Powerful Words, Thoughts, and Inspirations for the Soul is a collection of timeless treasures, meditations, thoughts, and motivational sermons to feed the soul. All of us have had our moments?moments of peace, trials, or self-reflection. The pages of this book are filled with encouraging messages to inspire you to reach higher heights and to never ever lose sight of what our heavenly Father has planned for your life. I admonish you to take each day as a blessing from the Father and reach into his good treasure for strength to continue your spiritual journey. I pray that you will be richly blessed and transformed as you drink from the Rock, Christ Jesus.
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God won't let you down
Have you ever been set up for a letdown? Picked up to be put down? Remembered to be forgotten? Spoke up to not be heard? Or just plain old counted in only to be counted out?
So is the life story of many of the people of God but especially one saint of God in particular whose name was Jonah.
Jonah has been called 'the rebellious prophet', 'hardheaded Jonah', 'disobedient Jonah', 'stubborn Jonah', 'selfish Jonah' and yes 'wayward Jonah'.
Be it as it may, the life of Jonah is a true reflection of the lives of many a child of God today. Headed in the wrong direction, our stubborn will refuses to let us turn around. Regardless to the circumstance, we just keep reaching for the wrong stars and falling into the same old traps. Even I have found myself trying to reach a goal which I set for myself instead of pressing on to the prize which God has already set before me. Then we cry out, God why don't you hear me? God why don't you answer my prayers? Such was the case of poor old Jonah.
The first thing God said to Jonah was "Go to Nineveh that great city and cry against it" (Jonah 1:2) PREACH REPENTANCE! Commissioned with a task, Jonah refused to obey. Envisioning the outcome, Jonah used poor judgment and boarded a ship going in the opposite direction. Jonah knew within his heart of hearts that God would spare the city of Nineveh.
Poor old Jonah! Verse 3 says that Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah tried to willfully and purposely run from God. Jonah thought to himself, 'why should these wicked people be spared? Why should they who have defiled God's temple, killed God's prophets and rebelled against God's laws be recipients of God's grace and mercy now?'
Look at Jonah allowing bitterness and hatred to govern his life. Look at Jonah being stubborn, hardheaded and selfish. Instead of letting love, truth and righteousness reign supreme in his heart, Jonah allowed a spirit of malice to corrupt his thinking. We all must learn to let the love of God reign in our hearts. We must live a holy and righteous life, pleasing to God so that when we are called to do a task, not only will we be ready but our hearts will be ready as well.
So Jonah pays the fare, boards the ship, lies down and falls asleep (vs. 3-5). Let's add another title to the yet extensive list of names given to Jonah. Let's call him 'carefree Jonah'. Jonah was destined to flee from the presence of the Lord and God was determined not to forsake Jonah or to let Jonah down. Th at's the way it is for some of us. We are destined to run from the plan of God. We are destined to do things our own way. We can be stubborn, hardheaded, rebellious, selfish and carefree, just like Jonah. But God is yet determined never, ever to let us down.
God sent a storm in the sea to bring Jonah back to his senses. But old 'carefree Jonah' was fast asleep.
The men of the ship asked Jonah. What does all this mean? Call upon your God so that we will not perish. All the men of the ship tried to come to Jonah's rescue but it was Jonah's advice that they eventually heeded. Jonah said to them 'take me up and cast me forth into the sea and the sea will be calm for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.'
The men tried to bring the ship to land but when they could not they took Jonah and cast him into the sea and the sea became calm just as Jonah had said. Verse 17 says "now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah and Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights.
In the midst of the fish, Jonah cried out to God. Misery began to hold Jonah captive. Adversity surrounded Jonah on every side. Jonah had been swallowed up alive by his own selfish pride. Now faced with the possibility of sudden death and separation from God forever, he cried out in agony.
Jonah said---'out of the belly of hell cried I. Lord you have cast me into the deep, in the midst of the sea. Thy billows and waves passed over me. The waters compassed me about, even to my soul. The deep closed around about me, the weeds wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottom of the mountains ... yet thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.'
The Lord heard Jonah's cry indeed. He spoke to the fish and it spit Jonah out on dry land. Now ready to take the Word of God seriously, Jonah arrives in Nineveh, which was a 3 day's journey, in 1 day. Jonah said to the people of Nineveh, 'in 40 days, Nineveh will be overthrown'. Jonah preached a message so powerful that the whole city repented in sackcloth and ashes.
Jonah was not surprised when the people repented. Jonah was not shocked at all when they put on sackcloth and proclaimed a fast. Jonah already knew the outcome. The people repented and God saw their works. God saw them turn from their evil ways and He repented of the evil that he had planned for Nineveh. Well, we have called him 'selfish Jonah', 'stubborn Jonah', 'carefree Jonah' and 'hardheaded Jonah'. Now let's call him angry Jonah.
Look at Jonah getting angry because he didn't get his way. Look at Jonah getting angry over a plant that sprung up over night and was struck down in one day. Look at Jonah getting angry at God for caring about the lives of sinful men, instead of being angry that over 120,000 souls would have been destroyed otherwise.
Maybe your life's story does not read quite the same way as Jonah's does. Maybe your life did not go in the same direction as Jonah's did. But truly and honestly, I believe we all can say that somewhere along the way we were drowning, sinking, being swallowed up by life's disappointments and heartaches and sometimes even our own selfish pride. The worry of life wrapped around our head until making a right decision was no longer an option. We have been afraid of failures, afraid of being alone or afraid of stepping out by faith. We have felt that Jesus was much too far away and we thought that, this time, I am going down to rise no more.
But just in the nick of time, God pulled us up. God took us by the hand and said, 'I am with you'. God picked us up out of sinking sand. And at that moment, we knew that through all the trials, through all the disturbances in life, through all that we had to face, one fact remained the same. God never let us down. God never turned his back on us. God never left us. He did not forsake us. We may fail God over and over and over again but we need to remember that God will never, ever, let us down.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I realize that you will never let me down. Not doing my times of weakness nor my moments of despair. Help me to be forever mindful of your presence even when life's waters seem to overwhelm me and the tides seem to consume me. Put a zeal in my spirit to be obedient to your will and to never ever run from your divine plan for me. In Jesus Name, I pray Amen!
Shout Unto the Lord
Psalms 47:1 — "O clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph." (KJV)
There comes a time in all of our lives when we need to release praise unto God, a praise that has been waiting to get out. A praise that tells the world, I don't care who's looking at me, I don't care who hears me, I don't care who is around me, I have to break forth with a powerful praise. I need to release a shout unto God. I need to praise God with a loud voice on high.
When you shout unto God with a voice of triumph that means that you have the victory every single day.
When you praise God, you are telling Satan that you are victorious in every area of life. It does not matter what Satan does or how he tries to pull you down, you must let him know that you are going to shout out a praise unto God. It's alright to sing and it's okay to pray but sometimes you just need to shout out a praise unto God.
The Bible tells us in Joshua 6:1-5. "Now Jericho was shut up because of the children of Israel, none went out and none came in." And the Lord said to Joshua, "I have given Jericho into your hands. You shall compass the city one time for 6 days. Seven priests shall blow on 7 trumpets and on the 7th day you shall compass the city 7 times. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city shall fall down flat ..." (KJV)
Sometimes our spirit man is shut up, no praise is going out and no praise can come in. Our spirit man is all worn down. Has your spirit man ever been worn down? Are there times when you don't want to pray? Maybe there are moments when you don't feel like reading or studying your Bible. At other times, you just put up a wall of doubt and despair.
Without our conscious consent, walls do go up and the only way to get them down is to shout them down. I'm not talking about a dance in the feet or a wave of the hand but I'm talking about a shout unto God with the praise of your lips.
Verse 16 of Joshua 6 says, "And it came to pass at the 7th time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people-SHOUT-for the Lord hath given you the city." (KJV)
Verse 20 says, "So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet and the people shouted with a great shout that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went into the city and they took the city." (KJV)
When the people of God took the city, they found gold, brass, iron and silver in abundance.
The latter part of Psalms 132:16 declares, "... and the saints shall shout aloud for joy." (KJV)
Psalms 35:27 says, "Let the righteous shout for joy and be glad ..." (KJV)
Psalms 32:11 says, "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice ye righteous and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart." (KJV)
Psalms 5:11 declares, "Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice, let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendeth them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." (KJV)
Psalms 107:2 says, "let the redeemed of the Lord say so ..." (KJV)
Ezra 3:10-13 reads, "When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with the trumpets and the Levite the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord ... after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord. ... And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord. Many wept with a loud voice and many shouted aloud for joy. So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off." (KJV)
I encourage you today to shout out a praise unto God with the fruit of your lips and I guarantee that your whole situation will look brighter and you will feel so much better.
Dear God my Father,
Look upon me today and let your glorious praises be forever in my mouth. Help me to always make time for a praise break and a hallelujah shout unto you Lord. Touch my lips and search my heart. Let me be a divine vessel of praise to you every single day. In Jesus name I pray Amen!
It's Time To Seek The Lord
In God's Word, we can read about King David — Israel's greatest King, Saul — Israel's first king, Solomon — Israel's wisest King, Jehoshaphat — Israel's conquering King and even Hezekiah — Israel's praying king. But now, let's read about a king named Josiah. He was a man who declared to the people that it's time to seek the Lord.
I Kings 13: 1-3 affirm --- "And behold there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar n the Word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord: Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, this is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out." (KJV)
As it was prophesied by the man of God, Josiah was indeed born. His father's name was Amon. His father did evil in the sight of the Lord. He served idols and worshipped them. He forsook the Lord and did not walk in God's way. The servants of Amon went into the king's house and killed him. The people of Judah then killed all those men who had murdered the King and they took Josiah his son and made him king instead of his father.
Josiah had a very sad and lonely childhood. At the age of 8 his father was killed and he became king. He saw violence, outrage, bloodshed and war. He had no father to show him the ways of kingship, no grandfather to teach him the true and right judgments of the Lord.
Here we see a little boy, left fatherless at the age of 8, now being made king of Israel. His mother undertook a great responsibility. It was now her job to teach her son the ways of the Lord regardless to what his father had done.
At the age of 16, taught diligently by his mother, Josiah began to seek the God of David. King Josiah turned from the ways of his father and grandfather and took his ancestor David as his role model. In all of his heart breaking moments, Josiah set his mind and will to seek the Lord. Although he was torn, battered and bruised, Josiah set his heart to seek after the true God of Israel. He did not let his past define him. He did not allow his father's brutal reign to defeat him. He turned his eyes toward the God of gods and declared to himself that 'it's time to seek the Lord'.
The Bible says that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of David. He did not turn from it to the left or to the right. When he was 20 years old, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of idolatry. He torn down the groves that his ancestors used to worship idol gods. He swept away all forms of idolatry in Judah. He completely destroyed all temples full of abominable and detestable gods made of silver, gold, wood and brass. He broke down the altars of Baalim, the carved images that were on the high places, he cut down. The molten images, he broke into pieces until they were nothing but dust. Then as prophesied, he burnt the bones of all the priests, who had sacrificed to idol gods, on the altar.
His passion drove him to get rid of everything that was a hindrance to God's people. When he was 26 years old, he began to rebuild and repair the house of God. He ordered the priests to find workers who could rebuild the house of God. He said — 'give them enough money to buy wood, stone and all manner of materials necessary to repair God's house. And they did so faithfully and without hesitation. Then King Josiah said---'set in order all the musicians, all those who are skilled with instruments and let them play skillfully before the Lord as King David had instituted'. And as they began to clear away the rubble in the temple, Hilkiah the priest found a book. It was a book of the law that God had given to Moses. Hilkiah said--'I have found the book of the Law of Moses' and they took the book and carried it to King Josiah.
The Bible declares in II Chronicles 34:19---"And it came to pass when the King had heard the words of the law that he rent his clothes. He said to the priests — go enquire of the Lord for me and for them that are left in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the book found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book." (KJV)
Excerpted from ""Powerful Words, Thoughts and Inspirations for the Soul""
Copyright © 2017 Dr. Sharon C. Cason.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I. God won't let you down, 1,
II. Shout Unto the Lord, 5,
III. It's Time To Seek The Lord, 9,
IV. The Ultimate Gift of Grace, 14,
V. Moments of Meditation, 19,
VI. Worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth, 26,
VII. Blessed and Highly Favored, 32,
VIII. Know Your Enemy, 37,
IX. A Bed of Roses Never Loses It's Thorns, 42,
X. God is Only One Prayer Away, 50,
XI. How can we know God?, 56,
XII. The Lord Needs You, 63,
XIII. Thank God for the Blood, 68,
XIV. Let God Be God For You, 74,
XV. I'm Running For My Life, 79,
XVI. Yes, God Really Does Love Us, 84,
XVII. Stand by me Lord, 90,
XVIII. Let the blessings break forth, 96,
XIX. Don't Lose Your Dream, 105,
XX. Are you ready for your appointment?, 114,
XXI. Sing unto the Lord a New Song, 120,
XXII. My Heart Belongs to you Lord, 128,
XXIII. Who shall roll the stone away?, 134,
XXIV. What will we do with God's Divine Gifts, 140,
XXV. God is speaking, are we listening?, 148,
XXVI. He Touched Me, 155,
XXVII. I'm Coming Up, 161,
XXVIII. The Spirit of the Patriarchs and Prophets, 167,
XXIX. Five Characteristics of a Contagious Christian, 180,
XXX. Never Settle for less than God's Best, 189,