Monthly Archives: January 2012

Job 38,39,40; Mathew 15:21-39

Job 38

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.  He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

I love a good debate.  It is even better if it is on a topic about God.  I’ve been known to argue both sides of a topic just to make sure that all aspects are analyzed properly.   Job and his friends have been having a lively debate.  Both sides putting together beautiful statements and rebukes.  Everyone thinking that they where speaking the words of God to the others.  Each thinking that wisdom and insight had been given to them to share.  Then God shows up on the scene and asks who has been speaking without knowledge.  Silence reigns.  Their wisdom didn’t seem quite so great in the presence of God.

The appearance of God made me think of two things.   The first was when Jesus claimed that when two or three gathered in His name there He would be (Math 18:20).  The second was the numerous times I have offered words of wisdom to others usually quoting scripture and offering to pray for them.  I  have to think now that maybe a better response is to turn to God and ask Him for the wisdom that the particular situation calls for.  It seems like the more I learn, the easier it is to find the “Ed Wisdom” that fits the particular situation.  I think that it is a safe bet that God could say to me “who has been speaking words without knowledge?”   It is humbling to know that God is with me and hears my words of wisdom and how often they are probably lacking.   I am reminded that I have two ears and one mouth and should monitor what I say much more carefully than what I do.

Father may you help me to always seek you in filling my words with knowledge.  Help me to turn to You in all things especially bringing to mind situations when I am tempted to speak up with “Ed knowledge”.  Guide me instead to seek true knowledge from You, the source of all wisdom.  Continue to show me your love, grace, and mercy, in Jesus name, Amen.

Ed (edsorrell)

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Filed under 66 Books, Job, Matthew

Job 36,37; Matthew 15:1-20

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” (Matthew 15:3 NLT)

My first thoughts on the Matthew passage were “Yeah, Jesus, you tell those Pharisees a thing or two!” Then my thoughts go quickly to the Christians today that would be the equivalent of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. You know, THOSE people…  We all know them, right?

Right??

Then I reflect on our reading in Job.  We know Job is a very righteous man, yet earlier when Job gives us a list of all the reasons why he is so righteous and so does not deserve this  Elihu finally speaks up to remind Job of the greatness, power, and justice of God.  Elihu is still going on about this in our readings today. Job may have done many wonderful things, but he needs a reminder that God is infinitely greater, He is in charge, and nothing happens that is not under his sovereignty.

Then I start to think…  If righteous Job has faults, then maybe I better go back and look at that Matthew passage again…  What (if any) man-made commands do I follow and thus violate the direct commands of God?   If I am totally honest, I can think of a few possibilities. Then as I reflect more and more, I think of more. I really want to be done thinking about this, it makes me very uncomfortable! As is usually the case when my quiet time starts out with thoughts of how passages apply to other people, if I take the time to reflect I see that it applies to me as well…  I think of Psalm 19:12 “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.”

Lord, please help me discern the man-made commands from the true commands of God. You say “fom the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you.” But you can cleanse our hearts. “Create in me a clean heart, O God” – words from David in Psalm 51:10 – words from You.

suegraff

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Job 34&35; Matthew 14:22-36

Scripture:

Matthew 14:28-33, 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (ESV)

Observation:

This is one of the most known stories in the Gospels. Peter walking on water. What do we know about the situation? First, Peter was the only one that volunteered to walk on water. There is a film entitled In Remembrance. It’s about the last supper. In one portion it has several disciples discussing who was the greatest, who was first. Finally in exasperation Peter pulls the trump card and asks, “Who else has walked on water?” Second, Peter became afraid when he “saw” the wind. How do you see the wind? Well you don’t. You see the effects of the wind. What would those have been? Most likely very high waves. There were times he probably lost sight of Jesus because of their height. Third, Peter had little faith. How can that be when he started out walking on water? Probably because he had lost sight of Jesus and so thought he couldn’t be helped by him if he did start to sink.

Application:

It is really easy to criticize Peter and think we would never lose faith as he did. But don’t we, don’t I do it on a regular basis? When I forget to look for Jesus in a situation, or to realize he is in every situation of my life, I am losing faith aren’t I? And believe me I’ve done it a lot in my life! Let’s look for Jesus behind every “wave” we encounter today. Let’s not be distracted by the waves, but keep our eyes focused on the one who gives us the faith in the first place.

Prayer:

Father God thank you for always being with us. Help us to look for you today in all we do. Help us not to take our eyes off of you even when it’s hard to see you in an overwhelming wave we may encounter later today. Thank you for your presence always! In Jesus strong and protective Name we pray, Amen.

dmbaldwin

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Matthew

Job 32, Job 33, Matthew 14:1-21

So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  Then the wrath of Elihu, … was aroused against Job.  Job 32:1-3 

And the king was sorry; nevertheless,  … he sent and had John beheaded in prison.  Matthew 14: 9-10

Found at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job%2032,%2033;%20Mt%2014:1-21&version=NKJV

Job 32-  So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.  Then the wrath of Elihu, … was aroused against Job; Job 32:1-3

            But please, Job, hear my speech, And listen to all my words. … Truly I am as your spokesman before God;  Job 33: 1, 6

But was Job “self-righteous”? 

               The LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.  Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job. 42:7-9

 

             Ouch!! I have been like Elihu and Job, though not at the same time. How many times have I judged someone by their “suffering circumstances”? “Oh, if she only,… then God would….”  No doubt people have condemned me seeing my personal situation. External sight is Never perfect vision. People even condemned Jesus because of His life, and Jesus was/ is God!

                Lord God, because You have deemed that my present life circumstances are more like Job, You have grown me to be less like Elihu. Oh, how I yearn to grow in You Christ Jesus! In Your humility, love, compassion, intercessory prayer, wisdom, to Your praise and glory!!  

                      Lord God, thank You for being Love and loving me according to Your Character!! I am grateful that You are the only One Who truly sees me, with all my flaws, needs and yet beneath Your Son’s Blood Atonement! Lord Jesus, You look at my heart , that You recreated anew and which is progress and process by You. 1 John 4:16; 1 Corinthians 13; Romans 8:1; 1 Samuel 16:7; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 1:6 

            Lord Jesus Christ, please forgive me for being quick to judge, and make me “swift to hear, slow to speak” and make my heart, mind and spirit quick to ask for Your Wisdom to discern for Your healing, love and hope!! Thank You for situations which sometimes feel like Job’s so that I may be changed for Your better use. Romans 14:10; Matthew 7:4-5; James 1:19-20; James 1:5; Isaiah 64:8; Romans 8:16-17; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

             My circumstances do not always dictate my internal relationship with the Lord God Almighty. My heart, attitude and bent is not always visible to others, or even myself. Only God sees my heart. And the same is true for my view of each person.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Dear Reader, Please see Points to Ponder below… for discussion.

Matthew 14     Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison … the daughter of Herodias danced … and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Matthew 14:6-7

            The king misjudged John the Baptist. He didn’t know John, nor the God he served. At a lustful whim he made a promise he regretted – beheading the prophet of the Lord God Almighty. “And the king was sorry; nevertheless,  … he sent and had John beheaded in prison.” Mt 14:9-10

     When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes…  followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick” and fed thousands with twelve full baskets still remaining.  Mt 14:13-14

            Quick wrong judgements cost lives and break hearts. John the Baptist died and Jesus Christ was saddened. Yet the Son of God kept on obeying His Father!   John 12:49-50; Hebrews 5:8

             Lord God Almighty, I give You my heart again with Your joy and hope. Make me aware of my thoughts and actions, to not condemn and to not take in wrongful condemnation. May I be teachable by Your Holy Spirit and live a life reflecting Your Truth and Love and glorifying You alone!! 

Points to Ponder: Dear Reader, Have you judged others? Generous in mercy, overly generously to their detriment, or critical and harming? Please do not treat yourself harshly.  …Just for discussion.

How are we to handle people? 1 Thessalonians 2:7; 2 Timothy 4:2; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 3:15-17

What would happen if you and I did this?  Matthew 6:10

Does God judge? 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 15:3; Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 96:10-13; 1 Peter 4:5

 How can God forgive? Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8-11; Romans 5:21; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 51:1-6; Psalm 51:10-13; Romans 10:8-13; 1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Job 30, 31 Matthew 13:31-58

The kingdom of heaven is like…Matthew 13:31, 33,44,45,47

  • A mustard seed
  • Yeast
  • A treasure hidden in a field
  • A merchant hunting for fine pearls
  • A fisherman’s net

It’s hard focusing on heaven when your life looks like Job’s.  People wonder how God can allow good people to suffer. One of my friends sees God as more of a villain than a hero.

“If that’s how God treats people, then I don’t want anything to do with him,” she said. I didn’t know how to respond.

I’m thankful God’s existence doesn’t depend on our opinions.  Job had every reason to wish God away, yet he never lost faith in his Creator.

I have another friend who focuses on heaven during her “storm walking”. The difference between the two experiences? One friend is looking at the wind and waves; the other is looking at the One who created the wind and waves.

I don’t know what heaven will be like. I just want everyone I love to be there. I guess I need to get busy. Get my hands messy. Mix it up. Find some treasure. Go where the fish are. Share the pearls. Plant some seeds. Watch the kingdom grow.

Lord God thank you for making room in the kingdom of heaven for “blameless” sufferers like Job and sin cleansed believers like me. I pray for everyone to come to know You and your only Son Jesus who sacrificed his life to cover the sins of the world. Amen

yicareggie

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Job 28,29; Matthew 13:1-30

I thought, “Surely …”

Job speaks. Tells of a life lived well, a reminiscing of the good old days. He lists his accomplishments long, reads like a promising resume, and how can you not think he’s a Good Guy? He had it all going for him. His testimony tells of honor and respect. He was counting on things; I hear it in his words, I thought, “Surely …” Job 29:18 (NLT).

Job loses family. He loses his livelihood–animals, crops. He loses the vapor-hope of expectation. He was counting on things to go a certain way, just not the way things went. The things he listed that formed his identity, gone.

When we moved into our house in August, areas of our yard were overgrown with weeds and vines. Parts were downright hostile, thorny, poisonous. Down on hands and knees, hours of days spent pulling and wrestling. A friend brought a truck and ripped and tugged at the landscape. Massive vines wrapped around trees, choking life, taking over. Poison ivy feigning lush life, camouflaging a secret, spoiling death. Brush fortresses an intimidating barrier to progress. Scripture bloomed literal meaning. Jesus talks about seeds and weeds–my hands ached, swollen from tedious tending. I saw how quickly something is overcome. Oh, the life metaphor!

Hanging out in Job and Matthew, I process the loss of my own expectations. I see how worries have choked life from me–at times, overwhelming. I went to the Lord often with grief and mourning, but how often did I seek him for wisdom and understanding?

When Jesus says, “Listen!” I pray, God, help me hear.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Job 25, 25, 27; Mat 12:24-50

It’s your heart not the dictionary that gives meaning to your words.” Words are powerful, take them seriously.” Matthew 12:34&36 (MSG)

Recently I was helping my son look up vocabulary words and define their meanings. It got me thinking about how I don’t just want him to know the word of God, be able to memorize verses, but feel it in his heart. So that when trouble comes and he is afraid or scared he will remember those words because they are hidden in his heart.

Is that why Job asks… “What hope do people without God have when life is cut short?” Job 27:8 (MSG) Because really “What hope do people without God have?”…

The question I ask myself is, “Where do I put my hope?” & more specifically, “Where do I put my hope when…?” Where do I put my hope when… life seems crazy, I can’t predict the future, my expectations are not met?…the list could go on & on…

I am amazed at the kind of faith Job had, when he didn’t even have the promises of the New Testament or the power of the Holy Spirit. Job did not need to see miracles like the people in Matthew when they said, “Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?” Mt 12:38 (MSG)

How much more faith should I have? Am I really living by the power of the Holy Spirit? It says in Matthew 12:28 “But if it is by God’s power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God’s Kingdom is here for sure.” (MSG)

How much more powerful could my words be to move me closer to Jesus, if I relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. Especially at times when I don’t know what to pray or a situation seems too difficult. The Holy Spirit will bring to mind those words, verses that I memorized. They won’t be just words anymore. They will breath life into me, give me Hope when I need it, power to be obedient, even when I don’t feel like it.

Thank you Jesus that I don’t have to rely on my own power, because it will come up short every time. You promise to give me the power of the Holy Spirit, to pray for me when I can’t remember what to pray, to be sufficient for me in my weakness, to overcome my fears. Thank you Jesus that you love me enough to send a helper for me until I am with you. Help me to use my words to praise you, encourage others and lift them up. To remember the power that my words have to bring life & hope to others.

Amy (amyctanner)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament