Promise Keeper

 

All the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel came true.

Joshua 21:45 NLT

 

I promise you My Presence. You can always count on My constant companionship. I accompany you every heartbeat—every hour, every day, your lifetime on earth, every phase of your journey, eternally. In sunshine and in shadow, I am closer to you than your hands and feet, nearer than your breathing. Enjoy the pleasure of My company.

 

I promise you forgiveness. Acknowledge your sins to Me, and rest assured of My faithfulness and mercy to purify you of every wrong. Admit your personal wrongdoing, and state your sincere intention to turn away from evil. You have been pardoned in response to repentance, time and time again. When you trust in the good works of Jesus on the cross, I transform a depressed dirge into a freedom song. Let your heart sing.

 

I promise you deep and enduring peace of mind—unlike temporary peace the world offers. My Tranquil Spirit will calm your troubled heart in every circumstance, no matter how stressful. Earth life will bring wave after wave of heartache, but you will not drown. You have enjoyed My comfort day after day. Take heart—I still rule the waves on life’s high seas. Your small boat will not sink—I am at the helm. Do not panic—rest in the arms of the Captain. Relax.

 

I promise to take care of your everyday needs. My Son did not die and rise from the dead so you could just get by. You have enjoyed My lavish hospitality through the years; you have never gone hungry and you never will. Bow your head and say grace. Celebrate.

 

I promise to strengthen you to face every situation. I will counsel and encourage you. Skies may not always be blue, but I will walk with you through the rain. I will empower you to obey My orders, survive every difficulty, and be ready for whatever happens. You have enjoyed many victories in conflict with spiritual enemies. Every time you have depended on Me to conquer temptation, you have won. Every time you have tried it on your own, you have lost. Success is My way; failure is yours. Seek My strength in prayer, and win against sin.

 

I promise you heaven. I am preparing a glorious place for you, an environment of untarnished beauty and undying joy. Until then, do not let disappointments throw you—paradise is just around the corner. The future is as bright as My promises. Trust Me—everything will turn out right.

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

Devotional based on day 119  of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

The Perfect Storm Shelter

Jesus Calming the Storm by Rembrandt

 

Now tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed Moses.

Joshua 20:2

 

 

I am your Storm Shelter from guilt—walls of pardon around My city of salvation keep you safe and secure from the Accuser. Despite your best efforts to resist temptation, you sometimes give in and are filled with remorse. Find consolation in Jesus, your Defense Counsel. When the Devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future! Confess your sins to Me—depend on Me to forgive you. Even if your heart condemns you, I will not. In the storm of self-reproach, hide in your Savior.

 

I am your Storm Shelter from worrywalls of My promises around My city of hope keep you safe and secure from anxiety. Beneath quicksand circumstances, I am the Solid Rock. Life’s roller coaster will not throw you—I am riding right alongside you in all its unpredictable twists and turns, so do not let fear get the best of you. Real trust in Me builds confidence as you encounter time’s vicissitudes on the approach to your eternal destination. Today will not change who I was yesterday; tomorrow I will be the same. I have always loved you—and I always will. In the night of fear, take refuge in faith.

 

I am your Storm Shelter from temptation—walls of power around My city of grace keep you safe and secure from assault. Be careful that you do not allow false gods of the heart to steal allegiance from Me. Lust for physical gratification, the urge to buy all you desire, conceit based on tangible possessions—the range of temptation—will all ultimately fade into oblivion; but those who live My way will endure eternally. You can only imagine what it will be like when Jesus returns. Until the golden dawn, live purely to prove you are Mine. Battling the evil one, wield a faith shield.

 

I am your Storm Shelter from doubtwalls of paradise around My city of heaven will keep you safe and secure from Abaddon. Because I live forever, the real you will never die. Because I love you, you are perfectly safe in My arms. I freely care for you, so you can live carefree. I am praying for you, so you can take it easy. You and I are inseparable. In the shadows of uncertainty, take cover in Love. The Mighty Fortress is great enough to protect you whatever happens. Even if you find yourself in the middle of a perfect storm—overwhelmed by a combination of circumstances making your heart palpitate with anxiety—rest assured that heaven is ready for any emergency. However rough the storms may get, seek asylum in My heart and remain inside the walls—enjoy the pleasure of My company.

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

Devotional based on day 118 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

Killing Time–Injuring Eternity

 

Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “How long are you going to sit around on your hands,putting off taking possession of the land that GOD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?”

JOSHUA 18:3 THE MESSAGE

 

Frequently we delay doing the right thing. It is not that we are ignorant of what we should be doing; our sin is procrastination. We keep waiting for “the right time.” Now is the right time! Today is the day of salvation; today is also the day of service. Here and now is all we have. This is a workday—we should not report late!

 

Putting off tasks that seem overwhelming or disagreeable shows lack of discipline, careless use of time, and disobedience to God. When we are tempted to postpone getting into action by substituting good intentions—we should concentrate on high priority tasks, work as a team with others, and seek encouragement from fellow members of the church.

 

Our head may be filled with knowledge, but our heart is sometimes slow to act on what we know. Wasting time grieves the heart of God.

 

I do not think God is impressed by our biblical IQ, if it is not matched by a high spiritual “I do.” Whatever we intend to do for God, we should do it today! It’s time to wake up and follow through on our noble dreams! Here are some practical ways to translate our resolutions into practical deeds—demonstrate love to our family; phone our friends to cheer them up; write a note to someone going through hard times to express concern.

 

We should not allow our lesser goals to overshadow the kingdom of God—to do so would make us a scatterbrain. After we make sure our ambition and aim are sincere, we must then swiftly obey God’s will. It is high time to passionately, prayerfully, intelligently, and energetically serve our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. We need to quit staring up the steps and start stepping up the stairs.

 

Often we allow distractions to hinder our commitment to God. Rather than focusing on claiming our spiritual inheritance, we allow peripheral issues to sidetrack us. Trivial pursuits occupying our time will not matter a century from today. But who we are and what we do for heaven’s sake will matter millenniums from now—and beyond.

 

Henry David Thoreau was right in Waldenwe cannot kill time without injuring eternity.

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

devotion based on day 117 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

Your Lot in Life

 

According to the LORD’s instructions to Joshua, he gave Caleb son of Jephunneh an allotment among the Judahites,

namely the City of Arba, the father of Anak, which is now Hebron.

JOSHUA 15:13 MLB

 

I am your Sovereign—allow Me to choose your lot in life and accompany you as you traverse its emotional topography. I perfectly understand you and I powerfully stand under you. You can trust Me to constantly take care of you. Because I care for you, you can be carefree. Do not complain and bellyache about your circumstances; learn to be content in your inner-stances, whatever lot I assign you. Be satisfied and you will be truly rich. Whether you have little or much, rest assured in the confident awareness that I am leading you to paradise. Celebrate every mile of the journey.

 

I may give you difficult mountainous terrain, as I did My servant Caleb. Do not pray to live on easy street; pray for strength of character. There may be giants in your territory you will need to expel—drive them out by My authority. I do not give you an attitude of cowardice and shyness—I bless you with a bold spirit, a caring heart, and disciplined good sense. Visigoths of discouragement, loneliness, and weariness may attack—conquer them in My Name.

 

Whatever your address, I am your Home. I made your heart My residence, and I will in no case move away. My Presence permeating your personality will be evidenced by your affectionate heart, exuberant outlook, serene disposition, patient stick-to-itiveness, kind manner, generous compassion, loyal consistency, gentle interaction, and self-controlled appetites.

 

Empowered by My Almighty Spirit, you can do “the impossible.”

Charmed by My Selfless Spirit, you can minister in a Christlike fashion.

Guided by My Tranquil Spirit, you can stay sane in the eye of the storm.

Shaped by My Creative Spirit, you can bloom wherever you are planted.

Reinforced by My Invincible Spirit, you can vanquish giants in your territory.

Inspired by My Hopeful Spirit, you can dance heaven’s dance on earth.

 

Feel like grumbling about your lot in life? Build a service station on it.

 

+

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

Devotional based on day 116 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

Room to Grow

When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him,

“You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered.”

JOSHUA 13:1 NLT

 

You have a lot of room to grow in communion with Me. Everything else is rubbish compared to the priceless gain of intimate relationship to Me. You have known Me a long time, but you still do not know Me like I would like you to. If you have prioritized anything above life’s noblest goal, now is the time to reorder your values. Trash all your trivial pursuits, and treasure friendship with your Creator.

 

You have plenty of room to grow in consecration. You have experienced a victory here and there over the years, but you still need to draw on more of the vitality of Christ’s resurrection in your everyday life. Experiencing His resurrection power will move you beyond easy street, dead-end ideas of your society. Before you can celebrate robust life, you must die to sin. Crucify your evil ways and count on My infinite power to vanquish every entrenched bad habit.

 

You have much room to grow in Christlikeness. You have followed Me fairly closely along the way, but you still need to concentrate on your supreme ambition—to humbly walk in the footsteps of Jesus in your attitudes and actions. Compare yourself with Me, and you will realize the chasm between your ideal self and the person you actually are. You have good intentions but do not always follow through. You become irritable when things do not go your way. You are sometimes judgmental, self-righteous, woebegone, proud, anxious, and egocentric. I know you like an open book. Yet I still love you, and I still have plans for you. Someday you will be like My Son; until then, follow His example. When you are tempted to quit the struggle, gaze on the mysterious figure on the cross and return to your assigned task. My fondest dream for you is that you become like Christ—I am using every circumstance to sculpt you into a replica of Perfection.

 

Much land in your life territory remains to be conquered—mountains of conceit, islands of selfishness, valleys of discouragement, rivers of impatience, plateaus of ritualism, and deserts of criticism. Claim all the promised land of the inheritance I have staked out for you!

 

With the single-mindedness of an Olympic athlete in training, focus on drawing nearer to Jesus. Reflect His likeness as you live out your God-designed identity. Go for the gold.

 

Do more than grow old—grow up!

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional based on day 115 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

 

 

Battle Fatigue

 

The following is a list of the kings Joshua and the Israelite armies defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir.

JOSHUA 12:7 NLT

 

Israel had many kings to conquer, but with the King of kings fighting on their side, they celebrated one victory after another. You, too, have many enemies, but when I reign in your heart you can beat the Devil. He is the god of the world, but he has no claim on Me and mine. My chosen people had many territories to vanquish, and so do you—the hill country of pride, foothills of discouragement, lonely valleys, plateaus of dull routine, wilderness of confusion, and the Negev of desolation.

 

Fragmentation is conquered in the light of faith. Satan would love to ruin your life by tearing your wholehearted allegiance away from Me. But I have given My word never to desert you, guaranteeing it by My Holy Spirit signature. Your heart is My home—rest assured I will never move away. I reign as Sovereign of your will, holding you together.

 

Pessimism is conquered in the light of My promises. Though Satan is your greatest foe, he is already defeated by My grand victory over death, hell, and the grave. I will have the last word. I have great plans for tomorrow. Listen for My future melody and dance My faith dance each step of the way. Count on Me, and finish My confidence course.

 

Selfishness is conquered in the light of sacrifice. The master of evil would love to ruin your relationships, but My love is greater than his disruptive hate. Imitate My loving lifestyle, and find fulfillment.

 

The Devil is conquered in the Light of the Divine. Do not get overconfident, napping in your castle of pride. Be on the alert for attacks from the evil one. Satan is a roaring lion constantly on the prowl, searching for a victim to shred. Deal decisively with the adversary of your soul, and stay strong in your faith. Remember to hold My hand as you make your way through the jungle. Cage the lion by yielding control of your impulses and emotions to Me. Let the Lion of Judah’s tribe reign as undisputed King of your heart—be a victor, not a victim!

 

I am Lord of the whole earth, and I give My warriors courage and strength to endure hardship and combat evil. Because I am fighting with you on the front lines, there is no need to be afraid. Whatever foe you may face, I am stronger. Ultimate triumph is Mine—linked to Me by faith, it is yours. Counteract battle fatigue in the energy of My Spirit—march on in heaven’s victory parade!

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

Devotional based on day 114 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

S-i-n spells Trouble

S-i-n spells Trouble

 

They piled a great heap of stones over Achan, which remains to this day.

That is why the place has been called the Valley of Trouble ever since.

Joshua 7:26 NLT

 

Covetousness always results in calamity. A Babylonian robe is no match for the robe of My righteousness. Silver and gold rusts away, unlike heavenly treasures. Sin is never worth the price you have to pay—it brings disaster, defeat, destruction, disease, and death.

 

How beautiful is the other side of the coin! When people seek Me, I transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope. I strengthen all who humbly turn from their sinful nature’s urging to follow My perfect lead.

 

Joshua’s advice to Achan is My advice to you—honor Me by telling the truth; own up to sin against Me and quit hiding from My love. I solemnly charge you to be honest with Me. This is no flippant matter. It is painful business.

 

If you are truthful, you must admit you are guilty of many sins—particularly greed. Achan-like, you often want things you do not need. You have allowed materialism to get the upper hand in your life. Trivial pursuit is a game you play—a game with no real winners.

 

Sin always spells trouble. On the other hand, coming clean with Me spells triumph. Confession is good for your soul. Be open and honest with Me, and I will forgive and cleanse you of all impurity. Toss your transgression on the garbage pile; follow My perfect plan—only then will you experience sweet victory.

 

Sin invariably gets you in trouble. You are fooling yourself if you think you can ignore Me and get away with it. You cannot break My law—it breaks you. The rule of the harvest is universal, without exception—you always reap what you sow. Every thought, word, and deed is a boomerang with great accuracy. You can avoid distress if you resist dabbling in sin. You can live triumphantly relying on My sanctifying power.

 

You decide how you will live—with predictable results.

 

Rebel and experience ruin. Repent and rejoice. Follow a siren song of selfishness and sing the blues. Live in tune with My Spirit and dance the jig of joy. The choice is yours.

 

Gentle Whispers from Eternity © 2013 by Johnny R. Almond

Book available on Amazon

Why Heaven Visited Earth

Image result for picture of cross and manger

 

 

 

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

LUKE 19:10 MLB

 

 I could have saved Myself a lot of trouble, if I had stayed by My Father’s side; instead, I made Myself nothing, donned the garb of a slave, and died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross. Skull Hill was a long way from glory. I went to hell so you would not have to. I became a servant so you could avoid self-destructiveness. I was crucified so you could be changed for the better. I was deserted so you could enjoy the pleasure of My company. I became the Son of Man so you could become a child of God. I died in your place so you could live in Mine. I came to the world not just to challenge you to seek higher goals—I came to offer you My forgiveness and mercy and grace.

 

 

I could have saved Myself from physical death had I descended the cross; instead, I saved believers from spiritual death by staying on the cross. I condescended to save you from sin’s penalty, power, and presence. Heartfelt faith in the Savior and public confession of allegiance to Me sets you on the road to heaven. If you have taken this first step of trust in Me, you are free of guilt—no longer on death row, no more condemned to torment! When your old life of sin is buried with Christ, you live a new, free life. One day you will be like Me—this is My dream and your destiny. Salvation is a process I began in your heart—I intend to complete it.

 

 

I did not leave heaven to seek smug legalists and self-righteous snobs—but sinners who are painfully aware of their moral failure. If I had saved Myself from humiliation, you could not be saved from hell. My heart goes out to all people—I died for the sins of the entire world. Religionists who think they are good enough have no interest in Me. Humble souls understand My purpose—smart-alecks are clueless.

 

 

Glory will fill your soul when you know why heaven visited earth.

 

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity — book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional based on day 318 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

 

Marching Orders

ccross

 

Then he gave orders to the people:“March around the city, and the armed men will lead the way in front of the Ark of the Lord.” JOSHUA 6:7 NLT

 

You sometimes feel like finding an easy chair. The last thing in the world you want is to get involved in a battle with Satan. You are not burned out, but you are getting warm. If you were totally honest with Me, you would admit more than anything you would just like a little R & R.

 

At other times you are inclined to retreat far from the front line. That can upset you and make you feel guilty. You are afraid of conflict with evil powers. You are frustrated with pressures of too many irons in the fire and mountains of responsibility. You are not quite ready to give up, but you would like to hide in a cave somewhere and be an Essene for a while. Qumran is not far from Jericho.

 

You cannot be on perpetual vacation and cannot quit the struggle—I have My hand on your shoulder. I commissioned you to serve Me. I am your Commander in Chief, so you must advance. Here are My marching orders for you—Take the message of My love to your world; tell everyone who will listen that Jesus has paid the penalty for sin, and all those who will believe in Him can be forgiven and live fully and forever.

 

Let My resurrection power keep your faith in motion. Do not rely on personal skill or resolve to do heaven’s serious business—depend on My infinite strength. I give opportunities to share the Good News. This is no time for a nap. Obedience is your job. Results are Mine.

 

Soldiering is never easy. Combat is no picnic. But I will encourage you day after day. Don My armor to counteract Satan’s strategies. Wear the truth belt in a dishonest, conniving world. Lace up running shoes of eagerness to tell Love’s never-ending story. Raise the faith shield to extinguish fiery arrows of temptation. Keep your mind occupied with My constant saving work in your life. Wield My Spirit Sword to slay evil wherever it rears its ugly head. In every battle, pray as you go.

 

When your courage disappears, My compassion will sustain you. When you are exhausted, I will reinforce you for the fray. Run confidently in the Hope Marathon. Walk consistently in your daily routines. Fly high courageously in life’s great challenges. The world’s king and his hordes are no match for the King of kings. Before you fight him, claim My power. Then you can celebrate victory even before the battle.

 

Forward, march!

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional based on day 112 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

 

On the Verge of Victory

golden_sunrise

 

As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand.

Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am commander of the Lord’s army.”

JOSHUA 5:13-14 NLT

 

 

I am the Omniscient GodI know everything about tomorrow. Nothing is hidden from My eyes. You have no idea what will happen next. You may be on the brink of a vicious conflict. For all you know, you may face a ferocious battle with satanic forces in the hours that are directly ahead of you. Basking in the success of crossing the Jordan, you may not realize that Jericho is your next “impossible” challenge. You are in suspense. Satan would love to defeat you. He is a roaring lion, on the prowl for an unsuspecting victim to shred with his malicious claws. Look around and carefully stay alert for potential combat with evil.

 

 

I am the Omnipotent GodI can do everything. Nothing can withstand My power. By My Spirit Sword, I am able to slay every enemy. Open your eyes to see My protective chariots of fire encircling you. Let Me sensitize your conscience to teach you to rely on My Truth. Be encouraged by knowledge that spiritual warriors on the side of right outnumber evil forces on the dark side. When it begins to look like there is no way you can ever win against sin, remember the Holy Spirit reigning in you is greater than the hellacious spirit ruining the world. I am your only hope of conquering evil, but I am enough. I can calm your anxious spirit, quiet your restless heart, and help you placidly navigate the noisy world—if you will just let Me. Be conscientious, not careless. Trust, do not tremble. Be courageous, not cowardly. Sing, do not sigh. Soar, do not sink. Be victorious, not victimized. The time will come when I will stomp Satan under My feet. Let the vision of perfect peace invigorate your heart. Your Savior will conquer sin. Look up and cheerfully be sure of My unlimited power.

 

 

I am the Omnipresent GodI am everywhere. I am here. I am for you. I orchestrate every situation for your good. I chose you eons before your birth to ultimately become like My Son. I charmed you to My side and made you Mine forever. Glory will dawn, I promise. Look ahead and confidently anticipate triumph over wrong. I am on your side, so you are on the verge of victory.

 

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity–ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional based on day 111 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity