Tag Archives: body of Christ

Judges 17-18; Psalm 21; Acts 1

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (Act 1:6-11, NLT)

Last year, the focus word I’d chosen was restore. I pondered several words before that (then) new year, and restore came to mind. I tried to put it aside. Later, at church, the sermon was on restoration. I knew it was my word, and with it came a knowing: my father would die, and my sister and I would be restored. But I didn’t want to think on that. I wanted a restoration with my dad, after years of hurt and tension. It didn’t happen. He died before the end of January, and through a surprising sequence of events, my sister and I became closer than ever. God’s plan of restoration, and perhaps his plans on a lot of things, look way different than one might imagine.

So when the disciples ask, “Has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Jesus tells them, loosely, “The When is not your business. But here is what IS your business … be my witness.”

Oh, men of Galilee, why are you standing here and staring up into heaven?

While I wait for Jesus, I remind myself daily–he has a plan. And I am part of it. To show his love wherever I may be. To be a steward of the tasks he approved for me. To walk in his spirit in every situation, and some are so hard, but I am grateful for his power, his love, his truth, his guidance. To serve in ways that glorify him. To tell others about him and have him present in my life. This is how I can be a witness.

Someday he will return.

Lord Jesus, I keep my eyes fixed on you. If I take them off of you, it is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed. But with you, I see you everywhere, in everything. Because of you, I can rejoice.

Courtney (66books365)

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Numbers 4, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2

Read - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%204;%20Ps.%2038;%20Song%202;%20Heb.%202&version=NKJV 

Numbers 4               Then the Lord spoke, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath, Gershon, Merari, Levites, … all who enter the service to do the work … but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

             You know me, Lord. I am never hidden from Your sight. You number my days. You have prepared me to do service for You. I am to commit my way to You so You will do the blessing through me.

            Working for You can be “deadly” if I ever take the glory because it is only due to You. No compliment, no esteem, no honor, no whatever can I accept without internally submitting that to You, Lord Jesus Christ. It is only under Your Authority and by abiding in You, that any eternal good can ever be accomplished.

            Lord Jesus, keep my mind and heart fresh to hear Your thoughts as my first priority whenever anyone appreciates me. I want to hear You praised and glorified within my own heart, my Savior and Lord! That is my reward!

Psalm 38                   O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; I go mourning all the day long.

            The price of sin is Enormous! The pain it causes far outweighs and outlasts any moment of illicit pleasure.  When I harden my heart, becoming stubborn in believing that “I deserve my unlawful pleasure rights” – I cause greater harm to myself and to those whom I say with my lips that I love; You Lord, my relatives, friends, and those who need Jesus yet may be led astray by witnessing an unfaithful Christ follower. 

For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. – O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

             Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You only – and gravely. My fear of man, distrust of Your Word, and attitude of self-will all speak loudly against You, Holy One. I choose to turn away, this moment, from “my rights” and submit to Your Rights, LORD. Take this situation which is before me, give me Your Word Perspective, fill me with Your Holy Spirit wisdom and power. See – I shall turn away from my familiar pattern and do Your counsel for You, Lord Jesus Christ!   

Song of Solomon 2             The man about the woman, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.”                           

            Imagery – Imagine – Christ with His Bride, the Church, the Body of Christ! Thorns are those who are still Jesus’ enemy. I am a lily among those who are thorns. I am Your Love! What an honor to be loved and cherished by You, my Savior! My heart melts!

            The woman about the man, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. … He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love….  My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.’”

            By Your Lovingkindness You draw me into Your Presence! Your unconditional Love overshadows all the ills in my life and overwhelms me. You always call me to stay in Your Presence. ~ ~ I rest in You, Lord Jesus. You refresh me like no other. I ponder Your Word privately, intimately, vulnerably. Your Holy Spirit gives me comfort, wisdom and holy perspective. Your Sweet Fruit I desire above all – the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and Your work.

            I shall be faithful to You, Lord Jesus, my Betrothed. You are always beneficially honest with me for Your glory! Your everlasting love binds my heart, mind and all to You, my Beloved King!

My beloved is mine, and I am His. v.16

Hebrews 2                How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit …?

             No adultery! No neglecting the Great Salvation which the Lord Jesus paid for me! No betraying or rejecting the One Love that can save me and fill me with healing and wholeness!

           But how am I unfaithful to my first Love? Who or what do I run to when I am upset, bothered and wanting to escape even minor “moody pain”? how many times have a failed? and harmed others in my wake? Do I first run to Jesus, the Word of God, and stay there? For Good counsel, comfort and wisdom to change my perspective and situation? Do my reactions have Jesus being the Fragrance people smell, instead of my own odorous ways?

     Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. …For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

I am free and empowered, indeed, to live for You! Thank You Lord Jesus!

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. I will put My trust in Him.” v.13

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Psalms 139, 140, 141; John 17

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:20-21 NLT)

Jesus is praying. He is praying for his disciples. And he is praying for all those who will ever believe in him through their message. He’s praying that we’d all be one. That we’d be in (them) so that the world will believe God sent him. I read it over and over, this message of unity, of God’s glory and the glory of His Son. I don’t know that I ever read these verses before. I don’t remember his desire in these words, that we’d be one so the world would believe.

Broken, messy believer lives. I’ve seen the Body of Christ do wonderful things in His name. I’ve seen loving hearts unite in tragedy. But I scratch my head over the division of the day-to-day. Jesus still gets the glory in these things. He still gets the glory when I chose to believe the best in another, even when doubt sits on my shoulders and tries to convince me otherwise–when I struggle with what I think is true in another, but only God knows that other’s heart.

How do I not see His love and attention to detail in the careful knitting of a heart in the womb–grown now as a neighbor, sister/brother-in-Christ, or a stranger with a bad day? How does my witness convince the world of His love and unity when even within the same (bloodline, neighborhood, church) we live divided? Wounded or jaded, it’s sometimes easier to see another as an enemy rather than your beloved.

Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong. Psalm 141:3-4

Lord, I pray for the unity you desire.

Courtney (66books365)

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

1Samuel 25; 1Corinthians 6; Ezekiel 4; Psalm 40-41

David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 1 Samuel 25:32-33

Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. Ezekiel 4:4

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. Psalm 41:1

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1Corinthians 6:19-20

Nabal’s efforts benefitted only himself.  His wife, Abigail used her resources to save the lives of many. Ezekiel yielded to God and carried Israel’s sin on his body for a time. Jesus Christ bore all sin on the cross once for all time.

1 Corinthians admonishes us against focusing on the fulfillment of our own desires and longings. Fact is God made my body and still owns it. How am I using what God has entrusted me with?

Yesterday my niece asked me for a favor. How selfish of her I thought. She knows I don’t feel well and yet she still expects me to run this errand for her. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that she was probably up all night with her three month old and that she had to drive an hour in order to accomplish a task I could do in fifteen minutes. All I could think about was my need, not hers.

How quickly I had forgotten. Only two weeks before I had posted on my refrigerator in Spanish “Mi cuerpo es por ti y para ti, Dios.” “My body is by you and for you, God.” Now, was I going to act like Nabal or Abigail?

I was bought with the blood of Christ. I am not my own. In light of this, the choice is clear.

yicareggie

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