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Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of January 19, 2020

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

Have you ever been blinded by the sun or by a winter snow storm where you couldn’t see the road ahead or the next step in front of you? Sometimes we can feel so blindsided by sudden unexpected circumstances that we have no idea how to find our way out of lonely and fearful dark places. What comfort to find God’s promises to us that even when we are lost and can’t see, He will help us find the way. The Lord declares that He will turn the oppressive darkness into glorious light and that He will even make the rough places smooth before us. With such assurance that our God will never abandon us nor give up on us, be encouraged to call upon the Lord, reaching out to Him, to lead and guide you out of the fearful darkness into the light of His presence on the path of His peace that passes understanding. Yes, Lord!
By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of January 12, 2020

But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24 (NKJV)

Have you launched into another new year seriously determined to accomplish some resolutions with the hope of patting yourself on the back at the end of this year? We often begin a new year evaluating our disappointments in ourselves; weight gained or unfulfilled expectations of the previous year. With good intentions we try setting new resolutions with goals to do better, to be better and to feel better about ourselves and our accomplishments in the days ahead. This scripture proposes a better option to focus our energy and efforts on the things that glorify God more than what might bring glory or praise to ourselves. By increasing our understanding and knowledge of God, His Word and His ways, we can hope to personally experience His lovingkindness, justice and goodness and then to also extend it to those in the world around us. What a joyous anticipation to know the blessing of God’s delight in us as we the pursue knowing and experiencing Him more in this next year!
By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of January 5, 2020

“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalms 16:8,11 (NASB)

Have you ever wondered how to have joy through any circumstance? Biblically joy goes beyond emotional happiness which is dependent on whatever makes us feel good and it is temporary. Joy is primarily a choice and is dependent upon trusting in the sovereign goodness of God, even when we don’t feel it, and knowing that He is Who He says He is as revealed to us in His Word. When this scripture mentions God’s place at the Psalmists right hand that implies giving Him the highest place of honor and absolute power in our lives. We learn in this scripture that when we choose to abide in His presence we can know the security of safety, overflowing joy and everlasting pleasure. HIs right hand holds all power and all authority in heaven and on earth to defend and provide for us. Lord, please go before us revealing the path of abundant life in Your presence and the fullness of joy we all long for. Amen.

By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of December 29, 2019

Even when you are old, I (God) will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you. Isaiah 46:4 (NCV)

As we face a new year and things unknown, do you ever have fear and worry about what the future may hold? The older we get the easier it is to focus on the uncertainties and possibilities for unexpected difficulties and disasters that may come. What encouraging promises from The Lord in this scripture. God declares two times that He will take care of us; that He will even carry us and be there to save us! Whatever we may face through changing circumstances, financial limitations, deteriorating health or the fear of old age, our Father God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow caring for us always. As surely as He gave us life, He is more than able to provide, carry and save us no matter what we may face in the future ahead. We can confidently place all our cares and all our hopes in our God. Thank You, Lord!
By JoBeth Kested

Scripture for Christmas Day by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for Christmas Day December 25, 2019

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2 (NASB)

Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt where you had to look for clues that help you seek and find a treasure? In this part of the Christmas story we are reminded of the wise men who came looking for a newborn King of the Jews, the promised Messiah, because they were following a star seen in the heavens. They first looked for Him in a palace, but he wasn’t there. When they followed the light of a star in the heavens they found the baby Jesus in a manger. They bowed down in worship and gave valuable treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Maybe some of us are looking for life, hope, peace, love or faith in all the wrong places? This Christmas season, may we each follow the light of God’s glory to find the true reality of Jesus our Savior, Emmanuel – God with us. Wise men still seek Him. Let us join with the angels who sang, “Glory to God in the highest!”

JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of December 22, 2019

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (NLT)

Haven’t we all been captivated by stories of courage and bravery when we hear about someone giving their life to save a child, a friend or even a stranger? God sent Jesus, His only son, as a innocent baby. He would grow up to suffer death on the cross that we may live. No matter how hard we try, we are never able to work hard enough, to be good enough or to love God enough to deserve the sacrifice Jesus was willing to make for us. He paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins with hope for all eternity. He also gives us the gift of His comfort, peace and love through the joys and sorrows in this life. What an extravagant demonstration of His great love for us! In this Christmas season of shopping, parties and family gatherings for sharing gifts, let us not forget the reason for the season and the greatest gift of God’s love for us in Jesus. Glory to God in the highest!
By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of December 15, 2019

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord… Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NKJV)


Have you ever felt like you messed up so bad that you are beyond forgiveness and undeserving of God’s love? Do your prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling and God’s presence feels impossible to find? Sometimes it can feel like God is playing Hide and Seek with us and is nowhere to be found. But, these verses assure us that God really does hear our prayers when we cry out to Him and that He longs to reveal Himself to us. Though it may be hard for us to fathom in the midst of our messed up situations, the truth is, our loving Father God harbors no thoughts of evil against us. These words express His longing to reveal His plans of extravagant goodness to us with a future full of hope. Be encouraged in this promise today that you will find the Lord when you pray and seek Him with all your heart.
By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of December 8, 2019

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned… The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5 (NKJV)

Have you ever struggled with the sorrow and sadness of this life or the overwhelming grief of a great tragedy with longing for comfort? Sometimes the agony of loss and the pain of injustice we experience in this world can be hard to bear as we search for our lost hope in the puddles of our tears. The prophet Isaiah twice declares to the people of God “comfort, comfort” (meaning a double portion) along with the end of warfare and mercy for their sinfulness. He exhorts them to prepare a way for the Lord; with the promise that the extreme highs and lows will be made right, the crooked and rough will be made straight and smooth, and that all would see the glory of the goodness of the Lord in their land. Oh, Lord, comfort, comfort the wounded hearts of your people once again. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, be revealed for the healing of the nations and for the glory of the LORD to shine in all the earth. Amen.

 

By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of December 1, 2019

 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)

Have you ever wondered how to find God’s will? What if the three things listed in this verse were the keys to releasing and experiencing God’s will for you? In the many tests, trials and difficult situations we face each day, what if we would choose to rejoice in the Lords’s overcoming power instead of worrying? What if we would then choose to pray in faith instead of yielding to fear? And, what if we would choose to give thanks for the opportunity to see God demonstrate His abundant provision for us instead of grumbling and complaining? In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” By His grace, choose to rejoice, pray and give thanks in everything today to set your feet on the path of God’s will concerning you. Thank You, Lord.

By JoBeth Kested

Scripture of the Week by JoBeth Kested

Scripture for the week of November 24, 2019

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1-4 (NIV)

What would you answer if asked what is your greatest need or desire? Most of us would acknowledge the deepest longingly of our hearts is to be loved. We all long for and cherish the loving relationships of family and friends. We are encouraged in these scriptures to give thanks to The Lord, God of gods, and Lord of lords because His love endures forever. In this Psalm, there are twenty-six declarations that His love endures forever after verses extolling the majesty of God’s creation, His awesome wonders, His mighty power and extravagant mercy. During this season of Thanksgiving we often remember and share the many things we have to be thankful for. It is also good to be reminded how blessed we are and to give thanks that The Lord God Almighty is good, He does great wonders and His steadfast love for us endures forever!
By JoBeth Kested