Author Archives: evanlaar1922

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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 10-12; Psalm 83; John 4

The chapter of Ezekiel 12 leaves me with a relevant message for my life today. Sometimes I think that God allows me to continue in a certain direction that I know does not glorify Him. Yet, I have to remember while He is merciful and patient, He always hates evil. And therefore, He will not allow me, one of His children, to sin and sin forever. His hand will move in my life and encourage me to stop sinning. God wants a relationship with me, a holy one centred in love.

It is why I try to encourage those who read Psalm 83 to keep it as a prayer. It is so easy to judge and much harder to love. I have begun to pray that God’s enemies will start to love Him. I am constantly reminded to do so every time they do something contrary to who God is.

I also pray that I might bring a message of hope even when there might not be one. The woman at the well inspires me on so many fronts. I realize that I must bring so much of Jesus to the table when I engage with those who do not know Him.

 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” – John 4:29 HCSB

I know that love was in His eyes, I know that He outed sin and yet left no shame in His manner of speech, and I know that this woman did not want to run away but knew that He had what she was looking for her whole life – love, security and safety. How do I relate to others? Can they see love in my voice and the words I choose to use? Is there a sense of security or are they looking for the trap door to escape? Am I a safe place for them to share their guilt and shame while their sin is exposed? I need to make that a priority today – give people a safe place to confess their sin, repent and put their trust in Jesus.

Father, may my voice become Your voice in the ears of those I talk to today. May it be filled with words and expressions of Your love, grace and mercy. May I remember to apply those same thoughts into my own life as I remember that You want to walk with me in Your holiness – may I receive Your love today too. I know that You know me better than anyone else. Even so, Your love for me calls me right into Your arms. I know what it means to be loved, to have a place where I run to for security and I know what it means to be in a safe place. May I be put into situations where I can share these precious moments with others so that that they too may know You. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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 Jeremiah 38, 39, 52; 1 Peter 2

When I see the words “honour” and “love” in one verse, it immediately grabs my attention.

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the Emperor. – 1 Peter 2:17 HCSB

I am called to love others who have made the decision to follow Jesus and with them I am called to have a closer relationship. I get what Peter means when he commands me to fear God. Out of the fear of God comes the call to honour those in leadership and everyone else.

Honouring and loving are the keys to unity and harmony in human relationships. In the Godhead, in the church, in marriage, and in any relationship, honour and love are the basis for unity.

Exclude Jesus and I am more motivated by self-interest. Include Jesus and I am motivated by faith, hope and love and it results in self-sacrifice. My honouring and loving enables me to endure suffering because my motivation is not in this world – they are in my heavenly hope and the love that God generates in me.

Honouring in itself is an act of love and I am commanded not to love the world. While I should honour those in leadership without conflict with others, to do so takes wisdom. God promises to give me wisdom as I love to seek it out.

True honouring is not building up anyone with flattery, but in truth that is not only proclaimed but practiced in love. I love this call from Peter as he provides an example of what that sounds like.

Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.[r]Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles,[s] so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. – 1 Peter 2:11-12 HCSB

Father, these days I need wisdom from You more than I ever have felt before. Wisdom in how to honour and wisdom to understand what love looks like. I want individuals to know that I honour You more than anything and part of that means honouring those in leadership even though I struggle so much with how they are leading. Walk with me Lord so that as I begin to look like You more and more each day, may You be glorified. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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 Jeremiah 5-7; Psalm 75; 2 Corinthians 10

Today is my 37th wedding anniversary. It would be great to get 1Corinthians 13 as the reading. Anything but Jeremiah as he was told he could not marry. Psalm 51 would be more appropriate for the amount of times I have had to say sorry. So I walk into this day with what we have and see if I can relate. 🙂

Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them, but they felt no pain.
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline.
They made their faces harder than rock,
and they refused to return. – Jeremiah 5:3 HCSB

This is no surprise – God is looking for truth – and faithful people. When I am called to love, I am called to love by my actions and in truth. The eyes of the Lord, of His love, favour, good will and delight are on those whose hearts lean towards His cause and interest, and are faithful to His word, and who are lovers of truth – of Jesus Himself who is truth itself – and of His Gospel, the word of truth.

Then there is the definitiveness of His love.

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” – Psalm 75:10 HCSB

I cannot explain how He separates the truth from the lie – I will know one day I will see things as God sees them.

“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment; hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.” – Dr. J. C. Ryle

So what do I do between now and then? I have to love Paul’s response.

Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. – 2 Corinthians 10:1 HCSB

What does the gentleness and graciousness of Jesus look like? I think He loved righteousness, hated sin. He is just as He is loving – the cross modelled that – He died for the just and for the unjust.

This meekness and gentleness is the weapon by which Christ conquers us. It is the power of His love that subdues human hearts. He will bear with men until His very patience and gentleness shall make them ashamed of their sin. What argument can be more powerful than this? – W. Braden

Father, as You look for those to stand in the gap and be faithful, may I be found ready. I wanted to be the one You call righteous and I know I am through the blood of Jesus. May Your Spirit keep transforming me into the very likeness of Jesus. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Isaiah 56-59; Psalm 70; 1 Corinthians 16

I cannot remember the first day I loved the name of Jesus. It is amazing how much I love His name today. I wish I could remember that day.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord
minister to Him, love the name of Yahweh
and become His servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold firmly to My covenant— Isaiah 56:6 HCSB

There is something about loving the name of God which basically means to love God. In a concrete way, loving means to obey. Loving the name of God means I love and imitate His character. That is how I and others know I am in love with Him. So there is the emotional love and the action love. Action comes in the territory of serving and is reflected in my whole life and with my whole being. It means that loving Him reflects on me keeping His law.

All of this is for one reason – so when foreigners show up in the temple because they are motivated by love for God, they will stand out from the one who have come with a deceitful motive.

It is why Jesus prayed for us to be one – under Him, our Saviour – bond together in the bond of love and peace. It is only when I walk away from God’s love does my own love grow cold. It is amazing – it is either this or I am persecuted for my love.

God, deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Lord! – Psalm 70:1 HCSB

I need God because how else will I be able to love my enemies, to do good to those that hate me and to pray for those who persecute me.

Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love. If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse be on him. Marana tha that is, Lord, come. – 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14,22 HCSB

While the church is open to everyone, the church does not consist of everyone. The mark of a follower of Jesus is based on their love for Jesus – not affiliation or family ties. Therefore it is my choice that I make – I chose to love.

Father, I want those who see me to see Jesus in me. While I struggle for the words, I pray that my actions will be not leave doubt. I need You Lord – there is nothing I can do on my own without You. I expect You to show up and give me wisdom and to guide me in all my relationships. It is the only way that anyone will see You in me. As You taught us to pray, I ask you to not lead me into temptation but to deliver me from evil. May Your Kingdom rule in my heart and in my life so that I may love like You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Isaiah 33-35; 1 Corinthians 6

I am amazed today how I see so many struggle with love and justice. It seems like the two cannot get married and stay married. I was with a group of young adults, basketball players trying to make it into a league that will get them as close to the NBA as possible. I meet them once every three months or so as a spiritual advisor and encourager. As I finished up I knew I had hit a raw nerve when the coach introduced the Bible as a book of rules, contradicting my entire message which was based on God’s love.

It must have been real hard for the prophets to share this message. They only had the law and they did not have the new covenant of grace introduced by Jesus. Still, the character of God has remained the same, so they focused on that.

The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose.[q][r]
It will blossom abundantly
and will also rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God and the redeemed of the Lord will return
and come to Zion with singing,
crowned with unending joy.
Joy and gladness will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee. – Isaiah 35:1-2,10 HCSB

The disposition of God’s heart is joy and gladness. I think God is troubled about those things that hinder love. When I look at His judgments, I see Him removing everything that hinders love. That is why He intervenes in judgment – He is zealous to fill the earth with love, humility and righteousness.

But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. – 1 Corinthians 6:17 HCSB

This is why I think that I pursue such a union with Jesus. There is nothing more I need. When I am discipling others, this becomes a stumbling stone because they want more from me and all I have is Jesus. I try to show them how precious it is to fall in love with Jesus more and more. To seek out His beauty, to delight in Him. to joy in Him and to worship Him. I ask them to train their heart to make the choice to love Jesus more than any thing or any one.

This hymn might be helpful describing what it is like to be the bride of Jesus. It is a meditation on what that would be.

Father, thank You for revealing Your joy and gladness to me in the midst of calling me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who sustains me and calls me to make a choice everyday to love You. Your love is sustaining me and I love You for this. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, New Testament, Old Testament, reading plan