Monthly Archives: June 2011

Deuteronomy 28:20-68; Psalm 119:25-48; Isaiah 55; Matthew 3

 As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

Have you ever wondered if anyone listens to you when you talk with them about your faith or ask them questions to open a discussion about their beliefs?   Have you attempted to share the gospel with a friend only to find your confidence waning, or you suddenly find yourself fearful of any questions that might arise?  In the verses of Isaiah, God tells us that “the words will go out of his mouth”, through us His word is spread, he has a purpose and that it will be accomplished, therefore we should find confidence in that He has prepared our words and has blessed that time so that seeds will be planted.  We might not ever see the fruit from the seed but we can take joy in knowing that we were part of His purpose.

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:1-2

I look at John the Baptist and see that his obedience and faith send him out into the wilderness, preaching and warning people to repent.

People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. Matthew 3:5-6

Just as God had promised; John the Baptist saw that God word would not return empty results. We should not concern ourselves with what others will think of us but instead concern ourselves with sharing God’s word with others so that they might have the opportunity to experience God grace and know Christ.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Matthew 3:7-9

Salvation is indeed a gift, but one to be shared, not to be hidden away in your closet or to sit on a shelf and admire from time to time.  It should be worn and displayed in every aspect of ones life.  In fact I pray often that my faith would ooze from me as if overflowing onto others around me…what some might call contagious faith.  There was a time that I was  guilty of thinking that I was safe from God’s wrath because I had repented, accepted Christ, taken hold of God’s grace and taken comfort in His promise, but was I producing fruit?  Did I look at certain people and think they didn’t need to hear about God? or that they wouldn’t listen because they preferred to live out their fleshly desires? or maybe they already professed a faith, but it wasn’t following Christ.

I believed the lies;  “They won’t listen” “…They will laugh at me” “…They already have a faith, not following Christ but they seem happy”…or this one; “they’re too far gone”.

God forgive me.

I have seen and read that God has used and will continue to use any to glorify His name and if I was too proud in my salvation then perhaps I would miss out on the biggest gift of all…growing God’s kingdom.

My prayer would be as written in Psalms;

Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
                            Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands,
   for there I find delight.
 Turn my heart toward your statutes
   and not toward selfish gain.
 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
   preserve my life according to your word.
 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
   so that you may be feared.
 Take away the disgrace I dread,
   for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
                            In your righteousness preserve my life.                            

May your unfailing love come to me, LORD,
   your salvation, according to your promise;
then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
   for I trust in your word.
 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
   for I have put my hope in your laws. Psalm 119:33-43



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Deuteronomy 27-28:19; Psalm 119:1-24; Isaiah 54; Matthew 2


Psalm 119:11,  I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. (NIV)


What a simple verse. This entire chapter is a testimony of the strength we find in God’s holy Word. What a great resource this chapter is in finding the treasure we have in the Bible. And here we find one of the reasons we need to memorize God’s Word. It keeps us from sin. Not the act of memorizing it keeps us from sinning, but when we encounter those circumstances where sin could occur we find strength in God’s Word for us to repel the evil one and those evil desires that reside in us as well. When we are confronted with a situation, at that point it’s too late to run to God’s Word and look for strength. It needs to be in us and ready for recall and application at a second’s notice.


I don’t know about you, but memorizing Scripture is a chore for me. I’m not a good memorizer. When I was younger I belonged to an organization called the Bible Memory Association. We were given books of Scripture that we had to memorize — sections each week — and then we receive rewards for our hard work. Because of those sessions I still can recall the entire first chapter of the Gospel of John. What a gem that passage has been for me in so many circumstances. On the other hand as an adult one night while I wrestled with thoughts that were not God-pleasing words from Romans 8 came to me taking my mind off the mischief at hand. I’m not saying I’m perfect or even accomplished at this thing called memorization, but I have experienced its benefit in my life both in youth and adulthood.

In adulthood do you struggle like me to memorize the Bible? Has your hard work paid off in a closer walk with God?


Father God, thank You for Your Word. I pray Your Holy Spirit will help us to stay at this great task of memorizing it and using it to stay close to You in all we do. Thank You for the great treasure we find in it and You as we memorize. We pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen!


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Deut. 26; Ps.117,118; Isa. 53; Matt. 1

I don’t know if I’ve ever said it in this forum, but I just love reading The Psalms.  The give me so much comfort and joy.  Perhaps it is because I am a musician – I don’t know –  but I love the simplicity of most of them. Take Psalm 117 for example

Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD.

So simple – Praise the Lord because he loves us, faithfully and forever.

I’m also energized when I read Messianic verses:

Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!  Ps 188:15

The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone; Ps 118:22

They energize me because in them I see the vastness of God’s plan for us.  The mystery begins to get clearer.  These verses were written hundreds of years before Christ, yet the author uses past tense to describe what “has” happened. God knows no time. He only knows that those of us that don’t reject the “stone” are in for amazing things to come.

It also energizes me when readings from two different books have similar themes.  Isaiah 53:7a, expands on the notion of the Lamb being rejected:

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter

Again, revealing some of the mystery of God’s timeless plan.  I love how this reading plan was laid out in a way that lends itself us drawing parallels. Too cool.

Father, God, I am ever so humble before you.  Your Word has the power to reduce me to tears one moment, and shout for joy the next.  I pray that I not loose site of being your servant and spreading truth that is your Word. In Jesus name. AMEN

Jim (jmitch1)

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Deuteronomy 25; Psalm 116; Isaiah 52; Revelation 22

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” ~ Revelation 22:4

The book of Revelation has always been a difficult one for me to understand, but this chapter describing the River of Life and heaven give us a glimpse of what it is all going to be like when Jesus returns and we are brought before the throne of God.

When Moses stood before the burning bush he hid his face because was afraid to look at God.  When Jesus returns and we are in Heaven, we will see His face!

I can’t wait for that day when we will be in His presence!

“I am coming soon!”

Come, Lord Jesus, come!


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Deuteronomy 24; Psalms 114,115; Isaiah 51; Revelation 21

Not to be morbid, but I think about death often these days. It probably comes from watching the slow decline of a family member as well as hitting one of those milestone birthdays. I honestly wonder who I will be and what will be occupying this heart and mind when I draw my last breath. I know that I don’t want to be a frazzled, petty, angry woman. I want a heart that’s at peace, full of gratitude and grace.

I think of Isaiah who witnessed the painful, murderous decay of his home and people and was called to bring good news and bad to the conquerors as well as the vanquished. Isaiah was no stranger to fear and danger. God reminded him of the reality of his situation,

 “But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations…I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Isaiah 51:8,16.

Then there is John who saw the death and resurrection of his beloved Christ Jesus, was persecuted by his fellow Jews and then in his latter years was shipped off to a hardscrabble island prison far from family and friends. One might expect him to be broken and bitter, but the word of God comes to him, strong and clear,

“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!’” Revelation 21:3-5.

I want to be like these ancients who kept their eyes on the prize and were faithful to the voice and calling of God. Their hope was in God.

 Lord, thank you for the gift of each day that comes my way. May I live today like it’s my last. I want to live and die with the steady knowledge of your love carved deep into my being, not with regrets, petty thoughts and the ever present to do list dominating the scene. Keep my eyes fixed on you. Thank you for your grace and keep me confident of your deliverance and salvation. I long to see you in your beauty.  Amen.



Filed under Deuteronomy, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Revelation, Uncategorized

Deut. 23; Ps.112,113; Isa. 50; Rev. 20

Praise the LORD.

Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. (Psalm 112:1)

The older I get the more I find “delight in his commands”, although I have to admit that sometimes I’m not really delighting in them. Later on in the Psalm there are references to trusting in the Lord. I definitely see the connection, how your level of trust is directly proportional to your level of delight in his commands. Whenever I’m conflicted on whether or not I’m going to follow or rebel, it really comes down to trust. Do I trust, with my whole heart, that God knows what is best for me? The more I trust, the more I delight. When I think of His commands, my first thoughts are that God is spoiling my fun in some way. But as I look at this chapter my eye catches some key principles about righteousness. I am to be gracious, compassionate, and generous. I should conduct my affairs with justice, have a steadfast heart, and trust in the Lord. I am to give freely to the poor. Then I will be blessed. Makes sense when you put it that way. I think I can delight in that!

Lord, continue to reveal yourself to me. Help me to delight in your commands, so that I will be blessed. Help me to trust in that promise.


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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.


This post originally published on June 17, 2010.

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