For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12 (NIV)
Have you ever heard someone say, “I love you to the moon and back” in effort to express the greatness of their love? God declares the magnitude of His love for as there is no end to the height of the heavens above the earth. You may need to ask, “What does it mean to fear the Lord?” It simply means great reverence and awe for the Almighty-Omnipotent-Creator-Ruler God of the universe and to acknowledge that He is the Lord over us individually, as well. When we choose to fear the Lord and receive His gift of salvation, His lovingkindness removes the consequences of our failure to meet His standards of holiness and perfection as far from us as the east is from the west! How wonderful it is to understand that east and west never ever meet! May we choose the fear of the Lord and experience God’s extravagant love for us that is over the rainbow, beyond the moon and to the height of the heavens!
Scripture for the week of May 1, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV
Have you ever had a need beyond your ability to take care of yourself and had to ask others for help? In times of sickness, financial lack, emotional crisis or overwhelming stress it is extremely humbling and difficult to acknowledge that we cannot always do everything for ourselves. We would all agree that it is far more enjoyable to provide help for someone else than facing the inadequacy of having to depend upon others to meet our needs. We may find it even more difficult to ask God to help us. When we find ourselves in situations over our head we are encouraged in this scripture to humbly look to the all powerful, extraordinary, mighty hand of God to lift us up at the appropriate, due time. In our desperate times of need, and at all times, we are invited to caste ALL our cares on our Father God with the assurance that He cares about EVERYTHING about us! Thank You, Lord!
Scripture for the week of April 24, 2022
By JoBeth Kested
Jesus said to her (Martha, Lazarus’ sister), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:25 (NKJV)
Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? In these scriptures after Jesus declares that He is the resurrection and the life, He asks Martha if she believes even before He raises Lazarus from the dead. With a proclamation such as this we are not given the choice to believe that Jesus was just a good teacher and example for us to follow. He is either a lunatic, a liar or The Way, The Truth and The Life, just as He says (John 14:6). The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17,19 that if Jesus was not raised from the dead our faith is worthless and we are to be pitied above all men. The resurrection of Jesus is the crux of the whole Bible, the pivot point of all history, our only hope for meaning in this life and the promise of our eternity. The tomb was empty! He’s alive and we have new life with salvation in Him! Praise the Lord!
Jesus… asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-17 (NIV)
Throughout the last 2000 years the question is still being asked, “Who is Jesus?”. Many are still saying that he was a good man or spiritual teacher, while others say he was a prophet. In these verses Jesus goes on to commend Simon Peter for declaring the truth that He is the Messiah. Jesus acknowledges here in this scripture and many other verses that He is the Son of God and also declares in John 14:6 that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; that no one comes to the Father accept through Him. We don’t get the option to believe that Jesus is just a good man, a teacher, or one of many prophets. We must face the fact that He is either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord as He says He is. Jesus is still asking each of us the question, “Who do you say that I am?” This Easter morning, do you know Him as the promised Messiah and the risen Lord resurrected from the grave? To all who believe, He is still showing The Way, The Truth, and The Life. He Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed!
Scripture for the week of April 10, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in 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 (NKJV)
Have you ever longed for the taste of something like the first sip of coffee in the morning, your favorite piece of pie or maybe the best decadent chocolate as it melts in your mouth? There is nothing quite like that first taste that is so satisfying; that causes us to savor or cherish the moment and is often accompanied by the feelings of comfort and happiness. This verse seems to encourage us that we don’t have to struggle and fret because we can’t understand the whole Bible or to grasp all the ways of God. If we will just begin to taste a little at a time of God’s love, goodness, mercy and grace we will want to keep seeking for more and more of Him as we see the blessings of His comfort, peace and joy in every aspect of our lives. O taste and see that the Lord is good!
Scripture for the week of April 3, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Have you ever struggled to find faith to guide you in the midst of gripping fearful circumstances? In such times, it is important to be reminded that succumbing to fear instead of believing in faith is a choice. If we put the word fear in this scripture it would read, “Now fear is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. How much easier it is to see the foolishness of wasting our time and energy by wallowing in the quicksand of fear that anticipates and expects things we can’t even see yet and have no power to change. We have the option of choosing to focus on faith in our all powerful, Almighty, Heavenly Father that creates worlds out of nothing, is able to move mountains, make rivers in the desert, and brings resurrection life from the dead! Instead of yielding to fear, put your faith in the Lord, Who can create things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen and is more than able to satisfy all your need according to His riches in glory (Phil.4:19).
Scripture for the week of March 27, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:3-6 (NASB)
Have you ever had your breath taken away by the beauty of an ocean sunset, stood in awe of snow capped mountains or thrilled by the delicate display of wild flowers in a meadow? Elohim, the Creator God, the most masterful of all artists, reveals Himself to us in the minuscule and extravagant details of His creation. God displays His majesty in the loftiness of mountain peaks and the splendor of ocean depths. We are humbled by His sovereignty expressed in the brilliant display of lightening and the blustering winds of powerful storms. His mercies that are new every morning are revealed in every glorious sunrise. The Lord tenderly captivates our hearts in the loveliness of butterfly wings, the fragrance of roses and the awe of a sleeping baby. Then, wonder of all wonders we are invited to call Him Father because He loves us! Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Amen!
Scripture for the week of March 20, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV)
Have you ever experienced the abandonment of someone special, the betrayal of a friend, rejection of family, or a deep empty loneliness that won’t go away? Or, do paralyzing fears in your life or fear of death cripple your hopes for the future? This scripture is a comforting promise that no matter what valley of pain or fear we may have to walk through in this life, there is absolutely no power, nor anyplace, any person nor anything that can separate us from the love of Christ. Corrie ten Boom, a survivor of one of the worst Nazi concentration camps during WWII, once said, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” If you struggle with past hurts, present anxiety, fear of death or fear of any future dilemma, ask Jesus to come fill your heart with His perfect love that casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18) Only Jesus can heal our hearts and fill us with His love that never fails and will never leave us. May you know the joy of God’s endless love for you today.
Scripture for the week of March 13, 2016 By JoBeth Kested
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
Have you ever felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? Do you have the repetitive lies of the world going round and round in your head: “Not qualified, not smart, not pretty, too fat or too old”? Maybe it is time to heed the advice of this scripture and to stop trying to conform to the self eliminating standards of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Believe you are who God says you are; accepted in the beloved, (Eph. 1:6) fearfully and wonderfully made, (Ps. 139:14) child of God, (John 1:12) and that your gifts make room for you (Pr. 18:16). The more we focus on who God says we are the more we will clearly discern His good, pleasing and perfect will for us. Oh Lord, renew our minds with the washing of Your Word that we might find our perfect place in Your will. Amen.
Scripture for the week of February 27, 2022 By JoBeth Kested
“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; 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.