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March 21

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“Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy” (Psalms 64:1 NKJV).

From: March 21, 2020

THE FEAR OF A THING IS OFTEN WORSE THAN THE THING ITSELF

In this psalm of David, he prayed aloud saying, “Hear my voice, O God.” This was not a moment of silence or quiet prayer. David cried out to the Lord in desperation, that God would “preserve” his life. What terrible enemy did he fear? Answer: Fear. He asked God to rescue him “from fear.” It seems from the following verse that his enemy was a hidden one, making “secret plots” against David.
 
Everyone from childhood on knows that an unseen enemy is the most terrifying. During the day a bedroom closet is a place for one’s clothes and games of hide-and-seek. But during the night it holds terrible imaginary beasts that peer out of its dark shadows and disturb our sleep.
 
At FDR’s first inaugural address, he stood before a Congress and a nation that was frozen in fear brought on by the stock market crash of 1929 and the resulting Great Depression. Addressing this national anxiety, he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He knew that the nation would never recover, while panic and fear still prevailed.
 
Fear causes us to feel powerless, selfish and confused. A worldwide pandemic and economic decline is one thing, but a nation overwhelmed by fear is worse because it strips us of the very thing we need to overcome, namely, hope.
 
Let us declare as David did in an earlier psalm, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psa. 27:1).
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we cry out to You today in prayer, knowing that You hear us. For we have Jesus as our Mediator, seated at Your right hand even now, representing our need to You. We fear You alone, therefore we shall not fear any other. For You are greater that all. We pray that we would be fearless in our care and compassion for others during these dark days. Strengthen us to be the hands and feet of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

OYB Devotion March 21.

Posted by Gary Combs on Saturday, March 21, 2020

‘Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.’ (Luke 4:41 NLT).

From: March 21, 2018

KNOWING ABOUT JESUS IS NOT ENOUGH
At Simon’s mother-in-law’s house in Capernaum, Jesus healed and cast out demons from a multitude of people who lined up to see Him. Many of the demons tried to speak, rightly recognizing Jesus as the “Son of God,” but He commanded their silence and cast them out. Of course they knew who Jesus was, they had seen Him in glory before their rebellion. They were fully aware of His Sonship, but they had rejected His Lordship.
 
Many of us are like them. We know a lot about Jesus. We may even give mental assent to His Sonship, but this is not the same as bowing the knee to Him as Lord. Knowledge about Jesus is not saving faith in Jesus. Right doctrine is not right relationship. As the apostle James wrote, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19).

“Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority” (Luke 4:31-32 NKJV).

From: March 21, 2017

The city of Capernaum embraced the ministry of Jesus. He made this fishing and marketplace crossroads, located on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, His base of operations. The ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum still remain to this day, a testimony to the Word of Jesus which went out from there, and across the world. Those who heard His teaching were “astonished,” or as literally stated in the Greek, “thunderstruck.” Today, we might say, “blown away.”
 
There are still people groups and cities today that are ready to receive the Word of Christ and be astonished by it. All that is needed is for someone to go in the authority of Christ and preach there (Matt. 28:18-20).

“they left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:11 ESV)

From: March 21, 2016

When Jesus called Peter and his fellow fisherman to follow Him, they left their boats, nets and everything to be His disciples. Sure, there were a few occasions when Peter tried to return to his fishing, but his former life no longer aligned with his new life in Christ. Stop clinging to the former things that held your interest before believing in Christ. Experience the sweet release of leaving your self-effort behind and trusting Jesus with all. Leave and follow. Christ wants to take you places you could never go on your own. What aspect of your former life is keeping you from fully following Christ?

“Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord” (Numbers 33:2 NKJV)

From: March 21, 2015

Moses kept a journal of their journey and all that the Lord had done for them. In this, their story was preserved for the generations. Keeping a spiritual journal is faith-building because we can see what God has done in our lives over time. A simple prayer journal that records our requests and God’s responses is an encouragement too. I keep a journal of all of my OYB meditations. Keep a journal and a pen near your Bible. They go well together.

“Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day” (Luke 4:31 NLT)

From: March 21, 2014

After the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus, he made Capernaum his base of operations. The town of Capernaum was strategically located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and the Via Maris (“Way of the Sea”), a roadway connecting Egypt to Syria and Persia, passed through the town. Situated on this important “superhighway,” great and various crowds of people passed through. It was also the town where Peter’s mother-in-law lived (Probably where Peter lived too). Jesus’ ministry thrived there. He called many of His disciples to follow Him from this area. It was in Capernaum that he had people lining up until after dark to see him. To this day in modern Israel, Capernaum is known as “The Town of Jesus.” How can we make our hometown known for being Jesus’ town?

“Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the LORD” (Numbers 33:2)

From: March 21, 2013

Moses kept a journal of their journey and all that the Lord had done for them. In this, their story was preserved for the generations. Keeping a spiritual journal is faith-building because we can see what God has done in our lives over time.

“Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” (Luke 5:4)

From: March 21, 2012

What Jesus told Peter after he’d spent all night fishing and caught nothing. Are you tired and feeling like a failure after working hard without success? It seems reasonable that you should take time off. Yet, Jesus often calls us to go deep at times like this. Listen to Him. Don’t give up. Go deeper!

“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4)

From: March 21, 2011

Will you go deep and let down today?