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 24-26; Hebrews 13

then you will know that I am the Lord God (Ez 24:24 ESV)

they will know that I am the Lord (Ez 24:27 ESV)

Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ez 25:5b ESV)

Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ez 25:7 ESV)

(and on, and on)

God makes His commands clear, along with judgements for disobedience and blessings for obedience.

Israel, and other nations, live however they please.

God judges.

Then, they know that He is the Lord.

He has standards. He defines truth, goodness, justice, right and wrong. And, He holds us to those expectations.

As the New Testament roles along and we now have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the expectations are higher and more complete:

Love continually

show hospitality

Remember prisoners

honor marriage

don’t love money

be content  (Hebrews 13:1-5 ESV)

Jesus is the same, then and now. And, His expectation of us to live out our faith and trust in Him remains as it did for the people of Israel, although some of the commands are slightly adapted for a personal religion on a church community as opposed to the nation of Israel.

It is not for me to live as I please. Each day I am to take up my cross and follow Him. Gather people around you to pray for one another that we all may “have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” (Hebrews 13:18).

Dear God, thank you for communicating with love and clarity for thousands of years. Thank you for forgiving when I come to You, repentant of my failings. Help me again, today and every day to live with a clear conscience, acting honorably as You have instructed. May my life be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Jeremiah 32-34; Hebrews 3; Psalm 74

In the midst of heartache, God’s presence can seem distant. His actions (or apparent lack thereof) can confuse our finite minds.

I marvel that one of the most common “favorite” verses that people share today (Jeremiah 29:11) comes just before incredible destruction for Judah. In this passage in Jeremiah we see him still wrestling a bit with the durability of this promise and God steps in again to confirm its truth.

First, let’s look at the highlight reel from these chapters:

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ (Jeremiah 32:6-7 ESV)

[so, Jeremiah bought it – a seemingly foolish purchase since they were all about to be hauled off into captivity – so Jeremiah has his say with God]

I prayed to the Lord, saying: 17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

[really earth-rattling prayer in verses 18-21, if you skipped over it, go back and worship along with Jeremiah. Even in his worry and doubt — he knows how to worship!]

22 And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them,  23 And they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. . . Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24  . . . What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it.

25 Yet you, O Lord God, have said to me, “Buy the field for money and get witnesses”—though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’” (Jeremiah 32:16-25 ESV – emphasis mine)

27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?

42 “For thus says the Lord: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’

[it gets better]

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)

in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11 the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness (Jeremiah 33:10,11)

God tells Jeremiah to buy a basically useless piece of land as an awesome picture of His promises. This land will be restored. God’s Word won’t fail. If you every doubt, come to me, the great I AM, and ask and I’ll bring matchless peace and wonder once again.

Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name. (Psalm 74:21)

Life will have trouble. Life-altering, gut-wrenching, incomprehensible trouble. God is still there, still ruling, still waiting patiently for what He knows is the right timing.

Still worthy of our worship.

Resting in Him is not always easy, but it is always right.

Lord God, thank you for holding us all in Your hands. Protecting us in front and behind and never letting go, never straying from your goodness and your promises. You never fail. ~In Jesus Name Amen.

 

Erin (6intow)

 

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Jeremiah 17-18; 2 Timothy 4; Psalm 96

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come. . .

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear . . . and is not anxious.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
    according to the fruit of his deeds.” ~Jeremiah 17:5-10 (excerpts ESV)

God alone knows the truth of the state of our hearts. Even we can fool ourselves sometimes. We can rationalize, ignore, or compare away our sins.

God knows us to the core of our beings and promises to be a righteous judge over us.

Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1 ESV)

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
    . . .
    he will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
    let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12     let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13     before the Lord, for he comes,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
    and the peoples in his faithfulness. (excerpts from Psalm 96:10-13 ESV)

Our response? (peppered throughout 2 Timothy 4 and Psalm 96):

  • Rejoice (along with the whole earth) that justice will ultimately prevail
  • Fear and tremble
  • Worship his glory and strength
  • Sing to the Lord
  • Preach the Word
  • Reprove, rebuke, exhort
  • Be sober-minded
  • Endure
  • Evangelize
  • Fight the good fight
  • Finish
  • Keep the faith
  • Hope

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)

We can rejoice and rest in the truth that God’s just, righteous judgement is coming. And, while we wait we should keep busy. Not usurping His role as judge, but rather being busy about His work for us – worship and preaching with every action and word that we choose.

Jehovah Mekoddishkem, the God who sanctifies (Exodus 31:13), is ready to change our hearts and grow our faith.

Father God, thank you for your perfecting love. Chase lethargy far from my spiritual life and replace it with undying fervency for You. May Your love and holiness overflow in my daily walk. Trusting Your judgement and timing on the hard days as well. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

 

 

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Isaiah 64-65; Colossians 4; Psalm 107

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4 – ESV)

Resting, abiding, waiting on the Lord, in step with the Savior. Prayer is key. Prayer flooded with thankfulness.

Each day we awake with a fresh choice – to take up our cross in humility and follow Him, or to chart our own course. If we choose our own way we will eventually come upon pain and discipline as God seeks to protect us from worse situations.

God wants to bless us. He wants the cycle to be — thankfulness, prayer, worship, obedience, blessing, more thankfulness (repeat).

However, we often get caught in – discontent, selfish choice, pain, grumbling, discipline, hard times, more discontent (repeat).

I want to be in that first cycle. Again and again. Every day. For the rest of my life.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble (Psalm 107 ESV)

Give thanks, shout it out! He has saved us. The rest of the chapter gives hope for all the times we fail to recognize Him as Lord. Time and again we fail, but if we return to Him, here comes the blessing:

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
15 Let them thank the
Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
29 He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
    let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord. (excerpts from Psalm 107 ESV)

God wants to be involved in our daily life and show His presence and power mightily.  Surrender with thanksgiving and ask with Isaiah:

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
. . . that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64 ESV)

I see a model similar to the Lord’s prayer here – worshiping God as Father and in heaven, seeking His presence and authority, seeking provision, recognizing sinfulness (v. 6), surrender and seeking protection.

That’s where my prayer life needs to be, every day.

Father God, thank you for this glimpse of your heavenly power and presence. Stay visibly active in my life and in our world. Forgive us for the times we think our way is better and we stray from Your best. Thank you for your endless faithfulness to us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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2 Chronicles 29-31; Ephesians 4

Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your children will find compassion with their captors and return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.” (2 Chronicles 30:8-9 ESV)

God is so often misunderstood and misrepresented.

Some want to throw out the Old Testament seeing only His judgment and sternness. Others misunderstand the need for the cross. And, yet others put God in a box based on the flaws they see in Christians around them.

What we often fail to understand is just how much God hates sin.

He hates that it has ripped apart our relationship with Him,
that it deceives into thinking we don’t need Him,
that it ruins relationships and trust,
that it clouds over love,
that it destroyed His perfect world,
that it kills and brings shame,
that it leads to a life in an eternal hell.

He sees it for what it is, and He will not tolerate it unaddressed in His children.

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. 21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:20-21 ESV)

But, when we want the same thing He wants. When we crave Him. When we seek love. When we repent and turn to Him, He comes running. He wants to bless us, to see us prosper (not necessarily measured in material wealth), to teach us to walk in the unity of love with Him and other believers.

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV)

Love is what should set us apart from the world. And, the only way we can possess and reflect true love is to be in Christ.

We have the purest example of how to love. Now, I just need to step out and do it.

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)

Father God, You are loving and compassionate. Help me show those same attributes consistently to those around me that You may be glorified. With my whole heart. Yielding to you, just as Hezekiah determined to do. May Your loving, merciful image flow through me as freely as I breathe. In Jesus Name, Amen

Erin (6intow)

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Micah 5-7; Romans 10

To obey is better than sacrifice. Offerings, sacrifice, mountains of money, even giving my firstborn does not compare to a heart surrendered to Him.Obedience. Daily. Faithful.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 – ESV)

It is simple, but not easy.

Thankfully, God hears our prayers for help, but how often do we neglect to request it? How often do I think I’m doin’ jes’ fine on my own?

Still He is there. He already paid the penalty for every one of my sins and delights in loving me without wavering.

But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
    I will wait for the God of my salvation;
    my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7 – ESV)

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
    and passing over transgression
    for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
    because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
    he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
    into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19 – ESV)

This beautiful, timeless truth has held true from the beginning of time and has reached its fullness now. We messed up (individually and all of mankind), and He made a plan to fix it when we could not.

Now, in accepting that truth and setting Jesus in charge of my life I savor a priceless treasure.

if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:9-11 – ESV)

Dear God, thank you for taking the first step when I could not. For paying a price I could not afford. For loving even when I daily rejected You. I daily surrender my will to yours. Help me to walk in Your way, to obey completely. Forgive me for the times I lapse into old habits and ignore sin as it creeps back in control. Only Your strength can bring me back in step. I love you, always and forever! Amen

Erin (6intow)

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Amos 7-9; 2 Thessalonians 3; Psalm 104

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” Amos 7:12-13 ESV

Some messages from the Bible are hard to swallow.

I get it, Amaziah. Sometimes I want to keep living my “comfy” life and not keep rooting out the sin that hides in the shadows. Unfortunately, the most loving thing God can do is to continue to press deeper into our lives and continue transforming us by His supernatural power and Word.

When I want to run, it must be to Him. When I want to hide, the only safe place is in the shadow of His wings. When I need stability, He is my rock. At times I get too comfortable and run to the stuff of earth for my answers and security, but the only right and good place is in His footsteps.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:2, 5, 13 ESV

The Christian life is not an easy one. Read a few missionary biographies and that becomes abundantly clear. They suffer disease, loss, mental illness, fear, attacks, and rejection. Yet, God’s faithful steadfastness is unchangeable.

A soul stirring sermon this past weekend reminded me that the presence of God is not based on how we feel (click here if you have time for the whole message). God is faithful despite our emotions. God’s presence doesn’t change based on our circumstances or feelings.

So, we press on. Doing good even on the hard days.

We continue to say with the Psalmist . . .

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104: 33-34 ESV

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