May Prayer Verse and Devotional

 
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Verse

“As for God, His way is blameless;

The word of the Lord is tested;

He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

2 Samuel  22:31


Devotional

When things do not turn out the way we wanted them to or when something unexpected and awful happens to us or someone we love or in the world at large, we can think (even if just for a moment) that God is unfair.  This is of course NOT sound thinking.  Just because finite little us cannot conceive of any good reason why we are experiencing something this painful does not mean that we get to pass judgement on our Creator or impugn His motives - - - This twisted line of thinking goes: I don't like this, God who is all powerful could have stopped it but didn't, therefore Almighty, All Knowing God is unfair and He is not good like He says He is.  Just because tiny little us cannot fathom a good reason our eternal God allows certain things to take place in the world does not mean there isn't one.


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways My ways,”

declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are My ways higher than your ways

and My thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9


God alone is God!

A much better choice of reaction would be to ask God to help us take our thoughts captive to Christ Jesus and believe the inspired words of David's song of triumph in the 2 Samuel verses (also found in Psalm 18).  When God records something twice we should really take notice.  David through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit proclaims that God is always blameless.  His way is blameless and I'll add always leads to our relationship with Jesus and beauty of the gospel.  Jesus proclaimed "I am the Way".  The Word of the Lord is tested and shown to be true!  Jesus is the Word of God.  He is tested and found true. 

So when unexpected calamity comes, which it will, rather then blame God declaring Him to be unfair or worse, remember that His ways are blameless, His Word is faithful and true and instead or turning away in anger, run to Him with your anger for He is our Refuge, He is our Shield!  God can take our raw emotions and help us navigate them.  Jesus sees what is happening, He hears our cries of distress, He understands how big this thing is for us, He is glad to be us no matter our emotions and He will be our shield and refuge throughout this storm and He is able to act on our behalf in His perfect, blameless way.  Shields in battle are used for soldiers to move forward in the battle. They are not used for retreating. Our part is to remember who He is, what He has done for us, what He promises to do and then trust Him, cling to Him and find refuge in Him always but especially in life's battles.  Amen and amen!


Prayer

Heavenly Father, We praise and worship You for being perfect and blameless in all Your ways.  We are so grateful for Jesus choosing in love to enter His creation and humble Himself to be tested and proven True.  Thank you for being our Shield and Refuge always.  Give us grace to always run to You.  Father, we pray that each of our Refuge residents will know these truths about You personally and experientially.  Pour out Your grace and healing Father.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Taken from our May Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here:  Refuge For Women - Chicago Prayer Requests

February Prayer Verse & Devotional

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Verse

“Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,

for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)


Devotional

The fourth commandment given by God to Moses is to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, set apart unto the Lord.  God then gives His reasoning. For in six days He labored and made the earth and everything in it and on the seventh day He rested and blessed the day.  God didn't rest because He was tired, He rested because He was satisfied. He had pronounced all that He had made as being "very good". In the gospels Jesus explains to the Pharisees that the Sabbath was made for man and not man made for the Sabbath when they complain about His disciples picking grain heads to eat.  Jesus goes on to say that the Son of Man was Lord of the Sabbath.


Sabbaths are all about rest but not just resting from work.  Sabbath rest is also about finding our inner rest, our satisfaction in the Lord.  Rest from our constant striving to be someone of worth in the worlds eyes, and understanding and believing we are already of great worth because we belong to Jesus and He thought we were worth dying for.  This kind of rest is rest for our souls and its not just for Sundays. We are to live in this rest. The Lord of Rest (Sabbath) invites us in the above verse, to Rest in Him. When we live in the realization that our true and perfect identity is the one He gives us - Accepted, Beloved, Forgiven, Reconciled Child of God, we can truly rest from striving, satisfied in Him. Jesus is our perfect Rest.


We learn from Jesus' example to continually rest in the Father's care trusting Him completely even when things from an earthly perspective look out of control (the cross). Not my will but Thy will be done.  Finding our identity (yolk) in Christ is easy because He did all the work, He paid the price for our sins and gives us our identity as accepted child in Him by grace. Our light burden is to simply love Him back, because He first loved us.  Jesus we praise You for being our Rest. Help us to live in that rest and remember daily your invitation to rest in You.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, From Creation You wanted us to find our Rest in You.  We were made to rest in You. Father we pray that every precious women You, by Your providence bring to RFW-C would find their value and worth, their Rest in You.  Father help each one to be drawn by Your love for them, to lay down their burdens at the foot of the cross. May Jesus be their Rest.

In Jesus name we ask Father, Amen.

Taken from our February Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here:  Refuge For Women - Chicago Prayer Requests


January Prayer Verse & Devotional

Verse

Abundant food is in the fallow (uncultivated) ground of the poor (lacking resources), But [without protection] it is swept away by injustice.     Proverbs 13:23  (Amplified Version)

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Devotional

The Bible has a lot to say about the poor and what our God honoring responses to helping them should look like. 


“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,

and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17;


“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,

but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Proverbs 14:31;


“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35;


“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:10


These are but a small sample from God’s word to His children about our attitude and actions towards the poor among us.  I sat with Proverbs 13:23 asking what the Lord wanted me to understand.  Here are my thoughts: The poor could be thought of as those the world deems as having no value.  They don’t have position, money, power, privilege.  But the Lord says their fields or lives have abundant food, or abundant worth BUT injustice sweeps their worth away.

Refuge for Women  seeks to provide a community that is a safe, protected, loving place where each precious woman can pursue healing and rediscover their great worth given them by their Maker, Jesus that the injustices of a fallen world has continually swept away.

But this is only half of the story.  With regards to every person’s salvation, we are all poor and needy beggars, enslaved to sin.  Those who are successful by worldly standards are at greater risk of not realizing their poverty in relationship to God apart from Jesus. In Matthew 5:3, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.   When we understand more deeply our impoverished, helpless state and that Jesus has given us EVERYTHING at great cost to Himself by His mercy and grace and love, to satisfy God’s justice and bring us peace with God forever, how can we not, knowing our abundance in Jesus, want to rush to help the 'poor' among us, practically, personally and spiritually. 

One way of helping is to pray earnestly for the women and staff and ministry of Refuge for Women Chicago.  And when we pray, ask the Lord what He would have us do today to help the ‘poor’ (those the world does not value) among us.  May 2019 be a year when God’s people embrace helping the poor for the sake of the gospel and so bring honor and joy to our God and Maker.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, You have given to us Your precious Son, Jesus.  What more could You give?  Yet we ask that You would abundantly bless RFW-C in 2019, providing for all their needs.  Help each resident know their worth in Jesus.  Father, give us eyes to truly see the ‘poor’ (those the world does not value).  Father give us and Your church universal hearts to do Your will regarding the ‘poor’ and so bring glory to Your name and show the wonder of the gospel to a watching world.

In Jesus name, Amen.


Taken from our January Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here.