Author Archives: gueston66books

Numbers 35, Psalm 79, Isaiah 27, 1 John 5

I have always struggled with confidence. I am constantly comparing my “ugly” insides to someone else’s “pretty” outsides.  I question myself every day.  “Am I good enough?”, “Do I give enough?”, “Did I say too much?” and so on and so forth.  Every single day I struggle with this.  There is a fear that I am a failure.

I often forget what God has said about me – there are so many promises right in scripture that I need to cling to… I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps139) or God has a plan for me (Jer 29:11 – a little out of context but a promise nonetheless) and in our reading of 1 John today God tells me that I need to be confident in my salvation, in the fact that God listens to me and in overcoming my struggles with sin.

1 John 5:13 tell me that I can be confident that if I believe in Jesus I will have eternal life.  “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.”  Verse 5 says that I can be confident because through believing in Jesus I am his child.  What a relief.  I do not have to stress about being good enough; I just have to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and I have confidence in my salvation – in that fact that I am his child (also see  Act 16:31 and Romans 6:23).

Not only can I be confident in my salvation, according to 1 John 5:14-15, I can have confidence in my prayers.  “This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  Alright, so there is a little catch.  If I ask “according to his will” he will hear me (not give me – but hear me and consider what I am asking!).  I can be confident that God will hear and consider my prayer and that he will give me whatever I ask within his will.  God is all knowing and even though I believe that something is right for me right now – God sees the bigger picture and therefore might not answer me the way I want him to.  However, according to vs. 15 if what I am asking for is within his will then he will not only hear my request but he will grant my request.  At this, I need to trust his judgment and be confident that he is God.

Another confidence that I can be assured of according to 1 John 5 is that God is helping me overcome the world through him.  Verse 18 starts out saying “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin…”  Uh oh… there is a problem because I sin all the time and yet I believe that I am born of God…  The verse goes on to say “…the One (note – capital “O”) who was born of God keeps them safe and the evil one cannot harm them.”  I can be confident that God (my father) is keeping me safe.”  Verse 19 says that the “whole world is under the control of the evil one”.  Sin causes harm – maybe embarrassment, maybe punishment and this chapter says that sin may cause death.  There is nothing more that Satan wants then to embarrass me or punish me or to take my confidence in God away from me.  When I lack the confidence that God’s “got this” and turn to myself then I make myself vulnerable to falling into what the world wants me to do or be and not finding confidence in what God wants me to do or be.  When I struggle with this I can look to Jesus for “understanding (vs. 20) as He has already “overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I will always struggle with being confident in who I am. When I take my eyes off of God and look around at everyone else I struggle.  (Perhaps that is where vs. 21 comes into play?)  However, when I am basking in the presence of God, seeking to do what he has asked me (vs. 2) and holding onto the promises that he loves me (John 3:16), that he hears me and that he has overcome the world,  I can find peace and total confidence in all that he has made me to be.

Amy W. (gueston66books)

From the archives. Originally published May 26, 2013

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Numbers 29; Isaiah 28; Psalm 73; 2 John 1

Walk in Truth

“I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.” (2 John 1:4 NASB).

In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with what to believe.  Most of it goes against what God says is Truth.  We need to stay grounded in His word in order to discern what it true and what is one of Satan’s many lies.

Be aware of false teachers

“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9)

The false teachers in the world are in abundance.  They tell us what “sounds” right but when we stop to listen, we hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit telling us that it’s not.

Walk in Love

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:7)  

So how do we love those who are teaching the wrong things or living in deception?  We walk in love.  We don’t accept what they tell us as Truth, but we treat them as God would.  We are kind and forgiving and lovingly honest with them if and when they’re open to finding the error of their ways.

God’s joy

…that your joy may be made full.” (2 John 1:12b)

I love how 2 John chapter 1 ends, “that your joy may be made full.”  When we study God’s word, are grounded in Truth to see through the Enemy’s lies and treat others with love, we will experience God’s joy.  And He will make that joy fill us up.  We need nothing else.

Lord,

Help us navigate through this very troubled world we live in.  Lies are everywhere and we need to be Truth bearers.  Help us to live life focused on You and Your will so that you can “make us full with joy.”

Amen, Kellie (gueston66books)

Kellie

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Numbers 22; Psalms 62,63; Isaiah 11,12; James 5

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. ~ James 5:16 AMP

 The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. ~ James 5:16 NASB

 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~ James 5:16 NKJV

 The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen. ~ James 5:16 NIRV

 The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. ~ James 5:16 NLT

Over the past three weeks, in three different circumstances, God brought this verse to my attention three times.  I’m noticing a theme and the common denominator is James 5:16.

For what seems like forever, my husband and I have been praying and believing that God will move MIGHTILY in our lives.  We’ve believed for a “shift.”  This is not a mediocre, subtle movement, but a huge and powerful change.  And that time has finally arrived!  I know for certain, when we first began to believe for God to move mightily in our lives, to shift us, we never dreamed it would involve the things we are facing today…as most people don’t look to trials to move them.  But nevertheless, here we are and our choices are to sit still, wondering “when it will pass,” or to forge ahead, knowing we already have the victory!

After we got over the initial shock, we “strapped our armor on,” called close a couple of our friends, and asked them to stand with us on the Word of God.  In order for God to move mightily, we must believe mightily.  The word “fervent” means “intensity.”  War is not for the faint of heart, but for the armed.  With great intensity and mighty power, this war will be won—this trial overcome—through worship, prayer, faith, and courage to believe as we keep moving forward.

Thank you, Father God, for all the ways you have prepared us for this opportunity to run into victory.  Thank you for good friends who let me text them at midnight, just to ask for extra encouragement.  Father, I can’t wait till we have full victory.  To You be all the glory!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

From the archives. Originally published May 13, 2013.

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Numbers 4; Psalm 38; Song of Solomon 2; Hebrews 2

I listen in on David’s heart song:

“My iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too many for me.”

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is You, O Lord my God, who will answer.”

“Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me!  Make haste to help me, O Lord of my salvation!”

Psalm 38: 4, 15, 21-22

Fast forward 1,000 years and that salvation,
the beloved of Israel, that all humanity was waiting for,
has a name…

JESUS

for he will save his people from their sins.*

Fast forward another 2,000+ years and find me…
I’ve messed things up royally. again. because of my foolishness.
I groan. My heart is in tumult.  I cry,

“Lord, all my longing, all my sighing is not hidden from you.
I’m broken.  I wait for You.  My heart throbs.
My strength fails, the light of my eyes is gone.”

I definitely should have paid closer attention.

“…he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”*

Now, I look.  I see that great salvation, I see Him.  Jesus, my help, my salvation.
I listen and I hear.

“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”*

Oh Lord, I am coming… stumbly, humbly.
Help me to remember; to see You.
I long to be with You, to love you,
to see your face and hear your voice;
for Your voice IS sweet, and Your face IS lovely.

amy in peru

* 1. Matt.1:21 * 2. Heb.2:18, * 3. Song of Solomon 2:10

From the archives. Originally published April 27, 2010.

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Leviticus 26; Psalm 33; Ecclesiastes 9; Titus 1

Having just celebrated Easter, it’s easier to be focused on praising God.  I walked through the events that led up to Good Friday with my children, helping them understand once again how incredibly “good” that Friday was.  Jesus paid our debt!

Reading through Psalm 33, a hymn of praise, helps me continue this focus on praising Him for what He did for us, what He did for ME.

Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is

    Becoming to the upright.  Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;

    Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.  Sing to Him a

    New song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.” (v. 1-3 NASB)

He created everything and the earth proclaims it.

“By the word of the Lord the Heavens were made, and by the

    Breath of His mouth all their host.  He gathers the waters of the

    Sea together as a heap; He lays the deeps in the storehouses.

    Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all inhabitants of the world

    Stand in awe of Him.  For He spoke and it was done; He

    Commanded it and it stood fast.” (v. 6-9)

He is our hope when the world seems hopeless.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

    For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy

    Name.  Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,

    According as we have hoped in You.” (v. 20-22)

Lord,

We praise You because You paid our debt that we owed for being sinners.  Truly we can say that Friday was a “good” day for us.  Easter is our wonderful surprise when you rose from the grave to prove You reign over death and that we who believe have the hope of life for all eternity.  Let us always praise You for what You did for us no matter what date is on the calendar.

Kellie

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Leviticus 19; Psalm 23,24; Ecclesiastes 2; 1 Timothy 4

You anoint my head with oil ~ Psalm 23:5

What do you do when you’re thousands of miles away and you receive word that a loved one is close to the end and if you want to see her—this side of heaven—now is the time to act?  That’s what we were faced with and what we’re going through now.

Wednesday morning, before our long drive, before work, before the day began, I sat on the couch with my journal and I prayed, “Father, I’ve got nothing.  Please reveal Your Word to me. I need You.”  When I read Psalm 23, I saw an explanation of the oil in verse 5.  It said that in climates of extreme heat, oil mixed with fragrance is actually refreshing and invigorating.  As we run the race and stay the course for Christ, our anointed bodies are refreshed, invigorated, and better fit for action.  Holy Spirit is our oil and we are anointed to receive refreshment and be able to stay the course.

As we were resting—half way to Wisconsin—at my uncle and aunt’s house, I realized that God had blessed us—in provision and safe travel—and knew that He had anointed us with His Holy Presence, that we’d be able to stay the course—the driving, the visiting, the emotions.  Psalm 24:8 says, “Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.”  My Father, the King of Glory, has gone before us and walks ever with us, protecting us (we didn’t encounter any issues with weather), and clearing the road before us.

I read in Ecclesiastes 2 that without His presence, all is lost and it’s all for naught.  I’ll close with that, and with thanks to my Father for His ever presence, even in the hard times of life.

For without [God], who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and [joy], but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 2:25-26

Heatherpotts5

 

From the archives. Originally published April 15, 2013.

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Exodus 36; Proverbs 12; John 15; Ephesians 5

In reading all of these passages I quickly noticed how generous God is in giving us the details.  In the building of the tabernacle we are told all the details of what was made:

The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits and the width of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains had the same measurements. 10 He joined five curtains to one another and the other five curtains he joined to one another. 11 He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set; he did likewise on the edge of the curtain that was outermost in the second set. 12 He made fifty loops in the one curtain and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set; the loops were opposite each other. 13 He made fifty clasps of gold and joined the curtains to one another with the clasps, so the tabernacle was a unit.” (Exodus 36:9-13 NASB) The description continues through the end of the chapter…

In the Proverbs passage we are given a contrast between what a righteous person looks like versus a wicked one.

“The way of the fool is right in his own eyes,

But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

A fool’s anger is known at once,

But a prudent man conceals dishonor.

He who speaks truth tells what is right,

But a false witness, deceit.” (Proverbs 12: 15-17)

Jesus tells us in detail how the world will view us since we love Him.  They will hate us because they hated Him.  We are definitely living this today.  It’s often painful to turn on the news to hear how God’s values have been corrupted.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ (John 15: 18-25)

But the good news is that we must be doing something right when they hate us, because they see us as different.  God wants us to be set apart and look different to the world.  So how are we to proceed in this world that hates us?  Once again God gives us detailed instructions.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Ephesians 5: 15-21)

Lord,

Thank you for being a God of details.  You have given us clear instructions of right versus wrong and how to be set apart as your people.  When we get bogged down by the world hating us, help us to remember the reason you want us to look different.  You want Your light to shine through us so that people may come to You for salvation.

Amen!

Kellie

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