Author Archives: Rustique Art

1 Kings1; Galatians 5; Ezekiel 32; Psalm 80

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,  and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.   They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”  Galatians 5:16-18

Some may wonder how will they know if they are living by the Spirit versus living by the law.  Living by the law or under the law is like following  rules, only not following them because they are the rules but because you might get caught not following the rules.  Take the speed limit for instance, does a person go the speed limit because they want to or because they have to.  Living by the Spirit is like going the speed limit because you want to, not because you have to.   When you are led by the Spirit you don’t feel the need for speed on the highway, you’re happy to cruise, taking in the sights, the sounds and feeling with wind in your face.  Those fruits of the Spirit, the peace, joy and self control are abundant when you are led by the Spirit.

Now turn that around and look through a different lens.  A person sees the speed limit and ignores it, choosing to speed down the road of life.   Then they see someone ahead of them going the posted speed, obeying the law because they want to, what do you think they feel?  Maybe jealous because that other person seems so peaceful.  Then comes hatred for those silly rule followers.  Do you think the speed racer person is filled with kindness?  how about patience?  goodness?  Yeah…no!  More like fits of rage and selfish ambition.  And you thought road rage was a new thing?   Oh and while  haul’n down the road of life, breaking all kinds of rules, just because they want to (that’s the sinful nature by the way) the only sights a person might take time to enjoy is something they shouldn’t be looking at.   Like that pretty car in the next lane, “humm…why can’t I have one like that”  they might begin to wonder.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passion and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  Galatians 5: 24-25

So is it just a given that if we belong to Christ Jesus that we will be led by the Spirit?  Well my car has four wheels and is designed to take me where I need to go, but only if I start the engine, put gas in it and steer it in the direction I want go.  So maybe accepting Jesus as my savior starts my journey, but I have to put fuel in (the word) and I need a driver to lead me in the right direction, that would be the Spirit.  So maybe not so much a given as it is a decision to follow and a be submissive to be led, not because you have to, but because you want to.

Father God I praise you for providing a Savior for my sins, thank you for your word to nourish and enrich my life, and thank you for the Spirit that guides me through my life so that I can produce sweet abundant fruit for your glory. Amen.

Cindi

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Filed under 66 Books, Galatians, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

2 Samuel 11; 2 Corinthians 4; Ezekiel 18; Psalm 62,63

Therfore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Ezekiel 18: 30

Each morning begin an account of your “ways”…at the end of the day count the fruit you have produced.  I often fall short.  Not intentionally, I am human, I am a sinner, but at some point I must take an account for my ways and keep my feet planted in the word so my ways will be productive and not harmful.

Rid yourself of all offenses  you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.  Ezekiel 18: 31

Simply ask for forgiveness before the Lord and surrender yourself to him.  For me to rid myself of all my offenses would be like beginning a diet after just one more doughnut.  How’s that work’n for me? Not at all.  I have to walk away…flee from the root of my offense and allow God to work and mold my heart and spirit.

For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign  Lord, Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32

To try and grasp the magnitude of this verse; you would have to recall how you felt the last time you really had to discipline your child for their deliberate disobedience and multiply by thousands or more.  You  hold your children after the discipline and love on them, reassure them and explain how life in your home would be a lot easier if the child would just obey and make better choices.  So easy, right?  God created us and He loves us.  I know no other who would sacrifice their child so I could live.  He takes no pleasure in our death, He has given for us, more than we deserve.

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.  Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.  Psalm 62:11-12

Surely He will.

Father prepare my heart and spirit to do your will today and everyday.  To be your light through my words, my actions and my service to others.  In your Son’s precious name, Amen

Cindi

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Filed under Ezekiel, Psalms

1 Samuel 25; 1 Corinthians 6; Ezekial 4; Psalm 40,41

Keeping the peace sometimes requires aggressive action.  Doing the right thing requires courage and the wisdom to know when to act.  Abigail’s action spared many lives of those who would have died by the hand of David.  Even the servant who made Abigail aware of David’s messengers being snubbed by Nabal, knew that Nabal was wrong and told Abigail.  The scripture leads me to believe that David didn’t want to take the lives of others because of the ignorance and arrogance of their master.  To me Abigail mirrored Christ in her actions.  For all we know; she was risking her life to intercede by taking food and asking the blame to be put upon her. But as it turned out, that was the right thing to do.  Had God prepared her for this day?  It’s not always those that are well known who make a difference in the lives of others.  It’s usually the people like you and me.  Ask God to prepare you.

May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 1 Samuel 25:33

Father, bless those who take action to protect us.  Our service men and women, disaster volunteers and relief aid workers.  These people put their lives on hold and go into battle for those who cannot fight on their own, those who often times are plagued by the policies of their leaders or by natural disaster.   Equip me to take action when I am called. Amen

Cindi

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1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalm 23,24

Then Samuel took the flask of oil and poured it over Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?” 1 Samuel 10:1

Saul was called to lead, he was prepared by God, he was anointed.  Samuel announced Saul as king.

Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Marti’s clan was chose,.  Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen, But when they looked for, he was not to be found.  Do they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said,  Yes he had hidden himself among the baggage. 1 Samuel 10:21-22

So why does he hide?  Did he fear that he was not capable of these responsibilities that God prepared him for? Do you think Saul doubted his abilities or God’s ability and wisdom?

Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.  But some troublemakers said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts.  But Saul kept silent. 1 Samuel 10:26

Isn’t this typical that all leaders face criticism.  As Christians we stand out in a crowd,  we face criticism and there are many who despise us because of our faith.  Does that weaken our faith, make us fearful, less confident.  Does it deter us away from our task of speaking Gods word or instead does that make us that much stronger?

What then shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up  for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Romans 8:31-33

I hope this post comes to mind the next time God calls me to lead.  I’ve always been told that God qualifies the called and that he doesn’t call the qualified.  But I’m human, my confidence buckles under criticism.  On second thought my confidence is non existent when it comes to leading.  And then I feel like a failure.  But then I have His word to set me upright and equipped for all challenges.  Just like those Weeble toys.  If we are grounded in His word, we will not be pushed down by our critics or our enemies.

This might be the first time I’ve ever thanked God for being bottom heavy!  Reference Romans 8:28  Yep, that might be stretching it a bit.

I’ll close with Psalms 23:5

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Cindi (rustiqueart)

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Filed under 1 Samuel, Psalms, Romans

Judges 18; Acts 22; Jerimiah 32; Psalm 1,2

In Judges 17 we read how Micah had built his own private shrine and made ephod and some household gods and idols and even installed his own priest so that he could continue to worship God but in the way he wanted to. Not by God’s commands. In chapter 18 we see how the Danites went into Micah’s home and took all of his gods, the ephod, the idol and his priest.  Micah even attempted to retrieve his possessions by sending out the troops.

“When they had gone some distance from Micah’s house, the men who lived near Micah were called together and overtook the Danites.  As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?”  He replied,  “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have?  How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ” Judges 18:22-24

He asked “what else do I have?”  He had put all of his faith and worship into false gods and idols and he felt he was left with nothing. Does this take place in our life?  Sure it does; don’t we see this everyday, we might even have a taste of it in our life if we were to be honest.  Maybe our idol isn’t made out of silver, but maybe the idol is money, or cars, or a job, sports it could even be a ministry that has been allowed to ooze over it’s boundaries and take time away from worship or family.  Maybe our idol is the man we listen to every week as we sit in church.  (ouch!) That one might have stepped on some toes.

We all create our own idols and gods.  Honestly the time that I’m on the computer each day…let’s just say if I spent that time in God’s word my life would be richer, my marriage would be healthier, my children would be discipled in the way God commands and if I lost everything tomorrow I wouldn’t feel as if I had lost anything because no one can take away my God or my salvation.

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3

It’s doubtful that Micah ever delighted in the law of the Lord, he was too busy delighting in his own laws which was easy to do when you own a personal priest.  This can also be a snare for some Christians as they attempt to create their own comfort zone, a group of friends that might not hold them as accountable as they should.

Of course this is what I pulled out of today’s reading, have I missed the mark?

Father forgive me for the things I put before you.  Help me to recognize these idols and gods and cast them out.  I want  to meditate on your word, delight in your laws and and grow deep roots faith so that I can yield fruit for your glory. Amen

Cindi

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Filed under Judges, Psalms