Monthly Archives: October 2011

2 Kings 13; 2 Timothy 3; Hosea 5 & 6; Psalm 119: 145-176

“I rise before dawn and cry out for help, I put my hope in Your Word.  I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on Your promise.” Psalm 119: 147-148

A couple of weeks ago, I was plagued with a bout of insomnia that nearly drove me crazy!  There is nothing quite like being awake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, watching the hours roll by on the clock, knowing that the time to wake is nearing quickly.  Ugh!  For me, it is the most lonely feeling, knowing that there is no one to talk to and share the insomnia with.  The frustration of knowing that I should be asleep just fuels anxiety, keeping me wide awake.  And, knowing that I will be tired during the day makes me feel completely defeated!

A couple of nights in, I decided that I was not going to let not sleeping bother me any more.  If I slept, that would be great.  If I didn’t sleep, oh well.  Sure enough, I awoke at 2 am.  I flip-flopped in my bed over and over trying to sleep.  However, I did not panic or fret about being awake.  I decided that I would use this time to recite verses and pray.  I went through the list of anxiety verses that I had memorized over the past few years.  Then I chose to meditate on the verse “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  I repeated this verse over and over in my mind.  Eventually, it began to calm my spirit.  I was crying out to God for rest, hoping in His promise that if I came to Him weary that He would give me rest.  I didn’t necessarily fall asleep, nor did I necessarily sleep through the night the next night.  But, God did come through.  Even though I was awake through a chunk of the night, I was resting, not sleeping.  I was resting in Him, in His promise.  This was a sweet place to be.  My heart was calm and at peace, and I did not feel so lonely.

I have been sleeping much better lately.  But what I learned through this ordeal was that when I cry out to God, He hears me.  His Word is Truth and provides hope to His people.  What a great God He is!

Dear Lord,

Thank you that I can trust in Your Word and hope in Your promises.  God, You never fail.  You are absolute Truth.  I am so grateful that You give a peace that surpasses all understanding, even in the midst of turmoil.  Jesus, I love You.  Amen.

Suzie (suzielawyer)

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2 Kings 12; 2 Timothy 2; Hosea 3,4; Psalm 119:121-144

121I have done what is just and right;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122Give your servant a pledge of good;
let not the insolent oppress me.
123My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
and teach me your statutes.
125I am your servant; give me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies!
126It is time for the LORD to act,
for your law has been broken.
127Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, above fine gold.
128Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;
I hate every false way.

Psalm 119

I usually read a passage of scripture with the question “What does this say about God?” at the forefront of my mind.  Reading the later portions of Psalm 119, I instead find myself struck by what this passage says about the psalmist.

  • The psalmist places his request for God to “Teach me your statutes” third only behind requests for God not to leave him to his oppressors and for God to deal with him according to His steadfast love.
  • The violation of God’s law (not a chance at some personal benefit) causes him to call on the LORD to act.
  • He places his love for God’s commandments above gold.
  • He axiomatically considers all of God’s precepts right, and harbors a hatred for every other way.

 129Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
130The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
131I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.

The psalmist continues:

  • His soul keeps God’s testimonies because he considers them wonderful.
  • He recognizes God’s words as the source of light and understanding.
  • His longing for God’s commandments drives him to pant.
  • He asks to be redeemed from the oppression of men not for personal liberty but that he might keep God’s precepts.
  • Tears constantly pour from his eyes because other people fail to keep God’s law.

 137 Righteous are you, O LORD,
and right are your rules.
138You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
139My zeal consumes me,
because my foes forget your words.
140Your promise is well tried,
and your servant loves it.
141I am small and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is true.
143Trouble and anguish have found me out,
but your commandments are my delight.
144Your testimonies are righteous forever;
give me understanding that I may live.

The list goes on:

  • The psalmist is consumed by his own zeal when, of all things, his foes forget God’s words.
  • He loves God’s promises.
  • He considers himself insignificant and despised, but it seems that he couldn’t care less about that because he’s managed to remember God’s precepts.
  • So great is his delight in God’s commandments that he is all but impervious to trouble and anguish.  This is definitely not someone who sees God’s rules as a burden!
  • He equates the understanding of God’s testimonies with his very ability to live.

This psalmist is something.  I take him at his word that all of these statements are absolutely true, even if poetic.  I’m sorry to say I’m having difficulty finding shared ground with him.  I wish I could say I fully shared his views, but of course I don’t.  I could say that I want to share the depth of his passion for God’s words and commands, but that too would be a lie, as ashamed as I am to admit it.

What if I take this one step lower?  I wish that I wanted to have such an honestly passionate view of God’s words and precepts.  Yes, I can say that in truth.

Dear Lord, forgive me for not being able to honestly echo the words of this psalmist.  Have mercy upon me for harboring in some as-yet unclean corner of my heart a lack of desire to master your Word and your law as this psalmist has.  Give me a pure and authentic passion to study your Word and obsessively pursue Your truth as aggressively as described here.  Lead me to the point where I’m inconsolable at the very idea of failing to follow you with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind with all my strength.  Amen.

Michael  (mmattix)

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2 Kings 10, 2 Kings 11, 2 Timothy 1, Hosea 2, Psalm 119:97-120

Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. 2 Kings 10:16

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97

 Our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10

Read at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2010,%202%20Kings%2011,%202%20Timothy%201,%20Hosea%202,%20Psalm%20119:97-120&version=NKJV

             How can I live without the Presence of God? All five readings demonstrate and prove the intrinsic value and joyous quality of life when life is lived adhering to the Word of God! Woe to those, including me, who do NOT honor the living Lord God Almighty fully and instead worship, even slightly, anyone/thing else!! They suffer daily, and without repentance and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ shall perish after this brief life. (James 4:7; John 10:30; John 14:6; John 3:3-5, John 3:16-21, Matthew 18:1-5; Acts 4:10-12, Matthew 5:22, Matthew 10:28, Revelation 21:6-8)

2 Kings 10                Just prior to these scenes, the LORD says to Jehu: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” 2 Kings 9:3

            Jehu responds emphatically by wiping out all of his potential adversaries. Jehu states his motivation: “Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.” v.16  Jehu has Ahab’s 70 sons (v.1-11), 42 brothers of Ahaziah, king of Judah(v.12-14), and the rest of Ahab’s family (v.15-17) all killed.

               What enemies are in my midst? What strongholds, blind spots, hidden thoughts, patterns and ways which defy the LORD and are lurking to take the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ within my heart? Not people, but my own allegiances which are against the Word of God? I must hold each of these to the Truth Mirror of the Bible. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

            Then Jehu states deceptively, “I have a great sacrifice for Baal.” Jehu gathers all the Baal priests and worshippers together for “a solemn assembly for Baal. … and all …came” Then Jehu orders: “Go in and kill them; let no one come out!” Furthermore, “they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump … Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.”  (v.18-28)

            What do I worship? Spending time with whom? Doing what? Buying, selling, ingesting, imbibing, drugging, watching, listening, wasting time, … Are there idols, images or thoughts which are Not Christ centered or Biblical? Am I valuing my own pleasures, desires or a prideful self-image? Break those temples Lord Jesus! Reveal to me the revelry in my own heart and break my heart for what breaks Yours! I give you full reign over my heart, eyes, hands and will. Psalm 51  

            Jehu did a fabulous job of rooting out all the “sickness” which was against the Holy God. God noticed (as always!), “the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” v.30

              My zeal has consumed me, Because my enemies have forgotten Your words. Psalm 119:139, Numbers 25:13, Psalm 69:9, John 2:17 

2 Kings 11                Meanwhile in Judah, after Ahaziah dies, his mother “arose and destroyed all the royal heirs.” v.1 But God’s remnant remained! A grandson, Joash, is hidden “in the house of the LORD for six years” while the queen mother harshly rules Judah.  “In the seventh year Jehoiada,” the LORD’s priest, “brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony” When the queen found out, she “tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” and was swiftly killed.

             To what do I cry “Treason! Treason!”? What crosses my line of sensibilities? What raises my hackles? Do I yell it in rebuff when someone wants me to stop being self indulgent? Do I yell it when others are involved in wrong around me? Treason to whom? To myself, my family, my culture or to my King?  

             “Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD, the king, and the people, that they should be the LORD’s people, … went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. … They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, … And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. … So all the people of the land rejoiced”

             What legacy am I leaving for my children? One of the Lord God Almighty or not? Eternal life or eternal death? Or is it a mixture by which a half truth is really a full lie? What high places of sin are not torn down in me so that I cannot see it in my children? Luke 6:41-42

            Lord, cleanse me more and cleanse my entire family so that we all stand in worship of You 24/7/365 no matter where we are!! May the people of my household rejoice in You, their Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ All Ways!! 

2 Timothy 1              What has God given to me? To you? “the genuine faith…  the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

             What MUST I do about it? “do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, … for the gospel according to the power of God, … Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, … according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began”  

            Why? Because “our Savior Jesus Christ, Who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”

            Resolutely I agree: “I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

            How can I do this? “Hold fast the pattern of sound words”, most specifically the Word of God.

           It is impossible to live for the Lord God Almighty, the God of the Old and New Testaments, unless I am filled with His Holy Spirit. (Acts 4:31, Romans 15:13, Acts 13:52, Ephesians 5:18, John 15:26, John 16:13, Psalm 31:5, John 4:24)

           Furthermore, I can feel spurned by those who live in the “mixture” of lies and truth: compromised, rationalized and excused half-belief in the Word of God. (v. 12-14) Lord Jesus, please open the eyes of their heart to Your saving death. Cause in them a desperate need for Your cleansing Blood. Make them aware that nothing else will suffice the wrath of God. (Romans 1:18, Romans 2:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, John 3:36, 1 Peter 1:17-21)

Hosea 2         Just like we read in the 2 Kings 10-11, the Lord God is Jealous (Exodus 34:14) for us, His people. Being double minded, unfaithful and hard hearted is unacceptable within the Covenant of Love we have by the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 4:10).

              The Lord God shows us mercy by revealing to us who we are and how we are compared to His Holiness, and then by doing something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.  

            Hosea 2:        Mercy is shown. … Bring charges against… Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, … And expose her, … her children, For they are the children of harlotry. … behaved shamefully.

              I will hedge up your way with thorns,  And wall her in, Then she will say, ‘ I will go and return to my first husband,’ 

             Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,  And no one shall deliver her from My hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, …I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. … But Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

The Lord God is a Jealous God – Who loves us for our own benefit!

             “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. …  She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth,… “And it shall be, in that day,”  Says the LORD, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’ For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant ….”

            “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD. And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”

Psalm 119:97-120               To You, my Sovereign Lord and God!  May my heart speak this to You with no falsehood or hidden sin:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your Word.
For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your Words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Therefore I hate every false way.

I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your Word.   

The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
 Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart..
         
I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your Word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,…

You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, or their deceit is falsehood.
My flesh trembles for fear of You, And I am afraid of Your judgments.

How I praise You my Creator, Redeemer, Lord and Father!

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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2 Kings 9; 1 Tim. 6; Hos. 1; Ps. 119:73-96

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (NIV).

I got up late today, still lulled by the hum of the heater overhead, in a cozy cocoon of blanket and comforter, the dawn just a whisper of light through the window. My mental list of things to do, awakening. Kids’ calls down the hall, coffee pot turned on, breakfast cereal poured.

These words of encouragement to Timothy nearly shred my to-do; they fill these lungs with a gasp. Because as I consider the day and the potential grumbles and fights ahead, I did not connect it to the good fight. In my pursuit of laundry, tidying, teaching, and the moments of just getting by–my eyes lift from what’s around me and seek eternal.

I feast on encouragement … pursue … fight … take hold.

Lord, you are so good. Thank you for setting my priorities straight. It’s not so much the pursuit of laundry as it is the pursuit of love.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Kings 8, 1 Timothy 5, Daniel 12, Psalm 119:49-72

Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Daniel 12:10

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Teach me knowledge and good judgment for believing your commands. Psalm 119:66

God used family problems this week  to refine and purify my actions.  Initially I fixated on my sister’s culpability. After all she did curse at me. Certainly I was above reproach. (Ha!) Then the Scriptures opened my eyes to how my own behavior contributed to the situation.

In constantly trying to rescue her from her problems we as a family had robbed her of the ability to cope on her own. In turn I had denied myself the opportunity of receiving assistance from her.

The best One to judge everything is the One who is in control. Had we inquired of God  first perhaps things would not be so out of control now. Yet I praise Him for showing me that there are better ways to handle challenges than the way we have always done.

Father, You put me in frustrating situations time after time to help me grow. Thank you for teaching me how to respond to others to create more healthy balanced relationships. Thank you for your mercies new every morning.

yicareggie

Reposted from the archives, October 27, 2010.

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2 Kings 7, 1 Timothy 4, Daniel 11, Psalm 119:25-48

After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. Daniel 11:19 

Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the LORD! This is what the LORD says: By this time tomorrow…”

For the Lord has caused…

So it was true… just as the LORD had promised.

So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted…

And so it was…2 Kings 7:1, 6,16,17,20 

Rulers rise and fall.  The Aramean army, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi.  Whether to coupe or the ravages of time, God ultimately controls all outcomes. We ordinary Joes and Janes attempt to rule over our own lives as well, but we too will rise and fall according to God’s plans.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits…1 Timothy 4:1 

Not so long ago I became malnourished in the word of God. I started attending a doctrinally unsound church. I abandoned group bible study for a secular study at the local community college. I deceived myself into believing I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I nudged God from the center of my focus.  I began to entertain thoughts that stranded me on a precipice of sin. I rationalized that because I was a sinner saved by grace, it was okay to slip occasionally. Thankfully, God pulled me back before I acted out what went on in my head.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

These verses in Psalms have become my prayer. 

Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. 

Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. Psalm 119:29, 39, 43 

yicareggie

 

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2Kings 6; 1Tim. 3; Dan. 10; Ps.119:1-24

I am writing you these instructions so that,  if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 1 Tim. 3: 14b – 15

I think it is absolutely amazing that God speaks in that still, small voice about the very things you need to hear exactly when you need to hear them.  Instruction has been the theme these last several days. Not just in this passage from 1 Timothy, and in Ps. 119, but all around me.  The message this weekend in chruch was full of instruction as we worked through 1 Cor. 13: 4 – 7 – what love looks like. It came at a time for me when I really needed to hear it.  As our pastor put it when he began to teach this weekend, we’ve all heard “the love chapter” and because of it’s popularity, most of us likely don’t really “hear” it.  And he of course proceeded to teach us what the words really mean.  They truly humbled me.

This weekend I failed miserably on the love front.  I got what I thought was justifiably angry – but love is not easily angered. I thought my actions and words were justified. I thought I was being wronged – but love keeps no record of wrongs.  I lost my patience and was mean to a some people very dear to me – but love is patient, love is kind. On Saturday I approached a service opportunity “puffed up” because I was being asked to take on a special project – but love does not boast, it is not proud. I failed miserably.

I write this with tears in my eyes, not because I am feeling guilty for failing – I made amends with those involved – but because even though I failed, I know He will never fail me.  God is Love – and Love “ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS preservers.” 1 Cor 13: 7 (emphasis added).

O  Great Instructor! Thank you for ALWAYS teaching me what I need to know when I need to know it.  Thank you for giving me a heart to hear Your still, small voice. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Ps. 119:11 AMEN

Jim(jmitch1)

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