Category Archives: 3 John

Ezra 5-6; Psalm 95; 3 John

13So, Tattenai, the governor west of the Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and the others obeyed. They carried out King Darius’ order quickly and carefully. 14So the Jewish elders continued to build. And they were successful because of the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished building the Temple as the God of Israel had said. It was also done to obey the kings Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes of Persia. 15The Temple was finished on the third day of the month Adar. It was the sixth year that Darius was king. Ezra 6:13-15 (ICB)

Many years had gone by since King Cyrus had given a special order for the Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. At the urging of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Jeshua picked up the work again to complete the project so that God’s people could worship Him in the Temple once again.

But the governors of the land were not pleased. They approached the men demanding to know who had authorized their project; and sent a letter to King Darius to confirm that the men were telling the truth.

They were (of course) and King Darius not only enforced King Cyrus’ ruling, but raised the stakes, issuing a decree saying that anyone who hindered the progress of the temple construction would be severely punished. The temple was completed in record time with the help and finances of the king.

So many years before God set the rebuilding of the temple in motion, even before the Israelite returned to Jerusalem, and put protection in place so that no one would be persecuted for following God’s instructions.

This story makes me wonder about how many different ways God sets up and provides for my own journey and the successes I find well before I am even near those moments.

I am reminded of an instance a few short month after I was married. I found that I needed to leave India unexpectedly due to a change in visa laws. When looking at my pre-purchased plane ticket, I realized that the departure date was three days later than when I needed to be out of the country.

In a whirlwind, I was forced to cancel my ticket and book a flight on the only airline that had seat available in that short notice. I was frustrated because the flight would take me through the middle east and that made me nervous.

Throughout the trip God provided “angels” in the form of flight attendants and seat mates who made the journey much easier than it could have been.

The following day after I arrived stateside, I learned that all of the flights from my original airline had been grounded because of the volcanic ash plume in the atmosphere coming from Iceland. Because the middle eastern flight took a much lower flight pattern, my plane was not delayed at all, and therefore I was still able to honor the visa stipulations.

1Come, let’s sing for joy to the Lord.
Let’s shout praises to the Rock who saves us.
2Let’s come to him with thanksgiving.
Let’s sing songs to him.
3The Lord is the great God.
He is the great King over all gods.
4The deepest places on earth are his.
And the highest mountains belong to him.
5The sea is his because he made it.
He created the land with his own hands.
6Come, let’s bow down and worship him.
Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us.
7He is our God.
And we are the people he takes care of
and the sheep that he tends. Psalm 95:1-7a (ICB)
Often times, this kind of provision and protection is recognized only in hindsight.In the remembering, I’m able to give God His due praise and my faith is strengthened in the difficult times, understanding that He is there for me and will never leave me nor forsake me.
Yesappa, Thank You for having a plan for my life. Thank You for looking toward the future with provision and protection in mind. Thank You for caring for me as your own sheep. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings, Julie
(juliet2912)
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Ezra 5-6; Psalm 95; 3 John

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with Thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalm 95:1&2 ESV

We just back back from a week long trip to visit family in Florida for Thanksgiving. With four kids, it’s a trip we haven’t made in while. As my kids are getting older, I am more aware of how quickly time is passing. I was grateful to get away and have a break from the routine. Time seemed to slow down. It didn’t matter if we were crammed into a bedroom at Grandma’s house or in the van for hours. We were together and my heart was full. The closer we got to home, I found myself getting anxious for the mundane and craziness of daily life to set back in. But, I was forgetting that my real rest is found in the presence of Jesus.

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah.” Psalm 95:7-8 ESV

As advent begins and I am tempted to be drawn into how the world is telling me to prepare for Christmas…I pray that I would quiet my heart and savor the season. Because, no matter what gifts I give my children. Nothing will compare to Jesus.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 ESV

Dear Father, forgive me when I take my focus off of You. I want to have a thankful heart. Thank you for this time to reflect on Your unfailing love for me. How You sent Your son to earth as a tiny baby, to have a relationship with me. Help me to prioritize my relationship with You, as well as the relationships You have given me…this season and always. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81, 82; Isaiah 29; 3 John 1

The Lord says:

“These people worship me with their mouths,

and honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is based on

nothing but human rules.

So I will continue to amaze these people

by doing more and more miracles.

Their wise men will lose their wisdom;

their wise men will not be able to understand.” Isaiah 29:13-14 (NCV)

Their worship is based on nothing but human rules. (NCV)

They act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it. (MSG)

Their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (NLT)

Their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning]. (AMP)

Their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah – [a good deed performed out of religious duty] – of human origin. (CJB)

Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized. (GNT)

Their worship of Me consists of man-made traditions learned by rote; it is a meaningless sham. (VOICE)

I recently had a conversation with a friend of the family about faith. He told me that he hates religion. Being a nonbeliever, I think he was trying to bait me, hoping I would get offended by his comments, so he could prove that Christians (or at least me) are hypocrites.

My response: I hate religion too. (I think he was a little shocked, never expecting such words to come from the mouth of a missionary).

To make myself clear…I LOVE Jesus. Being in relationship with a Heavenly Father, a Holy Trinity who loves me with an everlasting love is life-altering. My faith in Him gives me the ability to have compassion for the people society has rejected deeming them unworthy with no more value than heaped trash. My belief in Him has allowed me to witness miraculous transformations and partake in the changing of lives, of destinies.

I decided at the beginning of my journey with God that it could never be about “Christianese” and being holier-than-thou. I want ‘real’ and ‘relevant’ instead of artificial rituals. I need the Word of God to come alive, not just be lifeless sentences in an ancient book. I desire a five senses, experiential knowledge of the Savior who gave His life for me. I crave relationship over religiosity, freedom opposed to a ball-and-chain.

If I am going to follow Jesus it has to be a full-on commitment rooted in Him, one where He is seamlessly integrated into my life from morning to night: When I sit. When I walk. When I push my daughters on swings or run to stop my oldest from running into the street. When I lie down. When I rise. When I am bleary eyed and exhausted. When I am washing dishes and folding mounds of laundry. When life is a cake walk. And, when it is a scary, chaotic mess.

My commitment to worship my King originates from my heart, from the created to the Creator. It is initiated by love and longing, not by unattainable rules created by fear, overcomplicated regulations created by man to foster guilt and condemnation.

And so, I choose to worship with adoration Father, who offers me an easy yoke and a light burden. I choose to worship with reverence Son, who beckons me to come and grants rest. I choose to worship with devotion Holy Spirit who gives helps me and produces the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life. (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:16-17; Galatians 5:22-23).

Yesappa, help me to never turn to rules and regulations, to traditions instead of to You. Help my worship be true, and worthy of Your Glory. Help my heart stay close to Yours; write my name on Your palm and mark me with Your seal upon my forehead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Zechariah 1, Zechariah 2, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 4, 3 John 1

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ Zechariah 1:3-4

For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:3-4

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zech1,2,3,4;%203%20John&version=NKJV

 Zechariah 1                 The Angel of the Lord answered “I am zealous for Jerusalem” v.14

             I am so grateful Lord that You are zealous and jealous (1) FOR Your people. I am one of Your people because of Your Son’s, the Lord Jesus Christ, Atonement. (2)

             Righteous and merciful is Your Word my Lord God! (3) You are Accurate in Your warning to me. You urge me because You want to relent on the judgment which is due because of my selfish or man pleasing thoughts, words, actions and attitudes! You command me to repent and live for You so I do not to waste my words, actions or any part of me – and instead use all of me under You – Who IS Authority. (4) Thank You for Your Mercy in speaking with me!! While there is no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus, You created me to honor and worship You with my life. (5)

                 Lord God, I fear You because You are Great. You communicate boldly:

Zechariah 2              – Then I raised my eyes and said, “Where are you going?” – “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length. – ‘For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” – For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.

Zechariah 3              –  Then he showed me – the Angel of the Lord and Satan standing at His right hand to oppose Him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? – “Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”  (6)

Zechariah 4              –  Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts. – he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”  (7)

                 You speak for my benefit! You place a protective wall around me, who fears You. I am the apple of Your eye. You rebuke my accusers (8). You took all of my iniquity away in one day! The day I accepted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for myself! Whom then should I fear? (9) No one by You. All-Loving God, You did it by Your Holy Spirit, not by any of my works. You are my Foundation and very sure reward! I am no different than any other person born again by the Blood of Jesus! Lord God be praised!! And there are multitudes of us presently on the earth! You protect our very souls, mind and spirit until we meet you in Heaven! (10) 

               But not so for the other multitudes who refute You, ignore You, and despise You with their hearts, minds and lives. I, too, was Your enemy before You changed me. (11)

For those who do not repent (Zechariah 1:3-4) Zechariah 1-4 says:

             “Your fathers, where are they? Yet surely My words and My statutes, Which I commanded My servants the prophets, Did they not overtake your fathers?” “So they returned and said: ‘Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us, According to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us.’” (12)

             I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; – For I was a little angry, And they helped—but with evil intent.”

            “Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. And I said, “What are these coming to do?” – So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.” – For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you – For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.”

No one can escape Your view or Your Hand, Lord God. We each must give an account to You. (13)

“They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10

             God my Father, when I consider the current news, national and international, the cultures’ patterns and people’s words which defy Your Word, it awakens me to the pervasive, destructive, degrading, perverted and sickening effect of sin from each individual onto all others. Worldwide every kind of crime is enacted within the ‘gangs’ of bullies; whether they are a part of a corrupt government, company or within organizations of all types, and even within families. It can be overwhelming and make me feel sick inside. Yet Your Word stands firm, It never changes and it Will accomplish all that You say! (14)

 3 John 1        For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. (v.3-4,11)

                Yet I rejoice and am grateful, relieved and strengthened by the sharp contrast of the words and actions of Your numerous followers, Lord Jesus! Everywhere, in the midst of rebellious families, wayward organizations and deceptive companies and governments – Your people stand Firm and Bright. Oh what Glory You receive! Please continue to faithfully, lavishly pour out Your Zechariah 1-4 blessings on them since they incur intense rejection and pain due to their faithfulness to You, Lord Jesus Christ. Their perpetrators do not know that it is really You, Lord Jesus, Who they are disdaining. (15)

           No one can have the last word but You Omnipotent God! No one can out last You Ever! satan and his demons are powerless against You. They know You and shudder (James 2:19) in fear! Lord God, please send workers into the harvest field, pour out Your Holy Spirit to soften and regenerate those who are heading to hell so they will repent to You and not suffer eternal torment. Lord Jesus, Magnify and Glorify Yourself over the whole earth! (16)

 “They are the eyes of the Lord, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” Zech 4:10

Bible Insights –

1-  Exodus 20:5-6; Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Deuteronomy 6:15; Deuteronomy 32:16; Joshua 24:19; Ezekiel 39:25; Nahum 1:2

2- John 1:1-3; John 1:10-14; John 1:29; John 3:3-21; John 4:10-14; John 4:25-26; John 7:38; Revelation 7:17; Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 1:18; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 10:19-23; Hebrews 13:12; Matthew 26:28; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:17-20; Ezekiel 36:24-32; 1 John 3:1

3- Zechariah 1:3-4, Jeremiah 15:19

4- Jer 18:7-10, Jonah 3:10, Deut 28

5- Romans 8:1; Revelation 4:11; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:6; Job 28:28; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 16:6; Psalm 37:4; Colossians 3:23-24

6- Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13, Romans 8, Hebrews 7:25, Matt 28:18-20

7- Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Matthew 21:42-44, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:4-10

8- Revelation 12:10, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 4:27, Psalm 1, Mark 13:12-13, Luke 6:17-23, John 15:18-27, Matthew 10:11-42

9- Isaiah 52:13- 53, Romans 8, Luke 12:5, Proverbs 14:27, Proverbs 29:25

10- Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 7:24-29; Genesis 15:1; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:31; Psalm 18:46; Romans 5:8; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 1

11- 2 Corinthians 5:17

12- Psalm 119:89; 2 Samuel 22:31; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12-13, Matthew 24:35, Romans 1:18-2:16; Deuteronomy 28

13- Hebrews 4:12-13, Romans 14:12, 1 Peter 4:5, Matthew 12:36, Hebrews 9:27

14 – Zechariah 1:6; Psalm 119:89; 2 Samuel 22:31; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12-13; Matthew 24:35; Romans 1:18-2:16; Deuteronomy 28; Isaiah 59:1

15-  1 John 3:1; Matthew 25:31-46; John 15:18-27; Job 22:28; Matthew 5:16; John 1:1-5; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:15; 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 21:23; Romans 5:8; Luke 4; Luke 4:31-41; Mark 5:1-20; Mark 1:32-39; Luke 8:26-39; Luke 8:49-56

16- Revelation 1:1-8; Revelation 1:11; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13; Revelation 22:20-21

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Deuteronomy 1, Psalm 81, Psalm 82, Isaiah 29, 3 John 1

They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;  Psalm 82:5

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, Isaiah 29:18-19 

 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!”  Psalm 81:13

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deut.%201;%20Ps.%2081,82;%20Isa.%2029;%203%20John%201&version=NKJV

 Deuteronomy 1

             “Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God”  Moses reminds the Israelites of their distrust of the God Who protects and provides for them faithfully. Their distrust results in disobedience to the Holy One. Their disregard for His commands and comforts causes them to live in wilder-ness and not in the Promised Land. Lord, may I honor, respect, and adhere to You above my own thoughts and ways, and those of others – every moment!!

 Psalm 81-82

              “Sing aloud to God our strength”,  Who took care of His people in and out of Egypt. Who removes our burdens, and frees, calls, delivers, answers and tests us in His mighty Love and Wisdom. Yet we can be sooooo hard hearted. Never accepting Him and His Words and instead substituting our own thoughts and imaginings. God admonishes us: There shall be no foreign god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god. I am the LORD your God,… Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” v.9-10.

         How can we refuse God? Yet day after day, moment after moment we do. God respects our free will. “But My people would not heed My voice, …would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.” V. 11-12 Romans 1:18-32, Romans 12:1-2

             The broken heart and deep desires of God are voiced: “Oh, that My people would listen to Me,… would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries. …and I would have satisfied you.” V. 13-16  Matthew 11:28-30, John 4:13-15, John 6:35-40, Matthew 23:37

             How many times do I not call on my Deliverer? That I do not heed and follow His precepts and ways to accomplish His Grand Scheme in delivering and sanctifying my family members? And for those He puts in my path? When I do not intercede in prayer with His passionate Heart on their behalf? (Psalm 82:5) When I do not speak of His Righteousness and Great Mercy through His Son Jesus Christ for full redemption, comfort and hope? – Or do not go to God for each minuscule eternal hope of God’s desire to be fulfilled for His glory alone? May I unceasingly open my mouth wide for God to fill it! Psalm 37:4  

Isaiah 29      

Four parts –

1- For God’s people who reject God: “Woe, distress, heaviness and sorrow, you will be punished by the LORD of hosts.”

2-  “Pause and wonder! … be blind! For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes”  WHY? They “honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me”       No fear of the LORD. Instead, “their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men”. They consider their Maker ignorant. “shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “ He has no understanding”?

3- Men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.” Jesus arrives! So “the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD”

4- Because of Jesus Christ, “They will hallow My Name, …And fear the God of Israel. .. will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine.”

              People pleasing, tradition, ritual, fear of man are all eternally deadly substitutes for a real, eternal, vibrant and living relationship with God directly to and through the Lord Jesus Christ. God walked on this earth and died for each of us personally to prove that He is the Only Way. My heart must be involved with God through His Son Jesus Christ with no distractions or substitutions. His perfect Love casts out my fear of man. Only Jesus Christ teaches Fear of the Lord.

1 Timothy 2:5; Matthew 6:5-15; Jeremiah 7:16-20; Jeremiah 44; Mark 7:8-9; Colossians 2:8; Proverbs 29:25; Luke 12:4-5; 1 John 4:18

3 John 1

               God contends with me: May “your soul prosper” and you “walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  … and be “fellow workers for the truth.”

                  I am warned, even in the church there are persons “prating against (true Christ followers) with malicious words. And… not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.” –  “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”

            God’s Word is Truth. Jesus Christ is the Word, the Way, Truth and Life. I must walk IN Christ Jesus. I long to and must be steadfast and faithful to the One Who saved me. Never to be persuaded to do otherwise by “well meaning” religious folk. I am Never to be swayed to fall into the side ditches of the narrow path so to worship other than in God’s Spirit and Truth. I am not to imitate those who practice religion with false pretense and deception.

                  I will not be persuaded to shut out God’s Voice through His Word and starve myself by not reading the Bible frequently, because I “should have gotten enough on Sunday morning”. Instead, I choose to wrestle with God, like Jacob, so that I will walk under God’s influence, power and command every moment of my life. Please, Lord Jesus, may it be so!! I desire You and Your will most! I love you! 

Psalm 138:2; John 1:14; Genesis 32:24-31; Hebrews 11:21; Matthew 4:4; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:17

 

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2&3 John & Jude

Scripture:

Jude 24Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (ESV)

Observation:

This is my last post of the year. There are things in all three of the books assigned to my day that I would like to share with you, but alas I can only do one. I would love to share the perspective of 2 John. The letter the Apostle John writes to a woman leader who is doing an effective job being used to forward the Kingdom of God. I could reflect on the women who have contributed to this blog and the way they have blessed hundreds with their words. I could reflect on the church that met in Gaius’ home and how they supported strangers who went out for the sake of the Name. I cry every time I read that passage, there are so many that have gone out in anonymity for the sake of the name that we will only hear about in heaven, and faithful churches that stood behind them.

But this being the end of the year, these verses of Jude come to my mind.  It’s all about Jesus and what He has done and is doing for us. He keeps us from stumbling. Even though we know we are not perfect, He paid the price so that we could stand before the Father perfect! We are caught-up in an eternal plan that lasts through the ages into eternity. What humbling thoughts when we think of where each of us have come from. And this God of glory cares about each one of us and sustains and keeps us all.

Application:

I don’t think about things the way Jude did. I think of myself and what I get out of life. Jude raises our gaze to the great God of the universe and not only what He has done for us, but what our adoration and praise should be back to Him. And this plan was conceived in eternity past and will carry us into the eternity of the future! What a blessed thought to dwell on as we close out 2009. Blessings on you all!

Prayer:

Thank You Father God for your sustaining keeping power in our lives. We recognize you to be the only wise God who is full of majesty and glory and honor and power before all time, now and forever! I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.

dmbaldwin

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