Monthly Archives: June 2010

Deuteronomy 25; Psalm 116; Isaiah 52; Revelation 22

This past Friday night, after our Community Group Bible study meeting, my friend Rick and I, as we so often like to do, were having a one-on-one conversation pondering the deep things of life.  It was pretty late, close to midnight, and as we were talking, the conversation shifted to Rick, describing how on the previous night he had enjoyed taking a summer walk by his home. Rick described his time walking and said that it was really amazing.  He described how beautiful the summer night felt and how amazing the moon and the stars looked as he walked around his neighborhood.

As I was listening to Rick, we both thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk around my neighborhood and continue our conversation outdoors.  Rick knows me very well and he also knows that beautiful summer evenings + good conversation = lots of fun in my book, so I joyfully obliged.  Off we went.

The midnight sky in Hampstead was absolutely breathtaking as we walked and talked. The weather was absolutely perfect, with a cool night, summer breeze. The quarter moon illuminated the western sky and the thousands of stars that lit up the dark sky were intoxicating!  We were surrounded by God’s amazing creation and as we so often do, we were talking about the things of life that really mattered.  Things like what God was doing in our lives.  We talked about what lessons we were learning from God.  We talked about the blessings and victories that God was giving to us.  We also talked about struggles and pains and how to figure out how to put God in the center of them.  It was an amazing time with one of my closest and dearest friends that God has blessed my life with.   I was so loving this time with him and loving God for giving us this time together.

As we walked further down the road, we crossed the street and walked into an area of the neighborhood that was void of streetlights.  It was very dark here and the illuminating brilliance of the summer moon and stars were even brighter here.   We were still walking and enjoying our conversation and then… something amazing happened!  It was so amazing that it froze both of us dead in our tracks.

Up ahead, on the right side of the road, were a series of trees that towered over a hundred feet high into the summer sky.  It was not the trees themselves that amazed us but instead, it was what was in them that made us stop and gaze in awe and wonder.  In all of these trees were hundreds of thousands of fireflies, all flashing their little lights of brilliance as if they were all in unison.  It was one of the most incredible and amazing things I have ever seen!  We must have stood there for about twenty or so minutes just admiring these little creatures with flashing their brilliant little lights, turning this set of trees into what could only be described as an amazing Christmas light display.  Rick and I stared in absolute awe for neither of us had ever seen that many fireflies in one place.  It was utterly amazing!

This incredible sight of course, shifted our conversation into a deep discussion about God’s magnificent creation.  We were talking about how beautiful and breathtaking His creation is.  We both agreed that it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to have faith in God, while witnessing something as incredible as what we were seeing.  My heart was racing and I was enjoying the beauty of this display that I felt as if God were giving just for Rick and I to enjoy.

As we both enjoyed the fireflies beautiful light display, it occurred to me that these fireflies were doing exactly what God had purposed for them to do.  His creation is designed to bring majesty and glory to Himself.  That was what was happening right before our eyes.  I started to think and I turned to Rick and told him how everything He has created has a purpose, which ultimately is to bring significance to Him, the Creator.  But sadly, it is man, whom God cherishes even more than creation itself, that constantly fails to bring glory to Him.  God loves us so much more than these fireflies and so much more than this summer night, but all of creation does exactly what it is supposed to do and I fail so often to bring glory to Him.

As we talked more, I felt a deeper appreciation for God’s incredible and amazing grace.  When I fail Him, I can turn to God and be forgiven.  My sins are washed away, separated as far as East is from West.  He forgives and loves me and there is nothing I could do that would separate His love from me.  He not only loves me with an unfailing love, but He longs to hear me when I cry out to Him.  Even in my weakness, I could call out to Him and He loves it when I do!  And furthermore, He blesses me for loving Him!  I should love Him no matter what, yet He provides blessings for me to enjoy when I praise Him!  How amazing this is!

The psalmist wrote in Psalm 116:

“I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.  Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore, I will call upon Him as long as I live”  (Psalm 116:1 NKJV)

God hears me!  He holds this entire universe in His hands, all of this magnificent brilliance in His creation, yet He still cares to incline His ear to me.  He bends from the place of His glory to meet me where I am and He actually longs to have fellowship with me!  What kind of love is that?  Amazing love!

In Psalm 115, a few verses before, the psalmist writes:

“The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s.  But the earth He has given to the children of men.  The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who goes down into silence.  But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.  Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 115:16-18 NKJV)

God has reminded me on this night, in the company of my wonderful brother and friend and hundreds of thousand of little fireflies, that I could glorify Him just like these fireflies glorify Him.  How I long for my life song to ascribe majesty and praise to Him!  It is the work of the living that praises God, and I am alive today!  I could love Him, praise Him, bring glory to Him, honor Him, and bring significance to Him not because of who I am, but because if who He is!  He is the Lord and He has given me this life.  He has created this existence that is me…

…and He loves me even more then every single one of these fireflies.  How awesome He is!

O, great and awesome God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!   How matchless you are!  I love you so much I sometimes feel as if my heart is going to explode with love for you!

Thank you Lord, for breathing life into me.  You have given me this heart and this life and I want to give it back to you in loving adoration and praise!  You are so awesome and so amazing!  Gazing into the beauty of your creation on this earth gives me an even greater excitement of that day when I get to see YOU face to face.  How I long for that day so much!  But for now, for today, I am alive on this earth, because YOU have loved me and YOU have given me life.

Father in Heaven, take this existence and use me.  Teach me to number my days so that I may not waste even one second of this time you have given me.  Help me to make choices that please you, honor you, and ascribe majesty to you.  It is my prayer that my life be a love offering to you and that my day is spent exactly as you had purposed…  just like the fireflies have their purpose.

I belong to you and I love you with every fiber of my being.  Thank you for loving me even more!

I love you, Jesus!!!

john (johnd7264)

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Deuteronomy 24, Psalm 114 & 115, Isaiah 51, Revelation 21

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”

Revelation 21:2-5 NIV

__________

In two months, my husband I will will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. I can easily remember the preparation I went through getting ready for our wedding. There were the many wedding ceremony and reception details that came together in the months leading up to it. But also, just as important, were the day of the wedding preparations as I had my hair, nails & makeup done and my beautiful gown and veil adorned.  Doing as much as I could, to look as beautiful as I could, for my groom.

Since that blissful day, when we began to dwell together, we have gathered a storehouse of  joyous memories, complete with five beautiful children.  But, I have to be honest, that our family has also had our share of times with misunderstandings, hurt, and tears.

As I read about “the dwelling of God is with men” and “wipe every tear from their eyes,” I am filled with an even greater anticipation of that day when our family will live with HIM.  Dwelling with Him, seeing Him face to face, where we will no longer suffer from the pain, living in this sinful world, causes.

__________

Father,

You have given us, through Your Son Jesus,  such a bright and hopeful future, where we will dwell with You forevermore in the glorious Earth made-new. What hope that should give us! When the trials and pain of living in a sinful world bring us down and there seems to be no end to the tears, help us to cling to the true hope that only You can offer.

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 NIV

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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Deuteronomy 23; Psalms 112, 113; Isaiah 50; Revelation 20

The world blasts me with messages, advice. Libraries filled with books … people filled with words … radio … television … internet. No shortage of experts. No shortage of opinions. Sometimes I find like-minded. Sometimes, polar opposites. In a murky world where black and white, once seeming so clear, is separated by a canyon of gray, it is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. (Isaiah 50:9, NIV)

The same Lord who moved about camps to protect and deliver the one who cares so much to even stoop down to look on the heavens and earthwhose arm is not too short to ransom or too weak to rescue … whose name alone is praise … can he not lead me?

Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.

But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:10-11

Lord, this world pulls at me hard to do this and that, to question my choices and feel unsure, to waffle and waver and sink. I am thankful to find you constant, strong–woven through the ages, a bridge to carry me over the canyon of uncertainty.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 22; Psalm 110-111; Isaiah 49; Revelation 19

“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)

Hope is a hard word for me. To guard against disappointment and pain, I avoid uncertainties like trust and hope. The phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up” has been a life motto for me, because, if my hopes aren’t up, then how can I be let down?

Lately, though, God has been teaching me to believe Him…to take Him at His word, and even to ask Him for things in confident expectancy. For several months, seemingly every scripture I’ve studied, every book I’ve read, every encouragement I’ve received from friends, have all pointed to the fact that God is trustworthy, and that my faith pleases Him. (Hebrews 11:6) God doesn’t just want me to believe in Him for salvation. He wants me to believe Him, period. Rely on Him. Hope in Him.

He wants me to get my hopes up.

This verse from Isaiah reminds me of Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Rome: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:5) In other words, in Christ, where is the disappointment? There is no risk of being let down. Because of His unfailing love, I can get my hopes up.

amystorms

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Deuteronomy 21; Psalms 108-109, Isaiah 48, Revelation 18

For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. – Psalm 109:22

I am a typical first born:

  • achievement-oriented
  • people-pleaser
  • controlling
  • fiercely independent

I have learned through “trials and error”  that:

  • I am not always going to achieve.
  • I will often dissappoint others.
  • There is little in this world that I can really control.
  • Independence is an illusion.

God is teaching me humility.  As a matter of fact, I think I am getting pretty good at it…. Doh.

The interesting thing is that when I thought that I was responsible for any little success in my life, I was stressed to continue to achieve more.  Now that I realize that God is responsible, I am constantly overcome with gratitude when joy and success come my way.  What a better way to live!

Dear Lord,
I am learning how powerless I am in my own strength.  But I am also learning that I serve an all-powerful and all-loving God.  Thank you that you are always there to pick me up when I fall down.  Thank you that you stand at the right of the needy one, to save my life from those who condemn me.

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms