Monthly Archives: February 2023

Numbers 15-18; Acts 18; Ps.90

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. “When you finally settle in the land I am giving you, you will offer special gifts as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. These gifts may take the form of a burnt offering, a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, a voluntary offering, or an offering at any of your annual festivals, and they may be taken from your herds of cattle or your flocks of sheep and goats.” Numbers 15:1-3 NLT

Lord, I desire to offer my life to you in worship. “Let it rise like incense, my whole life a fragrance. Every ounce here broken at Your feet. Every breath an offering. My heart cries, these lungs sing over You. My worthy King of Kings.” -Alabaster Heart, Bethel Music & Kalley Heiligenthal.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.” Acts 18:9-11 NLT

I went to a Wednesday night service at my church. There was a simplicity to it that drew me in. I sat and listened to God. And I realized how distracted I have been lately. I pray that I stay quiet enough to hear your voice. I pray for more boldness & courage. I am thankful for examples like Paul. Thank you that You are still speaking Lord.

Lord. you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you have formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1&2 ESV

Dear Father, Help me to order my days to seek after you. To do what you have called me to do. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom…Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Let the favor of the Lord God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:12-17 ESV



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Numbers 12-14; Acts 17; Psalm 27

We aren’t really all that different from those that lived in the ancient world.

Many misconceptions about God infiltrate the current world’s thinking and linger in the minds of many believers as well. Reading Paul’s words I am reminded of my need to flush out this thinking and saturate my mind in the truth about God.

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

Acts 17:29 ESV

I do not know many people that have created an actual idol to worship or that they think is a replica or fair representation of God, but there is still the pull to create God according to our own thinking and expectation. How often do I hear when wrestling with a challenging truth of scripture that “God couldn’t mean that”? However, just as he is not made of gold or silver, nor is he to be made according to any of my imaginings or reasoning.

25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything

Acts 17:25 ESV

The age old need to feel necessary also distorts my faith. I crave to bring God something he needs, to feel I have somehow earned or paid back all he has done for me. That’s really laughable when I read that in print. What could the creator of the universe need? What could I offer that he does not already have a million times over, a billion times over? He gave me life and breath and everything! There is no way to begin to repay even just the physical blessings he has given not to speak of the spiritual gifts of eternal life and salvation.

When I try to default to a man-made view of God I fall into foolish thinking, just like Israel did with Moses.

27 “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.

Numbers 14:26 ESV

I, too, grumble that my life is hard.

the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.”

Numbers 14:39b-40 ESV

I, too, feel human regret and scramble to make things right.

I am not all that different from the ancient Israelites and must constantly guard against that thinking and bring my heart back in line with God’s in humility and surrender.

Instead of seeking my own gain or following my own thinking, when I take the time to soak in the truth of God’s power and worth, then the praise overflows. Then my heart beats in unison with the psalmist.

For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27: 5,6, 14 ESV

Trusting. Gratitude. Learning everyday anew to give thanks and trust, fully.

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Numbers 8-11; Acts 16

God is on the move. It’s easy to see in these chapters: Cloud by day. Fire by night. Provision. An earthquake and prison doors flung open. Reading all this–a page turner, miraculous, and so marvelous that it all happened. God is great.

23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”

Numbers 11:23, ESV

Moses, who had been through so much, even then wonders how the Lord will provide. Thank you, Lord, for remind me of these page turning, miraculous marvels of history.

I can look back on my life and see you at work. Things that seemed miraculous to me and to know that it was from you.

Is the Lord’s hand shortened? No. Not then. Not now.

He is trustworthy and faithful.

Courtney (66books365)


Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Numbers 6-7, Psalms 22, and Acts 15

The vow of the Nazirite is one separated and dedicated to the Lord.  This vow was voluntary and was for the time specified by the individual.  But the usual time period was one year.  To me, to do anything for a year, or even 6 months, takes determination. You have to be truly committed to your cause, and wake up every morning more determined than yesterday.  This would be easier if you were in solitude, without distractions, but scriptures tells us that people were close enough to fall dead and touch you, and negate your vow and cause you to start over.  So there were things all around to distract , and to cause one to look away from God, if you weren’t very committed to God.  It takes a person of fortitude, a person looking to hear from God, and obey what they hear Him say.  It requires a strong will and a strong love for God to want to do the things God asks of you to do, and to overcome the things he asks you to give up.

He shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes.  All the time of his separation he shall not eat anything produced from the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.  All the time of the vow of his separation no razor shall be used on his head.  Until the time of his separation to the Lord is completed, he shall be holy, and shall let the hair of his head grow long.  All the time that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body.  He shall not make himself (ceremonially) unclean for his father, mother, brother, or sister, when they die, because (the responsibility for) his separation to God is on his head.  All the time of his separation he is holy to the Lord.  (Numbers 6:3-8 AMP)

This is not something to take lightly.  If you vow to God, your heart better be in it for the duration.  Holiness is sacred. 

As a result of being set apart for God, you will find there are blessings because of it.

But God you are Holy, O You who are enthroned in (the Holy place where) the praises of Israel (are offered). In You our fathers trusted (leaned on, relied on, and were confident); They trusted and You rescued them.  They cried out to You and were delivered; They trusted in You and were not disappointed or ashamed. (Psalms 22:3-5 AMP)

Not saying I am a Nazirite, but I am a Christian, and I am called to be separate from the world, and devoted to God. But in the midst of the devotion, sometimes I can mess up stuff in my life.  I have good intentions.  But things don’t always go as planned.  So, when I am crying out to God, and feel that God is distant, I can know I am not alone.

My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me and from the words of my groaning? O my God I call out by day, but You do not answer; And by night but I find no rest nor quiet. (Psalms 22:1-2 AMP)

 It is good to remind myself over and over of God’s faithfulness and God’s love for me.  Just as David did.  I seems when I take my thoughts off my problems and start praising and worshiping God for who He is, that I get a fresh perspective and sometimes even peace in the midst of my turmoil.  Faith in God’s love and God’s faithfulness trumps over anything I may be feeling about Him in the moment, especially if it is wrong. God will never leave me or forsake me, ever! Not for any reason! I just need to change my perspective and my thinking to line up with God and His character. I need to trust in God’s timing for me. I need to use patience, and not jump to conclusions that God has forsaken me.

And it is not just every day, ordinary people, like me, who can struggle with what God is planning to do.  Sometimes the real “spiritual” people can struggle with things too.  Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement about Mark and whether to bring him along.  Paul was speaking objectively because they took him once and he abandoned them.  Barnabas was speaking out of love for his cousin, thinking every one should have a second chance.  Like him, I tend to defend those I know closely, even if what they did was not right, somehow, I justify why they are like they are, in my mind.

Encouragement strengthens the believer, and it can bring comfort and rejoicing to those who receive it. Somewhere along the line, I seem to remember that Barnabas meant encouragement.  Barnabas was being Barnabas; he couldn’t help it. It was how God made him. But nevertheless, it created two teams and covered more territory than Paul and Barnabas could have done on their own.  Not every disagreement is bad, sometimes it can force us to take a new and better path.

After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers and sisters (believers) in every city where we preached the message of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” Now Barnabas wanted to take (his cousin) John, who was called Mark, along with them.  But Paul kept insisting that they should not take along with them the one who had quit and deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work.  And it became a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took (John) Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.  But Paul chose Silas (who was again in Antioch) and set out (on his second journey) commended by the brothers to the grace and favor of the Lord.  and he traveled through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. (Acts 15: 36-41 AMP)

And so, in the spirit of Barnabas, to encourage and strengthen all who are reading this, I pray:

The Lord bless you, and keep you (protect you, sustain you, and guard you);

The Lord make His face shine upon you (with favor);

And be gracious to you (surrounding you with lovingkindness);

The Lord lift up His countenance (face) upon you (with divine approval);

And give you peace (a tranquil heart and life).

(Numbers 6:24-26 AMP)


Carol (carolvorwe)

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Numbers 2-5 & Acts 14

In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, Stand up on your feet! At that, the man jumped up and began to walk (Acts 14:8-10).

So Paul and Barnabas come to Lystra in this missionary journey. They really had no plan in mind, they were just going to preach the gospel and see who came to know Jesus as their saviour. Then, they encounter this lame man. Paul stares at him and commands him to stand. The man immediately “jumped up”! WOW not just stand, but jump. He immediately obeyed the command that came from Paul.

Both showed a lot of faith. The lame man believed and stood. Paul knew – somehow (probably through the Holy Spirit) – that this man was meant to be healed through his ministry and the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know about you, but many times I can just go through the motions in ministry. I forget that it’s not me that changes people’s lives and situations. It’s God’s power at work in us and in those we minister to.

I remember in college doing some evangelism in an arcade. You know back in the 70’s when we had pinball machines. We were using a gospel tract and got one of the guys playing to stop and go through the tract with us. And he prayed a prayer of faith right there in the arcade and then asked us if he could have the tract. We said yes of course. He immediately took it and went to a friend of his and told him, “You’ve got to read this, it will change your life!” That totally blew me away. I was so surprised. But why? If that was a genuine experience wouldn’t you want to share with your friends. Please, God, help us not to go through the motions, but be obedient to your call on our lives to be change agents in this world for you.

Father, like the apostles, help me to trust in a living God who is changing people’s hearts and delivering their minds from the grip and power of the evil one. Help me to rejoice as I, too, see the power of obedience to the Word of God in my own life.


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