Monthly Archives: March 2010

Leviticus 2,3 John 21 Proverbs 18 Colossians 1

Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. Leviticus 2:13

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. John 21:7

From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. Proverbs 18:20

I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness Col 1:25

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:6

God commanded the Israelites to salt all their offerings. It is interesting that the word salt comes from a Latin word saltus which means to jump.

Peter, certainly the spiciest of the Apostles, jumped out of the boat when he recognized the resurrected Jesus.

As servants of God we are to offer, the good news, fully seasoned to satiate  the hunger and thirst of a lost world. When the Holy Spirit prompts we must be, like Peter, ready to fling ourselves into deep situations. Life is not a wading pool.

Properly seasoned food doesn’t taste salty, it just tastes good. We offer the tenderness of a Father that loved his creation so much that he sent his only Son to die for the entire world. We just want the world to know the news that Jesus died for them is good, very very good.

Lord, I ask only one thing. That you use my impulsivity for your kingdom. In Jesus Name. Amen

yicareggie

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Leviticus 1, John 20, Proverbs 17, Philippians 4,

Peace of Christ this Easter

After Jesus did all that he meant to do by dying on the cross, still he was not finished. However, the talk about rising from the dead had been lost on the disciples.* So early on that first day of the week, I find Mary Magdalene weeping* when she found Christ’s body missing, Peter and John who upon making the same discovery went home, and later all the disciples locked in a room that night because of fear. They were in serious need of peace. Kind of like me.
Lord, help us.

Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19

Eight days later, he came and said the same thing.* They needed that. They were glad.* Sometimes I need reminders too. How about you? Are we a little too far removed from that first Easter? Shameful. We don’t have the same excuse of not understanding… we have the whole story. We even know what’s going to happen… Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, WILL APPEAR A SECOND TIME, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.*

He is Risen. Nothing has changed since that first Easter morning… how could I possibly forget?!

“Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.
…The Lord is at hand.” Phil. 4:4,5

Lord Jesus, we are glad that you rose again. So glad.
Thank you for making peace.
We were lost without You,
By believing we have life in Your name.
Help me to always remember. And to rejoice!
We can’t wait to see You.
We eagerly await Your return.

amy in peru

*Cited in order: Jn. 20:9, v11, v26, v20, Heb. 9:28

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Exodus 40; Proverbs 16; John 19; Philippians 3

Scripture

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3: 12-14

Observation

Haven’t attained;
Not perfected;
Haven’t apprehended.

Press on!

Application

When I read the words of Paul here, I am reminded of how often I feel this way. I feel that I am so far from what God is calling me to be.  And then I think “if not Paul then who?”  Paul did not consider himself as one who had figured it all out.  He had been “circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee, concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is the law, blameless.”  Once confronted by Christ, Paul pursued Him with absolute abandon and yet he believes that he still has not attained the goal of knowing Christ.  Then what of me?  If this man hasn’t apprehended the knowledge of Jesus, how will I ever do it?  Before I become discouraged, I then read that Paul will press on and I can press on as well to reach the goal, the prize of knowing Jesus in a deeper way.  I should not let anything take my eyes off this goal!

Prayer

“Day by day, day by day, O dear Lord three things I pray.  To see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly day by day.”

kathleenathome

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Exodus 39; Proverbs 15; John 18; Philippians 2

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  (Philippians 2: 5-7 – NKJV)

Let this mind be in you.  The mind of Christ is what should be in me.  What characterizes the mind of Christ?  Humility.

This verse also brings to mind a passage from a couple of days ago that I read as I was following along in the M’Cheyne reading plan.  It was a passage from the book of Ephesians that seemed to jump off the page and grab me by the throat.  The words read, “Walk worthy of the of the calling with which you were called.”  It went on further to describe that this walk resembled this…”with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1-2).   This is the mind of Christ that Paul writes should be in my mind.  

I must be honest and say that one of the biggest problems I face in my Christian walk is humility.  It is a struggle for me to be meek.  I could appear humble on the surface to others, sure.  But the truth is that I desire more to stand on my own two feet and live life the way I want to live.    I do not like to turn the other cheek.  I do not like to be offended.  I get upset when I am ignored or my feelings are hurt.  I get angry when others seek to do harm to me. 

Jesus, in humiliation, displays perfectly the mind I am called to have.  He left heaven’s glory and came down to this earth, all the way down to where I am, in my sin.  He made Himself of no reputation and He who was limitless, lived with the limitations of man.  There was never a single moment when He was not God, yet He drank the awful cup of my sin and paid the penalty that I should have paid.  It is beyond my comprehension to truly grasp what my Savior did for me that day on Calvary, but I know for certain, that He did it out of love.  It was His unfailing and perfect love that caused Him to humble Himself and become obedient unto death, for me.

O Lord, your word never ceases to put a great big lump in my throat, especially when I read the passages of the great and awesome love that you have for me, demonstrated by the humility that you displayed by coming to this earth and dying for me.  You who knew no sin became sin for me so that I might have a second chance and live the remainder of my days on this earth, learning and growing into fellowship with you. 

You paid the price.  I am forgiven.  You have given me the greatest gift that I could ever have imagined or received and it is with tears of overwhelming joy and a grateful heart that I offer this vessel and this life as a love offering for you. 

I could never repay you for what you have done for me but instead, I ask that you take this existence and form and mold my heart, my mind, and my life into one that pleases you.  Whatever it takes, whatever it is that you need to do in me to give me a mind like yours, whatever it takes to teach me humility, I pray that you do it.  I desire my love for you to supercede everything else that I cling to in this world and I know that it is only in you that this transformation could take place.  

Magnify yourself in me, I pray. 

I love you!

John (johnd7264)

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Exodus 38, Proverbs 14, John 17, Philippians 1

Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.

John 17:17 NIV

sanctify: to set apart to a sacred purpose                                                                                 One of 4 definitions found in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.

What am I set apart for? What is my sacred purpose?  During this season of life, I believe I am called, along with my husband, to raise up the next generation (our children, children who visit our home and those we are in contact with at school and church) of God-followers. To instill in them with word and action the love of Christ and the wisdom of a life dedicated to His service.

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

Proverbs 14:26 NIV

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 14:1 NIV

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of of fools is deception.

Proverbs 14:8 NIV

Am I letting self (deception) be my strength, instead of His word (truth)? Am I making it a daily priority to build my house with wisdom, to give my children a secure refuge where the fear of Lord is paramount?

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9 – 11 NIV

My love should abound in knowledge. That knowledge, depth of insight, must come from His Word. This will help me discern what is best, be more pure-minded and help fill me with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus.

I must pick up my sword daily to fight the fight. “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

But there is hope for me, lowly sinner, who falls time and time again:

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 NIV

He’s not finished with me yet.

Thank you Jesus for being my Savior, my Friend, my Father, My Lord.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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Exodus 37; John 16; Proverbs 13; Ephesians 6

I have really struggled with some relationships. I am taken off guard when someone inflicts emotional pain. I scratch my head over cold hearts. Tend to wounds over hurt feelings. Imagine the worst of someone as if they are the embodiment of evil:  plotting, unkind, cruel.

I have asked aloud and of others, “Who is my neighbor? Who is my enemy?” Sometimes it’s hard to tell when an attack comes from a coworker, a stranger, or an old “friend” on Facebook. When callous conflict comes from a relative, a confidant, even a sister in Christ, I wonder are you friend or foe?

Until today.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

Today when I wondered about neighbors and enemies, I thought of the faces on each “team” and realized, as I have before, that God loves every one of them. Today, when I considered my list of grievances, I also thought of the list someone may be holding against me. Today, what was different about this inner dialog was that I discovered my enemy is not flesh and blood.

Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” not because his disciple had morphed into the devil. The next time I try to put a face on my opponent, I need to stop and put on the armor of God. The enemy will use anyone to further his cause. Even a Christ follower.

Courtney (66books365)

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Exodus 36 John 15 Proverbs 12 Ephesians 5

Scripture:

25″Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …” (ESV)

Observation:

What an interesting verse. Husbands are to take on the role of Christ in the marriage relationship. In fact it’s a role with which many of us don’t identify. The husband serving the wife to the point of dying for her! What an unbelievable concept. Conventional wisdom in many circles is that if the husband is the head of the family, it’s the other family members that serve and sacrifice for him, not the other way around. Us husbands are compared to Christ, who loved the church and gave himself up for her. Christ serves the church and wants the best for her. He doesn’t enslave the church, but protects her and works for her best. That’s the role the husband plays in the marriage relationship. Elsewhere in this passage it reads that the wife is to submit to the husband. Well, if the husband’s foremost aim is to serve the wife, what woman would not want to submit to that? Submission, then, needs to take on another definition. It becomes sharing with the husband what her dreams and ideas are for the future and letting the husband help her fulfill them. That’s submission!

Application:

This has been a verse I’ve worked on for 39 years now. It’s hard to realize you are the servant in the home. I have spent time on my drives home asking God to give me an attitude and heart that serves my family when I walk in the door. I realize I need to put their needs and desires first, not my own. That doesn’t mean I’ve been perfect or even good at it, but I’ve tried. God has given me a love and desire for my family that has made it easy to serve them. We have had some good times just being together as a family and enjoying one another. It’s a journey and something that all us married men need to work on. Hopefully today when I arrive home, I’ll be the servant to my family God is calling me to be.

Prayer:

Father God thank you for my family. Help me today to be the servant to them you have called me to be. Thank you for Christ’s infinite example of serving his church to the point where he died for her. Help us to follow strong after his example. I pray these things in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.

dmbaldwin

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