Monthly Archives: May 2013

Deuteronomy 4; Psalms 83, 84; Isaiah 31; Revelation 2

There are days when the words of the Bible are medicine for the soul.  Truth poured out onto an anxious heart that has been temporarily deceived into thinking that God is oblivious and uninterested.  Here is what God has told me about He and I:

What other nation is so great to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him… But if you seek the Lord your God you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:7 and 29.

I long to know that God is here beside me and that He sees all, knows all and understands all that is far beyond my grasp. I pray:

Have mercy on me, O Lord for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good O Lord, abounding in love to all who call you… Teach me your way O Lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.  Psalm 86:3-5,11   

  It is his grace, his holiness, his love that I fall back on:

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.  My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.  Isaiah 32:18-20.

   Life may or may not go my way. I may get things right, I may get them wrong, but who God is and the grace He offers is unchanged. I can let go and pray his Words and his peace comes.

Kathy

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Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

Do not be afraid. God fights for you. This was in Deuteronomy 3, along with testimony of God’s protection and provision. Lately I’ve come up against situations where I remind myself to trust God. In a place of hindsight from ugly battles, I can see how he has fought for me and protected me. I can trust him going forward too.

He speaks peace to his faithful people, but let them not return to their foolish ways. Psalm 85:8 NLT.

Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Psalm 85:12 NLT.

Depending on strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord. Isaiah 31:1. I’ve looked to my own strength too often, instead of God’s. I’m learning more and more to rely on him, and to take my thoughts to him in prayer.

I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made. Isaiah 31:7. Thank you, God, for showing me what I placed before you–so I could walk away from it and worship you.

Freed us from sin by his blood. He has made us a kingdom of priests for God his Father. Revelation 1:5b, 6. Made us a kingdom, here, of priests. For God. That certainly reframes the morning.

John, a brother and partner in suffering, in God’s kingdom, in the patient endurance that Jesus calls us. Revelation 1:9.

Lord, thank you for these words today, to sit with you over coffee. Thank you for speaking into my life with words of trust, protection, freedom. Thank you for showing me a bigger picture (of suffering and battles and your strength). Love you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation

Deut 2; Psalm 83, 84; Isaiah 30; Jude 1

On the way to church on Sunday, Allen, (my husband) and I were talking about the importance of the past, present and future…And how we need all three to be preparing for God’s work in our lives. So, that when His blessings rain down, we are ready. Though, I think about how quickly I can get stuck in past regret and forget where God has brought me from. Which can hinder me from living fully in the present and moving ahead to the future…Just like the Israelites had to be reminded of what God had done, as they were being prepared to possess the promised land….“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” Deut 2:7 NIV

I was telling Allen that I was excited to be pursuing art again, a gift and passion that God has given me. Though I don’t know where it is going to lead…I am being obedient and waiting expectantly to see what God will do. Sometimes I forget…God wants to bless me, He desires to bless me. But, will I be ready?

 “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; They will still be praising You.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart I set on pilgrimage.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.

Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

Psalm 84:4,5,10,12 NKJV

 “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 30:18 NKJV

 Dear Jesus, I want to keep moving ahead in faith, trusting that You are with me…while remembering Your past faithfulness, so I can live more fully in the present, basking in Your presence….looking ahead to what you have for me in the future…ultimately to spend eternity with you. Amen

 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen” Jude 1:24&25 NKJV

 Amy(amyctanner)

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Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81, 82; Isaiah 29; 3 John 1

The Lord says:

“These people worship me with their mouths,

and honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is based on

nothing but human rules.

So I will continue to amaze these people

by doing more and more miracles.

Their wise men will lose their wisdom;

their wise men will not be able to understand.” Isaiah 29:13-14 (NCV)

Their worship is based on nothing but human rules. (NCV)

They act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it. (MSG)

Their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (NLT)

Their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning]. (AMP)

Their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah – [a good deed performed out of religious duty] – of human origin. (CJB)

Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized. (GNT)

Their worship of Me consists of man-made traditions learned by rote; it is a meaningless sham. (VOICE)

I recently had a conversation with a friend of the family about faith. He told me that he hates religion. Being a nonbeliever, I think he was trying to bait me, hoping I would get offended by his comments, so he could prove that Christians (or at least me) are hypocrites.

My response: I hate religion too. (I think he was a little shocked, never expecting such words to come from the mouth of a missionary).

To make myself clear…I LOVE Jesus. Being in relationship with a Heavenly Father, a Holy Trinity who loves me with an everlasting love is life-altering. My faith in Him gives me the ability to have compassion for the people society has rejected deeming them unworthy with no more value than heaped trash. My belief in Him has allowed me to witness miraculous transformations and partake in the changing of lives, of destinies.

I decided at the beginning of my journey with God that it could never be about “Christianese” and being holier-than-thou. I want ‘real’ and ‘relevant’ instead of artificial rituals. I need the Word of God to come alive, not just be lifeless sentences in an ancient book. I desire a five senses, experiential knowledge of the Savior who gave His life for me. I crave relationship over religiosity, freedom opposed to a ball-and-chain.

If I am going to follow Jesus it has to be a full-on commitment rooted in Him, one where He is seamlessly integrated into my life from morning to night: When I sit. When I walk. When I push my daughters on swings or run to stop my oldest from running into the street. When I lie down. When I rise. When I am bleary eyed and exhausted. When I am washing dishes and folding mounds of laundry. When life is a cake walk. And, when it is a scary, chaotic mess.

My commitment to worship my King originates from my heart, from the created to the Creator. It is initiated by love and longing, not by unattainable rules created by fear, overcomplicated regulations created by man to foster guilt and condemnation.

And so, I choose to worship with adoration Father, who offers me an easy yoke and a light burden. I choose to worship with reverence Son, who beckons me to come and grants rest. I choose to worship with devotion Holy Spirit who gives helps me and produces the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life. (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:16-17; Galatians 5:22-23).

Yesappa, help me to never turn to rules and regulations, to traditions instead of to You. Help my worship be true, and worthy of Your Glory. Help my heart stay close to Yours; write my name on Your palm and mark me with Your seal upon my forehead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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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Numbers 36; Psalm 80; Isaiah 28; 2 John 1

I didn’t expect to find Jesus in the pages of a book comparing child attachments with peers versus parents pre- and post-World War 2. There was no mention of His name in the chapter discussing the weakness and wounding that takes place when children derive their value and esteem from peers.

In contrast, the parent,

“When the parent is the compass point, it is the messages he or she gives that are relevant. When tragedy and trauma happen, the child looks to the parent for clues whether or not to be concerned. As long as their attachments are safe, the sky could collapse and the world fall apart, but children would be relatively protected from feeling dangerously vulnerable.” Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.

I saw Jesus there, out of context. When I tie my identity to this world, my job, what others think of me, if I am not tethered to or held up by Christ the Cornerstone, I am dangerously vulnerable to weakness and wounding. When Jesus is my compass point, I find Him completely out of (and within) context. He permeates every part of life.

Isaiah writes of the armies of Assyria and Babylonia, but I see Jesus reflected:

So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:    “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” Isaiah 28:16 (NIV)

When I wonder what the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant” sounds like, I halt at His presence:

“17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.

 19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:17-19 (NIV)

Lord, you are the compass point. You are the One who was and is and yet to come–a sure foundation. (I can stand on you.) You are justice and righteousness, the plumb line. (I can discern what is true or false by holding it up to you.) You are the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever. (Sweet salvation.) I find you out of context and in the least expected places … your reminder and reassurance still that you hold it all together.

Courtney (66books365)

from the archives, originally published May 27, 2011.

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