Author Archives: 6intow

About 6intow

Erin (6intow) Raised in a Christian home, my faith became personal early on and grew immensely during high school and college. God has blessed me with an amazing, godly husband to lead our home and six kids ranging in age from four to seventeen. I love homeschooling, blogging, and sharing my faith with others. I look forward to walking through the Bible together this year and learning all that God has to teach us. I love that His Word is rich and living, and always fresh and refreshing.

Joshua 8; Psalm 139; Jeremiah 2; Matthew 16

be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13 ESV)

Such a tragedy, and often the truth of our own lives as well.

God offers us living water. We reject it and build our own faulty wells.

God offers protection. We build material fortresses and think them safe.

God exposes our faults to correct us. We think we can run and hide in the darkness.

Do not fear and do not be dismayed. (Joshua 8:1 ESV)

With God, victory is complete. Life is full.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! (Psalm 139:1 ESV)

We don’t need to second guess anything. He completely knows. He completely knows us. He completely knows the future. He completely knows best.

Some of His plans don’t add up in our mental calculations. Peter actually rebuked Jesus in Matthew 16 when he said he had to suffer and be killed. Can you imagine that? Rebuking Jesus. After confessing Him as Christ.

Yes, I can imagine that. My prayers sometimes stray into that territory, “God, do you really know what you are doing here?” “Wouldn’t it be better if . . .?” “Do you really have this under control?”

Then I realize what I am doing. I’m rejecting his living water and trying to build my own cistern that will surely leak and never satisfy my thirst.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)

Father God, laying it all down again. Denying myself. Picking up that cross. Following You. I don’t want to try saving my own life, I leave that in Your capable hands as You already completed that on the cross with Your blood. I want to continue to completely lose myself in you that in doing so I will find life abundant. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

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Deuteronomy 27-28:19; Psalm 119:1-24; Isaiah 54; Matthew 2

God’s word lays out a pretty clear path for us to follow. What we should do, what we shouldn’t do, and the consequences that we can expect.

Many people’s understanding of scripture stops there – a list of “dos and don’ts.” A little digging proves this to be a very superficial interpretation of God’s directives.

And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Deut 28:2 ESV)

Of course, some people are just chasing the prosperity gospel, and others are looking for a reason to discredit or marginalize the Bible’s message.

While Deuteronomy might contain a number of the rules and the accompanying consequences and blessings that ancient Israel received to set them apart from other nations, the rest of the Bible shows us the deeper function of the law.

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart,

You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.

I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me!

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. (from Psalm 119:1-11 ESV)

We are not on our own in following scripture. God’s word will shine the light on the best path and keep our way pure. Through meditation, delighting in his word, remembering it, longing for God and time with Him, then our steps become more sure. He walks this path with us.

but with great compassion I will gather you. (Isaiah 54:7b)

but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord, your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8)

God knows that the law is beyond our reach as sinful humans. That’s the whole point. We can’t do it on our own. He doesn’t expect us to, and He made a way.

The precious and awesome miracle baby born in Bethlehem as written about in Matthew 2, showed us a better way that would be paid for with His own blood.

Father God, thank you for making clear how we should live and love. Help me not to build and altar and go on my way, but keep bringing me back to your word, your example, your commands. Thank you for your sacrifice that was enough when I could never be. Thank you for your compassion and love and may it overflow through my life to those around me. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Deuteronomy 12; Psalm 97,98; Isaiah 40; Revelation 10

Timeless.

Timeless truth, timeless beauty, timeless love, timeless value. We yearn for the timeless, to be free from the binds and pressures of time. We don’t want to succumb to the snare of decay, the end of something we perceive as good.

God placed this hunger within us along with promises, commands, and warnings.

28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. (Deut 12:28 ESV)

In Old Testament days His commands carried specific rules on eating, worship practices and location, dealing with foreigners, vows, and even clothing. Many times His blessings were equally detailed and visible in this temporal world.

Now, we have the beauty and freedom of eternity that holds our hope secure — forever.

For now though, we find ourselves in the sin-pocked world that deals us pain, death, decline, and decay.  Our hope is not in what we see, our hope is in the One who was and is and is to come and His Word that does not fade away.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8 ESV)

Choosing joy today.

Choosing to look beyond the moment I find myself in with its frustration and disappointment and look at the forever promises. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I ignore this world and the ways that I can make a difference in it. God clearly cares how we live and how we address the “little” issues around us. But, this world is not the anchor for my soul. It does not offer me the hope I need to press on.

. . . the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7b ESV)

Fulfillment of God’s promises and blessings is yet to come, and in that truth, I find my strength and perspective.

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad! (Psalm 97:1 ESV)

O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name! (Psalm 97:10-12 ESV)

Lord God, continue to build my hope. May it never be swayed by the hurt and sin I see in this world, but may it hold secure in my Savior and in the foundation of Your Word. Thank you that you have the answer for the forever ache that clings to me as I long for freedom from the temporal nature of this life. Trusting you always, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen

 

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Numbers 34; Psalm78:38-72; Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

God’s power has been on full display since the creation of the world.

Numerous times throughout history He provides glimpses into the depths of His sovereignty, His holiness, His love, His power. The plagues in Egypt showed all those bundled into one unforgettable, epic event.

Yet he, being compassionate,
    atoned for their iniquity
    and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
    and did not stir up all his wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a wind that passes and comes not again. (Psalm 78:38-39 ESV)

Israel should have walked away from Egypt in awe of God’s character and His love for them. God had remembered them, remembered that they were “but flesh.”

Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God
    and did not keep his testimonies, (Psalm 78:56 ESV)

And then, years later, years of cycling through rebellion and surrender, He chose David. A fresh start.

O Lord, in distress they sought you;
    they poured out a whispered prayer
    when your discipline was upon them (Isaiah 26:16 ESV)

And in their surrender, in our surrender, He chooses love.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (I john 4:9 ESV)

The hope we now have, in the fulfillment of His plan that became visible even in the Garden of Eden, should overflow through our fingertips in love for others.

He’s proven His power and righteousness and love. Now, it is for me to act. To step out boldly. To shout to the world that I have the hope they are looking for. To whisper to the hurting that I have the answer they ache to hear. To speak to my neighbors that I have found the stability that holds through every storm.

They don’t need to fear because He is the answer. To everything. Those Sunday School kids kinda got it right, the answer is always “Jesus.”

Lord God, may your love overflow so freely through every pore of my being that others may discover Your truth, love, and power through my life. May my self, on every level, be used to shine the light that others need to discover to light their way. Thank you for your patient forgiveness and leading. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Numbers 20; Psalms 58,59; Isaiah 9:8- 10:4; James 3

Words.

Rich in meaning. Richer in emotion. Taken at face value they rarely tell the whole story. Even in these varied passages today we see the power of words in the following ways.

Words can . . .

complain

quarrel

divide

confront

decree

judge

violate

howl

curse

lie

boast

consume

oppress

lash out

stumble

ignite

contaminate

curse

 

But, they can also . . .

speak

command

lead

gather

deliver

rejoice

seek help

save

laugh

love

remind

sing

protect

teach

bless

refresh

bring clarity

reason

Each of those words are pulled directly from today’s passages in relation to speech. They really only scratch the surface of the power of words.

Words reflect our heart (Matthew 12:34, and a dozen other passages). They merely give voice to what is already within us. They reveal the content of our hearts, the purity of our motives.

Moses proved with his words and actions that he was not leaving his dilemma fully in God’s plan.

There they are, bellowing with their mouths
    with swords in their lips—
    for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?” (Psalm 59:7 ESV)

We justify our words, cloaking them in innocence, but their pridefulness and lack of faith, our pridefulness and lack of faith,will surface with time.

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (James 3:2 ESV)

It is assumed that we will stumble in our words. I do, daily.

The solution, although it will take us a lifetime to get there, is to meekly seek God’s wisdom. We will recognize His wisdom, as different from the world’s wisdom.

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18 ESV)

Powerful words to guide and restrain our own words, responses, and teaching.

Lord God, as I see the pride and judgment in my words, I recognize more room for growth, more room for Your holiness to invade my heart and will. Teach me Your way – peace, gentle, reasoning, merciful, impartial, sincere. Let each of those traits control my tongue as evidence that they rule my heart as well. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

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