Category Archives: Old Testament

Deuteronomy 28:20-68; Psalm 119:25-48; Isaiah 55; Matthew 3

41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
that I may meditate on your decrees. (Psalm 119:41-48) NIV

I grew up going to church. It’s what I did on Sunday. I wish I could say we did it as a family, but my brother, sister and I were sent off each week. I learned about Jesus, I learned all the children’s stories and sang songs about Jonah and Noah. There was the picture of Jesus with all the children gathered around him. I was taught the Lord’s Prayer, the doxology, and the Christian Creed. When I was confirmed, I received my first bible. I still have that bible. But I never opened it.

Fast forward 30 years. I had taken my children to Sunday School, had them baptized, and went through the motions of being a Christian. Then my life fell apart (for the first time). Just about the time I pulled myself back together, BOOM! Round two! You see, the operative word there was “I” pulled myself back together. I “pulled myself up by the bootstraps” and bulldozed my way through the pain. You really can only do that for so long before the explosion. “I” was not the answer, so I went searching.

That was when I met Jesus for the first time. Yes, I had lived my entire life with the head knowledge of Jesus but I had never let him into my heart. I had gone to church ever since I could remember and had never heard about having a personal relationship with him. He pursued me. He won me over with his unfailing love. I said yes and started a journey to a new and better life.

The longer I followed him, the more he taught me. The more he taught me, the more I realized how much I wanted freedom—the freedom he died to give me. In order to do that, I had to learn to obey his law, his precepts. I could no longer straddle the fence and live partly his way and partly the way of the world. I hungered for his word. I knew healing was in it. Freedom from shame comes with knowing who you are in Christ. His word and his presence are my constant companion.

10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:10-12)

There are so many layers to God’s word. Just when I think I’ve mastered a verse, he shows me a word I hadn’t noticed before. It takes on a deeper meaning. It draws me closer to him, my heart is filled with his unfailing love. I can’t even begin to recount the number of times I prayed with a problem, or a complaint, or a broken heart, only to open the bible to the perfect verse that corrected me, directed me, encouraged me, or enveloped me like a warm blanket. And if I missed it or didn’t want to hear it, he has never failed to send exactly what I need, exactly when I need it, until I finally get it. God is so patient with me. Through the journey I found peace. I found joy. I sing along with the mountains and hills of his greatness.

Lord, I can never thank you enough for captivating me with your love. You have shown me what real love looks like. Your infinite patience has shown me how I should treat others. I want to point to you as my source, show others what a life of freedom looks like, and then watch you change their life as you did mine. There is nothing that brings me greater joy than to see you at work in someone’s life. There is such enthusiasm when they share their story. It is the same light that shines when I tell mine. I am blessed because of Jesus. In his name I pray, Amen

 

Cindy (gardnlady)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

Deuteronomy 22; Psalm 110,111; Isaiah 49; Revelation 19

I start reading quite a few “one liners” if you will, and this one catches my eye.

“Women are not to wear men’s clothing, and men are not to wear women’s clothing; the Lord your God hates people who do such things. – Deuteronomy 22:5 GNT

It caught my eye because it immediately brought to me to a place of prayer. I felt a bit like Moses standing in the gap knowing that it was my place to stand and pray for a people that needed me to care. Here is another that caused me to pray.

The Lord said to my lord,
    “Sit here at my right side
    until I put your enemies under your feet.” – Psalm 110:1  GNT

This one made me pray for myself, that I might be the person who will meet God one day, face to face, and He will know me as I am known, and see Jesus there instead of my sin.

What a sense of relief to hear His voice welcoming me with joy.

Sing, heavens! Shout for joy, earth!  Let the mountains burst into song!

The Lord will comfort his people;
    he will have pity on his suffering people.

 So the Lord answers, “Can a woman forget her own baby

and not love the child she bore?
Even if a mother should forget her child,
I will never forget you.
Jerusalem, I can never forget you!
I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

Kings will be like fathers to you;
    queens will be like mothers.
They will bow low before you and honor you;
    they will humbly show their respect for you.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    no one who waits for my help will be disappointed.

Then all people will know that I am the Lord,
    the one who saves you and sets you free.
They will know that I am Israel’s powerful God – Isaiah 49: 13, 15-16, 23, 26  GNT

 And the encouragement keeps coming as the work of Jesus is described so gloriously.

She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God’s people.)   Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. The robe he wore was covered with blood. His name is “The Word of God.”  On his robe and on his thigh was written the name: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”- Revelation 19:8, 11, 13, 16  GNT

Father, I know you when You look at me You see nothing other than the righteousness of Your Son, Jesus. May I be faithful in sharing Your plan of redemption to others who need to know. Thank You for Your Word that has never failed me. You are restoring me – thank You. 

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Deut 21; Psalms 108,109; Isaiah 48; Rev 18

“She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble.  She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flur, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, and bodies-that is, human slaves.  “The fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry.  “All your luxuries and splendor are gone forever, never to be yours again.” Revelation 18:12-14 NLT

Reading through this list of luxuries, I think about the wise men giving the frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.  I look into my own heart.  How is it like Babylon? What am I grasping onto for myself?  Am I looking to others for what they can do for me? Or am I genuinely loving them like Jesus?

“This is what the Lord says-your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.  Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.  Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore-too many to count!” Isaiah 48:17-19 NLT

What am I looking to for fulfillment? I don’t want to miss out on spiritual blessings, because I am so consumed with the things of this world.  And hold on to them so tightly that it becomes an idol…forgetting that it is all His anyway.

“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song.  I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.  I will sing your praises among the nations.  For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.  Now rescue your beloved people.  Answer and save us by your power.  Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless.  With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.” Psalms 108:1-13 NLT

Dear Father, I want to have a grateful heart.  Thank you for all the ways you have provided for me.  I desire to be a good steward of your gifts.  Give me eyes to see your beauty all around me.  Help me to have an eternal perspective.  You get the glory. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 13,14; Psalm 99-101; Isaiah 41; Revelation 11

I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
    saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
    and will not throw you away.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Is 41:9-10) NLT

There is an enemy who wants nothing more than to deceive me and convince me that I am not chosen by anyone—why would anyone want me? It started off early in life on the playground when I was one of the last people chosen when they were choosing teams. First choice was always the champion of whatever sport it happened to be. Next would come the “popular kids”. Then there were those of us who were neither great at sports nor popular. Middle school wasn’t much different. School dances when I wanted someone to ask me to dance. I still remember the crushing feeling of having a boy look at me and moving on. Thankfully, I had girlfriends and learned to have fun without all the teenage drama.

Adulthood has had its share of rejections as well. It wasn’t until I found Jesus that I learned the truth of my value. I have a Father who loves me, a Friend who defends me and encourages me, a Teacher who guides me, and a Deliverer who saved me. The verses above assure me I am chosen and the apple of his eye (Ps 17:8). It took a long time for me to grasp that and hold it deep in my heart. His words changed my life.

“Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. Deut 13:1-4) NLT

The world wants to draw me away from God. It is insidious at times and I don’t realize it right away. My flesh can be drawn to whatever is loudest around me. I’ve found that it isn’t God. He has given me his words, he has given me his directions, he has shown me how he wants me to live. He has invested dearly into my life. His voice is always soft and loving—never loud. He waits to see which I will choose—Him? Yes, Lord, I choose you! Just as you chose me!

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Ps 100) NLT

My God is worthy of all my praise. I know the day will come when all the saints will sing of his glory in one voice. I remember the first time I walked into a church that was alive with the Holy Spirit. I’m not even sure I had accepted Jesus yet but I was seeking. I was a few minutes late and the congregation was singing songs of praise I had never heard. I looked around at their faces. There was a glow as hands and faces were turned upwards singing with everything in them. I thought to myself, “I don’t know what “that” is, but “that” is what I’m looking for!” I could feel it in my soul—hearts united in thanksgiving. Five years later, I was in a church service singing with everything in me. I had a sense that I had left the building and I was standing in the very throne room of God singing only to Him! At the end of the song, I remembered that first time and I realized God had answered a silent prayer I had made that day long ago. What I was searching for was not a “that” but a Who! “His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Lord, thank you for choosing me! This world tries to convince me there is something better—but there isn’t anything better than you! Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere. In my minds eye, I have seen you clapping in delight when I’ve danced for you or sang a song just for you. You’ve shown me over and over just how dearly loved I am by you. I praise you! In Jesus mighty name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

Deuteronomy 12; Psalm 97,98; Isaiah 40; Revelation 10

Timeless.

Timeless truth, timeless beauty, timeless love, timeless value. We yearn for the timeless, to be free from the binds and pressures of time. We don’t want to succumb to the snare of decay, the end of something we perceive as good.

God placed this hunger within us along with promises, commands, and warnings.

28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God. (Deut 12:28 ESV)

In Old Testament days His commands carried specific rules on eating, worship practices and location, dealing with foreigners, vows, and even clothing. Many times His blessings were equally detailed and visible in this temporal world.

Now, we have the beauty and freedom of eternity that holds our hope secure — forever.

For now though, we find ourselves in the sin-pocked world that deals us pain, death, decline, and decay.  Our hope is not in what we see, our hope is in the One who was and is and is to come and His Word that does not fade away.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8 ESV)

Choosing joy today.

Choosing to look beyond the moment I find myself in with its frustration and disappointment and look at the forever promises. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I ignore this world and the ways that I can make a difference in it. God clearly cares how we live and how we address the “little” issues around us. But, this world is not the anchor for my soul. It does not offer me the hope I need to press on.

. . . the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7b ESV)

Fulfillment of God’s promises and blessings is yet to come, and in that truth, I find my strength and perspective.

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad! (Psalm 97:1 ESV)

O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name! (Psalm 97:10-12 ESV)

Lord God, continue to build my hope. May it never be swayed by the hurt and sin I see in this world, but may it hold secure in my Savior and in the foundation of Your Word. Thank you that you have the answer for the forever ache that clings to me as I long for freedom from the temporal nature of this life. Trusting you always, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen

 

2 Comments

Filed under Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Revelation, Uncategorized