Author Archives: evanlaar1922

About evanlaar1922

Have you ever noticed how many special ways God refers to us, His dear children? He calls us His beloved sons and daughters, the righteous, children of the kingdom, His anointed, royal priesthood, the faithful in Christ, His temple, His friends, and so many other loving names that speaks to who we are in Him. Also in many cases, the names we are given at birth have both biblical and heavenly identities tied into them. Our Heavenly Father who watches over us daily has created the ideal path for each of us to take to travel the journey of life, just as a father will make plans for his own child by putting things in place at a very early age for education, health, graduation, and marriage. God has predestined and equipped each of us to carry out a specific purpose that will create the design He desires to be in place for His kingdom to be effective in the earth.

Ezekiel 14-16; Hebrews 10; Psalm 70

It seems like one step, then another, then another and sooner than later I can find myself lost in myself. I actually start believing that I made myself. I actual trust in me. That pride is the root of what destroys me. My forgetfulness to the fact that I was nothing when God found me and that my strength and giftedness was given to me by Him made me trust in the the blessing of God instead of in God HImself.

But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore[d] because of your renown and lavished your whorings[e] on any passerby; your beauty[f] became his. 16 You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.[g] You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God. – Ezekiel 16:15-19  ESV

F.B.Meyer spoke of what my proper attitude should be.

“Let us not presume. We have nought of our own. When the temptation tries us to pride ourselves on our goodness; to arrogate to ourselves a special position because of our superiority to others; to assume that we can be independent of our immortal Lover—then let us remember what we were.”

That is why I am called to endure, it is my pivotal call to action when it comes to my walk with God. It is where the genuine difficulty of discipleship shows itself in my life.

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. – Hebrews 10:36 ESV

When I am faithful to serve, when I am faithful to Jesus, when I am faithful to hold on to His promises and when I am faithful to resist sin – I endure.

May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great! – Psalm 70:4  ESV 

AMEN

 

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, Hebrews, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Jeremiah 21, 24, 27

I have thought of God as my lucky charm a few times in my life. It was no surprise for me to see King Zedekiah turning in his chips to claim the lucky charm from God when the Babylonians were approaching.

“Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar[a] 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

While it did not work for King Zedekiah, and unfortunately, his sin made the people of Israel suffer, God made a promise and it is a promise that I have taken for myself.  My key promise of them all – God’s eyes will be on me and so His favour also.

I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. – Jeremiah 24:6-7  ESV

Today, I read that a promise is an obedience to the instructions that God gives. In this case He is telling King Zedekiah to humble himself and take the yoke of the Babylonians for that is the only way the people of Israel will be able to stay and keep the land that God had given them. So the promise was – take the yoke and live.

But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. – Jeremiah 27:8  ESV

At times I am called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and when I do, God will walk with me – that is a promise I can live with.

Father, I thank You that Your eyes are on me with favour. I thank You that You have a purpose for my life. As I walk this life, I can count on Your promise to walk with me always. I love that You have given promises that You have always kept. Thank you.

Erwin (evanlaar)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Jeremiah 5-8; 2 Timothy 1

Do I blush, did I blush, do I still know how to blush when I think of some of my actions and choices that I make in my walk with God? I pray that I will be sensitive to the things of God and that I can still blush.

Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
    No, they were not at all ashamed;
    they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
    at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the Lord. – Jeremiah 6:15  ESV

One of the healthiest ways I have found to speak words of strength and life into another follower of Christ is following the way Paul writes with affection to those like Timothy. He uses words like “beloved” and another translation says, “my true child in the faith” and to use words of blessings that include words like “grace, mercy and peace.”

To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. – 2 Timothy 1:1  ESV

I am not too sure if  Phygelus and Hermogenes are blushing for leaving the faith but there are some strong words of encouragement and blessing to Onesiphorus.

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,  but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:16-18  ESV

What a prayer of blessing – one that I have been trying to practice in my prayer life.

When I think of how easy it is for some to walk away from God, even with all of the encouragement and blessing that surrounds them, I am convinced that loyalty is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

 Father, I am amazed with the strength that You speak to me through a prophet like Jeremiah and at the same time amazed with the grace, mercy and peace You also speak to me through an apostle giving pastoral encouragement to someone like Timothy. Words matter and sometimes I forget that. In fact, when I think of the moments I am faltering in my walk with You, most of the time it seems I have walked away from Your Word. Teach me how to give words of wisdom and teach me how to be pastoral and to know the right time to use these words when I am with someone. May I be sensitive, myself, to Your words to me. May I find myself blushing when You call me out with the sin that is in my life and may I be quick in asking Your forgiveness so that I may be strong and loyal in my walk with You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

 

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Filed under 2 Timothy, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Isaiah 53-56; Colossians 1

Here is a portion of scripture that I have found on many church walls, well not the whole portion, just the first few lines, but the rest explains the vision of the church’s desire to see God grow the church.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities.

 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
 For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.

 – Isaiah 54:2-5  ESV

While the tent is identifiable to me as something easily moved, it is not something that can weather a storm. That is why the following verses above means so much. My goal is not to stay  in one place – I need to move as the Holy Spirit leads. The only time I will be in a city and have a solid home is when I am called into the city of God. That is the idea I get through so many scriptures in the New Testament calling me to preach the gospel where Christ has not yet been named, to leaven with the gospel those who are strangers to it and ultimately, lengthen the cords of my tent so that more can be enclosed. With these promises comes divine power. That is why I will not be ashamed. I can remember when I messed up badly at the beginning, but those days are gone now that I walk in confidence with God. I find it hard to believe that I am actually married to Christ. He is my Redeemer for He brought me out from my captivity and my bondage to sin. As the Lord of hosts, He has this irresistible power that I am drawn to and I give Him, actually try to give Him, absolute sovereignty in my life. I know that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Until that day, I plan on doing the same, each and every day.

And as for my call to enlarge my tent – I follow my call to be a disciple-maker.

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. – Colossians 1:28  ESV

Father, thank You for my call, thank You for walking with me, thank You for Your power and wisdom that You freely give me to share the gospel for all who want to receive.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Colossians, Isaiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Isaiah 30-33; Ephesians 1

I love reading the perspective of Old Testament prophets when it comes to understanding God and what He is doing and making it relevant to the day. I pick up today that hope remains as I participate and stay with my community of believers. It is where God wants me to serve and not be tempted to go where I think there may be more…more of anything.

 And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures,  and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. – Isaiah 30:23-24  ESV

The reason I have hope is because it is God who teaches and disciplines when it comes to judgments.

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
    and princes will rule in justice. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
    and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. – Isaiah 32:1,16  ESV

I am still learning that there is security when I am under a just and righteous God. As long as I understand that He is reconstructing me. With that comes some times of mourning for sure. Sorrow is not the ultimate purpose God is looking for in my life, but is only the breaking of ground in my heart to be receptive to the Holy Spirit.

Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
    and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
    and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. – Isaiah 32:15  ESV

 

At the same time, I need to understand that the period of mourning is followed by blessing.

Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
    who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free. – Isaiah 32:20  ESV

This is where I come in with thanksgiving and prayer for the power of the Holy Spirit in my life making all of this happen.

Who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.  For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[f] toward all the saints. Ephesians 1:14-15  ESV

How else can I love those who follow Jesus? My fruit needs to be real so that others can see that I am authentic and a genuine follower of Jesus myself. Then that love we have together is a powerful witness to the world. So while I strive on my own, it is so much better to be followers of Jesus together.

Thank You for walking with me in this journey!

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ephesians, Isaiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Hosea 9-12; Romans 7; Psalm 73

Wow – where did this dark reading come from? Three selections of scripture that paint a pretty dark picture of life. It starts with punishment and it leaves me thinking I am a fool or at least mad for following Jesus.

The days of punishment have come;
    the days of recompense have come;
    Israel shall know it.
The prophet is a fool;
    the man of the spirit is mad,
because of your great iniquity
    and great hatred. – Hosea 9:7  ESV

Even if I am alone, it is my task to speak the kingdom of God to deaf ears. In doing so I know there will be those who think I am strange and startling.

And yet, how true am I really? I end up not doing what is right, but rather wrong. I am amazed how my true self is revealed in Romans chapter seven. I am nothing really. Look how the chapter ends:

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. – Romans 7:25  ESV

How I wish I could have read Romans chapter eight this morning. Then maybe I could have shared some good news.

The Psalms, true to their nature, did not help, well not exactly. Psalm seventy-three starts rough. There is a full attack on naive faith. The world has declared that God is not King, His will does not rule and that He is irrelevant at best.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. – Psalm 73:2-3  ESV
What do I tell people who ask me if it is useless to serve God with a clean heart. What if they ask me what is the point of “being on God’s side?”
I thank the Lord that the end of Psalm seventy-three offers a turning point. There is something special about being in the presence of God, of belonging to Him. How did I perceive this truth? Worship has a way of confronting the false claims. Worship has a way of pulling the veneer off the face of evil. Worship refocuses my eyes so that I can see “the rest of the story.” I end up confessing clearly the ground rules for renewed faith.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. – Psalm 73: 16-17  ESV
I see that once again I experienced very narrow tunnel vision. Need to experience my eyes seeing more and my ears hearing more. Worship helps.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. – Psalm 73:28  ESV
Father, thank you for worship. Thank you Holy Spirit for drawing me into who Jesus is. May my dark days, turn to dark moments and may they be shorter and shorter as I enter Your presence and spend more time with You. Amen.
Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hosea, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Romans, Uncategorized

2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 25; 1 Thessalonians 5

Surprise, surprise and surprise to read this one little sentence and see it set the tone today for my time with God.

And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart. – 2 Chronicles 25:2  ESV

I am being called out this morning to apply my whole heart to the word of God and in its application to my life. To be diligent, and an active participant in the gospel. To worship not with my lips but in spirit and in truth. Not just when I feel like it but to establish this as a daily pattern. I cannot disregard any of it without disregarding God Himself.

Then I read this and was challenged when I reflected on what it meant and what needed to change. 

For you are all children[b] of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:5-9  ESV

Am I walking through life with my armour on – especially my breastplate of faith?  Am I  placing an emphasis on loving – for I know it will motivate me to pray, encourage, help, admonish and it will energize me to reach out to the lost.

I know that I have hope and am encouraged to know that I have received salvation that I do not deserve and I have been given mercy – what a liberating truth!  Can I live in the light of Christ’s coming? I can if I pray continually. I have hope that God will accomplish my santification and that will encourage me to obey Him.

Father, I am amazed that Your word has once again challenged me, woke me up, and then I as reflected on it, it changed me. I see what You want to do in my life and how I have resisted for selfish reason. I want to give You my whole heart. I want to take You into the rooms of my heart where I have kept the door closed for some time. Walk with me and set me free, in Jesus name. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

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Filed under 1 Thessalonians, 2 Chronicles, 2 Kings, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized