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.

Ezekiel 4-6; Psalm 82; John 2

–And they shall know that I am the Lord–

This phrase repeats again and again throughout these chapters of Ezekiel. It brought to mind this completely opposite clip from the Wizard of Oz . . .

When the Lord speaks, it is not as some charlatan from behind the curtain. His promises will be kept. His judgements will be carried out. His people will be protected or chastened as appropriate. What he has said he will do.

When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

John 2:9-11 ESV

And, when Jesus steps foot on this earth, we find these same attributes as well. The powerful God, in human form, is not bound by the laws of science (although He created those, too, and as a general rule works within them) and can make water into wine, the best wine, with no effort.

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

John 2:15-17 ESV

He of course has no tolerance for those that ignore His law, or deface His house. Jesus is wholly God, the same from before the beginning of time.

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

John 2:24-25 ESV

The evil hidden away in the heart of man was all too familiar to Jesus. He had watched the people of Israel vacillate between following and ignoring the law for thousands of years at this point.

“Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out. And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 6:2-7 ESV

The destruction prophesied in Ezekiel seems so harsh, and critics show no surprise at the fire and brimstone God of the Old Testament. However, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The condemnation He gave out to Canaan, to Babylon, to Assyria, and ultimately to Jerusalem was all in response to their gross sins and their rejection of Him. People like to portray Jesus as loving and a “fresh” view of God. Just because He came with a different focus (to serve, not be served, to sacrifice Himself for all mankind), does not mean that He was any softer on sin. In fact, He was coming to take all that judgment on Himself. He knew the full power of God’s wrath, as only a person can truly know Himself. These chapters of John open our eyes to who this God-man is, and prepare us for the momentous occasion when God will both pour out and be the recipient of His great wrath. Not until we have a clearer understanding of the intensity of God’s incredible wrath toward sin, can we begin to understand the enormity of what Christ bore and satisfied on the cross.

And, when those dark hours hang over the earth, people would again know that He is the Lord, for He has spoken.

Lord, you are powerful! You are steady,constant. And, You stepped in the way of Your own wrath to save my life. When You speak, help me to listen and act. Help me to hate my sin as much as You do, and to hold tightly to Your hand and Your perfect way. Help me to trust the power of Your words. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

1 Comment

Filed under Ezekiel, John

2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36; Psalm 126; 1 Peter 3

“I am by nature a dealer in words, and words are the most powerful drug known to humanity.”

Rudyard Kipling

While I understand where he was headed, unfortunately, Rudyard Kipling undervalued the power of a life well lived.

. . . they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives

I Peter 3:1b ESV

While words can at times be potent, the reflection of God in my daily actions speaks even louder. The context here specifically addresses a marriage, the most intimate of human relationships, but many of the calls to action have broader application.

If our desire is to “win someone over” to our thinking or to encourage them to consider our faith, we should consider our conduct carefully.

let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. . . do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

I Peter 3:4-6 ESV

More on living a gentle life follows this in a section about relating to other believers:

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless,

I Peter 3:8-9 ESV

That is a pretty high calling — beautify your inner person, be respectful, keep your conduct pure, have a gentle, quiet (tranquil, unflappable) spirit, not arguing or resisting (the opposite of defending self-interest), humble, hope in God, do good, do not fear.

We cannot shoulder the blame for a lack of response in others or view these attributes as the perfect recipe for salvation of a loved one. We all strive to do better in these specific areas and pray that God would open their eyes to His working in our lives that will draw them to seek answers for the hope and difference they see in us. This is a Holy Spirit byproduct in our own lives as well as the residual response from others, also courtesy of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is hard at work developing these traits in our lives, and we need to submit first to His work there and then leave the results in others’ lives up to Him also.

Lord, thank you for the power of living life where others can see us. Use me to speak well, but more importantly to live well. May I not be known for well-crafted arguments, or even worse, emotional tirades, but for a quiet life of humility that places others before myself and in which my good deeds continually point my neighbors to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Peter

Jeremiah 37, 21, 34; Psalm 79; James 5

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

James 5:7-8 ESV

Peace blooms out of patience, which demonstrates itself in obedient faithfulness.

It is both logical and biblical that God’s blessings (like unearthly peace) would follow a life that follows after Him. Not every blessing for every follower, but always some tangible way we know that He walks this journey with us. We might even snicker a bit when we read that King Zedekiah ignored the words and promises of God, did as he pleased, and then sends the following message to Jeremiah:

“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”

Jeremiah 21:2 ESV

The scathing rebuke in the verses that follow confirms the folly of his thinking. Yes, our salvation rests on God’s goodness and not ours. Yes, God is mighty to save, physically and spiritually. Yes, the battle belongs to Him.

However, if our hearts have wandered far from Him, we should not expect to find peace around us or in our hearts. That beautiful peace that passes understanding is a natural byproduct of a surrendered heart. It is not the outcome of a prayer whined out every five to ten years when the battering ram of life comes to call.

I need to remember to be patient at times though. Years of studying God’s word, growing in His Spirit, learning at His feet, I long for the finished product. In myself, and at times in those around me. I need to learn from the farmer. We would think it quite foolish if a farmer gave up on his corn crop at the end of June.

Choosing the seed, studying the soil, spacing the rows just so, watching the weather, planting, watering, fertilizing, and on and on. Week after week. Then, before it is even knee high, he mows it all down because there is not even a single ear of corn to be had. If only he waited! The harvest is coming. We must first sit through the early and late rains. Establish our hearts.

Patient in the waiting just like Job, just like the prophets. God is faithful. We can rest in that.

Lord God, thank you for your patience with me as I continue to grow and chaff against the slowness of the process of growth. Hold my heart securely and keep reminding me to not look for fruit before it is time. Help me trust your timing. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Zephaniah; Psalm 74; 2 Corinthians 8

One of my daughters has a serious servant’s heart. She seeks out the downtrodden and knows how to love them like no one else I know. In high school she organized an outreach and donation drive for the homeless and then walked the streets delivering the donated items. After high school she spent a few months in Uganda being Christ’s hands and feet to people living in prisons, slums, and other needy situations.

When she comes home from each of her adventures she is overflowing with the joy of seeing God at work through the experience. She loves the genuineness of people that find themselves without much to fall back on. She often walks away feeling she received more than she gave away. Her unconditional love is always a challenge to me.

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
    who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;

Zephaniah 2:3 ESV

. . . but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

2 Corinthians 8:5b ESV

When people are humbled (whether voluntarily or by force), they come to a place of realizing their need. There is no faking it any more. They can’t pretend to be okay. They don’t have resources to help them keep up a polished facade. Sometimes these desperate situations lack physical resources and sometimes they are emotionally barren places, or both.

We don’t have to be pushed to such challenging places to come to God in humility, and not all those that live in humble circumstances have humble hearts. But, seeking God, seeking righteousness, and seeking humility are all wrapped up together.

As the Corinthian church sought to give out of their poverty, they first surrendered themselves to God, and then watched as He did amazing works through them. That first step cannot be skipped though. Sometimes I rush headlong into plans that looked good, or giving that gave me some emotional kickback, instead of first surrendering my plans to God and His leading in it.

Sometimes I hear about needs that are so overwhelming, and yet I want to be wise in responding. I need to remember to seek God first, and then proceed in partnership with Him, according to his design.

I will punish the men
who are complacent,
    those who say in their hearts,
‘The Lord will not do good,
    nor will he do ill.’

Zephaniah 1:12 ESV

However, sometimes I miss the call to serve others all together. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my everyday life and full calendar that I become neutral about God’s work around me. I don’t really see what He is doing, don’t really see the needs that I could meet, and I just float through life checking off the next item on my schedule and calling it a day. God says he will punish complacency. I might feel neutral or ambivalent, but complacency is not. Satan loves it, God hates it.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

Father God, You are anything but complacent. No one could accurately describe You as lukewarm or wishy-washy. May I never be those either. You are mighty, powerful. You rejoice. You love. You sing loudly. Thank you for that picture of your emotion. I sometimes picture You sitting stoically on a throne receiving all the glory and honor and praise You are due. But, you are also that loving Father that scoops me up, calms my racing heart, sings with joy over me, and is mighty to save me. I love you, my everlasting Father. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Isaiah 49-52; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 14

God’s got this.

Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

Psalm 69:1-3 ESV

Whether the muck threatens our own life and mental health or those of a friend, God offers timeless encouragement with the reminder that He is present and hears our cries.

When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

Psalm 69:32 ESV

Pity parties pull us into ourselves. If I keep looking at myself, my shortcomings, my circumstances, I miss the hope He gives. The psalmist reminds me to seek God. Not looking at the problem or even searching for possible outcomes, but seeking Him. His glory, His praise. Worship. My selfishness draws me toward self-preservation. Worship draws me to His presence.

Paul Tripp points out the need for this perspective in parenting also, while convicting me of my own need for greater worship and selflessness.

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

I Corinthians 14:15 ESV

Mind, heart, and soul, must recognize the place God has in our lives and in our challenges. Placing him first keeps everything else in line.

Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on his God.

Isaiah 50:10 ESV

The following verse here (Isaiah 50:11) talks of someone who makes their own light instead of trusting God as verse 10 guides us to. We are so quick to solve the problem in the immediate rather than praying first, trusting first. This message of, “God first, God only, God always,” will speak life to us and those around us.

One thought that is continually pounded home in I Corinthians 14 is that we should strive to build each other up, to encourage one another. We might know the good news, but we need to keep hearing it, speaking it into our own lives and building up those around us with it.

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 51:11b ESV

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

For you shall not go out in haste,

    and you shall not go in flight,

for the Lord will go before you,

    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 52:7, 12 ESV

God is there. God is here. He’s got this. Whatever fills today and tomorrow and the next day. Whatever threatens my life or my family members’ lives, or my neighbor’s lives. He’s got it covered. We don’t need to rush around like crazy people trying to find the answer, to figure it out. We need to seek Him first. He will go before us and behind us and work it out in His way, in His time.

Lord God, help my first response, my gut reaction to be to run to You. First and always may You be the answer to all I’m trying to figure out. Instead of my worrying through it on my own, lift my eyes to You and Your plan. Not earthly resolution, but eternal glory. Not a strictly emotional response or only a logical one, but one that melds mind and spirit as You created me to function, a unified, complex being to bring You worship. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Corinthians, Isaiah, Psalms