Author Archives: llilly2017

Exodus 22; John 1; Job 40; 2 Corinthians 10

Protection of Property

“If someone steals an ox or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.     

“If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder. But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder.                                    

“A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft. If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal.” (Exodus 22:1-4 NLT)

God presented Moses with these regulations (and many more) to tell to the Israelites. As I read through some of them, I wondered: did any of the Israelites ever get tired of obeying God (even if they didn’t say it)? Have I ever gotten tired of obeying God?

The Lord Challenges Job Again

Then the Lord answered to Job from the whirlwind: “Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right? Are you as strong as God? Can you thunder with a voice like his?” (Job 40:6-9 NLT)

We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you. For we were the first to travel all the way to Corinth with the Good News of Christ.                

Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended. Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else’s territory. As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD”. When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them. (2 Corinthians 10:13-18 NLT)

Have I ever tried to be in control over God—have I ever tried to prove that I’m right over him? Paul quoted, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD”. This should be true in my life; in my thoughts and my actions, for God is in control.

Hey God,

Thank you so much for your Word, and all the truths about you in it. Please equip me to faithfully obey you through every circumstance, for I’ve chosen in the past to follow you, and I’m keeping that decision. Amen

—Lanie (llilly2017)

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Genesis 44; Mark 14; Job 10; Romans 14

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’. But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.” (Mark 14:27-31 NLT)

I love Bible passages where Jesus is speaking. I immediately feel refreshed after reading what he has to say. And when I read this passage—whoa. I’ve heard this story before, but I’ve never actually focused on it. I can’t even imagine how Peter felt when Jesus told him “…this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Peter would deny Jesus—the Son of God—my Savior. If I was Peter, I’d want to run off or beg Jesus to say he was joking. But it was no joke. Jesus had spoken the truth.

Peter Denies Jesus

Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept. (Mark 14:66-72 NLT)

Hey God,

I have sinned, just like everyone else on this earth. But I could never even imagine denying that I know you. Please keep my mind and heart pure so that I won’t even have a chance to give in to Satan’s wishes. It’s your breath in our lungs; and you’ve created us. There is no one as great as you. Amen.
—Lanie (llilly2017)

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Genesis 7; Ezra 7; Matthew 7; Acts 7

God wasn’t happy with the people on the earth, because they continuously sinned against him. So he decided to flood the earth. But there was one man who trusted God completely and served him. His name was Noah, and he was saved because of his strong faith.

“When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.” Genesis 7:11-12 NLT                   

All through the storm, in the thick of the trial, Noah trusted God. I want to be able to trust God like that. God tests people all the time to trust in him. During any trial I will have, I want to be able to trust God with all my heart, just like Noah did during the flood. But Noah wasn’t the only person in the Bible to show great faith in God. Ezra did too; but he came many years after.

“This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him.” Ezra 7:6 NLT

The verse says that the “gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him.” That makes me wonder why God protected and helped him. First of all, God loved him, as he does everybody. But Ezra trusted God with his plans; and God rewarded him by assisting him.

 

“Then the high priest asked Stephen, ‘Are these accusations true?’                    This was Stephen’s reply: ‘Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live.” Acts 7:1-4 NLT

God keeps his promises. He is faithful to the end. I now trust God with my entire life, because his plan is much better than any plans I will ever have! I know I can count on him.

Hey God,

I trust you with my entire life, with all the decisions I make, and with my future. Give me wisdom when you test me, so I won’t let my faith waver. I don’t want to ever doubt you. You’ve kept your promises up until now, so I know that you will continue to. In your name I pray, Amen.

–Lanie (llilly2017)

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