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 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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2 Kings 1-3; Psalm 82; Matthew 26

When I read Scripture, I see myself. My own sin, my own weakness, my own shortcomings, my own lack of faith.

I could be the disciple that fell asleep while Jesus wrestled in agonized prayer (Matthew 26). I could be the king who sent to a foreign god to determine his fate (2 Kings 1). I could be in the group of 50 consumed by fire from heaven instead of coming humbly to the man of God. I could deny knowing Christ when pressed too hard or let love of money wriggle in, eclipsing my devotion to God (Matthew 26) and betray him with a kiss.

They are all me at one time or another.

Can I also be Elijah swept up in the whirlwind? Calling down fire from heaven with a word? Knowing intimately the will of God? The army of Israel stepping out in faith, destroying enemies, overcoming? Could I rest in God’s power in the face of a murderous mob?

Elijah was not an unusual man. Elisha the same. They simply show us God’s power at work. God met each of them where they were and used them for His good and glory. From the moment Elisha was overcome by grief, God met him.

14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. (2 Kings 1:14 ESV)

God is prepared to answer our hard questions with a peace and power that this world could never offer.

Lord God, you are the God who parts rivers, sends consuming fire, hates sin with a vengeance, controls armies, has the power to heal, and who sacrificed His own Son on my behalf. How great is your love! How awesome are your works! Help me to always rest in you, to follow your steps, and to live by faith, chasing after the unseen and undeterred by the seen. Forgive me for times of failure and sinking back into sin, and continue to help me walk in those good works that you prepared in advance for me to do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

 

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Ecclesiastes 8-12; Matthew 17

The righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Eccl 9:1

Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. Eccl 9:18

Life is unpredictable, and at times irrational, inconsistent. We try to find logical reason for the evil that exists and the bad that happens.

Why do “bad” things happen to “good” people? (Seriously, try making sense of the crucifixion to the disciples in the midst of it)

Why do “good” things happen to “bad” people? (And, the prosperity of Rome?)

I’ve been wrestling with the fallout of evil in our church in recent months. A pastor unchecked, money spent without accountability, leadership defending unbiblical decisions.

So hard. So much hurt. In the headlines, and not just local. So, not only do we wrestle with how to move forward personally and as a church, we wrestle with explaining this mess to our unbelieving friends and co-workers.

A stark reminder that sin still haunts us as long as we walk this earth.

The writer of Ecclesiastes also tried to make sense of these types of illogical happenings. In the end, it all comes back to obedience and trusting God for the outcome.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. Eccl 12:13, 14

I can rest in Him. He knows it all. Unsurprised by it all. Already paid the ultimate price, and now patiently waiting for the right time and still actively at work in the waiting.

Lord, it doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t need to. Help me trust unconditionally and keep obeying and following You regardless of outcome or what happens around me. You are good, and I will praise You. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Proverbs 5-8; Matthew 7

rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18 ESV)

He dies for lack of discipline, (Proverbs 5:23)

if you are snared in the words of your mouth, (6:2) – plead urgently with your neighbor

 

While so much of what happens to us in life is out of our control, how it impacts our life is largely in our control.

We choose how to respond.

We choose our words.

We choose how long we linger on an offense.

We choose joy, or not.

We choose a disciplined life.

We choose to forgive.

We choose contentment.

We choose wisdom, or foolishness.

We choose surrender to God’s way, or spiraling into temptation and sin.

Proverbs does not paint a simple, easy picture of life, but it does make clear that we will be responsible for our choices. Throughout the verses we are warned against adultery, foolishness, temptation, and rebellion.

For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,  (Proverbs 8:35 ESV)

Proverbs also shows the protection that God builds into obedience – marital faithfulness, contentment, blessing (in various forms).

Matthew 7 adds a fresh filter to these chapters in Proverbs. In all these areas, we should focus on and start with self-examination.

Establish your life on Jesus Christ, grow in Him so you bear good fruit, seek after Him, and then, you can come back to verse 5 and help your brother with his speck. First, you need to acknowledge that it is just a speck compared to the log you had to wrestle through, too.

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5 ESV)

I realized recently that it doesn’t say not to take out the speck as I had always kind of concluded – don’t judge, worry about yourself, stop finger-pointing, etc. It doesn’t really say that, but instead it gives a condition: remove your log first! Not only, just first.

Lord, I come to you again seeking wisdom. Show me those logs that obscure my vision, my judgment. Help me to mercilessly wrench them out of my life and thinking. Purify my heart and mind that I may be a catalyst for the body of Christ around me. ~Amen

Erin (6intow)

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2 Samuel 7-8; I Chronicles 17; 2 Corinthians 1; Psalm 2

[David said] “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” v.2

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

25 And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. 26 And your name will be magnified forever ~2 Samuel 7-8 ESV

Legacy.

Calling.

The two are irresistibly intertwined. Some, like David leave behind a national legacy, a royal lineage, and an eternal heritage. Others leave negative influences in their wake. Many go to their grave with regrets over tasks left undone or even unattempted.

For David, he had a dream – to build the house of God. He seemed to have lofty motivations – gratitude, honor, worship.

But God’s perspective is not always our own. We need to rest in God’s design for our life. All things might be permissible, but not all things are beneficial (I Cor. 10:23).  Rest. Trust. Obedience. When we often want to Plan. Work. Build.

So, David settled back into God’s gifting – warring against the Philistines. Sounds crazy, but that’s kinda how God wired him. As he lived out God’s calling for him as king and commander, he paved the way for the legacy to pass along to Solomon who would finish his dream.

11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. ~Psalm 2 ESV

Instead of pressing ahead with “good” plans, we need to continually seek out God’s best for our lives and His Glory. Our human thinking does not equate rejoicing with trembling, but I imagine that was where David found himself after this word from Nathan. Constant surrender to God of every step, every decision to never settle with good enough.

20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

Lord, help me to have a long-sighted vision of Your work in my life. One that extends beyond my death. One that walks with selfless obedience to Your Word and Your plan for my life. I want Your best, not just a good plan. Help me rest with gratitude for your direction. ~Amen

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