Author Archives: Rebecca

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)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books

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)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Jeremiah 40, 41; James 3

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. James 3 ESV

I recently had exposure to some Christian homeschooling culture on YouTube that took me by surprise. And when I read this passage- it leaps right to mind. Especially because the speaker was declaring her intention to write and create Bible studies for the homeschool community(i.e. a teacher of the Word). She was very vehemently proclaiming how she was going to be held to a higher standard because she had so many followers. She caused what I think was a pretty large flurry with strong words about a decision she made that had a lot of consequence for a homeschool curriculum company that she was leaving in the name of her influence. I can’t help but think how often/how easily we can distort the Word of God in the name of our own passion and self-interest. And she was clearly self-interested, proclaiming her new role as a bible study writer for another well-known Christian homeschool company and selling curriculum on her site that was almost a replica of the company she abandoned so vocally. It left me with distaste. So much of this passage of Scripture- seems to be about just that. How incredibly easy it is to stumble with the words of the mouth, with the tongue. Every man does what is right in his own eyes. How important that we seek meekness, humility, and the desire to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Sometimes, we must be meek like Christ- where the Father is our defense- and our mouths are silent.

Sometimes, being silent is what is actually the most Christ-like choice in a situation. I have pondered my experience with my brief immersion in this culture, and in the end, I decided that it is most important to desire to make much of the Lord rather than self. In some ways, I feel like this person had the meaning of Scriptures twisted all around. We will be held to account for our words. “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (v 5). She imagined herself on the judgment day being held accountable for leading others astray by using a certain curriculum. But I wonder if the judgment is more to be feared in the very words we say and the posture of the heart which is evidenced in the way we live and what we choose to promote {e.g. Christ or Self (not curriculum a or curriculum b)}. In addition, in the way we treat others- especially those not of the faith- is an important, vital consideration before the eye of the Lord.

Wisdom is meek. It is humble. It is pure. It is peaceable. It is not arrogant.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3 ESV

In the end, I am left with a strong desire to shield myself. To keep my eyes straight ahead. My hand to the plow. My heart – for the prize. It is good for me to remember—  the prize is Christ. He is the prize. It takes self-discipline, self-control, courage, and meekness to bind the tongue. To silence the self.

Lord, how I love You for treasuring sincerity- for your impartial, pure goodness. Help me stay focused. Create in me the heart that is true to You. Keep me from all evil; keep my life. And Lord, I pray for all the believers who have platforms on social media- may they use them for Your glory and may You be magnified. Amen

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

3 Comments

Filed under 66 Books

Ezekiel 3-6; Hebrews 7

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7 NIV

Jesus is able to save completely. He always lives to intercede for me. He offered himself once for all.

Melchizedek is a perfect high priest AND He is a high priest of a different order. Abraham offers him a tenth of the plunder- something that was technically not required as Melchizedek is not traced as a descendant of Levi, and Melchizedek blesses Abraham.

 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!  Verses 3 and 4

Jesus is juxtaposed next to Melchizedek (and ultimately, the Law); Jesus’ priesthood is one based on the power of an indestructible life (v 16).  who is stated to be a priest forever. Jesus’ priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek’s which is a new order- significant for the new way, the new covenant formed through Christ.

Jesus is the true High Priest. A better hope is introduced and that hope is in Christ and not in the Law. The ESV states that Jesus saves to the uttermost (the greatest, highest degree; the farthest extent). Fully known. Fully loved. Fully Saved. Praise be.

Lord, Scripture joyfully declares the hope I have in Christ and the freedom of the new covenant. Awaken my heart to wonder at the generous mercy and grace that are in Christ. Help me to know Jesus as my High Priest who always lives to intercede for me- and to rest in the knowledge that He offered Himself once for all. Expand my mind to understand Your mystery. Amen.

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books