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.

2 Sam 3-5; 1 Chronicles 12; Psalm 122; Acts 22

17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.”

I Chronicles 12:16 ESV

David made an honest evaluation of each person he accepted into his circle. They didn’t need to earn their way in or be some stepping stone for his kingdom or his personal rise to power. If they came with a pure heart, he welcomed them. He trusted God’s wisdom to help him lead and discern, and he was not blinded even by close family ties.

Everyone loved David. They flocked to him.

36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people.

2 Samuel 3:36 ESV

He could do no wrong. His approval rating was at an all time high, and he was yet to rule the whole of Israel.

22 For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God. . . 38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king.

I Chronicles 12:22, 38 ESV

In the midst of all of this attention and devotion, David displays a humility that makes no logical sense, from human thinking. He was on a roll. His power and influence kept rising. Nearly everyone around him deferred to his perspective and opinion. However, when I evaluate his response to all this regard from God’s perspective, it makes perfect sense. David’s sold out devotion to God shined through brilliantly in those early years of his reign. He loved God whole-heartedly and recognized every victory as His, every blessing as coming from Him, and all that David ruled over was merely entrusted to him by God.

Some of the most challenging places to remain humble and in reliance on God are on the mountain-top experiences of life. I would say becoming the king of God’s chosen people would be a pretty thrilling accomplishment. And yet, David takes it in stride, trusting that he is following God’s plan and simply being obedient and faithful.

This simple shepherd-boy-become-king definitely had his priorities in order.

Lord, show me how to be humble in every situation. How to graciously walk through success as well as how to patiently endure trials. Whether You walk with me through a pleasant pathway or a rough valley, help me trust that Your way is best. May I honor you with my whole-heart as David clearly learned from a young age. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1 Sam 28-29; 1 Chronicles 9; Acts 19

 The spirit world is real. Sometimes we forget that in our physical, material westernized lives. Everyone in this world has a perspective regarding the spirit world, regarding those things that are unseen around us each day. Some choose or by default simply ignore the existence of an in material world a spirit world angels demons. These people may live in ignorance of what is going on unseen around them, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is still invisible activity. Others choose to manipulate or attempt to manipulate the spirit world. They think it’s something to be trifled with, something to have fun with. Maybe parlor tricks, or casual entertainment.

11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

I Samuel 28:11 ESV

13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”

Acts 19:13 ESV

A third group may actively seek out the power of the spirit world. They might not fully understand what they are playing with, but they recognize that there is some legitimate power present in the invisible world around them. Saul fell into this group at one time as he sought to converse with Samuel even after he had died. Then there were the magicians in Acts as well that tried to replicate what they had seen Jesus and Paul do, but they did not understand what they were really dealing with.

And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. (I Samuel 28:3 ESV) 

The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” (I Samuel 28:9)

There may be other perspectives or hybrids of these I described, but there are also those that understand the spirit world and hold it in its appropriate place. Not one to be manipulated, not one to merely seek the power of, and definitely not one to ignore.

It is easy to go about my normal life, and forget that there is a spiritual realm swirling around me. But if I truly believe that it exists, it should impact the way that I live. It should drive me to my knees in prayer. It should give me boldness to speak out against evil. It should bolster my faith as I know that God is in control. I have sometimes felt fear of the power of Satan and his demons, ignoring the greater power of God and his angels. God has not given us a spirit of fear.

17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

Acts 19:17-20 ESV

As we march into their territory, we should expect push-back. “No small disturbance “ (Acts 19:23)  is likely the understatement of the decade. Paul had just preached to everyone in Asia! Response to the gospel was dramatic and changing lives and altering societal norms. God was on the move, and Satan’s forces would not keep quiet. Paul acted wisely and stayed away when the crowd turned riotous. A town clerk ended up speaking reason and restoring order and ministry could resume. 

God is awesomely powerful and we should not step foot into our daily lives without walking in the strength of that truth.

Lord, help me not to forget the activity around me each day that is mostly invisible to me. Give me greater faith to pray intentionally and trust you regardless of the outcome. I recognize that you are in control. I also realize that although you have all authority, you also at time choose to let sin run its course in this broken world we live in. I trust you with the outcomes and praise you, the One above all. In Jesus name amen

Erin (6intow)

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1 Samuel 11-13; Psalm 38; Acts 9

The story of two Sauls.

And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.

I Samuel 11:5 ESV

King Saul began as a somewhat humble man. He sought God and fought hard for His people.

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Acts 9:1-2 ESV

Saul, who became Paul the Apostle, began as a persecutor of the church. He ignorantly thought he was carrying out God’s judgment on this new sect, to become known as “Christians.”

But, in today’s reading, and a sneak peak into a couple day’s from now, we see a complete reversal in each of their lives.

The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.”

I Samuel 15:10

20 And immediately he [Saul] proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 9:20-22 ESV

Who we are one day, does not determine our future. Who others perceive us to be, does not determine our future. We can be redeemed or corrupted as we continue to choose our life’s path. We must daily cry out for His wisdom and direction. Becoming a Christian might be a one time event, but living as one is a daily commitment.

Do not forsake me, O Lord!
    O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
    O Lord, my salvation!

Psalm 38:22 ESV

This week I was reminded of the need for a continually renewed eternal perspective and reliance on God. .

There are no ordinary people.

You have never talked to a mere mortal.

Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.

But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

C.S. Lewis

It is so easy to look at the physical world in front of us and give it undue emphasis, when in fact these worldly accomplishments, accolades, and accounts are the most temporary things about us. We will live forever. I am immortal and need to give greater care to my character, treatment of others, and self-sacrifice than earthly record keeping. My desire must be to honor God and follow Him rather than to seek the approval of man and any verbal or material recognition they might offer me.

May my life not mimic the first king of Israel that followed God for a season, but succumbed to people-pleasing before too long. Rather, may my life more closely resemble Saul of the New Testament who recognized his error and completed forfeited his own will for his life to find the beautiful freedom in Jesus, the Messiah.

Lord God, may You be first and foremost in my life today and every day. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Judges 9-11; Psalm 17; Luke 23

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,

Psalm 17:8 ESV

I wonder how many words of the ancient psalms of David, Asaph, and others ran through Jesus’ thoughts as he stood trial and suffered the crucifixion. I have clung to them through my life’s trials and challenges. In the midst of childbirth, in the hospital waiting room, when struggling through a parenting situation late into the night, when snickered at for my faith. I find myself reciting lines from familiar hymns, familiar psalms, and crying out to God.

18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.

Luke 23:18-23 (excerpts) ESV

As the frenzy of the crowd prevailed, Jesus found his peace within. I’m sure he and the Father had a constant dialogue through those hours filled with agony. He knew, the worst was yet to come. Darkness then fell. The symbolically beautiful tearing of the temple curtain, and then, it was finished.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.

Psalm 17:6,7 ESV

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Psalm 17:15 ESV

Regardless of how God chooses to respond to our situation, I find great comfort that He knows best. On the other side, and often in the midst, I will see Him, His righteousness. And, when I awake from every trial this life has to throw my way and find myself on the other side of death, I will finally fully realize that all I need and have and am is in Him.

Dear Jesus, you went through so much out of love for me. Help me to surrender with the same reckless abandon, remembering that you love me and have the best plan already worked out. Thank you for the strength and security I find in You that might not remove me from the heartache or pain, but will see me through it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Judges 4-6; Luke 21

If I had to choose one word to describe Gideon it would be fearful, or maybe insecure.

Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:11b ESV

He was afraid of the Midianites, so he hid out in the winepress so they did not know he was beating out his wheat.

The chapter goes on to reveal his fearful insecurities.

“Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?”

Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

show me a sign

“Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”

But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.

If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.

Please let me test just once more with the fleece.

(excerpts from Judges 6: 11-39 ESV)

But, my favorite part of this story is how God describes Gideon.

“Go in this might of yours and save Israel” (Judges 6:14)

But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon (Judges 6:34)

God does not get hung up on our fear or uncertainties. He sees the might that He has given us, but we might have buried a bit. His Spirit is the only weapon we need even in the face of our greatest enemies.

God does not look for the mighty warrior or the most skilled individual to do His work. He looks for a tender heart willing to give all.

And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Luke 21:3-4 ESV

God is not asking me to give the most, but to give my all.

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength . . .” (from Luke 21:34-36 ESV)

The cares of this life have a tendency to hang on me and drag me down, to skew my perspective. I relate to Gideon, learning to manage life in a difficult situation, to cope by setting up wheat threshing in a safe place, instead of looking for the strength God has given to break free of it. The incredible beauty of this is this is God chooses people in the midst of their frailty. Those that man would pass over.

Instead of the one who would win an election, God choose the one who is running the other way.

Instead of the one who stands head and shoulders above the rest, God chooses the youngest boy in a long line of capable looking young men.

Instead of a member of a priestly family, He chooses a prostitute to fill in the Messianic lineage.

Instead of an establish general, He chooses the guy hiding out in a winepress.

I don’t need to be the strongest or most secure, just to come with a surrendered heart. He will answer my doubts and use every act of obedience for His Glory.

Lord God, thank you for your ability to see beneath the human frailty and emotion to someone that You can use to point people to you. Help me give not just out of my abundance, but out of my weakness and areas of poverty. Thank you for Your might and Your Spirit each and every day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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