Monthly Archives: December 2010

2 Chron.36; Rev. 22; Malachi 4; John 21

His glory whispers through the ages … I listened as he moved the heart of Cyrus.

(He moved mine too.)

Beginning and End, enduring, lasting ever, standing … even at the shore of the beach, calling, “Friends.”

(He calls me friend too.)

Sun of Righteousness–a son, with healing in his wings to set us free, to leap with joy.

(I am free!)

A beginning in January, an ending in December. These words a journey through his power, his grace. In his pages, the story of love and redemption. My story, forever touched. And there are others.

There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books. John 21:25 (the Message)

My life, for his glory. He bids me, “Follow.”

And I call, “Come.”

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Malachi, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation

2 Chronicles 35; Revelation 21; Malachi 3; John 20

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.
~ Malachi 3:2

Remember the commercials for laundry soap? The latest and greatest vs. the “other leading laundry soap.”

A few swishes of the wooden spoon, or maybe a run through the washing machine and the one we used to love still leaves a noticeable stain. But the new product returns the item to near new condition. In fact after repeated washings, the fibers in the shirt still appear new and spotless!

God is like the laundry man, or rather the soap. I don’t think I ever heard that comparison before. I need to trust Him to clean me, to purify me. My “leading laundry soap” leaves the stain, or even a hole in its place.

The chapter goes on to point out the stains that we ignore, or try to cover up with a well placed scarf, safety pin, or other alteration. We rob God of the tithes that He deserves even when He wants to pour out His blessing. We arrogantly say that God prospers evil doers when life doesn’t look so rosy from our angle.

Yet, God calls us back to a fresh place before Him as His treasured possession.

Revelation shouts it out:

I am making everything new! ~Revelation 21:5

New. New Year. New hope. New opportunity. New life. Same God.

Thank you, God, for giving me new life. Thank you for looking past my pathetic attempts to meet your standard and picking up the pieces and scrubbing out the stains when I fall humbly before you. Thank you for showing me afresh my desperate need for You. I love you! ~Amen

Erin (5intow)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation

2 Chronicles 34; Revelation 20; Malachi 2; John 19

Josiah was eight years old when he became king.  2 Chronicles 34:1

When I was eight years old, I learned how to ride my Big Wheel down the steep hill in the back alley without skidding into the cross traffic of Leiden Road. 

Once I get past the inferiority complex, I find that there is a lot to learn from the example of Josiah.  Josiah was a product of generations of evil men (see 2 Chronicles 33).  And yet when Josiah was a mere teenager he “began to seek the God of his father David” (2 Chron 34:3).  Nothing about the upbringing of Josiah nor the culture in which he lived, would encourage him to seek God.  But Josiah chose to follow God anyway.

Other than that “becoming-king-at-the-age-of-eight” thing, my circumstances compare favorably to Josiah’s:

  • I was born into a family that DID point me toward the God of Israel
  • I have ready access to the scriptures to discover God’s nature for myself
  • I live in a community that includes examples of godly men and women

 But do I choose to seek God as Josiah did?  Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

Worse, there are times when I allow limitations of  my heritage to affect my faithfulness.  If Josiah didn’t use this excuse, I sure can’t. 

God allowed Josiah to experience the blessing as a result of his faithfulness:

 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.   Now I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace.”  2 Chronicles 34:26-28a

Lord,

Grant me the faith of Josiah to seek you regardless of my circumstances.  Help me to overcome any perceived limitations of my past, to be of greatest service to you.  May I experience the peace and blessing that you provide to all of your children.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament

2 Chron. 33, Rev. 19, Malachi 1, John 18

The further I walk towards Christ, the more aware I am that there are an infinite number of things that separate our character.


Identifying with the character of Peter in John 18, I see that he and I share many things in common in comparison to the flawless character of Christ:

When sought out for who He is by the Roman guard, Jesus answers with absolute confidence, certainty, and righteousness. “I am he.”

When sought for who he is by a slave girl, Peter denies his identity and relation to Jesus.

When questioned by the High Priest, Jesus answers frankly and honestly. Holding nothing back yet not acting to protect himself, apologize, or manage the truth. He has no confession or excuse.

When questioned by a commoner, Peters shirks from the truth, looks to his own interests, and denies Jesus.

When answering with who He is, people fall to the ground.

When answering with who he is, he falls back in shame.

When unjustly struck Jesus responds in truth and love.

When overcome with fear and confusion, Peter strikes another unjustly.

Drinks the cup, swallows the pill, eats the plate set before Him by the Father. Jesus receives everything from God with obedience; trusting the Designer behind the design.

Peter. Characterized by self-interest. Riddled by fear. Reacting in anger. Caught in confusion.

Jesus. The definition of love. Emanating with boldness. Acting in righteousness. Shameless, blameless, pure. Coming with one mission:

“…that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Jesus ~ You are truth.

Teach me to walk in love and truth. Not fear. In everything.

Speak. I will listen ~ for what You have for me is truth. And where there is truth there is freedom.

I want to be free. From sin. From guilt. From shame. From myself.

Close the gap between you and I each day. As I draw. Close. To you.

– christiancourier517


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2 Chronicles 32; Revelation 18; Zechariah 14; John 17

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8, NIV)

I have weak arms. When my kids were small, and I carried around toddlers and babies and diaper bags, my arms were more toned. But the last few years…let’s just say, the backs of my arms keep waving hello, even when my hand is done.

Triceps of jello.

A few months ago, a friend gave me Jillian Michaels’ exercise DVD, “30 Day Shred”. Ms. Michaels’ goal, I think, is to kill me. Or at least to make me wish for death. I’ve worked up to Level 3 now, but I still struggle to do push-ups. With each attempt, my arms tremble and shake and ache and ask me what on earth they’ve ever done to me to deserve such punishment.

My arms of flesh? Not too strong. Not strong at all.

“But with us is the Lord our God,” Hezekiah said. What a great phrase to repeat to myself in so many of life’s challenges! Arms of flesh—even the toned arms of Jillian Michaels herself—aren’t enough. I need a “greater power”. Lord, how desperately I need You “to help me and to fight my battles.” I rest in Your strong arms, God. Amen.

amystorms

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