Tag Archives: alone

Hosea 9-12; Romans 7; Psalm 73

Wow – where did this dark reading come from? Three selections of scripture that paint a pretty dark picture of life. It starts with punishment and it leaves me thinking I am a fool or at least mad for following Jesus.

The days of punishment have come;
    the days of recompense have come;
    Israel shall know it.
The prophet is a fool;
    the man of the spirit is mad,
because of your great iniquity
    and great hatred. – Hosea 9:7  ESV

Even if I am alone, it is my task to speak the kingdom of God to deaf ears. In doing so I know there will be those who think I am strange and startling.

And yet, how true am I really? I end up not doing what is right, but rather wrong. I am amazed how my true self is revealed in Romans chapter seven. I am nothing really. Look how the chapter ends:

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. – Romans 7:25  ESV

How I wish I could have read Romans chapter eight this morning. Then maybe I could have shared some good news.

The Psalms, true to their nature, did not help, well not exactly. Psalm seventy-three starts rough. There is a full attack on naive faith. The world has declared that God is not King, His will does not rule and that He is irrelevant at best.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. – Psalm 73:2-3  ESV
What do I tell people who ask me if it is useless to serve God with a clean heart. What if they ask me what is the point of “being on God’s side?”
I thank the Lord that the end of Psalm seventy-three offers a turning point. There is something special about being in the presence of God, of belonging to Him. How did I perceive this truth? Worship has a way of confronting the false claims. Worship has a way of pulling the veneer off the face of evil. Worship refocuses my eyes so that I can see “the rest of the story.” I end up confessing clearly the ground rules for renewed faith.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end. – Psalm 73: 16-17  ESV
I see that once again I experienced very narrow tunnel vision. Need to experience my eyes seeing more and my ears hearing more. Worship helps.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works. – Psalm 73:28  ESV
Father, thank you for worship. Thank you Holy Spirit for drawing me into who Jesus is. May my dark days, turn to dark moments and may they be shorter and shorter as I enter Your presence and spend more time with You. Amen.
Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hosea, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Romans, Uncategorized

Genesis 5-8; Luke 2

I have a friend and we enjoy a lunch at least once a month.  Our lunch is always filled with stories of what our life has been experiencing and catching up on how and what needs to be put in the front burner of our prayer life.  After lunch, we walk. It does not matter where, we just walk.  When we walk, we talk non-stop. Crazy for two men to be talking so much but we both love Jesus and we both take time to bring Jesus into our discussions that we had over lunch. Sometimes I think that is what Jesus did too.  I know He walks with us.

I loved the story of Enoch walking with God.

Enoch walked with God[b] after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years.Enoch walked with God, and he was not,[c] for God took him.       Genesis 5:22-24  ESV

I am challenged more than I thought I would be on Noah’s walk with God. There is no way Noah could have done what he had to do if he did not. I loved how the Genesis author wrote this verse —

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. – Genesis 6:8  ESV

Noah was not alone, the favour of God was on him.  That is the prayer my friend and I pray often.  I know that I cannot do what God wants me to do without His favour.

As the Christmas season has just passed, I pushed through to the last portion of Luke 2 to rediscover some truths about Jesus’ childhood.

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. – Luke 2:39-40  ESV

As a disciple of Jesus, I pray that I may look for and find lessons as to how I can learn and grow in spiritual maturity too.   This is my prayer —

Father, the testimonies of Enoch and Noah have inspired me once again.  I loved the encouragement to walk with You and I want to walk with You. Both Noah and Jesus have the added words that Your favour was upon them. I ask humbly, that as I walk with You, may Your favour be upon me as well. May I find myself being filled with wisdom and walking with confidence and strength in my faith in You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized