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.

2 Samuel 1-2; 1 Chronicles 11; Psalm 96, 106; Acts 21

I was amazed at the song that David wrote for Saul and Jonathan. I am sure the words he chose came easily as he thought more about Jonathan rather than Saul. He called it the “Song of the Bow.”

There is love of country and love of a friend – more than a friend – for David never found another man he could love like Jonathan.

I grieve for you, Jonathan, my brother.
You were such a friend to me.
Your love for me was more wonderful
than the love of women. – 2 Samuel 1:26 HCSB

I have never experienced such love for a friend, however, I have heard of it and understand it. I am not sure Jesus had such a friend, but I am challenged to be a Jonathan to those who are called and anointed for leadership.

David was a man, a leader, who drew other leaders to him. When he wished for water from the well in Bethlehem, those that loved him braved all danger, risked their lives, and made sure they offered him a cup of that water. I am challenged again to look at my love for Jesus, my personal love. Love is a mighty bond – Jesus’ love for me – He braved all dangers, and His love caused Him to lay down His life for me. He loves me and that love ensures that I have a covenant with Him that nothing can get in-between.

This love unites and I see it in the New Testament.

Father, I have easily written love songs to You – they flow from my heart because of Your love for me. You have been my best friend since the day I met You and You have never left me alone. You have brought me through valleys as dark as death and have surrounded me with Your protection when I faced death. I am amazed how easily I could have been destroyed, if Your hand was not there to hold me. There is not an argument in the world that can convince me otherwise, even the threat of death. I grieve for those who do not know You as I have come to know You. They have not gone through the experiences that I have. Help me be a Jonathan or a Paul or a Barnabas or a Timothy to them and allow me to love them as You have loved me. Amen

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan

1 Samuel 15-16; 1 Chronicles 1; Psalm 39; Acts 11

I was in a meeting this week where the devotional leader discussed how easy it is for us to think we are standing firm and tall and yet, God’s Word declares that in that very moment, we could fall. God gives so much, I do not have to stand on my own – ever.

Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant, have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:17 HCSB

Saul made such a mistake – he forgot he was made in the image of God and that he was supposed to reflect His rule. Instead he misused his authority. It is returning to God when I mess up that allows the Father to define me by His love and let Him fill me with His Spirit. It was from this position that I can give myself to Jesus and accept His call as He sends me out into the world.

Adam, Seth, Enosh – 1 Chronicles 1:1 HCSB

As I read all the names of those listed in this chapter, I can recall some of their stories. Many had ideas about God but most of them I remembered had a relationship with God – that God heard, knew and remembered – that God was gracious and come alongside them and gave them what they needed. I think they loved to think of Him as God the Giver.

Now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You. – Psalm 39:7 HCSB

This is what I notice in my life – my happiness is in exact proportion to my despair of this world to the hope I have in the mercy and all-sufficient love of God. When I look to God and see His hand in all my troubles and put my faith in His wisdom, justice, truth and love I can rest easy because He is right there.

But there were some of them, Cypriot and Cyrenian men, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists,[e][f] proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. – Acts 11:20-21 HCSB

In his book, Deep and Wide, Andy Stanley asks a question, Who is church for?  I love discipling others and I find the church the place where I love to be and find that I fit well into that purpose. I also love to tell the gospel story to those who have never heard the good news. What a joy to bring them into a body that loves Jesus as much as their new found love.

Father, may I never lose sight of who You are. Thank you for adding my name to the list of those who have experienced Your gracious generosity. May I find strength in the idea of resting in You, even in the midst of You changing me. I pray that when I speak, may Your words heal those who are listening. May many hear the good news of Your love and respond as the Holy Spirit moves in their lives. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Judges 17-18; Psalm 21; Acts 1

Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, because a Levite has become my priest.” – Judges 17:13 HCSB

A striking note to me today as I think how individuals like Micah, think God comes in good luck charms. I can easily fall into a combination of Heathenism, Judaism and Christianity. While I grasp the complex concept of the Trinity, why do I still find myself thinking that God has little interest in the affairs of this world, either in a way of present control, or of future retribution?

It happens when I miss God’s goodness and grace that comes to meet me all the time.

For You meet him with rich blessings;
You place a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked You for life, and You gave it to him—
length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your victory;
You confer majesty and splendor on him.
You give him blessings forever;
You cheer him with joy in Your presence.
For the king relies on the Lord;
through the faithful love of the Most High
he is not shaken. – Psalm 21:3-7 HCSB

The grace of God’s love loves me before I ever loved Him. His grace of restraint keeps me from committing sins that would put me more out of reach of the Gospel.

All these were continually united in prayer,[c] along with the women, including Mary[d] the mother of Jesus, and His brothers. During these days Peter stood up among the brothers[e]—the number of people who were together was about 120… – Acts 1:14-15 HCSB

I can see this grace resulting in change that took place in the lives of the disciples. Did they not argue, on more than one occasion who among them was the greatest? Yet after the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension, they no longer argued but were truly united because there was trust among them. As a follower of Jesus I must learn to trust other followers, being united together to fulfill the Great Commission.

I saw that they were not concerned about who was the greatest, whose sin was worst or least, they were only concerned on how they could fulfill that Great Commission. That brought unity – everyone had the same goal.

Father, I pray that I do not fall into thinking like the world does about You. I pray that Your grace will meet me each day and that Your goodness will walk with me always. I pray that I will have time to honour You for Your blessings and I look forward to Your presence that enables me to rely on You and experience Your love. I sense Your strength ensuring that in my life. May I enjoy the presence of other believers and together may we share the good news of Jesus to the world that needs it and are looking for You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Judges, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized

Joshua 5-8; Psalm 14; Luke 15

What I love most reading Joshua chapter five and the first nine verses is how God places a premium on preparation. I see it in the New Testament too. Even in the preparation I am reminded that this is all for one task – cross the Jordan. It had nothing to do with the second task of taking Jericho for that required a different kind of preparation. In this case circumcision became the physical sign of a covenant, a mark that these were God’s people. I love the symbolisim of what God would do in my heart, enabling me to love Him. I am so thankful for the death and resurrection of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they kept the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month.[d] The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. – Joshua 5:10 HCSB

However, this preparation, celebrating the Passover, won my heart for I believe the spirit of unity is the soul of victory. It was a time of being thankful, together, a time to remember together.

Remember how the story of the prodigal son ended?

But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. – Luke 15:32 HCSB

The father loved the older son as much as the younger one and reminded him that all his wealth and all his property were at his disposal. There was time needed for the older son to reorient his thinking. He needed to see that they had something to celebrate – the brother who was thought dead, is alive. There had to be a party – the one lost was now found. I always wonder if the older brother ever recognized his self-righteousness, arrogance and lovelessness and made the decision to come to the party or did he resist the invitation because of his stubbornness and hard heart.

I know that same invitation to prepare, to celebrate is the same invitation that Jesus gives to me. It also is the same invitation he gave to the Pharisees and scribes and every other sinner that ever lived. What an invitation it is – a call to respond to the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Father, I love how You prepare my heart, taking each day, one day at a time, to grow me and mature me in my walk with You. I might be tempted to see it as a walk of trust or one of faith, but in my heart I know that You are calling me to a walk of love. When I watched You pray, prepared the Last Supper, prepare hearts for Your death and resurrection and specifically Your love for Peter, who You knew would struggle and fail so hard, I know that You have me in a special place too, preparing me for what You have called me to do. May today be no different, may I expect to be in awe of Your presence in my life.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Joshua, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 1-3; Psalm 36; Luke 5

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven,
Your faithfulness to the clouds. God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Spread Your faithful love over those who know You, and Your righteousness over the upright in heart. – Psalm 36:5,7,10 HCSB

God’s “faithful love” is such an important attribute of God. It is God’s covenant love. I see Him faithful and loyal just as a man loves his wife and is faithful to her. I believe there are no limits to God’s love. I remember talking to my children about how much I love them, in particular, my daughter and I went to great lengths to describe who loved each other more. I tried to make sure I made the statement – I love you to the moon and back.

There are so many stories in the Bible revealing just how much God loves me – He is present and in control. The resurrection was such a great revelation of His amazing love. The Gospel is such a real picture of God’s love for me – it exists because of the goodness of God.

“All his goodness is forbearance, and his love is mercy, because of the weakness, the lowliness, and the ill desert of us on whom the love falls. … The first and last, the Alpha and Omega of God, beginning and crowning and summing up all his being and his work, is his mercy, his lovingkindness.” – Alexander Maclaren

I can read, see and feel God’s love – that He is coordinating and providentially controlling events for my benefit.

Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed. – Luke 5:16 HCSB

If I ever forget that love, I see it here when Jesus prays. It is here, in prayer, that Jesus finds Himself connected in a love relationship with His Father and it is the place where I enjoy being as well.

Father, I see Your love every day as I spend time with You each morning. The Holy Spirit allows me to read what Your love looks like as I engage with Your words in the Bible. As I put into practice those things that You are calling me to do each day, I actually can feel Your love coming out of me and going into those that are looking for Your love or have forgotten just how much You love them. When I call on You, in the name of Jesus, I know that You show up and are part of all my conversations and actions and You allow me to glorify You in all that I say and do. Thank You – it is something I look forward to each and every day.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized