Monthly Archives: February 2011

Exodus 11, 12:21; Job 29; Luke 14; 1 Corinthians 15

Scripture

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.  No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:9

We all have a past, but we who believe are called from out of our pasts.  I have a past and have had to work hard in my relationship with God.  To become the person that God wants me to be, I have God’s grace, His strength and His wisdom to guide me.  I can do great things regardless of my past!  Sometimes our pasts and our deliverance from those circumstances are the very things that legitimize our faith in a great God and His power to heal and deliver.

Paul was a persecutor of the church, but after he met Jesus he becomes the church’s greatest advocate and starts Christian churches all over the world.  He did not let his past affect his witness to the world of what Christ had done for us all.  Paul used his story to tell a world that was hurting that despite his past, Christ loved him and gave His life for a sinful man; a sinful world!

I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and I have a past, but I am not going to let my shame of my past prevent me from sharing about God’s grace and the love of Christ which has saved us all.

kathleenathome

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament

Exodus 10; Luke 13; Job 28; Romans 14

Luke 13:10-17 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites!…”Then all this opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Confession

Lord, I don’t want to be the Pharisee and yet we have so much in common.

I have grown up in a Christian home, tradition and culture.

I know what words to say to fit in at church.

I know what behaviors just don’t fly.

I read and meditate on your Word every day.

I have got the right habits.

I am a respectable woman.

 

But I know that grace does not flow freely from my heart.

Often I make demands on others that I am unable to keep.

Often I take on activities to please others rather than to serve you.

I follow the rules and don’t want to risk being wrong.

All too often I miss your beauty because I insist on not being satisfied until what I want is in place.

 

But thank you, there is a difference.

The difference is you Sweet Jesus.

Into your arms I fly.

I know that the clothes I wear are rags.

You give me garments of such dazzling beauty that no man could fashion them.

In your presence, I will fall in love and be amazed at your ways.

Thank you, over and over again, thank you.

Kathy (klueh)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Exodus 9, Luke 12, Job 27, 1 Corinthians 13

Lordship or Not?

 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.  But he who disowns Me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. Luke 12:8-9

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%209;%20Luke%2012;%20Job%2027;%20I%20Cor.%2013&version=NIV1984 

Exodus 9          God’s Wrath is real. There is no escape route except One. God will have His Way whether I am on His side or not.

            Pharaoh refused to comply. God sent natural disasters to Egypt with explicit instructions, “Let my people go, so that they may worship Me.” This is always God’s command for me: Worship Me in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24). The plague on livestock, of boils and hail did not move Pharaoh’s stubborn heart against the LORD, the God of the Hebrews.

            What is my reaction to God’s commands? Am I hardening my heart against God to my own demise? What pain am I suffering because I refuse to acknowledge God as my Lord and Master? How am I “plagued” because I disregard and do not submit to the Truth of God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit?

Luke 12, Job 27, 1 Cor. 13             Jesus, You warn me not to be false. I am never allowed to lie. I am God’s child, not the devil’s (John 8:44). You will disclose everything about me – please do this to me, so I may see my blind spots and live for you more purely! Lord Jesus, engender a passion for Your Truth, Your Word, that my mind filters everything through It. (Psalm 1, 2 Corinthians 10:5) That I speak, live, and love the Word of God, which is You, Lord Jesus. May my mouth be pleasing to You.

            I am NOT to act out of fear of man nor for worldly desires, for that is distrust and disrespect of the One Who Loves me best. Instead I am to acknowledge Him and learn from His Holy Spirit. I am to be rich toward God, for He is my heart’s priceless Treasure. Lord, I dedicate my mind and heart to be faithful to You, my Rock, so that I will not be tossed to and fro according to the fickleness of man. I get so hurt when I do not live by faith in You.

            Because the Lord Jesus has given and entrusted me with much, He demands much from me. Besides giving me food, clothing, shelter, You have given me an able mind, a new heart, Your Son, Your Word, Your Spirit. What more can I need! Nothing! So I am honored and yearn to always be Your faithful bond slave, actively engaged in Your “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Jesus, You are coming unexpectedly – yet may I live consciously aware that You are in me, that You are watching me right now. So I may always think, act and speak for your purposes and glory! Awaken Your tools and gifts within me that I would use each of the under Your skillful Hand and without ceasing. Bring Yourself much glory, please! I delight to see Your Glory!

            I will not deny my integrity because of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for my multitude of sins (Romans 8:1-2). I will teach the godless about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal (Job 27:11). Jesus warns me that He has brought adversity within my family: those for and against Jesus. (Luke 12:51-53) I know this full well.

            So I will choose to love with God’s wisdom and compassion. God, Who IS Love, never fails. I will drink heavily from His Word and Holy Spirit. I will feed my emotion and mind on the Word of God so He will heal me and pour through me for His good purposes and glory. I will trust the Lord unashamedly. I am to live out of His Agape Love for me.

            My Father, thank You for teaching me in these verses what You expect from me and how You enable me. Thank You for giving me more than I could ask for: Freedom from guilt, shame and condemnation; Freedom to read Your Word and to Worship in my country, anywhere and anytime; Fellowship with true believers; Freedom to hear Your word on the airwaves, TV, and internet. God, You are SO Gracious!! I am so grateful that You are sovereign!! I am indebted to You for all You pour into me!! Thank You!! Your gifts of the Holy Spirit, Your fullness in me, Your chastening me, Thank you!! Your Joy is my strength from the enemy of my soul!! Holy Spirit regenerate me. I seek to follow Your command to “Let go” of whatever is keeping me from truly worshiping You with my life. I rejoice in praise and worship of You Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Corinthians, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Exodus 8; Job 25, 26; Luke 11; 1 Corinthians 12

God wants to be worshiped. Moses told Pharaoh what the Lord said, “Let my people go so they can worship me.” And if Pharaoh didn’t, things weren’t going to go so well for him. Hearts hardened like Pharaoh’s, I think God will use all sorts of plagues to get our attention.

Job reads as a poem of majesty: God’s glory painted across a page. Job’s words worship God, even in loss, and tell of His greatness. There is wonder in how He wraps rain in thick clouds or covers the moon; how He stretches the skies over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. We listen for His whisper and wonder at His thunder.

The Message in Luke, words read like jazz and I linger here:

“If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.” (Luke 11:33-36)

And from the New Living Translation:

“If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” Luke 11:36

Ask, seek, knock–He is accessible to all who are willing. Eager to answer, ready to fill–love pours from these pages.

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:13 NLT

The Spirit that makes us one body, living out unique lives, all for One. All for love. He tells us we are blessed even more:

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28 (NLT)

Today’s reading ends with:

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. 1 Corinthians 12:31b

How can I stop reading here?

Father, your love bleeds through these pages and fills my heart. I pray I live in wide-eyed wonder, a life of faith, that I will worship you and put your words to practice. You are the whisper I listen for, the light that reaches my dark corners, changing me and equipping me to live my best life for you. Amen.

Courtney (66books365)

3 Comments

Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Exodus 7; Luke 10; Job 24; I Corinthians 11

I have a lot in life to get excited about, if I take the time to celebrate it.

Quiet snuggles with my kids.

A rock-solid faithful husband.

Kids growing in their faith.

Times of ministry with other homeschool moms.

God at work in my own life.

God using me in various groups and classes.

And many more examples of God’s touch intertwining my everyday life.

However, no matter the victory and reason to rejoice, it should not let me forget the real reason I should know joy. The most significant reason for me to rejoice is because my name is written in the Book of Life. Yet, how often do I really get excited about that? Unfortunately as I live the Christian life I get caught up in the every day walk and forget the salvation that first brought me down this path. I wouldn’t even think much of it now except for these startling words that Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 10:20,42 say, “20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Here they returned from an amazing ministry trip. You can imagine the slide show in the darkened auditorium showing lives changed, including those in the group that went out. Demons renounced. The gospel preached. Maybe even a well dug or a medical ministry established. Surely they should rejoice in that! But, Jesus brought them back to what really matters. That they in their personal life are saved eternally.

Think of the ramifications of this type of focus on a daily basis. Our joy in the Lord can get off that roller coaster based on how we perceive Him at work in our lives. He has already done the greatest deed in saving us. We don’t need to seek out mountain top experiences because we’ve been to the mountain and walk each day along the ridge into eternity. The greatest joy in life is ours each day because He has adopted us as His very own.

If that wasn’t clear enough, we see it played out again in the well worn story of Mary and Martha. At the close of Martha’s outburst, Jesus gently reminds her in Luke 10:42, “but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Should we never minister? Should we spend all day everyday on our bedroom floor soaking in His Word? Obviously, Christ did not demonstrate that in the way he spent his days on earth.

But, we could probably use a little more of that and a little less of the activity, as spiritually productive as it may be. I don’t want to gain the whole world, even the whole spiritual world, and lose myself.

My salvation is secure and that should carry me with joy through each day.

Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son as my Savior. Thank you that in that act you provided an eternity of joy for me. Thank you for the preciousness of salvation. Lord, help me each day to revel in how great a salvation you have given to me, that I can be called a child of God. So that I can pray in Jesus name, Amen

Erin (5intow)

Leave a comment

Filed under Luke, New Testament

Exodus 6; Luke 9; Job 23; I Corinthians 10

 It’s February.  So as I type this, I lay in bed under a bunch of blankets.   The heat is turned up and there is a cup of coffee at my side.  I’m warm and cozy.  It’s 19 degrees outside.  I DREAD those first 5 minutes driving to work before the car warms up.

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”   Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”   Luke 9:57-58

 I love spending time with my family. During the most ordinary of times, while watching television or having dinner, there is no place I would rather be than with my family.  So, naturally I give priority to my family on significant occasions such as weddings and funerals.

He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”   Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”    Luke 9:59-60

I’m a planner.  I can see myself doing something momentous for the Lord, but it would have to be well planned. For example, if I was headed off to a mission field, I would need the time to make sure all my affairs were in order at home, before I left.

 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:61-62

This is a tough passage!  I’ve studied it myself and researched what many commentators have said hoping to find the loophole.  The bottom line is that Jesus is telling me that my comfort, societal norms, and my preferences are of little value compared to following him.  The work he has set out for me is urgent and requires great personal sacrifice.

Am I listening?

Lord,

I confess that I struggle with the cost of following you.  Provide me a glimpse of the treasure that lies ahead of me that I may more willingly leave all behind to follow you.  Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Ex. 5; Luke 8; Job 22; I Cor. 9

I like it when people like me.

I like affirmation. I like acknowledgement. I like acceptance.

But I’m no use as an instrument if all I’m interested in is favor in the eyes of others.

So the verse “all things to all people” is a verse that has caused a lot of personal turmoil for me. Initially, it seemed to me that Paul was bending over backwards just to be relevant to people.

Paul, you’re saying that you compromised your identity, your religious and political beliefs, your personal freedoms in Christ just to bring the gospel to people?

Yes.

But, I did some commentary footwork to find that Paul had boundaries.

He became weak to the weak. He “denied himself for their sakes…to gain their souls.”

But he did not “despise nor judge them…and was careful to lay no stumbling block in their way.”

I think that the “what” he did or did not do was significantly less important than the “why” he shared the gospel.

The focus was never inward — always upward.

The focus was not to be popular — but to gain souls.

When I find the courage to share my faith, I find myself caught up in the tension between being relevant and bringing the gospel in its purest form. My “self” wants to engage in the things they engage in, be witty and funny, use their vocabulary to attract attention to myself.

But the Spirit of Jesus who dwells in me yearns to use these things to draw my friends into a rich and relevant relationship with Himself.

Jesus,

I need the strength to be weak.

To be weak to my friends who are weak and who lack their understanding of You. To be weak to my tendency to just want my friends to like me. To be weak to remain weak. Would You be my strength?

I believe You will.

– christiancourier517

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized