Tag Archives: believers

1 Kings 19, 20; Acts 13:26-52

  • 11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. 1 Kings 19:11-13 NLT.
  • “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains.” 1 Kings 20:23b.
  • 38 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do … 44 The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. 45 But when some of the Jews saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said … 46 Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, “It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. Acts 13:38-39, 44-46

Sometimes I look for Him in the wrong places.

Sometimes my mind limits where He can work.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t get out from under the weight of condemnation.

Note to self: He is the one who whispers gently. He has no limits and is victorious in the hills and on the plains. Everyone who believes in Jesus is declared right with God.

And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52.

Courtney (66books365)




Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Psalms 12, 13, 14; John 8:28-59

They said … they declared … they replied … they retorted. An argument seems to be brewing here. And at the end, stones picked up to throw. I’m thinking to myself: must be religious leaders. Weren’t they always looking to stop him? I read it again a little more slowly, and these snippets stand out:

28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:28-31 NLT

It was the believers. It was the believers who said, “What do you mean ‘You will be set free’?” They weren’t slaves, they insisted. But Jesus corrected:

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

Oh, it gets heated. They declare, they reply, they retort: Abraham is our father! God is our father!

“You say, ‘He is our God, 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him.” John 8:54b-55a.

Rocks aimed at yesterday’s adulterous woman. Aimed in today’s reading at Jesus. In my own heart, whose advice do I seek? Is there room in it for the Lord’s message? Are there rocks in my hands today–and who am I aiming at? Brother-sister-neighbor-adversary … perhaps the target is actually my Lord.

Lord, I grow closer to you when my heart is open. When truth confronts and stirs, I pray I would put down my rocks and turn to you. I am so grateful for your forgiveness and love, that you long to restore. I want to know you better and more each day. Help me to show the very same mercy you’ve shown me to others. I don’t want to throw rocks at anyone anymore.

Courtney (66books365)



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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, New Testament

Exodus 31; John 10; Proverbs 7; Galatians 6

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.     Galatians 6:9-10  NIV


Sometimes conviction comes upon me slowly over time in a whisper.   Other times it hits with all the subtlety of a sonic boom, and Galatians 6:10, figuratively speaking, just broke the sound barrier.

Do good.  Got it.  No problem.

Especially to…

Really God?  Believers?

I’ve read through the entire Bible more than once so I’ve certainly read this multiple times, but this command has apparently managed to escape my notice to date.

Don’t mistake me for a great evangelist, because I’m far from it.  I witness occasionally, but I have yet to experience the joy of leading someone (other than my children) to Christ.  Yet, it is with unbelievers that my heart lies.  It is to them that I try to direct any good works, hoping that perhaps God will use me to draw them to Him, hoping that they might yet escape the fate that otherwise awaits them.

When it comes to my church family, the focus is different.  We worship together, we grow in the Lord together, we encourage and edify one another.  Are they the targets of practical acts of good?  Yes, but not often and not in any truly remarkable way.

Reading Galatians 6:10 this week immediately brought a recent event to mind.  A gentleman in my church had a medical emergency that kept him from his job for a couple of months last fall.  His job doesn’t come with the benefits some of us enjoy — no pay for sick days.  His is the only income for his family, so they were in a genuine financial crisis.  Word got around and many in our church family helped them as they were able.  He eventually returned to work, and the help we provided was apparently sufficient to see them through.

Today’s reading also includes Exodus 31, in which God informs Moses of the skilled craftsman He had prepared to produce all the articles of worship He had commanded to be constructed.  I may not have remembered Galatians 6 well, but I do remember what happens a few days from now in Exodus 36.  The people gave so generously to the construction of the tabernacle and sanctuary that Moses actually made them stop giving.

I can’t help thinking that I (and my church family) struck out last fall.  We helped this family through, and they issued a heart felt thanks for our efforts.  During their crisis though, they never came to the congregation and said we’d given too much, that we should cease.  I can’t help but think that such an announcement, and only such an announcement, would have indicated we had fully met the command to “do good to all people, ESPECIALLY to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Dear Lord, you’ve commanded that while we are to do good to all people, our finest acts should be bestowed upon our brothers and sisters in the faith.  You command this “as we have the opportunity.”  My neglect of your Word has allowed me to pass up such opportunities all too often.  I pray that now that you have made me attentive to this command, that you’ll send more such opportunities, and that I will embrace them to your fullest satisfaction.  Likewise, when I am in need, please pour out on me a spirit of humility so that I may allow my church family to keep this command by doing good to me.  Finally, please continue to draw my attention too all the other commands I’ve neglected or have remained unaware of.  You alone know what they are, but we both know the list is long.  I pray this in deepest appreciation of your patient grace, Amen.

Michael   (mmattix)

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Filed under 66 Books, Exodus, Galatians, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Uncategorized