Tag Archives: Colossians

Numbers 19-21; Colossians 4

1In the first month all the people of Israel arrived at the Desert of Zin. They stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2There was no water for the people. So they came together against Moses and Aaron. 3They argued with Moses. They said, “We should have died in front of the Lord as our brothers did. 4Why did you bring the Lord’s people into this desert? Are we and our animals to die here? 5Why did you bring us from Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain, figs or pomegranates. And there’s no water to drink!”

6So Moses and Aaron left the people. Then they went to the entrance of the Meeting Tent. They bowed facedown. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord said to Moses, 8“You and your brother Aaron should gather the people. Also take your walking stick. Speak to that rock in front of them. Then water will flow from it. Give that water to the people and their animals.”

9So Moses took the stick from in front of the Lord. He did as the Lord had said. 10He and Aaron gathered the people in front of the rock. Then Moses said, “Now listen to me, you complainers! Do you want us to bring water out of this rock?” 11Then Moses lifted his hand and hit the rock twice with his stick. Water began pouring out. And the people and their animals drank it.

12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “You did not believe me. You did not honor me as holy before the people. So you will not lead them into the land I will give them.”

13These are the waters of Meribah. Here the Israelites argued with the Lord. And the Lord showed them he was holy. Numbers 20:1-13

As I read, once again hearing the dissatisfaction of the Israelites, I hear my own kids voices complaining, never happy with how I am providing for them – I’m not giving them juice…I’m not giving it to them fast enough…I didn’t give them the ‘right’ cup…I’m a ‘mean’ mommy…

Just writing those statements, I can feel my blood beginning to boil. Often in these situations, especially when all three are pitted against me (yes, even my sweet little 15 month old has begun the temper tantrums), I quickly lose patience. It doesn’t matter how good of a day I’ve been having up to that point, it doesn’t matter how much self-control I’ve exerted or that I haven’t yelled so far that day. My frustration gets the better of me, and I lose it.

It was the same for Moses. He lost it; sick and tired of the Israelites discontent, overwhelmed by their bad attitudes and ungratefulness. And in that moment, his anger got the better of him and he disobeyed God.

Hitting the rock twice instead of speaking to it doesn’t seem like a big deal, especially since God had instructed him to do that in the past. But, this time God told him to speak to the rock, to command the water to flow. In his anger he lashed out, and failed to honor God with his actions, with his obedience.

Too many times I do this. I forget the things that God has instructed me to do…love, serve, teach…and I get caught up in my anger at little people defying me. I fall short. I disobey. I sin. And, I fail to honor God.

Fortunately, these interactions still serve as teachable moments. Facing my own bad choices gives me the chance to teach my kids about repentance, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of Jesus.

No matter what I do when my kids are on a complaining spree, whether I respond in a good way or mess up and respond in anger, God will always pour out in our family like the water from a rock. Despite my rebellion, my kids rebellion, He will always show us His holiness.

Yesappa, Thank You for being the perfect parent. Thank You for providing, even though I’m not always deserving of Your goodness. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for being Holy. Help me look to Your guidance as a mom. Help me to obey You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie

 

International Children’s Bible, Copyright © 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Isaiah 45, 46, 47; Colossians 3

I call you by your name,

I name you, though you do not know me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

I equip you, though you do not know me… Isaiah 45:4b-5

One of the many things that amaze me about God, is that before I knew Him, He still took care of me. He created me. He provided for me. He sent His Son to die and rise from the dead for me; simply that I would be able to know Him. He called me. He equipped me.

He has given me complete freedom, everyday, from the moment I was born, until the moment that my earthly body dies, to choose to walk with Him or to choose to walk away from Him.

He does the same for every person who has lived on this earth, who is currently alive, and who will be born throughout the ages…whether they turn their hearts and minds toward Him or not.

I am reminded of a story* that my husband shared with me one time, of a Christian who wanted to give a homeless man a meal to eat. When he offered the meal, it came with conditions – the homeless man must listen to the Gospel before he was allowed to eat. The homeless man turned down the meal. The Christian was offended at the man’s refusal. In prayer, the Lord reminded the Christian that God had been feeding the homeless man unconditionally since he was born, even though the man didn’t understand where his meals were truly coming from, even though he didn’t know who God was, is, and is to come…and would continue doing so until the man died.

Even though I stand in a place of better understanding and revelation, I realize that I still barely know who God is. He is SO big, so immeasurable, that it is impossible for me to know all of Him.

…I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is none like me,

declaring the end from the beginning

and from ancient times things not yet done,

saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,

and I will accomplish all my purpose…’ Isaiah 46:9b-10

And, yet, He tells me over and over in His Word…”I am God, and there is no other, there is none like me…” I am realizing that it doesn’t matter if I fully understand. I will never be able to understand; I am not capable of grasping all of who He is, and that is okay. Whether I comprehend Him or not, He will still accomplish everything He has set out to accomplish, in my life and in the lives of everyone else, regardless of their acceptance of Him.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Now that I do know the grace, mercy, and love of God, however, it is important that I fully honor Him to the best of my ability, that I give thanks for all that He has done for me and will do for me in the future. My actions, my words need to offer honor and glory and praise to His name.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

*I am not sure where this story originated, so I don’t know how to attribute it. If you have any information, please let me know so I can add proper acknowledgement. Thank you.

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 5; Psalms 3, 4; Proverbs 20; Colossians 3

No one can say, “I am innocent; I have never done anything wrong.” Proverbs 20:9 (NCV)

If a person sins and does something the Lord has commanded not to be done, even if he does not know it, he is still guilty. He is responsible for his sin. Leviticus 5:17 (NCV)

There are 613 individual laws that the Jews were told to follow in the early days of Israel and even unto today. The Mosaic Law is a list of many things that must be done and many more that must not be done to be holy unto God. The laws touch on every thinkable aspect of life and death. It is a list of unattainable perfection.

[By offering the sacrifice] the priest will remove the person’s sin so he will belong to the Lord, and the Lord will forgive him. Leviticus 5:10b (NCV)

When one or more sins were committed, the sinner was required to bring a sin sacrifice to the priests. Whether they knew they were sinning or not they were required to offer sacrifices. And only after those sacrifices were made would that person then be forgiven.

There are so many laws to remember, to understand, and to follow and obey. So many things that need to be monitored, regulated. No matter how hard I try, I can’t even imagine actually fulfilling each and every single letter of the law.

I will pray to the Lord, and he will answer me from his holy mountain. Psalms 3:4 (NCV)

Answer me when I pray to you, my God who does what is right. Make things easier for me when I am in trouble. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Psalms 4:1 (NCV)

When I inevitably stumble, all I have to do is pray, ask my Father for forgiveness. My sin is forgiven and forgotten. I am redeemed. The blood sacrifice that was made by Christ at Calvary was, is, and will always be enough to set me free from the law that only serves to show me that I will never be able to do it without His help. His love is everlasting. His mercy is never ending. His grace is the gift of life that keeps on giving and can never be lost.

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Colossians 3:12 (NCV)

I am a new creation, a righteous life raised from the grave, my grave clothes left behind in the tomb. I am the beloved daughter of the King being prepared as a spotless bride. I walk in freedom and in the delight of being one with Him.

Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 (NCV)

You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you. This new life brings you the true knowledge of God. Colossians 3:10 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Jeremiah 20, 35, 36; Colossians 4

These words stand out on their own:

Remember my chains.

I scroll online back and forth between Old Testament and New Testament. Two prisons and two prisoners. Jeremiah and Paul.

I didn’t catch on at first that I was reading about Jeremiah with a separation of many chapters. In Jeremiah 20, he’s whipped and put in stocks for his prophesy. In Jeremiah 36, he’s talking again through scroll; King Jehoiakim burns it piece by piece. And I laugh–because Jeremiah tells it all again. Rewritten–words that won’t be denied, because he can’t hold them in.

When I speak, the words burst out.
“Violence and destruction!” I shout.
So these messages from the Lord
have made me a household joke.
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord
or speak in his name,
his word burns in my heart like a fire.
It’s like a fire in my bones!
I am worn out trying to hold it in!
I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:8-9 NLT

Paul is also in chains. He writes to believers about The Why he is in chains: the opportunities God gives [us] to speak of his mysterious plan.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:2-6 NLT.

When Paul writes, “remember my chains,” I think on this … remembering how he was held back physically, remembering his desire to make Jesus known, remembering his vulnerability at the hands of men. Nothing could really hold back Jeremiah or Paul. So what’s holding me back from living intentionally?

Lord, I’ve been sleepwalking lately … living routinely and not so intentionally. I really want to wake up and be aware of opportunity around me to engage with others and serve them. Help me to make the most of every opportunity in your name. Every day.

Courtney (66books365)

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Jeremiah 9, 10, 14; Colossians 1

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1:9-12 (MSG)

Since I became a believer this prayer from Paul has been a prayer that I have not only prayed for others, but also prayed fervently for myself. I want to be attuned to God’s heart so much so that, to the best of my ability, I will know His will and be courageous enough to walk in it. I want to have His strength, so that even in my weakness I can demonstrate His Glory within me.

Sometimes I am successful in hearing what God wants from me and then obeying. Most times I trip and fall and my own will becomes more important to me than anything else. I think that it is a never-ending daily struggle for every one of us – flesh versus spirit. And in that, I have to believe that in spite of my human failings that my Papa, Father God still loves me with an everlasting love.

He chose me for this journey, for this work, the many tasks I am given each day, from the mundane duties of laundry and washing the dishes to the craziness of raising children to the awe of leading someone into the Kingdom. He chose me, not for who I am or what I have to offer, but because of what He did for me on the cross. He chose me because I am a Glory-carrier and I have determined to not hide His light under a bushel.

When He chose me, He knew the struggles that I would have with bad attitudes, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, ungratefulness, etc., the frustrating circumstances of my life, the trials and tribulations that I would be encountering during the journey. He was aware of the heart break that I would experience and that I would cause. He knew what would weaken my countenance and what would threaten to diminish my faith. He knew that the day to day of life would make it difficult to maintain that face-to-face time we both desire so much.

And, yet, He still chooses me to take part in His work in this life. He chooses to strengthen me. He chooses to show me His will. He chooses to know me and be proud of me. He chooses to love me.

    If you brag, brag of this and this only:
That you understand and know me.
I’m God, and I act in loyal love.
I do what’s right and set things right and fair,
and delight in those who do the same things.
These are my trademarks.
Jeremiah 9:24 (MSG)

Yesappa, Thank You for choosing me. Thank You for making me strong in my weakness. Thank You for Your goodness and Your Glory. Thank You for loving me. Help me in my journey. Help me do what is right and fair. Help me walk in Your will. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Colossians, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament