Tag Archives: Almighty God

Job 12-14; Psalm 100; Revelation 13

“No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!” The ‘patience of Job’ seems to have run out as evidenced by Job’s caustic answer to his critics. I can relate to Job; after I stop listening to the opinions and perceptions of others, I go straight to God for answers. However, I do think it gutsy and a little frightening that Job utters these words, “I desire to reason with God.” I’ve heard it said that God is not ruffled by our questioning His allowance of evil in life or His silence in unanswered prayer, yet I am reticent to go to God’s throne to state my case. I cower at Job’s question, “Will it be well when He searches you out?” I fear that the three-legged stool of Righteousness, Faith, and Salvation, upon which I stand, will not hold up to the weight of my defense.

My first argument attacks the leg of righteousness. Can I say in my defense that I have been a good girl this year — that I have tried my best to follow God’s will – that I have borne suffering well? This defense is about as laughable as that of the innocent faced, little boy on Santa’s lap who threw his toy truck at the neighbor’s cat when no one was looking. I would like to believe that I have been good, but my conscience, pricked by the Holy Spirit, daily pulls me up short. Those natural urges to blurt out foolishness to cover lack of confidence or the oozing sarcasm and gossip used to minimize irresponsibility are just a few opposing arguments hurled against my righteousness.  Then my irrational thought that even good girls make mistakes, which is understandable and therefore forgivable, leads to a second questionable defense.

“I know that I will be vindicated,” (Job 13:18b). The leg of faith has been gnawed on by various theologians; and my own faith has several layers of meaning. One is tied to belief in God’s sovereignty and His character. I believe that He is concerned for the lives of men and that He will do as He has purposed. Faith also means to me that worldly circumstances do not dictate eternal outcomes. I believe that faith is a supranatural view that allows miracles and other divine interventions in this world to add special sweetness and foretaste of the heavenly life to come. What my faith lacks, however, is the certainty that I should be vindicated. Can I honestly say that God should be on my side in any given situation? What seems fair to me or in my favor may be subjugated to what God is doing in others. Should I count loss as lack of faith or just accept loss as the will of God?

With two legs missing on my stool, I teeter precariously, balancing with years of practice trying to save myself. This arms-out, eyes down approach to holding onto my salvation isolates me from looking up for help or gripping the Lord’s hand reaching down to save.  Fear of falling. Fear of failing. Fear of being forgotten.

And there it is – the thought that God has turned away from me knocks the stool right out from under me. My defenses gone, I plead mercy. Better to be judged and chastised than tossed aside. Yet, my fears dissolve in God’s overflowing grace. It is not my righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ Jesus that the Almighty God is looking for. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that … in him we might become the righteousness of God,” I Corinthians 5:21. It is not my understanding that increases faith, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8.  So why argue my case at all? Revelation 13:8 alludes to the names written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. Knowing He has written my name there from the foundation of the world is my assurance of salvation.  That is reason enough to “Serve the Lord with gladness and come before His presence with singing.”  Truth is that getting off of my man-made stool of spiritual understanding will allow God to come to my defense; for “The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5). That is how I am vindicated.

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Job 38-39; Acts 15:1-21

Most of this is Job 38-39, NLT. I slowed down to read this today. I’m posting it here, because there are times when I wonder why things don’t make sense, seem out of control, seem wrong and unjust. And I need to remember I’m created by a God who holds it all together. When I don’t have the answers, he does. He is a creator, redeemer, savior.

I hope you’ll join me today, reading over this portion in Job–that you’ll see his majesty in its brilliance across a page.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
    and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
    as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
    and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10 For I locked it behind barred gates,
    limiting its shores.
11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
    Here your proud waves must stop!’

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
    to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
14 As the light approaches,
    the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
    it is robed in brilliant colors.
15 The light disturbs the wicked
    and stops the arm that is raised in violence.

16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
    Have you explored their depths?
17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?
    Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?
    Tell me about it if you know!

19 “Where does light come from,
    and where does darkness go?
20 Can you take each to its home?
    Do you know how to get there?

22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
    for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
    Where is the home of the east wind?

25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
    Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
    in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
    and make the tender grass spring up?

28 “Does the rain have a father?
    Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
    and the surface of the water freezes.

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
    binding the cluster of the Pleiades
    or loosening the cords of Orion?
32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons
    or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
33 Do you know the laws of the universe?
    Can you use them to regulate the earth?

34 “Can you shout to the clouds
    and make it rain?
35 Can you make lightning appear
    and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
    and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
    Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
    and the soil has hardened into clods?

39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness
    and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
40 as they lie in their dens
    or crouch in the thicket?
41 Who provides food for the ravens
    when their young cry out to God
    and wander about in hunger?

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

39 “Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
    Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
Do you know how many months they carry their young?
    Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
They crouch down to give birth to their young
    and deliver their offspring.
Their young grow up in the open fields,
    then leave home and never return.

“Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
    Who untied its ropes?
I have placed it in the wilderness;
    its home is the wasteland.
It hates the noise of the city
    and has no driver to shout at it.
The mountains are its pastureland,
    where it searches for every blade of grass.

“Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
    Will it spend the night in your stall?
10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
    Will it plow a field for you?
11 Given its strength, can you trust it?
    Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
    and deliver it to your threshing floor?

13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
    but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
    letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
    or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
    as if they were not her own.
    She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
    He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
    she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

19 “Have you given the horse its strength
    or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
    Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
    when it charges out to battle.
22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
    It does not run from the sword.
23 The arrows rattle against it,
    and the spear and javelin flash.
24 It paws the ground fiercely
    and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
25 It snorts at the sound of the horn.
    It senses the battle in the distance.
    It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.

26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
    and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises
    to the heights to make its nest?
28 It lives on the cliffs,
    making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
29 From there it hunts its prey,
    keeping watch with piercing eyes.
30 Its young gulp down blood.
    Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”

Courtney (66books365)

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Numbers 27, Psalm 70-71, Isaiah 17-18, & I Peter 5

It is uncanny, seemingly coincidental, and a little unsettling that the readings this week in the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan and my 31 Days of Praise devotional appeared to be preparing me to handle a surprise attack at work.

In Numbers 27, I read that five sisters approached Moses and demanded that he give them the inheritance that traditionally would only be passed to the sons because there were no sons. (Okay, no big deal, and kudos for the rights of women.)

Then Psalm 70 bursts out with an urgency to have God’s deliverance from enemies; and Psalm 71 goes on to plead that God would keep the praying soul from being put to shame. (I’m still not thinking there is anything for me to ponder too deeply at this point; my life has been relatively calm for a while.)

Then comes Isaiah 17 with lots of descriptive judgments such as calling the nations chaff (a lack of value, stability, life) and being caught up in the whirlwind of God’s rebuke.  (Hmmm…am I about to feel the divine correction of God?)

Isaiah 18 isn’t much better.  The first word is “Woe.”  I’m wondering what the line, “And when the sour grape is ripening in the flower, He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.”  (I’m starting to sweat as I worry what is about to be lopped off.)

Surely the New Testament will bring a hope of mercy, but no!  We are urged to “be sober and be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (Now I’m looking over my shoulder to see what is about to pounce on me.)

I calm myself with the assurance that my devotional is focused on praise, so I expect to find comforting words.  You can imagine how I felt when I read, “Thank You again that You meant for good the terrible things that happened to Joseph…,” (remember he was sold into slavery by his brothers and thrown into a pit a couple of times) “…I’m glad Lord, that You are the same today – well able to work things out for us, to turn evil into good.” (I’m not kidding, I’m quoting!)

So I’m certain at this point that all these readings must have something to do with my life or else I am not listening to my God who speaks through Scripture.

And then the bomb fell.  I learned from a coworker that the person who works closest to me had gone to our supervisor to say that she was working harder than me and that it wasn’t fair.  The coworker’s words were, “She’s gunning for you.”

Now had I not read Scripture, prayed over the Word, sought the Lord for wisdom, and accepted whatever He has prepared for me, I think I would have returned to my flesh-like ways of defending myself to my supervisor.  Instead, I repeated the comforting words of thanksgiving from my devotional, “Thank You that I can safely commit my location and situation to You. I can ‘be willing for You to shift me anywhere on life’s checkerboard, or bury me anywhere in life’s garden, gladly yielding myself for You.” I think my submitted attitude to God helped me to submit to my supervisor and find favor in her eyes. What a relief we have in the promise of Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

A thousand times better than taking Xanax!

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Isaiah 45, Isaiah 46, Romans 8:22-39

I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. A just God and a Savior; Isaiah  45

 I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 46

 … good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. It is God Who justifies, Who also makes intercession for us, Through Him Who loved us. Romans 8

Read Bible Passage – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045,%2046;%20Romans%208:22-39&version=NKJV

Isaiah 45                   Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue, And loose, To open, … I will go, And make, I will break, And cut, I will give, I will gird you, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

                Lord God, You called a man, King Cyrus, saying “I have named You, though You have not known Me.”  You had Cyrus DO Your Good and Perfect Will! (Romans 12:1-2) You use whom You will, as You will for Your will and immense Glory for ONE Major Purpose!! “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;” 

              Lord God, You are SO Rich!! So Full of Power, Majesty and Brilliance!! I stand in Awe of You by Your Word!!  I tremble in holy fear of the Lord God “Who created the heavens, formed the earth, established it and formed it to be inhabited!”   

     I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things. … I, the Lord, have created it.  “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!

                  Lord God Almighty, “Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together!”  Have your people deeply trust and obey Your Word by Your Holy Spirit and know without any doubt that they “shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever.” For You say, “I have not spoken in secret. I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

            Lord Jesus, in this time and day, have “the nations. They have no knowledge,” make supplication to Your people, “saying, ‘Surely God is in you, And there is no other; There is no other God. Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior!” so they will be saved by Your Atoning Blood Sacrifice!!

“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! I have sworn by Myself; The Word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow,”

In the Lord all the descendants of Israel Shall be justified, and shall glory.’”

Isaiah 46                   Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; Their idols were on the beasts. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer Nor save him out of his trouble. —  Listen to Me, who have been upheld by Me from birth, Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! and will deliver you. To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?

             Lord God, thank You for being all Wise, Nurturing, Faithful and Perfect in Your relating with me All Ways!! Lord Jesus, I regret and am deeply sorry for turning my heart and mind away from You. I have harmed myself most of all. Yes, I have hurt others, You and Your Kingdom agenda, too. “Jumping Ship” is Never excusable. Turning my back on Pure Love, Truth, and Hope (You are all of this Jesus!) in a trade for acting upon lies and deception is the cause of pain, loneliness, heartache and much worse. 1

              I have bowed down to “idols” because of my own fear of man and my own deceptions and insecurities. How wicked when I have You God Who is SOOO Real, Vibrant and Completely Good!!! The world might not even notice my sins because they may not consider it sin, but higher are Your Ways, Oh God, than mine!! I am to live a life of faith pleasing to You, Lord God, a life of Faith and Truth in my innermost parts, to Delight myself in You and rejoice that You are my Very Great Reward!  2

            Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word and Blood! I acknowledge MY sins as my own. I confess them to You directly. I turn away from each section whole heartedly and in disgust and hatred for the willful “evil” of them. And I rejoice in Your complete cleansing of my soul and conscience! Teach me Your Ways in my innermost parts so that I will not sin against You and others. I rejoice in You, my God and Savior! 3

I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ —  I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Romans 8:22-39                 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

            Thank you for the gift of praying with the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit I praise you for interceding for me! I worship You Almighty Living God!

            Thank You Lord God for having me in Your process of conforming me into the image of Your Son Jesus! No wonder you fill me with the Holy Spirit in order to protect, teach, comfort, guide, etc. for You to succeed in having me “more than conqueror” through You Lord God each moment!!  4

NO Thing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Bible Insights –

1 – 1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16; Psalm 119:160; John 14:6; John 1:14; John 17:17; Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

2- Proverbs 29:25; Proverbs 14:27; Psalm 52:1; Psalm 73:1; Psalm 118:1; James 1:17; Psalm 143:10; Isaiah 55:8-9; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:6; Psalm 51; Psalm 37:4; Philippians 4:4; Genesis 15:1  

3- Psalm 51, Ezekiel 18:32, Psalm 119:11, Luke 1:47

4- 1 Corinthians 14:14-19; Hebrews 7:25; Exodus 31:3; Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 13:9; Acts 13:52; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 5:18

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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