Monthly Archives: April 2013

Numbers 7; Psalms 42, 43; Song of Songs 5; Hebrews 5

As a deer thirsts for streams of water,

so I thirst for you, God.

I thirst for the living God.

When can I go to meet with him?

Psalm 42:1-2 (NCV)

I am thirsty. Thirsty for more of God; more of His tangible presence.

I am craving extra time spent in His arms, enveloping my heart with His compassion. I am longing to bury my face in His scent – purity, sacrifice, love – and feel the glowing warmth of His Glory. I am eager to hear His voice, whispering in my ear, booming in my spirit. I desire to see His benevolent face, His grace-filled eyes, and His tender smile. I yearn to taste and see more of His goodness.

The distractions of life, of motherhood, of the busyness of piled up to-do lists, and the enticing lure of smart phone, computer, television…, cut chunks out of my day. Interruptions make upheaval out of my attempts at quiet time, exclamations in the middle of my prayers. Most days I don’t have a single moment to myself to think, use the bathroom, or shower, let alone be still and know. Exhaustion, an ever constant, yet unwelcome companion, leads to falling asleep moments after beginning to meditate on the Word.

I often feel spiritually dehydrated, and left wanting more of His Living Water. My lips are parched from thanklessness issuing from my mouth; my tongue is dry from a lack of praise. My eyes gritty from being in the desert place. My ears not fully tuned into the whispers of His voice, hearing only fragments of truth amidst the enemy’s lies. My skin dried up, mummy-like, desperate for His healing salve.

When I am able to find my way to the river, when I am able to meet with Him, I dip my toes into the waterside, feeling His refreshing. Wading into His compassion, forgiveness ripples and flows around me, currents of mercy tugging at my legs. Sinking deeper still, I am able to drink in His Holy Water, tasting His perfect draught, baptizing in His love.

My heart is flooded with gratitude, and my mouth is filled with worship. I am soaked in His affectionate whispers and drenched in His Truth. I am renewed, revitalized by His answers to prayers. I am encouraged by His Word. I am restored.

My thirst is quenched.

And, yet, I still want more…

I am thirsty. Thirsty for more of God. When can we meet again?

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms

Num. 6; Ps. 40,41; Song 4; Heb. 4

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. ~ Psalm 40:1

It feels like we’ve been “waiting” a long time.  But what does it really mean?  It means to remain inactive until something happens.  But then what about until, what does that mean?  It means the time before something happens…  So then “waiting” actually implies that we EXPECT something to happen.  And that’s what “waiting” means; it’s looking and hoping for with great expectation.

My husband and I have been waiting for some time now.  I think the length of time spent waiting is the hard part.  It seems to me that the more time I have on my hands, the more my wheels spin and my mind doesn’t stay focused on Christ, as it should, and my thoughts begin to betray me.  Then, before I know it, I’m no longer waiting, but instead I’ve given up hope and have gone back to spinning my tires in the mud, getting nowhere.

But not this time!

This time will be different, because this time we are staying focused and we are looking to the Lord with great expectation.  We are changing our perspective.  We are no longer going to stand in line, as if by some miracle our God might look at us.  No, the Word assures us that we are to “fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it],” (Hebrews 4:16). 

So what’s different this time?  This time we are standing from victory.  To borrow a phrase (which I’m so adopting) from a friend, “We are praying from victory.”  We don’t have to doubt that He will come through, because when we pray from victory, then we are already there and know it has happened.

How do your perspective and attitude change when you know?  Don’t you walk with more confidence?  Don’t you approach things fearlessly, confidently, and boldly?  From now on, we are approaching life FROM VICTORY.  Thank you, Father.  To God be the glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust [core, center, security]. ~ Psalm 40:4

Heatherpotts5

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Numbers 5; Psalms 39; Song of Solomon 3; Hebrews 3

Numbers 5
Every time I read about “The Law”, I am overwhelmed by it.  It is so much to know and remember.  It makes me realize how as humans of “The Fall” we are so far from what we were created to be.  Then I remember the grace and mercy of Jesus’ sacrifice that saved me from The Law and brought me to a new covenant, a better covenant.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”  Hebrews 8:6
Praise you Lord for the grace and mercy that You brought to us through the Cross.  Now we have a new covenant; a better covenant; one of freedom from rules and rituals.  Blessed are we!
Kathleen (guest on 66 Books)

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Numbers 4, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2

Read - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%204;%20Ps.%2038;%20Song%202;%20Heb.%202&version=NKJV 

Numbers 4               Then the Lord spoke, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath, Gershon, Merari, Levites, … all who enter the service to do the work … but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

             You know me, Lord. I am never hidden from Your sight. You number my days. You have prepared me to do service for You. I am to commit my way to You so You will do the blessing through me.

            Working for You can be “deadly” if I ever take the glory because it is only due to You. No compliment, no esteem, no honor, no whatever can I accept without internally submitting that to You, Lord Jesus Christ. It is only under Your Authority and by abiding in You, that any eternal good can ever be accomplished.

            Lord Jesus, keep my mind and heart fresh to hear Your thoughts as my first priority whenever anyone appreciates me. I want to hear You praised and glorified within my own heart, my Savior and Lord! That is my reward!

Psalm 38                   O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; I go mourning all the day long.

            The price of sin is Enormous! The pain it causes far outweighs and outlasts any moment of illicit pleasure.  When I harden my heart, becoming stubborn in believing that “I deserve my unlawful pleasure rights” – I cause greater harm to myself and to those whom I say with my lips that I love; You Lord, my relatives, friends, and those who need Jesus yet may be led astray by witnessing an unfaithful Christ follower. 

For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. – O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

             Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You only – and gravely. My fear of man, distrust of Your Word, and attitude of self-will all speak loudly against You, Holy One. I choose to turn away, this moment, from “my rights” and submit to Your Rights, LORD. Take this situation which is before me, give me Your Word Perspective, fill me with Your Holy Spirit wisdom and power. See – I shall turn away from my familiar pattern and do Your counsel for You, Lord Jesus Christ!   

Song of Solomon 2             The man about the woman, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.”                           

            Imagery – Imagine – Christ with His Bride, the Church, the Body of Christ! Thorns are those who are still Jesus’ enemy. I am a lily among those who are thorns. I am Your Love! What an honor to be loved and cherished by You, my Savior! My heart melts!

            The woman about the man, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. … He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love….  My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.’”

            By Your Lovingkindness You draw me into Your Presence! Your unconditional Love overshadows all the ills in my life and overwhelms me. You always call me to stay in Your Presence. ~ ~ I rest in You, Lord Jesus. You refresh me like no other. I ponder Your Word privately, intimately, vulnerably. Your Holy Spirit gives me comfort, wisdom and holy perspective. Your Sweet Fruit I desire above all – the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and Your work.

            I shall be faithful to You, Lord Jesus, my Betrothed. You are always beneficially honest with me for Your glory! Your everlasting love binds my heart, mind and all to You, my Beloved King!

My beloved is mine, and I am His. v.16

Hebrews 2                How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit …?

             No adultery! No neglecting the Great Salvation which the Lord Jesus paid for me! No betraying or rejecting the One Love that can save me and fill me with healing and wholeness!

           But how am I unfaithful to my first Love? Who or what do I run to when I am upset, bothered and wanting to escape even minor “moody pain”? how many times have a failed? and harmed others in my wake? Do I first run to Jesus, the Word of God, and stay there? For Good counsel, comfort and wisdom to change my perspective and situation? Do my reactions have Jesus being the Fragrance people smell, instead of my own odorous ways?

     Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. …For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

I am free and empowered, indeed, to live for You! Thank You Lord Jesus!

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. I will put My trust in Him.” v.13

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Num. 3; Ps. 37; Song 1; Heb. 1

Am I becoming more like my father or my Father?

One of the wonderful gifts I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog is that I don’t feel so weird. I suspect I’m not alone when I share that I often feel like I don’t belong in this world as it has changed drastically since I was a child. Just the other day while escorting my daughter to the local repair shop, we stepped out of the car and I was aghast to hear the foul language coming from 2 of the mechanics mouths with their supervisor in plain sight. I immediately addressed these men, telling them my daughter was present, and that their language was unacceptable. But, really… did I really need to say that this type of behavor wasn’t acceptable? Did it need to take someone having to point out that they were acting more like rambunctious teenagers than men? The sad part is that is more the norm than the exception of late; that while chronologically, we see men, they’re acting as boys with very little concern or respect for themselves, let alone others. And then it hit me hard… this was an example of the warning Timothy expressed in 2 Timothy 3, where he states that difficult times are ahead of us… that as the end of the world approaches, people would continue to turn away from God towards themselves, worship other gods like money and power, becoming lustful, harsh, crude and profane, acting like animals with little regard for respect and the sanctify of life.

Looking around, it’s hard for me not to believe that we’re living in the end days. But we’re also commanded to remain clear of these individuals as they are caustic to our spiritual well-being! Instead, we’re called to embrace the teachings we’ve learned and believe in through the Word of God to prepare us to deal with such events we face on a daily basis. The Psalm of David reinforces this approach… Psalm 37 reminds us to rejoice and trust in the Lord and have no concern for the wicked as they will fade away and wither. Additionally, we’re called not to be angry or to lose our temper as that only causes harm, but that a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. Hebrews 1 offers a beautiful description of the importance of Jesus and that He will live forever. Through this reassurance of His presence with us always, we can feel stronger knowing that we can navigate life in partnership with a loving Savior; never alone, and always with an example of loving leadership.

By the way… my daughter later shared how proud she was that I handled the events I described earlier firmly, but without going overboard… that she was proud that she had a Daddy who stood up for her when those around her we actually badly. Have my daughter call me Daddy is an amazing gift; one I take seriously, and one that our Father in Heaven takes seriously, as well, as He is jealous for His children. He prepares us for what we can expect to face in life, but offers us His Word so that we know we’re not alone as we navigate this life.

Heavenly Father… thank you for giving us your Word. It’s hard to comprehend that You knew that we would need a ‘road map’ on how to traverse these troubled times. In Your infinite wisdom, You provided us words that not only prepare us for what we will see as we ‘do life’, but you offer the assurance of companionship in the process and beyond. Father, in the midst of the difficult times You described, let me seek You for guidance always and be strong enough to be Your hands and feet here on earth as I stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. That when people see me, they see You, and maybe, they will be moved enough to die to themselves, seek You to become the men You have called them to be, giving up their childish and selfish ways, so they can lead their families and others with integrity. I ask this through Your Son’s name… Amen!

Greg (gstefanelli)

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Num. 2; Ps. 36; Eccles. 12; Philemon 1

I was talking to another mom yesterday about a situation in her life, and I asked her if she prayed about it. I admitted that I don’t always pray about the things in my life; and I wondered if I thought my stuff was too big for God–like a situation seemed so impossible or complex, there was no hope. I think that’s where the enemy wants us–feeling powerless and hopeless. It seemed silly to consider that–especially when I looked all around me and all that I saw GOD CREATED. Was there ever anything too complex for him?

Numbers 2–tribes lined underneath family banners, and the last paragraph is a refrain: exactly as the Lord instructed; as the Lord commanded; as the Lord commanded.

Psalm 36–glimpsing into the heart of evil; conceit; no fear of God; they can’t see who they really are; plotting; and no attempt to turn from evil. I almost get lost in what seems hopeless, until these words direct me higher:

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    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 36:5-9 NLT

Mighty God. Unfailing, faithful, righteous and just, caring, sheltering, providing, life and light. Is there really anything so complex you can’t handle?

Ecclesiastes tells me again and again, to honor God and remember him.

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.

Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.

Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.

Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NLT.

Lord, I want to enter each day remembering you–not only for what you have done, but for who you are and what you can do. My problems and concerns are not too great for you. I want to walk confidently in the plan you have for me, because I trust you and I know that you love me. You are faithful.

Courtney (66books365)

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Num. 1; Ps. 35; Eccles. 11; Titus 3;

“If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Eccles. 11:3-4

Well those seem pretty much like common sense if I think about it.  The writer of Ecclesiastes goes on state some more obvious things that I can see in the world around me.  So what is it he is trying to say?

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” Titus 3:1-2

Now this one also seems to be common sense, but is one that I have struggled with in the past.  Being a citizen of a country where we are blessed with so much freedom and having a government where we have so much say, its easy to get frustrated and get carried away with expressing my opinions to the point that I can tarnish my witness and higher citizenship.

I think that is what both these writers are trying to remind me of, that higher calling.  This is not my home and I need to be careful on how much I invest myself in it and in the ways of it.  After all, I know the end of the story and the victory is already won by God.  So why should I live frustrated or focus on what will pass away.  Instead I will seek eternal things and search out the One who will never fail me.

God,  Help me to remember that this is not my home and that You have gone to prepare a place for me where my eternal home will be.  Help me to invest my life in the eternal and live in such a way that draws others to You.

In Jesus name,

Allen (allen4myfamily)

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