Monthly Archives: December 2021

Job 28-30; Revelation 18

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

I once had a boss tell me about a phrase she learned during an internship in college. Instead of asking what is the right or wrong thing to do in this situation, ask yourself what is the wise thing to do. I use this all the time not only in my life, but when I work with others as well.

The next question becomes…how do we know what is wise?

“And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.””

Job‬ ‭28:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Does that response in Job help clarify wisdom for you?

Fortunately we have more than this one passage in Job to help shine a light on wisdom. We have the whole book of proverbs as well as so much more that we have read this year. What this passage in Job does is point us to the well of Wisdom.

I don’t know about you, but there are multiple times a day, sometimes an hour when I need wisdom. I don’t drink one glass of water a day, I have to keep going back for more. So is our need for wisdom in life. Job knew this…Job loved this truth…even in the hardest times…especially in the hardest times of his life.

If anyone had a good reason to Chuck Gods wisdom out the window it would be Job. And yet he continued to seek it, search for it and beg for it. Fear of the Lord that is spoken of in Job is acknowledging that all wisdom comes from God. I thank Him every day for so graciously giving it. God does not hoard wisdom… He desires to give it.

Ask, my friends!!! Fear God by admitting you need His wisdom for your life. Boldly ask!

Dear God, sometimes asking for what we need is the hardest part. Admitting our weakness and insecurities is painful and we would much rather keep those parts of us hidden. And yet, you so graciously and mercifully give. Thank you! Thank you for being that kind of God to Job and to us today. Amen.

Mandy

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Job 24-27; Revelation 17

In the New Testament God tells us to “walk by faith not by sight’. I did a bible study by Jennifer Rothschild, who lost her sight as a young adult, and was able to understand this principle through her perspective. Things around me may look like God has left me high and dry, but, if I have faith to understand that God is for me and never leaves me or forsakes me, I can see that God keeps His promises, even if a hurricane is lifting up and twirling my life in a thousand directions. I can lay all my cares at Jesus’ feet and walk away knowing that He’s got me, not matter what happens. I can find peace and rest in Jesus.


Job 24 (The Message):
There are people out here getting by with murder—stealing and lying and cheating. They rip off the poor, exploit the unfortunate. Push the helpless into the ditch, bully the weak so that they fear for their lives.
Homeless, they shiver through cold nights on the street; they’ve no place to lay their heads. Exposed to the weather, wet and frozen, they huddle in makeshift shelters.
They go about patched and threadbare; even the hard workers go hungry. No matter how back-breaking their labor, they can never make ends meet.
People are dying right and left, groaning in torment. The wretched cry out for help and God does nothing, acts like nothing’s wrong.

Like many others, Job was blaming God for his life twirling in a thousand directions. But in actuality it is not God who brings calamity, sickness, disease, and death into the world. This is a fallen world I live in, brought on because of greed, pride and weakness. My life choices, other people’s life choices, all come into play for the events that happen. Being in the wrong place at the right time, choosing to get behind the wheel distracted or intoxicated, making bad food choices, not exercising, choosing to go left, when I know I should go right, all come into play with life circumstances. God gives everyone freedom of choice. Every single day I make choices without even thinking about it. I look around and it seems that more and more that the darkness is winning over the light. I personally hate the dark, I never turn the lights completely out. There is never complete darkness working in this world either. Somewhere, there is light! I may need to search high and low to find it, but it is there somewhere! In the Poltergeist movie, the boy yelled” Carol Ann stay away from the light” I always liked this because that is my name. But this Carol Ann is going to search for the light, and I can apply that towards my everyday life, because I need to always remember to go towards the light, the true Light who some like to call Jesus, Savior, Redeemer, Provider, or Protector.


Job 24 (The Message): Nothing that is evil lasts.


Bildad needed to learn that sometimes it is ok just to sit with someone. Unless your words are to encourage or to build up, they shouldn’t be spoken. But in spite of all of Bildad’s negative words, Job clung to his innocence, to his integrity. Unfortunately, though, he thought God ruined his life. He understood that God would mistreat the wicked, but not someone who had hope in God, or who prayed. Surely not him!! Sadly, Job was still working through the events that had hold of him, sadly, Job thought God was to blame. God will always treat us with patience and understanding as we work through our struggles about His goodness. Yes, God could come to Job’s rescue, but sometimes God lets people struggle so that they can learn more about Him, and understand how much He loves them. God’s desire is to draw them closer to Him, and further away from the evil of this life. Job, please go towards the light, and think positive! Job and I need to know God personally, so that when we think or see something that is foreign, we will recognize it for what it is. It is Satan’s main objective to convince me that God is to blame. He loves to fill my head with doubt. If he gets me to doubt God’s goodness, or to have me believe all the unfair events that happen to me are because God sent them upon me, he has won. I do not want to let Satan even have an inch of success in my life.


Revelation 17 (The Message): The ten horns you saw are ten kings, but they’re not yet in power. They will come to power with the Scarlet Beast but won’t last long—a very brief reign. These kings will agree to turn over their power and authority to the Beast. They will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them, proof that He is Lord over all lords. King over all Kings, and those with Him will be called, chosen, and faithful.


Let us not be like the kings in Revelation 17, who gave their power to the Beast.
It doesn’t matter now who looks like they are winning. If we are God’s faithful and chosen ones, then we have victory over any thing that may seem big now, but in the overall scheme of things is not. The Lamb will defeat all evil once and for all.


O Father God, I exalt you! I believe that no matter what happens in this life You will use it for my good. I believe that You are a good, good God! I believe that You will defeat all evil and that You will never leave my side no matter what. It doesn’t matter if I can feel Your presence or not, what matters is what I believe and I choose to believe You are for me, and You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you for my faith. You are my hope, now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!!!


Carol (carolvorwe)

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Job 21-23; Psalm 101; Revelation 16

Job’s story reminds me–there is a spiritual realm. And if I didn’t know the beginning of his story, when Satan and God spoke of Job, my opinions would bounce around as much as Job’s and his friends’ do. It’s hard to find logic and cause-and-effect in situations that don’t make any sense. I understand Job’s resentment that evil people get away with doing evil things–they may even be honored through it. Or, like Eliphaz, I might think that bad things happen because someone (however unknowingly) brought it upon himself. Job was known for his faith, but even as he speaks, I hear the deep grief and grappling of his thoughts. If a man who was known by God to have a strong faith is tossed about by his emotions in crisis and calamity, oh, what of me? There is a lesson here.

If I live in ignorance of the spiritual realm, then the hard things that happen in life can seem a logical reward when there is cause-and-effect, but when life doesn’t make sense, the hard things just seem cruel. When I live with a Kingdom focus, I can see the refining work of God through trial. If he never built me up through difficult situations, I may not be capable of withstanding disaster. Job talks of cliches, and I think of the phrase I’ve thought and spoken, “God equips those he calls.” And maybe this equipping sometimes comes through training and trial.

What does spiritual warfare look like in end times?

So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood […] … and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory. (Revelation 16:2-4, 9, NLT)

In the midst of disease, calamity, torment, the people curse God’s name, angered that he had the power to stop it, but didn’t. They do not repent of their sins. They do no turn to God. They do not give him glory. They are unaware of the true battle and the battlefield. They do not understand their role in it.

While not part of today’s reading, this verse stood out to me recently: This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful. (Revelation 13:10b, NLT)

I think of Job. Standing outside these stories, it’s easy to throw down a trite response. In fact, reading through parts of Revelation, I couldn’t help but think, “Y’all need Jesus.” But today, this moment, I say to myself: God, I need you. I need your word in my head, in my hands, in my heart. I need your guidance. I need your strength.

Father God, I used to look at the wounds and hurts of life as fractures, but now I see them as chiseling away to define (strengthen) me and to make me more like the image of your son. Help me to keep a Kingdom focus, to live with clarity, to stand in faith, to bring you glory.

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 18-20; Psalm 141; Revelation 15

Growing up in a dysfunctional home does not make me an expert as to what love looks like. Through trial and error, and many more errors, I began my journey to being relatively healthy except when it comes to conflict with those I would call my superiors in the workplace. They have not modelled love very well and to this day I still struggle with what that looks like. For those I lead, I try to be the one who loves through conflict. From the testimonies I have collected, I would say I am doing a fairly good job. In marriage I have not had that much success when it comes to speaking the truth in love. In my relationship with God, I have excelled. We have loved each other with a major intensity. He has called me out on many issues and has demanded a more closer walk with Him.

Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me[a] not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked. – Psalm 141:5 HCSB

King David learned to love rebuke too. Somehow, when God rebukes, He does not shame, He causes me to sing.

They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:

Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the Nations. – Revelation 15:2-3 HCSB

The principle I learn is this – there is a perfect harmony in the retributive acts of God in dealing with this world and the highest conception of His love and mercy which the gospel brings. God’s dealings with me are meant to manifest His character that I may know and love Him. The motive is His own love, the end is the glory of His Name, in the love and knowledge of those like me whose life and blessedness depend on my knowing and loving Him.

God’s demand for my supreme love – is it just? That would depend on two things:

  • Whether I have the power of loving any one supremely
  • Whether God has attributes adapted to awaken this love within me

I think it is found in everyone to love some object supremely. My choice is quite easily understood then – I make a choice to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Father, thank you for calling my name in the darkest moments of my life. I am so thankful that You allowed me to hear Your voice. Every time You spoke You imparted Your love in an incredibly meaningful way. Your love mattered more than life itself. Thank You.

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Job 15-17 and Revelation 14

Woe to those who do not follow the Lord. We start in Job.

The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for ruthless. Dreadful sounds are in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him. He does not believe that he will return out of darkness, and he is marked for the sword. He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at this hand; distress and anguish terrify him; they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty…..” (Job 15:20-25 ESV)

Then move thousands of years to the future that is yet to come to those who refuse to believe.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 ESV)

Back to Job. Where is his hope in all that has happened to him? He questions it all.

If I hope for Sheol as my house, if I make my bed in darkness, if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’ where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?” (Job 17:13-16 ESV)

Job had his moments of despair. We all feel that way from time to time even when we don’t go through nearly as much heartache as he did. But take heart, our hope is in the Lord. We return to Revelation with a word from the Lord Himself.

And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13 ESV)

This Christmas season, may we hold onto the HOPE that we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

~Kellie

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