to the people and the circumstances that God puts in our path and we are to faithfully disciple and show love and compassion to others. As you go and do the very next thing – be faithful to God and by showing the love of Christ, you can lead people to Christ and make disciples.

We have so many opportunities each day to do the very next thing that God places before us. My question to you is will you strive to be mindful of the very next thing placed before you and take advantage of those opportunities? As you go to school, to work, to the gym, to the grocery or drug store, will you look for the very next thing God is asking you to do and be faithful and do it? There are so many people who could benefit from you doing the very next thing that God is calling you to do and you could make such a huge difference in the life of someone who needs to be pointed to the love and compassion of Christ.

One of my favorite parts of scripture is when Jesus ascends back into heaven in the book of Acts. Jesus was speaking to his disciples and suddenly he was “taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). So the disciples are standing there, “looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11).

The two men (angels) dressed in white were calling the disciples to take their attention away from the sky and turn their attention to the earth where there was plenty of work still to be accomplished. They also had to be reminded of their obedience to doing the very next thing that God would place before them. And that is a great example for us today. We so often look ahead and imagine the great things God would have us to do when God is simply saying – just be faithful and do well the very next thing that I place in your path. More often than not, these divinely appointed experiences will be something that you would not have normally felt compelled to do, in your daily walk with God. So let the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you into doing the very next thing that God asks you to do. If you do, you will be blessed and you will also be a blessing to others – as you do the very next thing.

God The Father

As I think about and pray for our nation, I have been reminded many times today that God is still on his throne and He is still in control of this tumultuous world that we live in. My hope lies not in a political leader or entertainer or sports hero: my only hope is found in God the Father, and I only pray that our nation will repent of our many sins and turn back to God and acknowledge him, as the only hope that we can truly believe in and depend upon.

I read a comment today that said, “God can’t change circumstances in our country, only people can.” And that is sadly what is wrong with our country today. We have become such proud, stubborn people who believe more in our own power than the power of God. All Christians must begin to stand up and proclaim God as the ultimate authority and ruler of our lives. The voices of many believers can be very powerful and we must take seriously our responsibility to God and to our Lord and Savior to proclaim the good news of the Gospel. I urge you to continue to pray for our nation to repent, and to once again, look to God to lead us as a nation.

Matthew 7:9-11(NASB): Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, ]will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!


God’s Great Grace

2 Corinthians 12:8-9: Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

We must learn to depend completely upon God instead of our own feeble and insufficient power. When we come to terms with our weaknesses and limitations and cry out to God, we receive grace that is sufficient for whatever difficulties we face.

Hebrews 4:16: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Life brings so many frustrating and tiresome challenges and we often feel discouraged and overwhelmed by life’s difficulties. Instead of looking to the things of this world for peace and comfort, we are reminded to turn to God’s throne of grace, where we will receive the mercy and grace we need in our time of need.

1 Peter 5:10:  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Sometimes we feel that God is so far away and is unconcerned about our human condition. We must remember that God’s presence is always with us as we  journey through life on this earth. This passage reminds us that in life we will face times of suffering but those times will not last forever. Our mighty God, who gives us the free gift of salvation and who calls us to eternal glory in Christ, will heal, restore, and strengthen us so we can show others the way to everlasting life.

John 1:14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The disciples testified to the “Word” becoming flesh and dwelling among them. Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, exemplifies grace and truth. As His disciples, we are also called to demonstrate grace and truth to those we encounter out in the world. Jesus displayed love and compassion to those he came into contact with and he expects us to do the same. This fallen world seems to grow darker with each passing day. As followers of Christ, we are commanded to take the light of Christ and his eternal kingdom out into the world each day as we reflect the grace, mercy, and truth of the Gospel.

May the peace and grace of God be with you today and everyday.




Praying For Our Nation

I began my morning doing something I don’t normally do – listening to the morning news on television. And after my youngest daughter walked into the room, I had to turn the channel because of what was being discussed. As our country descends into a moral abyss, I refuse to let the current issues and sensational “news” stories of the day, control or influence our family life and our dedication to God. I will continue to remind my children, that the God we believe in and serve, is still on his throne and “He rules the world in righteousness” (Psalm 9:8).

Psalm: 9:15-18(NASB):

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made Himself known;
He has executed judgment.
In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared.

17 The wicked will return to Sheol,
Even all the nations who forget God.
18 For the needy will not always be forgotten,
Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.

As many in our nation move farther away from God’s will for their lives, we must continue to pray for a revival to sweep through our nation and turn our hearts back to God before it is too late. I fear that our once great nation is at a crossroads. It is crucial that we choose the right path, repent of our sinful ways, and seek God’s forgiveness.

2 Peter 3:8-9: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Do Not Be Discouraged

Exodus 6:6-12

6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh King of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”12 But Moses said to the Lord, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”

I am teaching the book of Exodus in Sunday school, and I find myself gaining new insights as I study this great book of the Bible. Tonight, as I was re-reading a previous chapter of Exodus, I came across a passage that spoke strongly to me: “Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor” (Exodus 6:9).

So many people today are struggling with their labors. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, most people I know feel the daily pressures of their work. Some people handle that stress well but there are also many who do not. Even people that are retired can become easily discouraged trying to make ends meet or worrying about increasing health concerns. Students can face discouragement from many directions as they try to plan their future and learn to trust God and seek His guidance. All of us face those seasons of discouragement many times throughout our lives. The way to overcoming these moments of discouragement is found in taking our problems and worries directly to God and believing in God’s promise that we need not worry about things that are beyond our control.

Moses was attempting to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, but he was in for a great challenge. The children of Israel had been in slavery in Egypt for 430 years and they were discouraged and had probably lost all hope for freedom. Being in bondage to the Egyptians was all that they knew and they seemed to prefer what was known (being in bondage) instead of trusting the God of their ancestors and being obedient to Him. They would not even listen to Moses “because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” Sometimes, we prefer the known suffering, instead of praying to God for a way out of our discouragement and burdens.

Satan constantly tries to plant seeds of doubts and discouragement in the minds of believers today. He wants to prevent us from trusting God and he ultimately wants to destroy our reliance upon God and our relationship with God. Satan wants us to believe that we are better off trusting in our own power instead of God’s unlimited power. The evil one wants us to look to the things of this world to fulfill our needs and desires so that we will be filled with a false hope. Satan’s ultimate goal is to cause us to become so preoccupied with worry, doubt, and discouragement that we either won’t think about God or we will come to believe that our problems are bigger than God.

Because of their discouragement and harsh labor, the Israelites didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t listen to Moses – God’s appointed deliverer to his chosen people. Their discouragement kept them from trusting God for a way out of their burdensome troubles. Even after leaving Egypt and witnessing many miraculous signs, they still refused to trust God and longed to once again become slaves in Egypt.

Jesus said:

  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
  • “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).”

God wants you to trust Him and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and then follow him. You can trust the Good Shepherd to strengthen your faith and to lead you into a good life that is free of unnecessary worries, burdens and discouragement. Seek God throughout the day and trust in His power to lift you up from your valley of heavy burdens, hard labor, and discouragement. Believe in the power of God which is so much greater than all of your heavy burdens that you constantly carry around.

In this life, we will have troubles and discouragement; that is something none of us can completely escape. Instead of allowing our troubles and discouragement to overwhelm us, we must seek God for help in dealing with our burdens. God can give you a peace of mind, as He guides you through your labors in this world, while giving you a hope and a promise of a future day when all of the discouragement and harsh labor of this world will cease to exist.

2 Corinthians 4:17: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Overcoming Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:12-13(NIV): 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

We all face many different kinds of temptations. For the Christian, it can be very discouraging when we attempt to overcome our temptations, usually through our own power, and then give into those temptations. We must understand that all believers struggle with temptations of some type. Holy Scripture reminds us that in times of testing we must turn away from the evil one and turn to the Lord. Being overconfident in our own power is something that we should constantly be on guard against. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

When faced with temptation, the believer must stand firm and look to God for help in overcoming the temptation, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” Look for the way out of your temptation and actively pray for God to deliver you from away from the influence of the evil one, who is only seeking to destroy. When you call upon and invoke God’s name, the power and influence of the evil one will greatly diminish and he will flee when you seek God’s power over your own.

1 Peter 5:8-10 (NIV): 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This passage form 1 Peter should get the attention of every believer. Our enemy – the devil – is actively looking to “devour” you as a follower of Christ. Peter wants us to understand that we must be always be alert and cautious, because the evil one is just waiting to wreak havoc in the lives of believers. We are called upon to “resist” him and to stand “firm in the faith.” Our responsibility as Christians is to always be on guard against the schemes of the evil one and to actively resist all types of temptations that we encounter.

For those of us in ministry, we are often faced with the temptation to become overconfident in our own power, instead of giving all of the glory back to God for what we are able to accomplish. Over the past month, I have been given praise for teaching or for a service that I conducted, and each time I always say to that person, that apart from God, I can do nothing. It is the power of God resting on me and working through me that enables me to accomplish anything in ministry. I am always very careful to give all of the glory back to God. God’s power and glory is always shown to be greater when he accomplishes his will through unexceptional and ordinary people.

James 4:7-8a: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

It is impossible to defeat Satan while relying on our own power. Only by turning to and invoking the name of God and our Savior Jesus Christ, can we defeat the enemy. Satan is powerless when we declare ourselves under the protection of God and our Lord and Savior. The next time you are faced with a temptation, follow the advice of scripture: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Heaven rejoices each time we say no to evil and turn to God and allow His incredible and unsurpassed power to lead us into the light of life eternal. Live not as children of the dark, but as children of light. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Thank you God for your awesome power over evil and the darkness of this world. Give us your grace to be a light to this fallen world.

Giving Praise to God

As I was reading up on my study of the book of Exodus this morning, I came across this from the Billy Graham website that I found especially timely.

“Five things will help position us to hear from the Lord. First, pray. Talk to the Lord. Have a conversation with Him. Second, affirm His greatness. God wants us to praise His name. Jesus taught us to do this upfront when He said: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). Third, release any and all personal opinions and pet peeves about what you have and what you may think about this subject (idols). Tell the Lord Jesus you are letting go of anything and anyone other than God. Fourth, listen! We are surrounded and constantly accompanied by a cacophony of sound and distraction so that it is increasingly difficult to listen to God. Whatever it is, turn it off. Lay it down. Stop and listen, because the Lord will speak to you from the mountain. Remember, the Ten Commandments are God’s invitation to come up to where He is, rather than to go down to where man is. Finally, determine to obey. Make the decision to submit to all the Lord says, and you will be blessed indeed.”

The article also states: “Despite our blessings, we have become an increasingly idolatrous people. God cannot be pleased. We worship so many of our blessings instead of simply thanking God for them and enjoying them. We worship sport, celebrities, clothes, money, church buildings, politics, positions, abilities and capabilities. Idolatry is the worship of anything or anyone other than God.”

God deserves our worship and praise and He is certainly pleased when we do so with our focus completely upon him. We sang the song “Hosanna” during our worship service on Sunday and I have been listening to it all week. I hope that you are blessed by listening to this beautiful song that glorifies God.


Heavenly Citizenship

Philippians 3:17-21: “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live accordingly to the pattern we gave you.  For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

The following is a post from several years ago but with new readers, I wanted to share it again, as it fits so well with this passage from Philippians. As Christians, our ultimate goal is to be a citizen of heaven, however, you are already a citizen of heaven if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. As followers of Christ, we should be encouraged to live out our life here on earth with the constant mindset that we are citizens of heaven.

My grandfather, Cleve Simmons, was a deacon in his church, he was a farmer, and he was a good Christian man.  I spent a lot of time with him as I was growing up – and he always had many stories about his life to share with me.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, these stories taught me many valuable life lessons that help to guide me even today.  My grandfather was wise in the way that you should live your life in order to please God.

He had so much wisdom that he would pass on to me throughout my teen years.  He believed and had a deep faith in God, and he did not doubt for a second, that God was with him each and every day of his life. He believed in treating other people fairly, helping out those in need, and loving his neighbors as well as his family.  That was the kind of life that he tried to live out in his small farming community in Banks County.

My grandfather lived all of his 89 years in his beloved Banks County.  In fact, he rarely traveled outside of the state of Georgia.  Whenever I would ask him to take a day trip with us to Atlanta or to go on a short vacation with us he would always answer me the same way, he would say, “Son – I haven’t lost anything there – so there’s no need for me to go.”  He was a citizen of Banks County and the United States and he was proud of that.  But more importantly, he knew that he was a citizen of another place, a place that he couldn’t see but he knew that it existed.  He was also a citizen of heaven and that was one journey that he looked forward to.

He and I talked a lot about heaven.  He would tell me what he imagined heaven to be like and how he would be glad to see his parents and his brothers again as well as his son who had passed away from cancer at the young age of 39.  He was dedicated to living a good Christian life while here on earth and showing kindness and offering help to those less fortunate.

The book of Hebrews tells us, “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.” And it is that promise of our future home that should help us become better people here on this earth.

I was with my grandfather on the night that he passed away and left this earth. He would be conscious one minute and then he would drift out on us the next.

When I walked into his hospital room that night, he opened his eyes and said “Hey son, it’s good to see you.”  He would continue to be in this world for a few minutes and then he would have visions of heaven which he would describe out loud to those of us present.  I knew that he was about to experience that beautiful heaven that he and I had so often talked about and wondered about.

He saw his brothers and he called them by name.  And then he drifted out on us again.   I have often wondered about his arrival in heaven and who was there to greet him among his family that had gone on before him.  I often wonder who was in his welcoming committee in heaven.

His last words to me were, “Son, it’s good to see you”, and I imagine that when he arrived in heaven he was also told, “Son, it’s good to see you, welcome home to the place that I have prepared for you, for eternity.


God – Our Comforter and Sustainer

This morning, if you are tired, weary, restless, or you have a fear of something new or unknown, take comfort in these words of scripture:

Psalm 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (NIV)

Psalm 62 5-6: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. (NIV)

If you feel helpless, weak, or all alone, find reassurance from these words of scripture:

Psalm 55:22: Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (NIV)

Psalm 63:7-8: Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (NIV)

If you know God, but you struggle through life, wondering if God is paying attention to your needs, perhaps asking yourself, “Does God really care about me?” If you are struggling with these questions this morning, find contentment in these words of scripture:

Psalm 61:1-2: Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (NIV)

Psalm 62:11-12: One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. (NIV)

If you are seeking the things of this world instead of God, take notice of the words from this psalm of David:

Psalm 63:1: O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (NIV)

If you have felt God’s love and presence in your life, rejoice in this word of scripture:

Psalm 63:3-4: Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (NIV)

If you believe that God is still in charge and is ruler of both heaven and earth, then open your heart to these psalms of praise:

Psalm 66:1-4: Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. (NIV)

Psalm 67: 1-4: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. (NIV)


My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.