Monthly Archives: May 2011

Numbers 35; Psalms 79; Isaiah 27; 1 John 5

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21

This is my new favorite verse.  I like the verses that pack a punch with the least amount of words.

While in the car traveling from point A to point B sometimes I travel in silence. No radio. Just my thoughts running through my head. My mental list of what needs to be done that day. Tomorrow. Next week. I talk to God. I pray and often times my prayers a mesh of asking for forgiveness for that thought I had this morning, the angry word spoken to one of my children or a plea to help me be a better help mate to my husband.

Occasionally I listen to a Christian radio station, I go between music, a sermon or a theological discussion. Today was the discussion. Believe it or not, it was a discussion about the idols we place in our life. So when I finished reading 1John 5 it was surprising to read that last verse.  Probably wasn’t much of a surprise to God though.  He often uses common thread to make his point with me.

So I sit here writing my contribution to this blog with sound confidence that the theme of my post will be about the idols we put before God.

Whew…I felt the fire raging in me when listening to this panel of men discussing some of the things they considered idols.  However, I had the rest of the day to chew on their words and now my mental list has changed.  Changed because…my daily list was the idol. It came before God. I was shocked when this was revealed to me. God is so very clever.

I could burden you with my other revelations of what I put before God throughout each day, but by now you are probably making your own mental list of your idols. What also sends me to my knees are the things that one would never consider an idol.  Obvious idols are money, jobs, cars, clothes, social status.  But what about our kids? What about our spouse? What about our ministry?  Seriously?  a ministry can be an idol? If it comes before God…then yes.

Heavenly Father thank you for the reminders that you place in my day, that keep me focused on you.  You know me so well, you know my weaknesses.  Forgive me.  Help me to remember to begin every day with a “feet first” mentality. Not my feet…Your Son’s feet.  Begin my day at His feet, then leave my list at His feet.  Amen

Cindi

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Numbers 34; Psalm78:38-72; Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

Scripture:

Isaiah 26:3&4 3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.

4 Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (NIV)

Observation:

These are easy words to read. God’s promise of perfect peace is found in these two verses. Yet many of us miss this truth. Our minds are to be steadfastly trusting in God. Our trust needs to come in God who is our eternal Rock. It is quite simple and straight forward. In fact there’s not much to record in this observation section because perfect peace comes from training our mind to trust in God and His person every time we encounter obstacles or concerns in our lives.

Application:

What is hard about these two verses is applying them to our daily lives. If you are like me you woken in the middle of the night at least once this past month worrying, fretting about some circumstance in your life that confronts you. You think through options, you rehearse words that need to be said and all the time you watch the clock tick by in the night watches. Yet when this happens to me, I only find rest when I give it back to God and ask for His resolution and power in those situations. This doesn’t count the many times during the day when issues confront me and I trust in my own ingenuity to solve an issue instead of keeping my mind focused on the love and power of the God of the universe. It’s so simple we don’t think it will work for us many times.

Prayer: 

Father God, I prayer for a clear mind that trusts You and focuses on the promises about your care and peace that we find in Your Word. Help us today to keep our minds focused, stayed on You. Bring us victory in those nagging circumstances and issues that sap our strength and divert our attention away from You and those we love. I pray these things in the strong name of Jesus. Amen!

dmbaldwin


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Num. 33; Ps.78:1-37; Isa. 25; 1 John 3

Wow – what a difference between Old and New Testament readings today!  We go from the whining and complaining of God’s chosen people and his wrath against them, to pure love  and forgiveness.  And it really comes down to one simple thing.

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:23-24

It is this simple truth – belief – that makes me so confident in my faith.  I often wonder why God didn’t do it sooner.  Why did he make his chosen people wander in the desert?  Why didn’t he simply give them the “promised land” straight away?  I think the answer lies in the human condition.  He made us with free will.  If we believe, we are saved.  If not, we are not saved.  He certainly has the power to force his will on us, but that is not his nature.  If someone truly wants an existence without God, God says, “So be it!”   I guess I’ll never understand why someone would want that?  Oh well – the mysteries of faith.

Great God, I am so grateful to you that you allow me to live in you and that you live in me.  On the one hand I see the simplicity of it, yet on the other hand it remains a mystery.  But, that’s what is so amazing and wonderful.  I know I don’t have to worry.  I am saved becuase I believe.  Thank you! AMEN

Jim

jmitch1

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Numbers 32; Psalm 77; Isaiah 24; 1 John 2

But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.  ~ 1 John 2: 24

 I love reading the Bible, hearing a good sermon or listening to others share their experiences with God, but my greatest revelation; my deepest insights into the heart of God come more often when I am in the shower, riding in the car or spending time in nature.  God’s still small voice speaks to my heart and shares His wisdom, love and grace and I am so transformed.  The Holy Spirit abides and teaches me when I am quiet and willing to listen.  Oh, what joy!  Oh how he loves us and longs to share His heart with us if we’ll only be still and listen.

Thank You Lord for Your gracious love that You so want to extend to us.

kathleenathome

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Numbers 31; Psalms 75, 76; Isaiah 23; 1 John 1

At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet- when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land.  Psalm 76:6-9

 We want a God who we fear, a God of wrath and judgment. Let me tell you why.

 I belong to a liberal, secular women’s book club, the kind where you sip on your glass of Chardonnay, eat finger foods and discuss literature. When it was my turn to select the title, I chose Simon Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower.  It’s Mr. Wiesenthal’s telling of being chosen from his work camp’s detail to go to the bedside of a suffering, disfigured and dying SS officer who tells him of the horrific crime he committed against Jewish citizens. The officer begs Mr. Wiesenthal’s forgiveness. The rest of the story concerns Mr. Wiesenthal’s decision, and the book begs the reader to consider what he would do.

As humans, we demand justice.  Suffice it to say, my fellow book club members were incensed.  This SS officer deserved to die without forgiveness and had no right to even ask a Jewish man for forgiveness for crimes committed against other Jews. Then the spotlight turned to me. What would I do, the group’s self proclaimed Christian? I answered that I would be obligated to forgive because Jesus’ death on the cross was for all…for me, for the SS officer. Next to such a beautiful, just and righteous God, the officer and I are no different.  I need grace as much as I need justice.  My fellow readers wanted justice without grace. One woman actually said, “You don’t really believe that hogwash do you?” A few glasses of Chardonnay and these ladies will tell you what they really think.

 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John 1:8-10

 Without judgment there is no grace.

 Lord, I confess that I sit in judgment of others when I have no right to. May I step off of my throne to receive your grace with my brothers and sisters. Thank you that you and you alone are holy and just. Thank you for the power of your grace through the death and resurrection of your one and only Son. Thank you for how you work this in my life, moment by moment. Amen

Kathy

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Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms