Monthly Archives: October 2020

2 Kings 4; 1 Timothy 1; Daniel 8; Psalm 116

“When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” (2 Kings 4:32-35 ESV)

God used Elisha to bring the Shunamite’s son back to life. Notice how intimate the interaction was. That is how it is with God. He is “right there” with us. We watched a sermon on a DVD recently on the greatness of God. While watching it one of my children commented that they do believe in God, but sometimes still doubt. After the the DVD was over, we started our dessert and I turned the radio on. Wouldn’t you know the song playing on the radio had the same name as the sermon we just watched! I think God was assuring my child that He is great.

“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.” (Psalm 116:12-14 ESV)

The Lord is so good to me. During an uncertain time in our world, there are many stresses I feel on a daily basis. But I trust in the sovereignty of God. He doesn’t change no matter what changes in my life.

“His power shall be great-but not by his own power; and he shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken-but by no human hand. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.” (Daniel 8:24-26 ESV)

Daniel’s vision is frightening to read about. It foreshadows end times. Once again I cling to the sovereignty of God. He wins in the end and so do we!

“To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17 ESV)

Kellie (mmattix)

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2 Kings 3; 2 Thessalonians 3; Daniel 7; Psalm 114-115

My mom wanted a do-over. She put her hope in a next life–she wanted to believe in reincarnation. If she had known Jesus, she would have been given new life, a new heart–she could have known freedom. My dad lived eighty years, and when he died, his wake made clear what he truly valued. When I read the verses in 2 Kings 3, some details almost get lost in all the words, but I slow here:

Ahab’s son Joram began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not to the same extent as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up. Nevertheless, he continued in the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed and led the people of Israel to commit. (2 Kings 3:1-3, NLT)

When I stood at the open grave the day my dad was buried, I was acutely aware of my new rank in a lineage, that space we all find ourselves when an older generation passes away and we rise to their spot. I think long on the influence I have on a next generation and what I leave behind. Lord, only you can break chains of generational sin. You are the way, the truth, and the life.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, NLT, emphasis added, and the Greek for believers is noted from every brother)

When I first started goal setting, I had a friend in another state that was as driven and motivated as I was, and we encouraged one another. Sometimes, the mentors and models I needed weren’t local or available (or even people that I personally knew). When I read these words in 2 Thessalonians from Paul, you know you ought to imitate us, I know God’s Word will guide and instruct me, whether or not I have a mentor or model nearby.

11 All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!
    He is your helper and your shield.

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us.
    He will bless the people of Israel
    and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the Lord,
    both great and lowly.

14 May the Lord richly bless
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens belong to the Lord,
    but he has given the earth to all humanity.
17 The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord,
    for they have gone into the silence of the grave.
18 But we can praise the Lord
    both now and forever!

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 115:11-18, NLT)

Dear Lord, the older I get, your grace towards me grows more and more precious. The years humble and soften me. Time shows me what really matters. Your Word does too.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
    but to your name goes all the glory
    for your unfailing love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1, NLT)

Courtney (66book365)

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2 Kings 2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 6; Psalm 112,113

What do you think about Elijah trying to trick Elisha regarding his passing away – the where and when of it?

The time came for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. – 2 Kings 2:1 GNT

What do you think about him using prayer as one of the means of tricking him into not following him?

One thing I do love about this event is the need for Elisha, far above all the tricky that Elijah threw at him, to have Elijah pray one more time with him, and to have the last prayer with him – to receive a blessing. Is that not what we want when a loved one or a friend is getting ready to leave us?

What will I be doing when the Lord comes back? I pray that I will be praying.

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to be with him. – 2 Thessalonians 2:1 GNT

Prayer is one of those deep spiritual activities that not only draw me closer to God but it draws me closer to others too.

Remember the story of Daniel and the issue of would he pray when he was forbidden to do so?

And so King Darius signed the order. – Daniel 6:9 GNT

“Suppose the law of the land were proclaimed, ‘No man shall pray during the remainder of this month, on pain of being cast into a den of lions,’ – how many of you would pray? I think there would be rather a scanty number at the prayer-meeting. Not but what the attendance at prayer-meetings is scanty enough now! But if there were the penalty of being cast into a den of lions, I am afraid the prayer-meeting would be postponed for a month, owing to pressing business, and manifold engagements of one kind and another.” – Spurgeon

Father, it is my hope that I have inspired people to pray. I know I could do much more. How much I pray alone does not compare to my need to pray with others. Even when it may be inconvenient or out of place or maybe one day, against the law, may You find me still faithful. For I believe Lord that Your Holy Spirit draws me into a relationship with You and I love spending time with You. Be honoured and glorified in my life. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Kings 1; 2 Thess. 1; Daniel 5; Psalms 110, 111

“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him.” 2 Thess. 1:3-11 NLT

I am amazed at Paul’s faith and his ability to encourage when he is in prison. I think of when I am going through a trial. Sometimes I feel too stuck in my own pain, to reach out to someone else. But, when I do, I am reminded that I need other believers just as much as they need me. This letter could have been just what the Thessalonians needed to hear to keep going. They were human like me. I’m sure they were discouraged and hopeless at times. They needed wisdom from someone like Paul, who was stronger in his faith, to not give up. I wonder if Paul felt adequate for this position? I think he had to stay humble and ask God daily for wisdom. Isn’t this what I should be doing?

Who am I speaking life into today?

“The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you. He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts. He will be victorious. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.” Psalms 110&111 NLT

Dear Father, I pray for wisdom. Thank you that you are a generous God. You give me more than I ask for. Thank you for always being with me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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1Kings 22; 1Thess. 5; Dan. 4; Ps.108,109

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

“But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.””

‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭22:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I have an excellent memory. Actually, that’s not true. I have an excellent memory when it comes to hearing hard and painful stories that I wish I could forget. I have to be careful what shows I watch on TV and what movies I watch because I can have images seared into my brain for a long time. I still remember the first scary movie I saw back when I was in my early teens.

I also have to be careful how much news I watch for the same reason. I can watch the news and be left feeling depressed and hopeless. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with staying informed with what’s going on in the world while not falling under the weight of sadness.

In the passage above, we read that the King of Israel did not worry about despair, but vanity. He sought the Lord because He was told to not because his hearts desire was obedience. He turned his ear towards the words he wanted to hear not the truth. He turned away from the truth because it was hard. In the end, that avoidance was his destruction.

In my desire to protect my sensitive spirit, I don’t want to avoid Gods difficult truths. I don’t want to only have ears for the truths of God that are easy to hear. I don’t want to avoid truth because it’s hard and sometimes it hurts. I want to lean into my God and ALL His truth. We do that by first seeking the Lord and then following His lead.

Dear God, you know my heart and how it hurts for the pain and suffering in the world. Your heart hurts with every hurt and pain that is felt by your children. As we seek to balance protecting our hearts and minds may we lean into you and your truth. May we seek you and find comfort in you. May we not avoid hard truth. Amen.

Mandy

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