Author Archives: carolvorw

Lamentations; Psalm 137; 1 Peter 4

Today’s reading is very heavy. I don’t know whether to be sad for Jerusalem, or say ‘you got what you deserved’. But then, I remember me. How many chances have I had? Too many to count! Nevertheless, my heart does break for them and wish that they didn’t always pick the hard way. I truly wish they had repented and avoided the wrath of God. Some of the things described in this book are horrible.

Lamentations 1:21b (MEV): All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that You have done it.

Lamentations 2:5-6 (MEV): The Lord has become like an enemy; He has swallowed up Israel, He has swallowed up all her palaces; he has destroyed her strongholds, and has increased mourning and lamentation in the daughter of Judah. He has violently taken away His tabernacle as if it were a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly; the Lord has caused the solemn feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion.

Lamentations 2:15 (MEV): All who pass by clap their hands at you; they hiss and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, “Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?”

Lamentations 2:17 (MEV): The Lord has done what He planned; He has fulfilled His word that He had commanded in the days of old. He has thrown down and has not pitied, and He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the power of your adversaries.

Lamentations 3:10-12 (MEV): He is to me a bear lying in wait, a lion in hiding. He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate. He has bent Hs bow and set me as a target for the arrow.

Lamentations 3:43-45 (MEV): You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have killed and not pitied. You have covered Yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer should pass through. You have made us filthy refuse in the midst of the peoples.

Can you imagine living through this? In one verse it said ‘it would be better to be killed by the sword than to die of hunger’. It reminds me of what may happen in the last days. It reminds me that the scriptures were given to us to teach us, to help us learn from other people’s mistakes. I never want to experience a “cloud” blocking my prayers. It makes me thankful for the blood of Jesus! As much as it grieves me that Christ had to die for my sins, it covers my life and gives me hope. It reminds me of the following verse:

Lamentations 3:26 (MEV): It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed; His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that a man should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

I am so thankful for the mercies of the Lord. I personally hate to wait. I don’t like to wait in line, wait for the mail or a package when it is something that I want. But now I see what a treasure it is to wait on the Lord. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. I sure want the Lord to be good to me!

Psalm 137: 1-4 (MEV): By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the poplars. For there our captors made us sing and our tormentors made us entertain, saying “Sing us one of the songs of Zion” How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a foreign land?

The tormentor may have had ill motives to make them sing, but Oh, if your heart is right before the Lord, it could be the healing balm of Gideon flowing over your soul. It does not matter where you are, God is always nearby and can always touch a heart fixed on him, no matter the surroundings. Don’t let the captor win, sing with all your heart.

As is discussed in I Peter 4, We are no longer to live as those around us do. We are to look inward. We are to put down the flesh and pick up the will of God. I will give an account of all that I have done, not what you did, but what I did, so my focus should be on my deeds. I don’t want to have to hang my head in shame when I stand before the Lord. But thankfully, because of the blood that covers me, He will be the lifter of my head!

I Peter 4:7-11 (MEV): The end of all things is near. Therefore, be solemn and sober so you can pray. Above all things have unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without complaining. As everyone has received a gift, even so serve one another with it, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone serves, let him serve with the strength that God supplies, so that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Can you imagine how life would be if we lived like this? It would be heaven on earth! I think that I should strive to treat everyone with love, no matter their station in life. And, I should do it and not complain. It should be an honor for me to do this, to glorify a God who has given me so much. Then why is it so hard?

My God, You are so gracious to us, yet You are a consuming fire as well! Help me to learn from the mistakes of the Israelites and others more currently in my life. Help me not to follow after them, but to follow you. Help me to serve without complaining. Sometimes it seems like the one I am serving is so ungrateful, but it is what I do that counts for me, not how they receive it. It is so hard, so Holy Spirit, I need your help to be gracious to all I encounter. God, I need your strength, I cannot do it alone. I need You in my life every day, all day long. Please Holy Father, I ask for your help, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Jeremiah 11-13; 2 Chronicles 12

Have you ever heard a parent say to their child, “If you don’t stop by the time I count to 3, you are going to be punished!”. Then they say, “One…. Two…. Two and a half…. Two and three quarters…… If you do this enough, the child will always stretch it out for as long as possible. But whether you are a parent or not, everyone has their breaking point.
It seems as this is how God parents Israel. And Israel is trying to get away with as much as they can in a short time span. God is so gracious. He gives us chances over and over and over again. He wants us to get it right. But He also sees the heart and knows who is giving him lip service and who is really trying to follow hard after Him. Israel is giving him lip service. And I feel like God is at His breaking point.

Jeremiah 11:10-14 (NLT): Israel and Judah have both broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Though they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries. Then the people of Judah and Jerusalem will pray to their idols and burn incense before them. But the idols will not save them when disaster strikes! Look now, people of Judah; you have as many gods as you have towns. You have as many altars of shame—altars for burning incense to your god Baal—as there are streets in Jerusalem. Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, for I will not listen to them when they cry out to me in distress.

v. 15b They actually rejoice in doing evil!

Jeremiah is delivering the consequences of their behavior and asking Israel to repent and turn away from Baal and back to God. As Jeremiah is trying to get them to see the evil of their ways, as he is trying to actually help them, this is how they repay him…..plotting his demise!

Jeremiah 11:18-19 (NLT): Then the Lord told me about the plots my enemies were making against me. I was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I had no idea that they were planning to kill me? “Let’s destroy this man and all his words,” they said. “Let’s cut him down, so his name will be forgotten forever.

Jeremiah then changes his tune and asks God to ‘drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered!’ (Jer. 12:3 NLT)

God knows the circumstances of every single event. He knows who did it, how it was done, when, and where. God knew Israel had a part in their own downfall, but God also knew that it was the “foreigners” who turned Israel’s head.

Jeremiah 12:14-17 (NLT): Now this is what the Lord says: “I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by My name, saying: ‘As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Again, the Lord and His great mercy exceeds all we could ask or imagine. When God has a heart for something or someone, nothing can match the love that is in His heart for them. It is truly one of the great mysteries!!

Paul was having some of his own issues with some of his own converts.

2 Corinthians 12: 12-15 (NLT): When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong! Now I am coming to you for a third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.

2 Corinthians 12: 21 (NLT): Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

Yes, Paul was feeling the same pangs as God. The children, whom he took under his wing, and poured out all that he knew about Jesus into them, have converted back to some of their old ways. Paul was willing to give up all he had for them, but they were not willing to give up all they had for the love of Jesus. Where do we fall? Are we like Jesus and Paul willing to give up all we have, to pour out into others? Or are we like the members of Paul’s church and Israel, just trying to get away with as much as we can?

Father God, please help me! I do not want to break your heart. You have taken me under your wings, and I want to be worthy of this position. I never want to take you for granted, but I confess that I have, and ask for your forgiveness. There is none more worthy of me turning my life upside down for, because you have given me so much! Please help me to be worthy of such a great love. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)


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Isaiah 64-66; 2 Corinthians 2

Isaiah 64:2-4a (TLV):  When you did awesome things that we were not expecting, You came down—the mountains shook at Your presence! For from days of old no one has heard, no ear perceived, no eye has seen God, except You, who acts on behalf of the one waiting for Him.  You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways.

Has God ever showed up when you weren’t expecting it? Did you recognize Him? Or did it take until you looked back over the situation that you saw Him? God is with us; He does do awesome things.  Some are tiny things that would only matter to me, that would only make me smile.  Others are quite large. There are no coincidences in God’s kingdom.  He rewards and meets those who rejoice in Him, and wait on Him.

God says that He stretches out His hand all day long, even to those who do not choose Him and do evil in His sight. (65:12) There is a fate for them that do not choose God.  But I cannot wait until that time when sin is no longer a struggle, when this earth is passed away.

Isaiah 65:17-25 (TLV): “For behold I create new heavens and a new earth.  The former thing will not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.  For behold, I am creating Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for joy.  Then I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in My people.  No longer will the voice of weeping or the voice of crying be heard in her.  No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days.  For the youth will die at a hundred years, but one who misses the mark of a hundred, must be accursed.  They will build houses and inhabit them.  They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  They will not build and another inhabit, nor plant and another eat.  For like the days of a tree so will be the days of my people, and My chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.  They will not labor in vain nor bear children for calamity.  For they are the offspring of those blessed by Adonai, as well as descendants with them.

But better still:

And it will come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb will feed together.  The lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food.  They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,” says ADONAI.

The great mystery for me that is after all the rejection by His chosen people Israel, and also His Church, it is still His desire to bring us joy and rejoicing, peace and tranquility.  It is still His desire to listen, hear and answer us.  It is still His desire to be our God! God is so selfless.  What I will be most happy about is that God will be worshipped and be the One all people look towards.  That His glory will be known throughout the world, and to Him every knee will bow.

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (TLV): But if anyone has caused you sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate—to all of you.  For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough.  So instead, you should forgive him and encourage him.  Otherwise, such a person might be swallowed up by excessive sorrow.  Therefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.  For to this end I also wrote, that I might know your character whether you are obedient in all things.  Now anyone you forgive, I also forgive.  For indeed, what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), I did it for you in the presence of Messiah so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Just as God is real, satan is real! His scheme is to make us believe the opposite of the truth of God. Paul was watching his converts struggle with sin, just as God does.  One person’s sins affect those around them, not just the person committing it.  And we should forgive, and love the one in offence, so he would not get stuck in his guilt and not be able to get back on his feet. Pour on the love, so that satan will not win, but God.  The church needs to set the example of how to treat those who make mistakes.  We should bring them to the feet of Jesus, and should kneel with him and ask for forgiveness together.  Jesus forgives all who repent with a sincere heart. God forgives those who repent with a sincere heart.  Don’t you see, they are one.  What one does, the other does.  God doesn’t want one person to perish.  Jesus gave His life so they would not have to perish. 

To one an aroma is from death to death, and to the other an aroma is from life to life. Which one will you choose? It is our choice, the way has been paved, will you take the path to life, or the path to death? Jesus is waiting with outstretched arms!

Oh God, I can never get used to the mercy and forgiveness you shower on us daily.  Your love is beyond my comprehension.  Help me to love others like you love me, so that satan does not have victory over even one soul.  Help me to show mercy and forgiveness.  You deserve all glory, honor and praise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Carol (carolvorwe)

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2 Chronicles 29-31; 1 Corinthians 8

It is so nice to finally see a king who was willing to please God.

2 Chronicles 29:2 (NLT): He (Hezekiah) did what was pleasing to the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.

2 Chronicles 29-6-12a(NLT): Our ancestors were unfaithful and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned the Lord and His dwelling; they turned their backs on Him. They also shut the doors to the Temple’s entry room, and they snuffed out the lamps. They stopped burning incense and presenting burnt offerings at the sanctuary of the God of Israel. That is why the Lord’s anger has fallen upon Judah and Jerusalem. He made them an object of dread, horror, and ridicule, as you can see with your own eyes. Because of this, our fathers have been killed in battle, and our sons and daughters and wives have been captured. But now I will make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to minister to Him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to Him.

Then the Levites got right to work.

It doesn’t matter why you turn back to God, just that you do!

King Hezekiah learned from the past king’s mistakes. He saw the curses that were brought on their land because of the actions of the people. God clearly said if you obey me you will be blessed, if you don’t, you will be cursed. The same applies to everyone. In the New Testament it says you will reap what you sow. But it is the same. Some people can only learn by their own mistakes, others can learn by watching others and saying ‘I see what happened to them, I don’t want to experience that.’ I feel King Hezekiah was in the latter bunch.

Hezekiah cleaned out the temple, consecrated the priests and Levites, and rallied the people.

2 Chronicles 30:10 (NLT): The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

Whenever you try to do the work of the Lord, there is always going to be someone who laughs and makes fun of you. Do it anyway, it is God you are working for, not men! Also you may never know whose heart you will touch.

2 Chronicles 30: 18b-20 (NLT): For Hezekiah said,”May the Lord, who is good, pardon those who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.

Things were heading in the right direction, but not everyone was as they should have been, and there were slight changes to the ceremonies .God gave them procedures to follow, but God is merciful and sees the heart of the people. They were repenting, they were turning back to Him, and they were changing their direction to follow Him. God saw their heart.

He will be merciful to me too, if I were to turn away, and then turn back. God loves his children. He doesn’t want even one of them to perish. So He gives grace to the humble. God is so good!

2 Chronicles 31:21 (NLT): In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

God keeps his promises. If you take one step towards Him, He’ll come running to you!

1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 (NLT): …But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

God alone knows it all. Some answers are not clear cut. Some depend on the people and the situations. If someone believes something is wrong, it is a sin for those people. Other people may not be convicted of the same thing. For example, I was at a company Christmas luncheon and there is always a toast. The girl sitting next to me was a recent hire and said to me “she didn’t drink’. I said,” that’s okay, just turn your glass upside down.” She didn’t listen and that caused her to fall off the wagon. I did not know her past, but she eventually was fired because she was unreliable and kept missing work. She ended up back in rehab. What I should have done was to turn my glass upside down with her. Then she wouldn’t have felt awkward and things may have turned out different.

1 Corinithians 8:11-13 (NLT): So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

I don’t know if she was a believer, but I do know that I feel bad for how things turned out for her. And to me, it is a perfect example of what not to do if ever placed in a similiar situation. Believer or unbeliever, I would have liked to have been more sensitive to her situation.

Heavenly Father, It was so refreshing to read today about people taking steps to make things right with you. Please help me to keep my stride close by your side and I ask you to give me your wisdom when I am placed in any situation that requires sensitivity. Forgive me for the times I have failed You, for I never want to make any one stumble. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

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Isaiah 7-10; Psalm 22; Matthew 26

Isaiah 7:2 (MEV): It was said to the house of David,” Aram is allied with Ephraim.” Then his heart trembled and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood tremble with the wind.

I have heard it said that the people are only as good as their leaders. I have also heard that you cannot teach anyone lessons if you have not already learned the lesson yourself.  Ahaz was afraid and so was his people.  What would have happened, if instead of fear being their first thought, prayer would have taken its stead. I guess we will never know.  But just as God told me in the hospital:  Fear is from the evil one; so God is telling Ahaz “Take heed, and be quiet.  Do not fear nor be fainthearted. (Isa 9:4)

Isaiah 7:10-12 (MEV): Moreover, the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD your God. Make it either as deep as Sheol or as high as the heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, nor will I tempt the LORD. Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David.  It is a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?

Like I said, you cannot teach what you do not know. How sad that the King of Israel did not know that God was for him.  God just told him:  you can have anything in the whole wide world, what do you want? He could have said: Lord, please protect us from King Aram and Ephraim, or he could have asked for wisdom like Solomon.  But instead, he says “I don’t want to weary God”. God is never wearied by any of his people.  In chapter 9 it describes various scenarios that the people went through, and ways they turned their back on God, and over and over it says:

For all this His anger is not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still. (Isa. 9: 12,17, and 21)

He is still stretching out his hand to you and me.  It doesn’t matter what mistakes I have made; all He wants is for me to run into His outstretched arms.  He is for us, every one of us.  That is why He says:

Isaiah 7:14-15 (MEV): Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Curds and honey he shall eat at the time that he knows enough to refuse the evil and choose the good.

I am sure that the City of David did not understand these words.  Being on the other side of the cross, we can see the blessing they bestowed on all who believe that Immanuel (God with us) wants us to constantly seek Him with all our hearts as He did in the days of King Ahaz.  Does that sound like a God who is wearied by His chosen people?  He loved them so much, and yet they did not see it.

Psalm 22: 4-5 (MEV): Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You did deliver them. They cried to You and were delivered; they trusted in You and were not put to shame.

Psalm 22:11 (MEV): Be not far from me for trouble is near, for there is none to help.

Psalm 22:23 (MEV): You who fear the LORD, praise Him.

As you can see in Psalm, there are ways to God’s heart.  The desire to be in His presence, trust, prayer and praise.  It is really that simple.  God helps those who earnestly seek Him with all their heart.

In Matthew 26, we see the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah.  Jesus (Immanuel) came, He was anointed by the alabaster jar of expensive perfume, He partook in the Last Supper, He prayed that the cup be taken, He was betrayed by someone close to Him, He was arrested, and again another even CLOSER to Him denied knowing Him.  God’s heart gets stomped on over and over, yet STILL!  How much more can God do to prove His love?  How much more should He do?

O Father, thank you for your son!  He is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. I cannot wait until the government rests upon Your shoulders permanently.  I cannot wait for the elimination of sin and wrong choices.  It will be a government of justice, peace and righteousness from now until forever. You are, and have always been, just what the world needed! Please open our eyes to see the love of the Father! In Jesus’ name AMEN.

Carol (carolvorwe)

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