Monthly Archives: May 2012

Psalms 36, 37, 38; John 12:1-26

It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly. Psalm 37:16-17

I wonder what comes to mind for some when they hear the word godly. Perfection? (I’m not.) Better than others? (Um. Not me, either.) Super holy? (Sinner, here.) Maybe looking into my life some days wouldn’t impress another: laundry mound to be folded; crumb pile in the corner to clean up; nerves fraying at the 50th “hey mama?”; Barbie accessories like landmines on the floor, piercing my feet … not to leave out annoyance, occasional scowling, impatience. Oh, help me if godly is having it all together: the house, the kids, the relationships, the yard, the answers … in the name of Jesus.

Maybe godly is the state of seeking God. Looking for God when you are on the verge of collapse: like David, afflicted and in despair to the point even loved ones and friends stayed away, afraid to catch his disease (check out psalm 38). David was a man known for having a heart for God. He was not a guy for whom everything went right–he cries to God often at very low times in his life. But his thinking–while acknowledging his sin, his trials, his worries–points to God. And though a king, he did not have it all together: the marriages, the kids, the answers … but he knew where to turn for help.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand. Psalm 37:23-24

In my day-to-day dealings, Lord, I hope to find myself (more often than not) seeking you. The psalms speak of trusting you, delighting in you, committing everything to you, being still in your presence. They declare your unfailing love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice.

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see. Psalm 36:7-9

Thank you for giving and loving so completely.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms

Psalm 31,35; John 11:30-57

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes…” ~ John 11:44

After Lazarus’ death, his family wrapped him in linen clothes (grave clothes) and put him in a tomb.  Today, we embalm and bury our dead in the ground or in tombs.  But there’s another place we “find” the dead: all around us.

Those who are dead walk, talk, and function all around us, but not with joy and not to their full capacity, as they are bound in their own grave clothes.  Some kind of pain (physical, mental, emotional, psychological) keeps them bound up.  Even those whose faith is strong in some area can be bound up in grave clothes.  Read what David says in Psalm 31, “Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief…I am forgotten by them as though I were dead;” (vv. 9, 12). When you feel dead and tied up in grave clothes, often times you aren’t able to find your own way out.

In this scripture in John, Jesus gives each person a role.  To those who are bound up, He gives the role to follow the sound of Jesus’ voice and to “come out” of the tomb.  The role of those watching and listening is to remove the grave clothes and let the bound person go.

Lord, my prayer today is that when I am bound up, I will follow the sound of Your voice out of my self-made tomb and seek out those who love me to help me remove my grave clothes.  And Lord, when You call me to help another out of their grave clothes, I pray that I will turn immediately to them in love. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

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Psalms 27,28,29; John 11:1-29

John 11

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

Wait two more days for the glory of God!   If Jesus had gone and healed Lazarus right away, everyone would have been impressed.  So why did he wait for two more days?  He waited so that God’s plan could be carried out.  God’s plan called for the glorification of Himself through the glorification of his Son, Jesus. His plan was radical! It was not to be just another healing.  It was to be an act of raising a person from the dead.  God’s plan required that there be no doubt that Lazarus was indeed dead.  Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days when Jesus finally arrived on the scene.  Lazarus was definitely dead.

So often I get impatient while I wait for God to act in my life.  I always think that the solution I ask for is the best one for the occasion and I want it today.  Sooner if possible.  I would definitely settle for a “healing today”, when God may be acting out a “raising from the dead” two days from now if I could only exercise a little faith.  My focus is on me so much of the time.   I’m like David in Psalms 27and 28.  His Focus is on what God does for him.  He is grateful for the things God has done and is hopeful for the good things that God will be doing for him.  However, in Psalm 29 we find David giving praise to God for being God.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;  the voice of the Lord is majestic.

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;  the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;  the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Father God help me have patience so that I may always wait for your perfect plan to unfold in my life.  Help me to hear your voice.  Give me strength and bless me with peace. Amen.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalms 24,25,26; John 10:22-42

David had an awesome relationship with God. I spent some time meditating on Psalm 25 today. It is a beautiful picture of childlike trust and admiration of a loving Father by a trusting child.

8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

Fast forward to Jesus’ day.  In John 9 we read about Jesus’ healing of a man that was born blind. The Pharisees just did not want this to be true.  They tried desperately to spin this some other way than the miracle it plainly was. The healed man says that if Jesus was not from God then he couldn’t have done this miracle. To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. The Pharisees were not humble, for sure. No guidance for them, I’m afraid.

So Jesus moves along and he gets to Jerusalem. The Holy City. Teaming with learned Pharisees. In John 10 we read:

22 Then came the Feast of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple

area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ,[c] tell us plainly.”25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

These Jews did not want to hear any of this.  Jesus was claiming to be God and they did not want to hear that. They try to stone him but Jesus escapes. It was not yet his time. The story continues:

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.

One thing that stood out to me as I read this was the contrast between what happened in Jerusalem and what happened in the area where John was baptizing. John the Baptist’s mission was to prepare the way for Jesus. He preached repentance. Repentance requires us to admit that we have gone astray, we are wrong, and we desire to be made right. Repentance requires humility. The people that were prepared by John and his ministry were able to hear Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The Jews in Jerusalem, the learned ones that thought they knew everything, the ones that were at the top of the heap and did not want to give that up, were spiritually blind and deaf. The blind man was able to see, but the Pharisees were blind to the Truth.

Lord, sometimes I know that my biggest sin is the sin of pride. I pray that I can humble myself and repent so that I can tune into your voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd. I know that this is an ongoing journey, from day to day, from pasture to pasture, until you lead me to my final home.

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Psalm 20,21,22; John 10:1-21

Scripture:

John 10

I Am the Good Shepherd

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Observation & Application:

Just a brief observation about these 18 verses. Who better to care for you and me than Jesus! Read through this passage again. List the things that he does in care for you. List how reliable he is and where he comes from and what authority he has. Put your trust & faith in him today!

Prayer:

Father God thank you for our Shepherd Jesus. Thank you that he protects, cares and nurtures us. Thank you that he has been given that authority by you! We pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.

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