Devotional

Names of the LORD: Part Four of Nine

Jehovah Shammah – The LORD is There

God’s Presence

This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you. Psalm 139:6-12 LB

Queen Elizabeth joined Jesus in heaven on September 8, 2022. I can only imagine her joy, for she often spoke of her faith in Jesus Christ. Consider some of her quotes, collected in Our Faithful Queen: 70 Years of Faith & Service.*

“To many of us our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.” (2000)

“For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role-model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.” (2014)

“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.” (2011)

Queen Elizabeth is now with Christ, but His presence was evident in her life. She claimed Him as her Saviour, and she followed His teachings.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

The Lord desires for each of us to have a relationship with Him. The presence of the entire Trinity is shown in John 14: 23, 24, and 26. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. … the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (ESV. Emphasis mine.)

In Ezekiel, the priest is shown by the LORD what Israel will be like in the Millennial Age when the Lord reigns over the earth. In Ezekiel 48:35, he states that the name of Jerusalem “from that day shall be THE LORD IS THERE,” or Jehovah-Shammah

The LORD is there, the LORD is here. We can never get away from God. As David stated in Psalm 139, the Lord’s presence is everywhere. It is reassuring to know that we can never be lost from God’s Spirit, not in life, nor in death. Even when we try to hide from God, He seeks us out. He knows everything about us, and He loves us anyway!

Let’s think of what God’s presence means to us. Queen Elizabeth listed a few names of Christ and a few of His attributes in the quotes above. How many more can we add?

Dear Lord God, Thank you for being Jehovah-Shammah, the LORD who is ever-present both now and in eternity. I will never be alone, for You are with me. I am so grateful. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

*https://haventoday.org/blog/10-surprising-things-queen-says-jesus/

Top photo of Windsor Castle by Kris Schulze on Pexels.com is also shown complete below.

# # #

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

Photo by Kris Schulze on Pexels.com
Devotional

Names of the LORD: Part Two of Nine

LORD God and Creator

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Genesis 2:7, 8 NKJV

How often do we find people of great importance befriending and caring for the people on the bottom rungs of society? The down and out are not often known by name by leaders of government or of businesses. We may be reluctant to get to know some of them too.

I find it incredible that God, the Creator of all things, not only created us, but wants a personal relationship with us. He desires time with me! I’m not well known, or important in the world’s view. He wants to know you and have you know Him, too.

How can we know God? We can know God by learning who He is.

How did God reveal Himself in Genesis?  

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 NKJV

God, or Elohim, is used in Scripture to designate the Supreme God, or Mighty One. Elohim is a plural noun but is singular in meaning when it refers to the true God. God said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). This plural use points to the Trinity of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three, yet One in purpose, will, and character. At Jesus’ baptism, the heavens parted and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. The Heavenly Father’s voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 2:9-11 NKJV

The name ‘LORD God’ first appears in Scripture when man was created (Genesis 2:7-8). Using the definitions of The LORD God, or Jehovah Elohim, we can know He is The Eternal One (LORD) who is Supreme and Mighty (God), which makes His desire for us even more amazing to me.  

Michelangelo Buonarroti’s The Creation of Adam (circa 1511) famous painting. Original from Wikimedia Commons. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

God is also the Creator. He created us and all things. I think that God really enjoys creating. He has given the gift of creativity to many of us for our enjoyment. I delight in having others read something I write, or in sharing grape jelly I’ve canned. Can it be that God wants a relationship with us because He delights in His creation?

Let’s look about God’s creation and thank Him for making so many beautiful sunsets and plants and animals. Then may we consider that that the eternal, supreme and Mighty God deliberately made each of us and wants us to know Him.  

Dear LORD, thank you for being my Creator. I love to see the beauty in what You have made. Thank you for being the Supreme God and the Mighty One, for there is none like You. Thank you for reaching down to me to make knowing You possible. Amen.

# # #

Top photo is an altered detail of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s The Creation of Adam (circa 1511) famous painting. Image by rawpixel.com

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

Devotional

Names of the LORD: Part One of Nine

The LORD, I AM

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ … ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’”  Exodus 3:14-15 KNJV

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet.” This is Juliet’s line in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. Through Juliet, the Bard was telling audiences that a name is nothing but a name. Romeo is the same person Juliet would love if he didn’t have the dreaded Montague name that linked them to their families’ feud.

Despite Shakespeare’s claim, names are an important part of who we are. They connect us to family, culture, and to our own identity. Baby name books state the meanings behind names, which some people consider carefully. Actors have changed names to portray a different type of character; what type of parts may John Wayne have had if he was known by his birth name, Marion Robert Morrison? 

Names of the LORD tell us about the character and attributes of God. There are many names for the Lord God in the Bible. In this nine-part series, we will explore some of the names of the LORD. His names reveal who He is. As we learn more about God through His names, my prayer is that we will know Him better and become closer to Him.

Photo by Christiane on Pexels.com

When reading the Bible, Lord and LORD are seen. What do these differences reveal?

LORD, or YHWH in Hebrew, means the self-existent One. The LORD always has been, He is, and He forever will be, therefore He is the eternal I AM. The name LORD is sometimes translated in English as Jehovah. GOD (all uppercase) also refers to YHWH. It is the name I AM that the LORD has Moses tell the Israelites is the God who sent Moses to them.

Just imagine, the self-existent One knows our future before we are even born! What confidence we can have in knowing that the LORD has no end, but that He will still be God in the future, and still hold us and our families in His hand.

Jews consider the name LORD or YHWH too holy to say, nor do they want to misuse His name. They refer to God as Adonai, translated as the Lord (partly lower case). Sometimes Lord is rendered “Almighty.”

This form of the name Lord is derived from sovereignty. The name Lord was also used as a name for people to show that someone was the head or master over them. David used it when he called to King Saul (I Samuel 24:8). Sarah used it referring to her husband Abraham (I Peter 3:6). The Lord Jesus Christ is sovereign over us. He is the head of the Church, and believers are the body.

What’s in a name? In the names LORD God and I AM, we learn that our God is the Self-existent One, the eternal I AM, and the Almighty God.

If we really consider who the LORD God is, how will that change the way we relate to Him?

Dear LORD God, thank you for being eternal. We can serve You, because death has no hold on You. Lord, please be the master of my life. There is no God like You. Amen.

Resources:

  • The New Scofield Study Bible- New King James Version, 1989 Edition.  (Thomas Nelson Publishers Nashville TN), Notes for Genesis 34:6, p.121.
  • Thomas Carroll, “The Difference Between GOD, God and god in the King James Bible.”https://www.againstspiritualwickedness.com/2019/12/01/the-difference-between-god-god-and-god-in-the-king-james-bible/ (posted 01/12/2019, accessed 08/01/2022)

# # #

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

Devotional

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Greater love has no man than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13NKJV

Joseph M. Scriven, (1819-1869), wrote the poem What a Friend We Have in Jesus in 1855. He sent it to his mother in Ireland to encourage her in her time of sorrow; some sources say she was ill. The poem was later put to music by Charles C. Converse. (Public Domain.)

Scriven was no stranger to tragedy. He had to give up his military ambitions because of poor health. On the night before his wedding, his fiancée drowned. He left Ireland to start a new life in Canada, where Scriven lost his second bride-to-be to illness. Soon afterwards, he joined the Plymouth Brethren and began preaching for a Baptist church. He never married. He spent the rest of his life giving all of his time and money to help the less fortunate and to spread the love of Jesus wherever he went. This cost him friends who disagreed with his work with the underprivileged. Scriven’s trust in the Lord carried him through difficulties, for he found Jesus Christ to be a faithful friend. Consider the lyrics of this beloved hymn:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev’rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
 Can we find a friend so faithful Who with all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.

In my last devotional, The Value of Friendship, some of the attributes of a good friend included loving at all times, faithful loyalty, and communication.

Jesus loves us. He is a faithful, loyal friend. His words to us are sweet and bring delight, for His words are true, and His counsel is wise and righteous.

Jesus is not afraid of the heavy lifting, but bears all of our sins and grief. Can we find a friend so faithful who with all our sorrows share? We can come to Jesus and know that He cares and will listen. He does not forsake us. He comforts us.

We can always communicate with our Lord. He’s never too busy! He talks to us in Scripture, God’s love letter to us. The Holy Spirit within the believer brings the things of God to mind, and helps us in our troubles. God rejoices over us! No matter what we want to say to God, we can take it to the Lord in prayer.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

We can be a friend of Jesus. How?

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to You. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. John 15:14-17 NKJV

What a Friend we have in Jesus! Let’s take everything to him in prayer. May you and I be Jesus’ friends and obey Him. In what area is He calling you to obey? Be a good friend to others. Love one another.  

Resources:

# # #

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.

Devotional

The Value of Friendship

Oil and perfume make the heart rejoice, as does the pleasantness of a friend’s suggestions from the heart. Proverbs 27:9 MLV

A dear friend moved out of state this week. Rose has been my confidant and prayer partner for twenty-seven years. While I am happy for her that she and her husband will be closer to their family, I will miss her greatly. Our biweekly get-togethers will switch to phone and video calls, and the occasional visit.  

I’m thankful that the Lord gives us people to go through life with. Some are with us for a short season, others for life even when far away. A true friend is a blessing. The Lord knows we need those close relationships. Friends are mentioned in Scripture, along with what to look for in a person, and how to be good friends ourselves.

A friend loves at all times…Proverbs 17:17a RSV. I’ve been blessed to have many friends who love me no matter what my mood, circumstances, or schedule. They are quick to forgive. Like Rose, they love me in my good and my bad times.

Loyal friends don’t listen to gossip or spread it. I know that when I share with loyal friends, that it won’t go anywhere without permission, not even disguised as a prayer request. Rose has prayed for my situations and family members, as I have for hers. We pray with complete confidence that our prayer requests are confidential.

Better is open rebuke than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend… Proverbs 27:5, 6a NKJV. Sometimes it takes courage to be a true friend. I will never forget Rose lovingly rebuking me for a bad attitude I was carrying about a ministry that had ended for me. I wasn’t happy to hear her words, yet she was brave enough to suggest that maybe it was God’s will at the time. My friendship with Rose was important enough to me that I knew I had to get past my defensiveness and consider her counsel. In time I realized she was right. At other times Rose kindly prayed that I would have the wisdom, humor, or change in attitude to deal with a struggle I was having. She is good about receiving a rebuke as well.

A good friend helps others improve. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another Proverbs 27:17 RSV. As we hold each other accountable and lift each other up, we become better people. I’ve become a better wife and mother through my friendships. I learned to pray for my family through the friends I gained in Moms in Prayer International and in church.  I also gained skills in sewing, cooking, and gardening through others.

Relationships take time. Rose and I found we needed to plan to meet every other week, even if it was just for an hour, or our busy schedules quickly could crowd out our time for each other.

Relationships require communication. Do we actively talk and really listen? Do we hog the conversation, or perhaps not contribute? Sometimes I see people at a table in a restaurant, and each person is on their phone, not interacting with the people they are with. It’s a sad way to spend time together. 

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

How are our friendships? Are we being a good friend? Let’s think of a friend and tell that person what they mean to us.

Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of friends. Thank you for the richness they add to my life. Please help me to stay in touch and to be a better friend. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

# # #

Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. I hope and pray that you will be touched by God in a special way each time you visit. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience.