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Daily devotional

June 30 - Renewing your strength

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Psalm 103:5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.” - Isaiah 40:31  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:25-31 The difference between a two-year-old and a twenty-year-old eagle is scarcely noticeable. Eagles retain their strength and speed and vision until they die. Their feathers also remain in excellent condition as God regularly renews them through molting. This amazing process is still not entirely understood, but it is estimated that the eagle renews its feathers nearly once a year, in a gradual process. We picture the eagle soaring effortlessly through the sky. Yet when an eagle mounts up on its powerful wings or takes down its prey, it requires tremendous strength. So there are times we soar high in the Christian life. But there are also demanding periods which take great effort. As our years advance the LORD continues to renew our strength. ”Though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). And God has also said, “They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing” (Psalm 92:14). God also gives the ability to run and not be weary! When demanding challenges and crises arise, He gives the spiritual adrenalin and muscle you need as you look to Him. When life calms down, He continues to provide the stamina and nourishment you need to steadily gain spiritual ground and “walk the talk” as a believer. So wait on the Lord. Renew your strength in Christ. Run spiritually and don’t be weary! Walk in faith and do not faint! Suggestions for prayer An aged saint who recently went to be with the Lord would ask family members to pray that he would not sleep so much. His deep desire was to be able to still serve the Lord as much as his strength and ability allowed! You may feel like you need to pray for more sleep instead of less. But let the goal of your prayer be the same: to serve the Lord to the very best of your ability! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 29 - Wait on the Lord

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:30-31  Scripture reading: Psalm 27:1-14 We usually think of waiting as something unpleasant. No one looks forward to waiting in a doctor’s office. Waiting in line at the grocery store or a border crossing are things we’d rather avoid. But waiting on the Lord is so different. For the Psalmist, it was something he was really willing to do. “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:5). Waiting on the Lord means looking and listening for Him in faith! For the Christian, waiting on God is done with an air of expectancy. There is an eager suspense in this waiting. It’s like waiting for a birthday party or a wedding. It’s not a lazy waiting, but an energetic one which motivates a person to do whatever needs to be done, in order to get ready for whatever is coming. Think of soldiers who at the end of a day may be faint and weary from successfully engaging against the enemy. They are hoping and waiting for the day they can go home to those they love. But their expectant waiting doesn’t paralyze them. In fact, the prospect of victory energizes them each day. Similarly, a waiting that believes in the goodness of God and in a victory through Christ, won’t drain you. It will strengthen you! Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:14). Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will strengthen your heart, deliver you from the paralysis of fear and doubt and enable you to wait actively upon Him! Ask Him to give you an exciting and energizing sense of the victory accomplished by and guaranteed to you in Christ! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 28 - Antidote for fainting

“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall…” - Isaiah 40:29-30  Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 The mighty apostle Paul was not exempt from weakness when he found himself buffeted by a thorn in the flesh. He wrote, “Who is weak, and I am not weak” (2 Corinthians 11:29). Even the strongest Christians know what it’s like to faint and be weary. But why? One of the big reasons is a failure to really hold on to and believe God’s promises. When Israel complained that their way was hidden from the Lord, their just claim was passed over by their God, their complaint was understandable. They were languishing in captivity. God responds by sending Jeremiah with a message of Babylon’s imminent destruction and a blessed promise, “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 33:14). Letting go of God’s promises is draining. Holding on to them gives hope and strength. Are you letting go or holding on? God may be chastising you right now, but ask yourself, has He ever actually gone back on His word to you? You may have failed Him, but has He ever failed you? When you feel faint, refresh your faith by obeying promises like this, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28). Suggestions for prayer Whatever may be burdening or threatening you in a particular way right now, bring it to the Lord! Remember that He lovingly calls you to be “casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you!” Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 27 - God’s greatness

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” - Isaiah 40:28  Scripture reading: Psalm 139:1-24 Isaiah dispels our doubts about the Lord’s ability to watch over us by listing four more truths about our God. First, He is the Everlasting God! We are creatures limited by time. From our perspective the present moment looms bigger than everything else. The future is very uncertain to us. But our everlasting God sees our momentary problems from the perspective of eternity! He knows how everything will unfold in our lives. He will make sure that it’s for our good, just like He did in the lives of Job and Joseph. God knows precisely how our disappointments, struggles and losses will fit together for our ultimate good. Second, He is the Creator of the ends of the earth. That means that wherever you find yourself, His power and presence will be there. Rest assured that wherever you go and whatever you face, “Even there, God’s hand shall lead you, And His right hand shall hold you!” Third, God neither faints nor is weary. We spend more than a quarter of our lives sleeping because we need to renew our strength. But God doesn’t have to. He never tires. He is always alert, aware and up to any challenge. Finally, God’s understanding is unsearchable. Just as children don’t need to be second-guessing their mother or father, neither do we need to second-guess God. He is far wiser than us and knows precisely what He is doing with us and where He is taking us. Suggestions for prayer If you feel that you or your just claim is forgotten by God in any way, then bring it to Him in prayer. As you do, ask Him to help you remember that Jesus was forsaken on the cross so that you might never be forsaken or forgotten by Him!! Appeal to His promise to never leave you or forsake you. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 26 - God neither loses track of the stars nor of you

“Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God?"” - Isaiah 40:26-27  Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Our sun is estimated to produce enough power every second to power one billion large cities for a year. Our Milky Way galaxy is believed to contain over 100 billion stars. It is part of a cluster of a few dozen galaxies. Other clusters contain thousands of galaxies. “Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might and the strength of His power: Not one is missing”. Can you imagine the energy of God which powers all the stars in all the galaxies? If God keeps perfect track of all these, how can you imagine that God has ever lost track of you and your situation? How can you think that anything about you could possibly escape His attention or exceed His ability even for a few moments? But it sure seems like our way is hidden from him at times. A child is born missing a chromosome, or with some other lifelong handicap. We unexpectedly face a heart attack, cancer or an increasingly rebellious child. A person we loved deeply has broken off our relationship with them. Then we wonder… Where are you Lord? Aren’t you watching? Like Paul we can beg God to take away our thorn in the flesh, but God doesn't seem to hear. Yet, Paul continued praying. He waited and in time God answered. Paul’s strength was renewed. Yours will be too! God keeps his promises! Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will deliver you from your doubt about whether your way and your needs are known by Him or not. Ask Him to help us to persevere in hope and prayer even in times of deep disappointment and pain. Pray the same for others you know who are going through tough times. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 25 - Princes and kingdoms brought to nothing

“He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.” - Isaiah 40:23-24  Scripture reading: Daniel 2:26-49 Back in verse 6, Isaiah reminded Israel that “all flesh is grass.” Their Babylonian captors had brought Jerusalem down into ruins. They made the lives of God’s people miserable. They taunted, “Come sing us one of Zion's songs!” Nebuchadnezzar appeared invincible. But the rulers of this earth who oppress, persecute and take counsel against the Lord and His anointed are grass. They are here today, gone tomorrow. Tyrants and their governments flourish for a time, then disappear. Think of Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin. Think of Lenin, Hussein and Ghaddafi. Think of their painful ends. History has not been kind to them. Alexander the Great won every battle he fought. When he died, at 32 years of age, he gave instructions for his hands to be left dangling outside his coffin, to let the world know no matter how much a man gains here, it’s all so passing. No matter how great he’s become, he leaves life empty-handed. The grass withers. Despite Putin’s aspirations, the Soviet Union is past. Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping and others will soon be no more as well. There is only one kingdom destined to last forever and conquer all others: the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah makes stunning prophecies of the Messiah’s coming. Those prophecies were fulfilled to the letter. He has come and is coming again. His Kingdom will swallow up all others. Courageous Ukrainians were willing to give everything for earthly freedoms. Are you willing, ready to give everything for eternal ones? Suggestions for prayer In the middle of political and economic upheaval, and despite the destructive reality of war, pray for God to show His power and glory over the nations and to preserve His church. Refrain from putting your confidence in men. Pray that according to His wisdom He would “put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalt the lowly” (Luke 1:52). Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 24 - Consider the heavens

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? Isaiah 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” - Psalm 8:3-4   Scripture reading: Psalm 8:1-9 Isaiah calls us to marvel at God’s majesty! He does this by describing the heavens as a curtain being stretched out by God and as a tent that He spreads out for Himself to dwell in. Each of these verbs are in the present tense. God continually fills and stretches them with His power and presence as He sits far above the circle of the earth. How vast are the heavens? The sun is 93 million miles away. It would take 163 years of nonstop driving at 105 km/hr to get there. The planet Pluto would take us 6,500 years to reach. The next nearest star is 25 trillion miles. Our Milky Way galaxy contains 100 billion stars. Yet, God’s glory is far “above the heavens”. They are just the “work of His finger”. Their unimaginably vast expanses cannot even begin to contain Him! Solomon in his wisdom humbly acknowledges this when he prays, “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” (2 Chronicles 6:18). As we behold our awesome God, let’s be amazed that such an infinite and everywhere present Being is mindful of such puny finite creatures as we are! Do you know how He visited us? By sending His own Son to die for us that we might live for Him forever. He continues His “visiting” with us every moment by the indwelling of His Spirit. Suggestions for prayer In your prayer acknowledge that, “The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). “Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!” (Psalm 150:1). Thank Him for visiting us in Christ and living in us by His Spirit. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 23 - Foolishness of idolatry

“To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?” - Isaiah 40:18  Scripture reading: Romans 1:1-24; Isaiah 40:18-22 As Christians, we are apt to treat religions that worship idols condescendingly. We think of them as backwards and ignorant. Yet, both Paul and Isaiah give a powerful rejoinder to the idea that such worship is just innocent ignorance. Paul describes it as the product of the suppression of truth in unrighteousness. You see, on the one hand, there is a knowledge of the true nature of God in every human soul. It is clearly seen and understood by the things that are made. On the other hand, idolatry is a willful and rebellious response by which man decides to change “the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” Isaiah exposes an ‘Achilles heel’ of this idolatry. Idolaters have to be very careful how they carve their ‘gods’ or they are liable to totter and fall over! Idol gods are the product of man, not vice versa. Yet, millions in India alone daily worship a pantheon of three million idols. They go from their jobs at high tech call centres and companies like Microsoft to prostrate themselves in worship before man-made idols made of straw and plaster, then gilded with paint and gold and silver. But before you and I go wagging our fingers at these people, we need to remember how prone we are to make possessions, pleasures and careers into idols that we create and believe in as the source of real fulfillment and security. Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will deliver us from the delusions of our idolatry. Sing and pray that the Holy Spirit, all divine will dwell within this heart of mine; Cast down every idol-throne, Reign supreme and reign alone! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 22 - Comparing the nations to God

“All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.” - Isaiah 40:17  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:15-18 On D-day, the Allied forces’ naval arm included 130,000 troops and 6939 ships. Even more heart-stopping is the fact that the one nuclear explosion which wiped out Hiroshima could have virtually destroyed the entire D-day forces in a few moments. Yet the power and weapons of the nations is just a drop in a bucket to God. On His scale, they are like fine dust. They don't even move it. He lifts up the isles as a very small thing!! “And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering” (Isaiah 40:16). When Solomon began to build the temple for the Lord, the first thing he did was send a message to Hiram King of Tyre asking him to provide cedars. Today the cedar is still the emblem of Lebanon. Isaiah tells us that if we were to take all their cedar forests, light one massive bonfire and offer every animal in them as a burnt offering, such an act of worship would still be far less than the glory and holiness of God warrants! “Yahweh, the God of Israel, is so high and exalted above man that man is in no way able to present unto Him a sacrifice or offering worthy of Him.” (E.J Young) Only one sacrifice was ever sufficient to fully glorify God and satisfy His holy justice. That sacrifice on the hill of Calvary was so awesomely sufficient that it shook the earth and split rocks in two! Hallelujah, what a Saviour! Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God fully satisfied the perfect divine justice and anger of God against all your sins. It did what no other sacrifice could do! Ask Him to deliver us from being afraid of what men or nations can do, knowing that their combined power is no more than a drop in the bucket to Him. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 21 - Divine wisdom

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counsellor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding?” - Isaiah 40:13-14  Scripture reading: Proverbs 8:1-36 Who directed the Spirit of the LORD? No One! Who counselled Him? Nobody! Who instructed Him? Not a soul! No being, no force or law outside of Himself ever taught God anything! God never gained understanding because He always had it! From eternity past, before the world or the universe, or you or I, ever existed, God was, God is and God ever shall be: perfect in understanding and wisdom! God never says, “If only I had known that!” or, “If only I had been ready for that!” He is always ready. Nothing takes God by surprise. God never had to say, “Oh, I didn't realize that he would not quite be able to handle that” or, “I totally forgot that she would need extra encouragement today.” When things are tough, it’s easy to doubt whether we can really trust God's wisdom, power and care. Don’t belittle God by such a lack of appreciation for His infinite wisdom. And if you feel like you lack wisdom, then go to Him and ask Him for more! “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Suggestions for prayer: Ask the LORD to forgive you for the times you questioned His ways and wisdom and for the times “I have uttered what I did not understand. Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3). Thank Him that He is a God Whose wisdom and ways are far superior to ours. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 20 - Divine Measurement

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?” - Isaiah 40:12  Scripture reading: Psalm 46:1-11 He calculates the dust of the earth in a measure. God knows the exact volume and weight of all the dust of this world! Knowing the number of hairs on your head is a piece of cake in comparison! God never ‘guesstimates’ anything. You and I couldn’t even count the grains of sand in a single handful without losing track. Yet He knows it instantaneously! Years ago, we could view the Canadian Rockies in the distance outside our front window. We also took breathtaking drives through the Cascade mountain range which was even closer by. Yet, as vast and awe-inspiring as the mountains are, our God can pick up the whole Rocky mountain and Cascade range combined and put it on one side of the scale, take up Mount Everest and the entire Himalayan range and place them on the other side, while not straining a single muscle or forming one drop of sweat! God has unlimited power. He has the seas and lakes, mountain ranges, with all their volcanoes and fault lines, in perfect balance. Nothing is ever out of His careful and measured control! This is why it is such a comfort to be able to say, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”Let us, “Be still and know that He is God!” (Psalm 46:1). Suggestions for prayer Thank God His thoughts towards you are more in number than the sand of the seashore. Praise Him for being your powerful Protector and a very present help in trouble! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 19 - The right approach

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.” - Psalm 119:33 Scripture reading: Psalm 119:33-40 Today, we have the privilege of joyfully worshiping our God and hearing the preaching of His Word! The psalmist’s prayer is, "Teach Me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.”We need to remember it’s not a book of man’s statutes, but of God’s! It has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in it. He purposes that we discover those treasures through the preaching and teaching of the Holy Spirit! Proverbs 2:3-6 (ESV) tells us, “Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Loving God with our whole mind means using it to know God better. It involves listening for the ways God's Word impacts every single facet of our life! Too often we find ourselves sitting in church or reading the Bible without a real hunger for a life impacting experience! If that’s the case, we need to say, "Wait a minute! What am I doing here?” Then pray for God to bless your mind and heart with the truth you are about to hear or to read!" It’s vital to approach worship and God’s Word with a prayerful hunger and thirst for the blessings of salvation and righteousness in Jesus Christ! Suggestions for prayer Proverbs 2:3-6 is really an amazing promise. Quote it in prayer and ask God to fulfill its promise in our lives. Pray also that He would help you to approach both scripture and worship with the right attitude. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 18 - The father’s hand

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?” - Isaiah 40:12  Scripture reading: John 10:24-30 Your hand is an astounding creation. It is superior to the most advanced robotics engineered by man. You can do a myriad of things with it. One of the things you can do is cup it. A child’s cupped hand might hold a teaspoon. An adult’s hand? Perhaps a tablespoon. Years ago, I had a couple of elders who had milked cows by hand when they were young. Their hands were so huge they probably could have held two tablespoons in each. But now think of your God! He takes all the waters of the oceans, the seas, the lakes, the rivers, the swamps, the vast underground reservoirs and every particle suspended in vapour form and measures it all in the hollow of His hand! A hand span is the measurement from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. It averages 7.5 inches. The largest measured human hand span is 12 inches. Now behold your God! He measures the vastness of the heavens with a span of His hand! Jesus says "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”Is it any wonder that no one can snatch you out of a hand like His? Suggestions for prayer Praise God for His creation. Let the marvels of the body and its ingenious design direct you to the reality and creative genius of your God. (I once even had an unbeliever look at his hand and say, it’s true, just this hand tells me there is a God!) Thank Him for His promise to never allow you to be snatched out of His awesome hand! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 17 - Tender yet almighty

 “Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.” - Isaiah 40:10  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:9-14 The theme of Isaiah 40 is summed up by the words, “Behold your God!” Isaiah’s purpose is that our attention is riveted on and refreshed by our awe-Inspiring God. We often feel limited when it comes to stretching our minds with thoughts and visions of God. We feel even more inadequate when it comes to sharing the glory of our awe-inspiring God with those around us. J.I. Packer, the author of “Knowing God”, describes it this way: “…as clowns yearn to play Hamlet, so I have wanted to write a treatise on God.” Yet, Isaiah knows we have a deep and ongoing spiritual need to “Lift up our eyes on high, and see Who has created these things!” He encourages God’s people to look away from the power of their captors. He is telling them to look away from their own weakness, helplessness and political irrelevance. No matter how weak they may feel, or how strong their oppressors appear, they need to be lifted up in their souls by a sense of the power and might of the eternal God of heaven of earth Who loves them and shepherds them. We’ve seen how God comforts us with the reminder that He is a Shepherd Who faithfully feeds His flock, gathers lambs in His arms and tenderly leads those with young. Yet, He would never have us fall under the illusion that His compassion, tenderness and kindness is in any way exclusive, awe-inspiring power, infinite wisdom, divine genius and matchless superiority to all of His creation! Suggestions for prayer God tells us it is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes (Psalm 118:9). Pray that God will keep us from trusting merely in man or even ourselves. May we rejoice and trust in the fact that He reigns powerfully over all things as He loves and shepherds His people. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 16 - Our gentle shepherd

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” - Isaiah 40:11   Scripture reading: Psalm 139:4-18 He gently leads those who are with young. The mothers in the flock and their little lambs are treated with special care and consideration. The shepherd knows every individual's needs. He treats them according to their particular weaknesses and their strengths. He may allow some to travel ahead at a more challenging pace because He knows they can. Others may not be able to handle the same challenge, so the shepherd adjusts His treatment of them accordingly. They are His beloved sheep. He knows them better than they know themselves. Are you in His flock? Is His voice familiar to you? Are you telling those He has given you to teach to be familiar with His voice too? There is nothing more important than together knowing and loving the Great Shepherd Who gave His life for the sheep. He died in payment for our sins and rose again so that He might carry and gather each of us into the safety of His eternal fold. Believe and rejoice that this awesome God stooped down to be the Shepherd of your soul and of the souls of your children. Thank God that He Whom the heaven of heavens can't contain gathers you in His arms, carries you close to His bosom, and leads you to eternally green pastures and waters, forever crystal clear! It doesn't and it can't get any better than that! Suggestions for prayer Pray for young expectant mothers. Pray for mothers with young children. There are many constant demands and pressures on their lives. Thank God for their love and faithfulness. Pray for families with special needs and struggles. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional, Uncategorised

June 15 - He gathers the Lambs

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.”” - Mark 10:13-14  Scripture reading: Mark 10:13-16 What does Jesus do? He gathers the young lambs with His arm and carries them in His bosom! His bosom is a place of tenderness and safety. When a shepherd leads His flock, young lambs are often first to tire. If they begin to straggle, he scoops them up in His arms and carries them for a while. A shepherd’s strength is wonderfully experienced in his compassionate care and love for the weak. The one time the Lord is said to be “greatly displeased” with His disciples is when they acted like children were low priority for Him and when they rebuked those who brought their little ones to Him. Jesus condemns his disciples' attitude and shows the value He places on their little souls by lifting them up in His arms, putting His hands on them and blessing them. He makes it crystal clear that these children belong to the kingdom of God! Jesus admonishes His disciples about their own need to put away pride and receive the kingdom of God with a child-like trust and humility. In Matthew 18, the disciples ask Him who will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus sets a little child in front of them and tells them, "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”Perhaps it’s time for a reset in our concept of “greatness” as we humbly follow our Shepherd! Suggestions for prayer Thank God for covenant children. Pray that they may become faithful and committed young men and women whom God will use to bless and build His churches in the years ahead. Pray for prodigal sons and daughters, that they may be brought back to the safety and blessing of the fold. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 14 - The Lord is my shepherd

“Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” - Isaiah 40:10-11  Scripture reading: Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my Shepherd. I shall not want! I will never be unprotected. I will never lack anything I truly need. Why not? Because the Lord, my Shepherd, is both a gentle God and yet the God of limitless power and infinite wisdom. He is above us, beyond us, and yet still with us! He will gather the lambs with His arm and gently lead those with young. The youngest, the weakest, the defenceless, the ones with greatest need and least stamina, are special objects of His attention! Who are these lambs? They include any Christian, any weak one, any handicapped one, or anyone with special needs. Without a doubt, this also includes every little child that He gives to believers and to His church. The Greek word in the New Testament for young boy “talya”, and for young girl “talitha”, actually come from this Hebrew word for lam, ”tela”. They are no less important or valuable to Him than you are!! Their souls are just as eternal as yours! He gathers them with His arm. He uses you as parents and grandparents to love, nurture and teach them about Jesus, their Shepherd, Who died and rose again for them! He uses you as elders, pastors, and teachers at home and school to gather them as you teach, lead and love them self-sacrificially! And He shows the power of His arm by working faith in these young hearts and minds and using them to shine as lights in a dark world! Suggestions for prayer Thank God for all those He has used to shepherd your soul. Continue to pray for them, express your indebtedness to God for them. Be thankful for any and all opportunities God gives you to lead and love young souls. Pray for wisdom and faithfulness in doing so. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 13 - Behold your God

“O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" Tell His people to be ready for His coming! He is coming as King, with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him. Behold His reward is with Him.” - Isaiah 40:9  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-17 In Chapter 40, Isaiah describes how absolutely stunning God is in every facet of His Being! He measures the waters in the hollow of His hand. He weighs the mountains in scales. He doesn’t need to be taught anything… He knows everything! Compared to Him, all the nations are like a drop in the bucket and dust on the scale. This description is not designed to intimidate us. It’s designed to comfort us. God is not just some impersonal unreachable, untouchable force governing everything. He is both our infinitely powerful Creator and our Judge, and yet also our tender Shepherd. He is a compassionate, caring God. He shepherds gather, carries, and gently leads His people. He will tend His flock like a shepherd. The word ‘tend’ represents everything a Shepherd does to care for and protect His sheep. There are bad shepherds and there are good shepherds, but only One is ‘the’ Good Shepherd: “I am ‘the’ Good Shepherd. ‘The’ Good Shepherd lays down His life for the Sheep.” David risked his life defending his sheep from the lion and the bear. Jesus didn’t risk His life. He purposefully gave it to save you from hell and Satan. There is no better place for you or your children than under the protection of the Good Shepherd! Suggestions for prayer Ask God that you will grow in your awareness and appreciation of His stunning power and glory. Thank Him that your fear of Him only needs to be one of reverence and child-like trust, not of terror. Ask God for boldness to lead others to see and know Him as the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for the sheep. Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 12 - His enduring word

“The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."” - Isaiah 40:7-8  Scripture reading: Psalm 119:189-196 God knew a fallen man could live for hundreds of years; it would not be good. Evil men would have too long to learn and carry out their evil designs. There is reason to take comfort in the fact that God blows on them, and they perish. However, God’s Word has truth, for you will never wither or fade! “Forever O LORD your Word is settled in the heavens!”  In the fourth century, the Roman emperors Diocletian and Julian ordered their soldiers to destroy every Christian writing they could find. Marxist regimes, which at one point controlled a third of the world's population, destroyed millions of copies in every nation under their grip. Yet, recently, the United Bible Society alone distributed 184 million full Bibles over five years. God’s Word remains the world’s most widely published book. Two hundred years ago, the Bible was available in just 68 languages. In 2020 this rose to 704, with the New Testament in 1,551 languages and portions of scripture available in an additional 1,160 languages. There is a goal in place to eradicate ‘Bible poverty’ by 2033. His Word has stood the test of time. Since God never changes, His Word doesn’t either! The Word of our God is the Word of the I Am that I Am. He guarantees that the Church that gathers to worship Him today from every nation will always have His Word! Suggestions for prayer As you gather to worship God today, pray that God would impress on His people’s hearts that God’s Word never changes because God doesn’t change. Thank God for preserving His word and truth throughout the millennia and for revealing it to you and your loved ones! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 11 - The brevity of life

“All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.” - Isaiah 40:6-7  Scripture reading: Psalm 39 In Psalm 39, David contemplates how brief life really is. He prays, “Lord make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.” David even answers his own question when he says, “Certainly every man at his best is but vapour!” What is a vapour? It’s the fog that appears for a little while in the early morning. The sun burns it away and you would never know it was there! It’s the warm breath from our mouth that condenses into thousands of tiny water droplets and then they’re gone. Life is like a vapour! A buddy of mine died just after high school in a tragic accident. Another friend died of very brief sickness just after his marriage. A colleague, ordained shortly after me, died some years ago in a bicycle accident. A minister close to me in age just died a few months ago of Covid19. None reached what we consider ‘old' age. It’s good to keep in mind that God hasn’t guaranteed that you will either. But even if you do, this life will soon be at an end. God keeps us from falling into the trap of living as if this is all there is! May God help us travel lightly, laying up our treasures in heaven instead of here. Let Jesus Christ, Who is seated in heaven be your priceless treasure! Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also! Suggestions for prayer Pray with David that God would, “so teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Pray that you would make the best use of your God-given time this week! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

June 10 - How to plan and not to plan

“Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."” - James 4:13-15  Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:6-8 We often have a hard time living a lifestyle in harmony with the belief that God is in control. We tend to think and act as if we hold the reins. We plan as if we can forge our own future. When this illusion takes hold of our hearts, our prayers sink to pathetic levels. Prayer then amounts to little more than asking God to sprinkle His blessing on what we plan and want. If we plough ahead without prayer, acting like the authors of our own destiny, we are coming down with a serious case of sinful pride. To those who plan as if the future hinges on themselves, God says, “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” God warns us to temper our plans with an awareness of the brief, fragile nature of life. You can fill your barns with plenty. You can carefully follow the market and invest wisely. You can get excited about the house you hope to buy, or the one you plan to build. But never forget that you are totally dependent on the Lord for even the smallest measure of success or blessing! Submit everything to Him in prayer. Don’t forget that material accomplishments are temporary and you are only here for a short time. All flesh is grass. Don’t put all your eggs into the basket of your earthly plans and prospects. The chief end of man is not to complete a bucket list! The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him now and forever! Suggestions for prayer Pray that your plans and prayers would always be prefaced with an attitude that humbly says, “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that.” Ask Him to help you to remember what your real purpose in life is! Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

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