Monthly Archives: November 2013

1Chron.21; 1Pet. 2; Jonah 4; Luke 9

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. ~ 1 Peter 2:2-3

 

The word “taste” means to experience.  With this being my second pregnancy, I can say that I’m not at all surprised by a lot of the things happening in my body, whereas with my first pregnancy, everything was unexpected, and sometimes scary.  For example, I’m not surprised—though annoyed—that I can’t tolerate any sugary foods or dairy products.  Once you’ve experienced something, you feel a little more comfortable the second and third times around (not that I plan to be pregnant a third time around).  But it’s like that with faith.  The first time you experience faith, or the Holy Spirit, or even the voice of God, it can be quite scary because you’ve never experienced anything like it before.  But once you’ve experienced God and the power of His Holy presence, you’ll never want to miss out on it again.

 

God longs for us to spend daily time with Him, not just for the “experience,” but for the relationship.  But it’s through that intimate relationship that we are able to experience, to taste, the goodness of the Lord.

 

Father, thank you for our relationship and the times I’m able to step into and experience Your Holy Presence.  Help me to desire and to seek after that intimate time with You on a daily basis.  Father, I pray that You would be with us today and always.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Peter

1 Chronicles 19 & 20, 1Peter 1, Jonah 3, Luke 8

Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:25

Fear & amazement stimulate questions.

Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37

Giving into fear causes distance and isolation.

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” Luke 20:50

Everyone experiences fear, but faith can move us beyond it.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1Peter 1: 14, 17-19

Fear with reverence helps us remain obedient to God.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10

Fear or faith. That which we believe in, we hold dear and close. That which we fear, we avoid. What is our response to Jesus?

After Jesus sent a legion of demons into a herd of pigs, that subsequently plunged into the sea, the people wanted Jesus to be far from them. Those with faith, like the woman with the bleeding issue pushed through their fear to get closer to Jesus.

Where is my faith? Sometimes I do the same thing as the disciples. I look at what Jesus does and I am astonished by all the miracles around me. Sometimes I want to be close. Sometimes I don’t want Him to look at me. I’m afraid he will see my sin.

My faith should remind me that I have nothing to fear anymore because his precious blood covered my sin once and for all.

Thank you Jesus.

yicareggie

from the archives, originally published November 24, 2010

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

1Chronicles 18; James 5; Jonah 2; Luke 7

this voice is the one I’m listening for…

the one that speaks to fish, and to widows and their young men. the voice that commends great faith and great messengers. the one that says, ‘your sins are forgiven.  go in peace.’

the voice that spoke to the fish who then vomited Jonah onto dry land.
the God who says, ‘do not weep’ and ‘young man, I say to you, arise.’

a voice brimming with authority… a voice spilling over with tender compassion.

that voice.

“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
John 10:2-4

I’m listening and waiting for the voice of my Beloved Shepherd.

He who has been forgiven much, loves much… that’s true.

O Lord, it’s so loud, there’s so much noise.
So many voices vying for my attention.
Sometimes they drown out the quiet,
‘your sins are forgiven, go in peace’.
But I’m sticking right behind You…
Help me to fine tune my hearing to
Your beautiful, winsome calling,
Your irrefutable commanding,
Your tenderest whispering,
Your voice saying my name.
Oh sweet Jesus, I long for the day,
when I’ll sit at Your feet
and listen to Your voice. all. day. long.
Thank You for speaking to me today through Your Word.

amy in peru

from the archives, originally published November 23, 2010

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

1Chron.17; James 4; Jonah 1; Luke 6

Who teaches the Teacher??

Ask any parent… what is their primary goal as a father/mother? If you were to ask my Dad, he would have responded “to have you live on your own!” I can almost hear the laughs starting, but, there is wisdom in those words. Yes… I will admit… by the time I reached the age of 15, my Dad and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye… but did it mean that I was a problem child? Actually no… I had reached the age that I didn’t need to be ‘taught’ any longer… or so I thought. Regardless of what I wanted or thought I needed, my Dad was committed to preparing me to survive in the world after I left. Through his words and his actions, he was teaching me… preparing me to understand how to live… how to conduct myself in various situations. Like it or not, as parents, we’re tasked with the responsibility preparing our children to leave us! We impart our knowledge, our passions, our experiences on our children so that they can survive and know how to live. Quite a task… but as teachers… who teaches the teacher?? Who do we turn to as our model to aspire to? Is the right way to seek others as the guide? If we choose to focus on using others as models, we run the risk of comparing ourselves to others… not a healthy place to be. As Andy Stanley put it in his recent sermon message “The Comparison Trap”, there’s no win in comparison! Comparison spawns an insatiable desire to be better than someone else… perhaps a safer, more meaning option would be to look towards the Teacher of all teachers… Jesus!

The Bible is filled with examples of how Jesus assumed the role of teacher… and we can see this in Luke 6, where insightful points are made that underscore what it means to be a Christian as Jesus saves those who follow Him… He teaches us with the goal of us becoming more like Him.

Jesus uses a parable “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?” “A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”

If any of you have seen my daughter’s photographic work, I know you would agree that she has an incredible gift. Recently, my daughter gave me a compilation photo that has a photo of me in different roles… the one photo that meant the most to her was that of ‘Role Model’ which touched me deeply. I always wanted to be diligent enough to positively affect my girls’ lives, but as parents we don’t often see the fruit of our efforts for many years. Often, we grow impatient and want/(need) to see results NOW… but as any teacher will attest to… often times the lesson isn’t learned on our time. But there is no denying that I have rubbed off on my daughters and have created a model they are using to gauge young men who express interest in them. Clearly, teaching, through modeling, to our children has tremendous consequences… good OR bad!!

God’s word tells us: train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Whatever direction we tend to be trained into, we have a tendency to keep going in that direction. However, the Teacher of teachers, Jesus, seeks to teach us an even deeper truth… that we only need follow Him and His instruction, as Teacher, and we can become more like the Teacher who instructs us. Why? Because God loves to communicate with His children… He enjoyed spending time with Adam and Eve in the garden, and He loves when His children call on Him or respond when He calls on them (Jonah 1).

I love the warning Jesus offers us in Luke 6:47-49… Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when the flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Heavenly Father… just as David modeled reaching out to You in 1 Chronicles 17, help to soften our hearts so that we seek You in all things… always… that when nothing seems possible, that we pray so we can experience the possibility and power of Your grace. As Your children, we are called to live out of grace and not our achievements. When we seek ourselves, our achievements, instead of You as our teacher and guide, whatever we do will never feel like enough. However, in prayer and turning towards You, we hope to discover the infinite possibilities of living out of grace… Amen!

Greg Stefanelli (gstefanelli)

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, James, Jonah, Luke, New Testament

1Chronicles 16; James 3; Obadiah 1; Luke 5

Luke 5, New Living Translation:

  • 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
  • 15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.
  • 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”
  • 28 So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.

Jesus is doing all kinds of miracles in Luke 5. He takes what is routine and turns it upside down: Simon out fishing with disappointing results. Jesus tells him, go deep, and abundance flows. A leper, ashamed–an outcast–healed and made new with something to offer and praise on his lips, a story to tell. A paralyzed man, double blessed: forgiven, and to top it off, he jumps up and goes home.

I’ve been there, spiritually. Disappointed and empty handed for my efforts. A modern-day leper and outcast in a community. A life-season paralyzed by insecurity.

I’m thankful.

Thankful to see abundance in taking a chance on Jesus when he told us to go out deeper. Thankful that he made me new, for praise and thanksgiving that fall naturally out of my mouth–and a removal of shame that I can share my story. For friends who carried me to the Lord, always pointing to him–oh, I remember the day when the weight was lifted, and I could stand.

He does miracles still … today.

My Lord, my God. You are amazing.

Courtney (66books365)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan