Author Archives: Rebecca

Numbers 1; Psalm 35; Eccelesiastes 11; Titus 3

I think of full-hearted and childlike abandon to God. I think of the small child stretching free in the warming sunlight. I think of myself. How long has it been since I have allowed my own self to stretch full bodied and free in the Lord, in the light of His face? How long has it been since all of my bones cry out in praise?

Psalm 35 says,

10 All my bones shall say,
    “O Lord, who is like you,
delivering the poor
    from him who is too strong for him,
    the poor and needy from him who robs him?”  ESV

This abandoned, whole self cry of worship speaks to me. You,  O my God, are a deliverer. There is none like You.

 

Eccelesiastes 11

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb[a] of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. ESV

O, the profound mystery of God and His ways. He works in the unseen and in the hidden. He is life and movement and energy and creativity; He is beauty and breath. I find peace in knowing that I “do not know the way” and yet it is. He does. He breathes; He makes everything. He is at work in ways unseen. I think of this present season. O, Spring. The beautiful object lesson of the unseen work in the darkness springing forth into beautiful life and light. The seed in the ground; the buds on the tree; the mist of green deepening bringing life that was held dormant, secret. I do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb, but I know that it does in the most marvelous, magnificent way. O, praise the work of His hands! For a moment, I rest as that little, outstretched child, in the creative wonder that is He.

Titus 3

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. ESV

I think of my life; I think of the choices stretched before me. I am to be careful to devote myself to good works. I look at their faces, my children; I consider my family, our home. This good work. Am I devoted?  I have rich renewal and regeneration through the Holy Spirit. I breathe. I breathe deep. There is washing through the Holy Spirit; there is mercy and generosity. He is the well that never runs dry; He is the open outstretched arms of grace upon grace. He is the mystery moving in the unseen. Let my belief be evident in the action of my life: be careful to devote {myself} to good works.

Lord, You are goodness and lovingkindness. You are mystery and power. You are the One in whom I exult. Let this be true for me. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Leviticus 14; Psalm 17; Proverbs 28; 2 Thessalonians 2

Blessing and love flow from Scripture, and it surrounds me as a blanket with comfort and beauty.

 

I pray to you, God,
because you will help me.
Listen and answer my prayer!
Show your wonderful love.
Your mighty arm protects those
who run to you
for safety
from their enemies.
Protect me as you would
your very own eyes;
hide me in the shadow
of your wings. Psalm 17 CEV

I have always loved the imagery connected with hiding in the shadow of wings. It fills me with such a sense of safety and peace.

You provide food
for those you love.
Their children have plenty,
and their grandchildren
will have more than enough. Psalm 17 CEV

For many years, in different seasons, I have prayed the words that we would have “more than enough.” This blessing comforts me and offers hope and promise. Reading this psalm, I am exhorted to continue on in this prayer for my family; I want a vision for biblical legacy and heritage and the grace to walk it out.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2 ESV

In the morning, I try to gather with my younger children (those not in high school yet) and meet around truth and beauty. We pray and meditate on Scripture. We read poetry and literature. Sometimes, we look at fine art. We memorize passages and recite them to each other. We delve into devotions and Bible story. And, at the end, I speak Scripture passages over them and bless them. This passage from Thessalonians 2 is one of those that I share with my children during those morning times. How we all need eternal comfort and good hope! How we need to be established in every good work and word. There is so much good work to do in every day. Sometimes, the days feel long, and I struggle to do what is right. I struggle to engage with the task at hand within the confines of my home, bound in the relationships within my four walls. It is a good work within these walls, and I am desperate for the grace to walk in that goodness. The Lord’s love is a shield, a comfort, and a respite. I can run to Him, and I am safe. I can lead my children there, too. We can hide ourselves in Him and find what is needed to step out into the routines of a different day and live well through Him. In Him, all is grace.

Dear Lord, help me to truly read and dwell in Your beautiful, life-giving Word. Let each Word come to me with power and with grace. Thank You for Your Kindness- that You hide me in the shadow of Your Wings, that You promise me More than Enough, that You establish my heart in what is good and true. Help me, O Lord, to live for You. Help me to be a vessel of Your love and a flame of light to those around me. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Exodus 24; John 3; Job 42; 2 Corinthians 12

Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness – look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:25-30 ESV.

John 3 recounts a situation that occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and before John the Baptist was thrown in prison. Both John and Jesus were baptizing their followers and some of John’s disciples became upset that more people were going to Jesus to be baptized since John bore witness to Jesus in the first place. John’s disciples believed that he deserved the glory and honor in the situation and that it was unfair that Jesus was drawing more men to Himself. John immediately corrects his disciples, stating that the purpose of his ministry has been completed and that it is time for people to focus on Jesus, not himself. It would be very natural of John to become jealous as all his followers left him for someone else, but his heart was set on spiritual matters, not earthly ones, and he knew that Christ must be glorified. John was fine relinquishing his power and influence because he closely followed God and knew that all his abilities and skills came from God, not himself. John’s words stand out to me as a powerful example of both humility and worship, acknowledging both that he was not worthy of praise and raising Christ up as the only one worthy to be praised.

And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. Job 42:10, 12a ESV

Job, like John, stated that everything that he had came from the LORD and therefore belonged to Him. From the very beginning of the Book of Job, Job is clear that because the LORD gave everything to him, He is also justified to take it away. After all Job’s suffering, Job repents to God and the LORD restores everything to him in abundance. Job’s humility before God has led to his forgiveness and the LORD admonishes Job’s friends for not repenting like Job did. Job’s story shows me the importance of having a  humble heart that is open to correction before God.

So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harrass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthains 12:7-10 ESV

Paul’s example of the thorn in his flesh is yet another example of how God favors humility. Through his suffering, Paul realizes that it is Christ, not himself, that is his source of strength and comfort during his time of struggle. Instead of boasting in his strength through pride, Paul instead boasts of his weaknesses that show Christ is working through him. Paul’s humility, like John and Job’s, lifts God up and shows others His power and strength. These three men sent excellent examples for me in humility and servitude towards Christ. There are many times in life when it can be hard for me to stay humble before God. There are also many times when I am struggling and need to remember that Christ’s power is made perfect in my weaknesses and imperfections. A heart that is humble before God is the great place to start when speaking to Him and when trying to get through complicated or uncertain times in life.

Dear God, please give me a humble heart. Please forgive my pride and for the times I do not trust in You. Please give me more faith and trust in You. In Your Holy Name, Amen.

 

Nathanael (nborger2017)

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Ezekial 11-12:21; Luke 14; Job 19; 1 Corinthians 15

The season of Lent is upon me. It is a time for me of thoughtful and sorrowful delight that leads to a mighty crescendo of exiquisite, life-infused joy on Resurrection Sunday.

I delight because of the precious sacrifice and offering of Jesus and his appointed, divine days. I sorrow with the weight of sin and grief and death and loss. How grateful I am for Jesus! How I love Easter! It is hope and life to me.

I took some excerpts from different passages that spoke to my heart from today’s reading. They do not all line up with Lent and Easter- though 1 Corinthians 15 certainly does- but I will just share a bit of what impacts my heart today.

Ezekial 11

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

18 And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.

19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. ESV

This passage is so precious to me because when I was a young girl- before I came to Christ, a beloved mentor shared with me about the heart of flesh and the LIFE that Christ brings into our selves dead apart from him. I love that God gives me a heart of flesh- a soft tender heart that yearns for Him and loves His Word. I love when I don’t yearn for Him or long for His Word, I can ask Him to grant this to me. I want to be filled with wonder that God would call me His own, and He mine. I need grace and the Spirit for this. In addition, I love the first part of this section where the Lord says He will be a sanctuary. Ah! I have been thinking a bit on how the home can be a sanctuary for the people I love. I love that God Himself is a sanctuary for me, for us.  God gives; He is an extravagant giver. He is to be praised and adored.

Luke 14

10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” ESV

This section in Luke spoke to me because of various circumstances in my life. It is good- it is right to let the Lord lift one up. Be not as one who lifts up self. I need this timely word. I need to stay small and humble in heart and mind while still pursuing what is right, what is excellent, what is good.

And now… the mighty resurrection chapter which just makes my heart sing this beginning Lent season. What words of triumph and hope! What blessed reality!

I quoted so much of it- but I could not help myself.

1 Corinthians 15

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[e] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven. ESV

 

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

How miraculous will be the day when we are all changed- and what ultimate hope of amazing glory 1 Corinthians 15 sings over us all. We shall put on the imperishable. There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies- and it is the Lord who clothes us.

O Jesus, thank You for going to the cross to rise again for all and swallow up sin and death forever!

Easter is coming! Praise Be!

 

Lord, forgive me all the ways that pull me from You- and help me to understand. Help me to love You and seek You and long for You. Help me to be a vessel of love to my family and those You have placed in my life. I am astonished in Your mercy and life. Give me a heart of flesh that is sensitive to sin and wrong-doing and quick to repent. You show me the way. In Your Name, Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Genesis 32; Mark 3; Esther 8; Romans 3

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Mark 3 KJV

In Mark 3, I watch Jesus walk free from fear of man. Completely impervious to it and relentlessly Good. I watch as He Himself is a witness: a witness of the Father, of Truth, of Healing, of Life. I watch Him heal and bring Life when “authorities” were watching to see how they could find reason to destroy Him.

The tradition of man cannot save. It is a good lesson for me. It is only Jesus.

How shocked some must have been when He completely recreates/renames family relationships at the end of Mark 3. I am sometimes a little shocked; I am sometimes a little free as I ponder His words, as I consider what it means to follow Jesus.

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. Mark 3 ESV

In Mark 3, I watch Jesus bound by the Father not by the fear of man or the traditions of man or the rules of man. I watch Him walk in love and light and life.

Mark 3 illuminates Romans 3. Jesus in the flesh walking out this truth: deeds of the law cannot justify.  Faith alone justifies.

 

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3 KJV

I ponder hard my own heart. Romans 3 clears the air.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3 KJV

Jew or Greek- our predicament is the same. “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

All are justified freely through faith in Christ.

And this is the only way. It is not through Sabbath observation or rule following. It is not through meticulous honor and respect of authorities and hierarchy.  It is only through Christ. And I heed the warning calling to my heart, and the warning is to walk in the Spirit by faith in Christ alone. This is a humble posture; it is a dependent position; it is a faith-filled heart walk. The warning for me is that I need Jesus to rescue me from myself so that I do not remain as a blind one who cannot see; as a hardened one who is deceived to think that Good is Evil as Mark 3 so carefully reveals.

Lord, it is good to recognize that Your Spirit is Truth. It is good to ponder that redemption is found in You alone- not in deeds, not in heritage, not in culture, not in religious rule following, but in You. I pray You help me learn from Your words and walk with You. Please help me live for You and know clearly what that means for me personally. Thank You for this life You have given me. Let me know You in it, Lord- and know I am not alone. In Your Name, Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Job 25-28; 3 John

 

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 “God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” Job 28 ESV

 

Wisdom is inscrutable, and it is found in God. God alone knows the way to it, and He alone holds the treasure of it.

Tonight, as I was driving home in the early evening, I beheld the most glorious moon rising I think I have ever seen in my life. I felt almost ill from the startling surprise of it- the yawning gaping in my belly, a witness to the grandeur literally spilling into the sky before my eyes. It was like the moon was rising from a cup of gold spilling out into blackness while a luminous pink light adorned the ascent. I kept trying to catch glimpses while still {safely} driving and keeping my eyes on the road. The children in the car with me were also so surprised- they thought at first it was the sun- so great was the pink and gold glory; so low in the sky; so luminous… it almost appeared as a sunset at first.

The night sky was wondrous and mysterious and a glory witness of God. The beauty apprehends me; it wraps me round and upends me. And I think of the unsearchable beauty and goodness of God. The perplexity and complexity of life and the deeps- and even the darkness- and yes, the glory and goodness, I do not understand.

And I know that God is in the depths. He is in the deep. And in Him is the way of understanding.

11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.  3 John NIV

The direct exhortation to choose good uplifts my soul. Imitate what is good. I think on all the avenues of my life; the daily choices; the direction. The battle of my mind- the forward motion:in all things, choose good.

As Job 28 states, to turn away from evil is understanding.

Lord, I pray You help me turn from evil and do good. Help me rest myself in Your unsearchable wisdom and know myself held by You in that place of peace and rest. Thank You for that glory, golden moon which quite literally stole my breath and astonished me. Help me to walk in all things new in You. Help me turn away from evil and walk in forgiveness, light, and Your life. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

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Zechariah 12-14; John 9; Psalm 134

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” NIV

Jesus is the Light of the world. I ponder how He brings literal light- the man born blind now sees; and how He brings spiritual light in this passage: the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and worshiped Him.

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. NIV

 

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” NIV

 

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”NIV

 

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” NIV

At least four times, the text repeats: the man was blind and now he (literally) sees. I think of the work of God in my life; I think of the work of God in my heart. How many times have I experienced that same testimony? I was blind, but now I see? There is no arguing with that reality. It is. And, O! I am so very grateful. There is no arguing with this one in John 9, although the Pharisees try. They do try.

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. NIV

 

The most profound for me is that Jesus went and found him.  Jesus healed him. Unmistakably. And then…… he goes to him and finds him. Became for him the very LIGHT of the world. The man, without fully knowing, declares Jesus to be of God. He says:

33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” NIV

After this- and after he is thrown out and away from the Pharisees who can do nothing to make sense of the reality of his physical healing and all the ways it utterly confounds them, Jesus finds the man and fully reveals Himself to him. The restoration and redemption of sight is complete: fully seeing physically and fully seeing spiritually.

I think on what this passage means for me. I want more of the work of God in my life where I can declare: I was blind, but now I see! And it is so. And it is unmistakable. And there is nothing anyone can ever say that can take that away.

Lord, there is nothing like Your truth in the inner heart where spiritual eyes awaken to see. Help me, Lord, that I might experience Your reality and know You as the One who heals; and know You as the Light of the World. Help me not to be spiritually blind like the Pharisees. Help me to rest in You- the One who seeks the lost. But for You alone, that man would remain blind in vision and blind in heart.  Jesus! Your Name be praised. Amen.

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