Category Archives: Psalms

Ezekiel 10-12; Psalm 83; John 4

The chapter of Ezekiel 12 leaves me with a relevant message for my life today. Sometimes I think that God allows me to continue in a certain direction that I know does not glorify Him. Yet, I have to remember while He is merciful and patient, He always hates evil. And therefore, He will not allow me, one of His children, to sin and sin forever. His hand will move in my life and encourage me to stop sinning. God wants a relationship with me, a holy one centred in love.

It is why I try to encourage those who read Psalm 83 to keep it as a prayer. It is so easy to judge and much harder to love. I have begun to pray that God’s enemies will start to love Him. I am constantly reminded to do so every time they do something contrary to who God is.

I also pray that I might bring a message of hope even when there might not be one. The woman at the well inspires me on so many fronts. I realize that I must bring so much of Jesus to the table when I engage with those who do not know Him.

 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” – John 4:29 HCSB

I know that love was in His eyes, I know that He outed sin and yet left no shame in His manner of speech, and I know that this woman did not want to run away but knew that He had what she was looking for her whole life – love, security and safety. How do I relate to others? Can they see love in my voice and the words I choose to use? Is there a sense of security or are they looking for the trap door to escape? Am I a safe place for them to share their guilt and shame while their sin is exposed? I need to make that a priority today – give people a safe place to confess their sin, repent and put their trust in Jesus.

Father, may my voice become Your voice in the ears of those I talk to today. May it be filled with words and expressions of Your love, grace and mercy. May I remember to apply those same thoughts into my own life as I remember that You want to walk with me in Your holiness – may I receive Your love today too. I know that You know me better than anyone else. Even so, Your love for me calls me right into Your arms. I know what it means to be loved, to have a place where I run to for security and I know what it means to be in a safe place. May I be put into situations where I can share these precious moments with others so that that they too may know You. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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 Jeremiah 5-7; Psalm 75; 2 Corinthians 10

Today is my 37th wedding anniversary. It would be great to get 1Corinthians 13 as the reading. Anything but Jeremiah as he was told he could not marry. Psalm 51 would be more appropriate for the amount of times I have had to say sorry. So I walk into this day with what we have and see if I can relate. 🙂

Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them, but they felt no pain.
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline.
They made their faces harder than rock,
and they refused to return. – Jeremiah 5:3 HCSB

This is no surprise – God is looking for truth – and faithful people. When I am called to love, I am called to love by my actions and in truth. The eyes of the Lord, of His love, favour, good will and delight are on those whose hearts lean towards His cause and interest, and are faithful to His word, and who are lovers of truth – of Jesus Himself who is truth itself – and of His Gospel, the word of truth.

Then there is the definitiveness of His love.

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” – Psalm 75:10 HCSB

I cannot explain how He separates the truth from the lie – I will know one day I will see things as God sees them.

“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment; hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.” – Dr. J. C. Ryle

So what do I do between now and then? I have to love Paul’s response.

Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. – 2 Corinthians 10:1 HCSB

What does the gentleness and graciousness of Jesus look like? I think He loved righteousness, hated sin. He is just as He is loving – the cross modelled that – He died for the just and for the unjust.

This meekness and gentleness is the weapon by which Christ conquers us. It is the power of His love that subdues human hearts. He will bear with men until His very patience and gentleness shall make them ashamed of their sin. What argument can be more powerful than this? – W. Braden

Father, as You look for those to stand in the gap and be faithful, may I be found ready. I wanted to be the one You call righteous and I know I am through the blood of Jesus. May Your Spirit keep transforming me into the very likeness of Jesus. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan

Isaiah 56-59; Psalm 70; 1 Corinthians 16

I cannot remember the first day I loved the name of Jesus. It is amazing how much I love His name today. I wish I could remember that day.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord
minister to Him, love the name of Yahweh
and become His servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
and who hold firmly to My covenant— Isaiah 56:6 HCSB

There is something about loving the name of God which basically means to love God. In a concrete way, loving means to obey. Loving the name of God means I love and imitate His character. That is how I and others know I am in love with Him. So there is the emotional love and the action love. Action comes in the territory of serving and is reflected in my whole life and with my whole being. It means that loving Him reflects on me keeping His law.

All of this is for one reason – so when foreigners show up in the temple because they are motivated by love for God, they will stand out from the one who have come with a deceitful motive.

It is why Jesus prayed for us to be one – under Him, our Saviour – bond together in the bond of love and peace. It is only when I walk away from God’s love does my own love grow cold. It is amazing – it is either this or I am persecuted for my love.

God, deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Lord! – Psalm 70:1 HCSB

I need God because how else will I be able to love my enemies, to do good to those that hate me and to pray for those who persecute me.

Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love. If anyone does not love the Lord, a curse be on him. Marana tha that is, Lord, come. – 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14,22 HCSB

While the church is open to everyone, the church does not consist of everyone. The mark of a follower of Jesus is based on their love for Jesus – not affiliation or family ties. Therefore it is my choice that I make – I chose to love.

Father, I want those who see me to see Jesus in me. While I struggle for the words, I pray that my actions will be not leave doubt. I need You Lord – there is nothing I can do on my own without You. I expect You to show up and give me wisdom and to guide me in all my relationships. It is the only way that anyone will see You in me. As You taught us to pray, I ask you to not lead me into temptation but to deliver me from evil. May Your Kingdom rule in my heart and in my life so that I may love like You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Isaiah 49-52; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 14

God’s got this.

Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.

Psalm 69:1-3 ESV

Whether the muck threatens our own life and mental health or those of a friend, God offers timeless encouragement with the reminder that He is present and hears our cries.

When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

Psalm 69:32 ESV

Pity parties pull us into ourselves. If I keep looking at myself, my shortcomings, my circumstances, I miss the hope He gives. The psalmist reminds me to seek God. Not looking at the problem or even searching for possible outcomes, but seeking Him. His glory, His praise. Worship. My selfishness draws me toward self-preservation. Worship draws me to His presence.

Paul Tripp points out the need for this perspective in parenting also, while convicting me of my own need for greater worship and selflessness.

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

I Corinthians 14:15 ESV

Mind, heart, and soul, must recognize the place God has in our lives and in our challenges. Placing him first keeps everything else in line.

Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
    and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on his God.

Isaiah 50:10 ESV

The following verse here (Isaiah 50:11) talks of someone who makes their own light instead of trusting God as verse 10 guides us to. We are so quick to solve the problem in the immediate rather than praying first, trusting first. This message of, “God first, God only, God always,” will speak life to us and those around us.

One thought that is continually pounded home in I Corinthians 14 is that we should strive to build each other up, to encourage one another. We might know the good news, but we need to keep hearing it, speaking it into our own lives and building up those around us with it.

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 51:11b ESV

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

For you shall not go out in haste,

    and you shall not go in flight,

for the Lord will go before you,

    and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Isaiah 52:7, 12 ESV

God is there. God is here. He’s got this. Whatever fills today and tomorrow and the next day. Whatever threatens my life or my family members’ lives, or my neighbor’s lives. He’s got it covered. We don’t need to rush around like crazy people trying to find the answer, to figure it out. We need to seek Him first. He will go before us and behind us and work it out in His way, in His time.

Lord God, help my first response, my gut reaction to be to run to You. First and always may You be the answer to all I’m trying to figure out. Instead of my worrying through it on my own, lift my eyes to You and Your plan. Not earthly resolution, but eternal glory. Not a strictly emotional response or only a logical one, but one that melds mind and spirit as You created me to function, a unified, complex being to bring You worship. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Micah 1-4; Psalm 10; Matthew 24

What a terrible place for me to be in that would cause God to show up and judge me for the evil I have done.

Look, the Lord is leaving His place
and coming down to trample
the heights[b] of the earth.
The mountains will melt beneath Him,
and the valleys will split apart,
like wax near a fire,
like water cascading down a mountainside.
All this will happen because of Jacob’s rebellion
and the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the rebellion of Jacob?
Isn’t it Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
Isn’t it Jerusalem? – Micah 1:3-5 HCSB

What is this evil I have done? I think it is as simple as loving my self and this world more than Him. I find myself contrary to His love and my stepping away from Him, I am contrary to the truth of faith.

I cannot lose sight of this fact – that justice is a fundamental part of God’s character.

But You Yourself have seen trouble and grief,
observing it in order to take the matter into Your hands.
The helpless entrusts himself to You;
You are a helper of the fatherless. – Psalm 10:14 HCSB

He steps in and promises protection and help for those who cannot protect themselves and He redeems injustice through His unfailing love – He invites me to participate with Him in making that happen.

What will happen if I choose not to and decide to remain in my selfish love?

Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. – Matthew 24:10-12 HCSB

Jesus foretold that love and truth could one day lose their true meaning and force in this world. I pray that I am not one who be among those who have.

Father, how I trust the Holy Spirit to not leave me in a place that would be contrary to the character of God. I want to be like Jesus in every facet of my life. I do not want to see my love for You grow cold, or even lukewarm for that matter. I know I need to step out of myself and give myself to You in my community. I know You are inviting me to participate. Forgive my cowardly fear, I pray that Your love will cast that fear out of my life. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, Micah, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan