Author Archives: gueston66books

2 Kings 2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 6; Psalm 112 & 113

In 2 Kings 2 we read about Elijah being taken up to Heaven in a chariot.  What a privilege he had!  And what an honor it was for Elisha to witness him being taken up and then to carry on his ministry.

“Then it came about as they were going along and talking, that

Behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which

Separated the two of them.  And Elijah went up by a whirlwind

To heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11)

Daniel 6 shows us how God takes care of us when we are true to Him, regardless of the attacks by the enemy.

“My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they

Have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent

Before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed

No crime.” (Daniel 6:22)

And he uses our witness to bring other people to him.  For the king said, “I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are

To fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;

For He is the living God and enduring forever,

And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,

And His dominion will be forever.

He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders

In Heaven and on earth,

Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

(Daniel 6:26-27)

The Psalmist reflects what I imagine Daniel must have been feeling after being rescued from the lion’s den.

“Praise the Lord!  How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,

Who greatly delights in His commandments.” (Psalm 112:1)

“Praise the Lord! Praise o servants of the Lord,

Praise the name of the Lord.

Blessed be the name of the Lord

From this time forth and forever.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

The name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is high above all nations;

His glory is above the heavens.” (Psalm 113:1-4)

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” (2 Thes. 2:16-17)

Amen!

Kellie (gueston66books)

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1 Kings 16; Colossians 3; Ezekiel 46; Psalm 102

I love reading my Bible and it is especially rewarding and comforting to me to turn to a book in the Bible, begin reading the passages and see where I have been there before.  Certain verses will be highlighted as a bookmark that serves to remind me that these specific passages had a special meaning for me on that day.  Not that I can remember why the highlighted or underlined verses spoke to me that day, but returning and seeing these bookmarks makes me feel like I’m returning to a secure and comfortable place.

The verses below were a few that were highlighted in my Colossians  3 study today.  After reading over them several times today, it dawned on me that these verses are verses that I share with my children and husband on a regular basis.

Many people feel that the book of Proverbs offers a daily reminder of how Christ followers should live their lives on a daily basis, Proverbs does this in small nuggets of wisdom, easy to remember throughout your day if you read a chapter each day.  But I’m afraid that people are missing the other words of wisdom sprinkled all throughout the pages of the Bible, like the verses below:

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:2

Write this on your mirror and read it out loud every morning.  This will set the tone for your day.  Especially when you are disappointed by others or things just don’t seem to be going your way that day.  It’s not about “here” it’s about “there”!

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave your. Colossians 3:13

This is a beauty! One I repeat several times a day.  Forgive as the Lord forgave me.  Repeat 1000 times.  Be patient, be kind and realize that others are just as human as you.  Then ask yourself; “how many people did I burden, rub the wrong way, irritate, push the wrong buttons, exasperate…the pray they forgive you.

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.  Colossians 3:21

I can’t change the words of the Bible but I secretly add the word Mothers in there too.  I spend more time with my children that my husband does, so my words, my actions and my time should be encouraging and uplifting.  Many times they get something wrong that I’ve ask them to do, it so easy to raise my voice and snap…oh but my Heavenly Father lives by this verse too and many times He could snap on me, instead He encourages me to take a breath and love my children as they are a gift from God not another task to take care of.

Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.  Colossians 3: 23

I repeat this verse to my children a lot.  Teachers, coaches, peers, bosses, parents, authority figures…all of these people my children encounter everyday and with that encounter comes work; school work, practices, chores, jobs, rules and with their peers; the decisions they make, their reputations, their little social circles.  I tell them to repeat the verse every time they are faced with those feelings of having to do something that someone else tells you to do.  I hear; “why do I have to?”  “the coach is so mean, we had to…” “schoolwork stinks, why do I have so much homework?” or “I’ll do it later” ” my boss is lame” “my friends were picking on this kid today, they were really rude”

I tell them when they remember this verse, things become easier to do, all of the sudden you’re not working out for the coach you’re working out for God, you’re not working for your boss, but for God, you don’t participate in the class lesson for the teacher, but for God and you don’t stand there and allow your “friends” to pick on another person because you’re worried what they will think of you when you stick up for the other kid.  You care more about what God thinks of you and you take a stand because God does the same for you everyday.

Father God, your words and instructions are like salve to my soul.  Directions for my day, reminders of how much you love me.  You love me so much that you only want the best for me, you encourage me to do my best.  You provide shelter with your words, protection and courage to stand firm. I pray that by following your standards that my actions are a light to others, that they see how my actions and words glorify you. Amen

Cindi

From the archives. Originally published October 13, 2011.

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2 Samuel 19; 2 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 26; Psalm 74

In 2 Samuel we read about disorder and revolution in the kingdom.  Doesn’t that sound like the state of our country in recent days?

“All the people were quarreling throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, ‘The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled out of the land from Absolom.’ (v.9 NASB)

In Ezekiel we learn about God’s judgement on Tyre.

For thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry and a great army.’ (v. 7)

    “Thus says the Lord God to Tyre, ‘shall not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall when the wounded groan, when the slaughter occurs in your midst?”

    “For thus says the Lord God, ‘when I shall make you a desolate city, like the cities which are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep over you and the great waters will cover you.” (v. 19)

    “I shall bring terrors on you and you shall be no more; though you will be sought, you will never be found again, declares the Lord.” (v. 21)

The Psalms reflect the people’s cry to God after the Babylonian captivity and destruction of the temple.

O God why have you rejected us forever?” (v. 1a)

    “Arise O God and plead Your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.  Do not forget the voice of your adversaries, the uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.” (v. 22-23)

Despite all the craziness in the world and in our country or a physical, financial or emotional trial we might endure, Paul gives a testimony on how to live knowing that God’s grace is sufficient.

“…there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from exalting myself.  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.  Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong. “(v. 7-10)

Lord,

Thank you for providing the Word that teaches us everything we need to know about how to live.  Help us always continue to learn and grow and become more like You.

Amen,

Kellie

Kellie

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1 Samuel 9; Romans 7; Jeremiah 46; Psalm 22

From deep, deep down when desire nearly drowns in dread
when I am desperate for You…
When I can’t see, and I can’t hear You. ( taken from Ps22:1-2)

Yet you are holy…” and I choose to remember.

I will remember what YOU have done.

“In you our fathers trusted… and you delivered them.
To you they cried…and you rescued them.” PS.22:4-5

When I am desperate, depressed. When all despise me.
I feel alone, and I can’t find You.
When I am daunted by their doubt… (verses 6-7)

“He trusts in the Lord, let Him deliver him;
let Him rescue him for he delights in Him.” Ps22:8

I will remember what You have done for me.

“Yet YOU are He who took me from the womb;
YOU made me trust YOU at my mother’s breasts,
On YOU was I cast from my birth
and from my mother’s womb YOU have been my God.” Ps22:9-10

Oh Father,
Some days will be dark and dreary.
Deal tenderly with us. We want to see Your face.
Help us remember what You have done.
Be our everlasting delight. For,

“He has not hidden His face from Him, but has heard, when he cried to Him.” Psalm 22:24

Oh how desperately we need You…

amy in peru

republished from the archives, August 17, 2010

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1 Samuel 2; Jeremiah 40; Psalm 15 & 16; Romans 2

There are songs of praise and trust in our readings today.  In 1 Samuel, Hannah sings from her heart about God answering her prayer.

“My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exulted in the Lord,

    My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,

    Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

    There is no one holy like the Lord,

    Indeed there is no one besides You.

    Nor is there any rock like our God.” (v.1-2 NASB)

Like Hannah I prayed for children and received them.  There is no greater blessing.

In the 16th Psalms, David declares his trust in the Lord.

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

    You support my lot.

    The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

    Indeed my heritage is beautiful to me.” (v. 5-6)

Last summer we suffered a job loss.  Right from that first day we sensed God whispering that it was all going to be alright; He’d take care of us.  We just needed to trust.  And two months later exactly, a new job began.

“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;

    Indeed my mind instructs me in the night.

    I have set the Lord continually before me;

    Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.

    Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

    My flesh also will dwell securely.” (v. 7-9)

We have had health issues come up in our family that have shaken us.  God counsels us when we’re broken and questioning “why.”  His ways are not our ways.

    You will make known to me the path of life;

    In your presence is fullness of joy;

    In your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (v.11)

Ultimately I am slowly learning to take life a day at a time, very challenging for a planner like me.  But I know the joy comes in focusing on God and all He’s given us.

Lord, like Hannah and David, help us to use the trials and the harvests in life as pieces of our testimony.  May others want to know You by knowing what You’ve done for us.

Amen.

~Kellie   (gueston66books)

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1 Samuel 1, Romans 1, Jeremiah 39, Psalms 13, 14

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.   Romans 1:16

Whenever I read this verse, I am struck by Paul’s word choice.  Not ashamed?  Why does Paul feel the need to defend his belief in the gospel?

One reason I gravitate to Paul’s writing is his logical bent.  He took the message of Jesus to the centers of culture, where the greatest minds of the time were located. He spent time speaking to philosophers in Athens.  Now he is writing to believers in the seat of power, Rome.  Paul knew that he needed to appeal to the intellect, as well as the heart, to persuade his audience of the truth of the gospel.  And he didn’t shy away from this.

As someone who naturally favors logic over emotion, I can appreciate Paul’s perspective.  I, too, would associate shame with an inability to logically defend my position.  In fact, I think it is the fear of this shame that drives me to take such a keen interest in defending my faith when the “intellectual elite” try to cut it down.

No subject elicits more intellectual attacks on our faith today than the subject of origins.  Popularly over-simplified as a choice between a “6 day creation account” and “godless evolution”, debate rages on about how the world, and we humans, came to exist.  And curious Christians (including this one), immediately start looking at the theological implications of these alternatives.  Undoubtedly, the interpretation of the Genesis creation account hinges on the answers to these “HOW” questions.   But the even bigger question, the “WHO” question, has been answered:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  Romans 1:18-20

While the details of the mechanics of creation are in hot debate, Paul makes it clear that God is the creator and his creation testifies to his eternal power and divine nature.

Lord,
Thank you that the beauty, majesty, design, and intricacy of your creation testifies so boldly to your existence and your nature.  I pray that the pursuit of the “how” questions draws more people to a saving knowledge of you.

Greg (gmd40187)

 

(Repost from 66 books archives.)

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Judges10-11:11; Acts 14; Jeremiah 23; Mark 9

Judges 10:6 “Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord…”

Acts14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God…”

Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people.”

Mark 9:19 “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?”

We all can get off track; chasing after idols, playing around with the forbidden, participating in gossip or slander with a neighbor or against a co-worker.  We are also prone to following after charismatic spiritual leaders, becoming comfortable in relying on the weekly inserts in church bulletins to inform our lazy minds what God is saying (at least to the televangelist or pastor).  Why is it so easy and dangerous to run with the crowd? I think it is complacency.  Complacency is a lack of effort, a slipping away from spiritual vigilance over our soul.  We let day after day go by without so much as a glance at the Word of God or a heartfelt, intercessory prayer for others.  It may be difficult to identify how our morals, beliefs, and intentions have been compromised.  We cannot see it happening.  Yet, our testimony, (not the one that brought us to Christ, but the one that we speak every day with our words and actions) points to this falling away.  Over time, we will have to admit we have been compromised when our omniscient God pulls us up abruptly with the words, “…cut it off; it is better for you to enter [eternal] life…than to be cast into hell.”  Strong words, I know.  Yet I have seen the devastation when a believer falls into the death grip of denial and immorality.  Years of wasting away a life once devoted to the things of God, now self-serving.  The collateral damage will require the faith of saints and the mercy of God to repair.

I once heard that most Americans are but a paycheck away from homelessness.  In the same way, our spiritual bank can become low in reserves of truth, belief, faith, utter dependence on, and gratitude to God.  We will find ourselves homeless, holding onto the transitory thoughts and mores of our world and our own darker imaginings.  Our good deeds will not save us; avoiding the reckoning will not delay the inevitable; minimizing the consequences will not justify us.  We can tough it out and hope the saints are wrong, or we can repent and return to diligently seeking the Master’s face, asking for His mercy, putting away the things that interfere with discipleship, then serving Him with our whole heart. My own conscious tells me this is so – have mercy on me, oh Lord.

Janet

From the archives. Originally published July 27, 2013.

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