Tag Archives: complaining

Exodus 25-27; Psalm 90; Philippians 1

Everyone could play a part. From metal workers, wood workers, designers/decorators, fabric tamers–they constructed the Tabernacle supports, curtains, lampstand, table, utensils and the Ark of the Covenant. And if they weren’t a worker in the effort, they could still contribute.

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. (Exodus 25:1-2, NLT)

Involvement was a choice of heart. They worked together, doing their part, bringing their best–in reverence and in love.

Teach me, Lord.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
    so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90:12, NLT)

I have a different translation of Psalm 90:12 on top of a page where I’ve narrowed my focus in the coming months to cultivate areas of my life that need tending. I’m glad to see it here today, reminding me. Reminding me.

You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. (Psalm 90:5a, NLT)

One thing I learned last year in handling my dad’s estate is that what (we) leave behind reveals what mattered to (us). (Oh, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!)

Heart, work, purpose, passion. Paul is in prison. His words are marked with thanks, joy, and faith.

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:9-11, NLT, emphasis mine)

He looks at where he is and sees purpose–not cause for complaint.

12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14, NLT)

I reexamine my position, my posture, my purpose.

27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. (Philippians 1:27-30, NLT)

Every day, Lord, you remind me I am free. You call me to walk in freedom. You tell me I am yours, my home is with you, my portion is you.

Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
    so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. (Psalm 90:14, NLT)

Courtney (66books365)

 

 

 

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Exodus 16-18; Ephesians 4

Old Testament. While they wandered that desert for forty years, God provided for them. They were hungry and thirsty, and there was no doubt of it with all their complaining–God saw to it they were fed daily and given a gushing stream of water to quench their thirst. And with (Moses’s) hands held high, in faith, they won victory.

  • Some gathered a lot, some only a little. 18 But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Exodus 16:17b-18a, NLT.
  • Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. Exodus 17:6b, NLT.
  • 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Exodus 17:11, NLT.

My conviction: I don’t know why this winter has felt colder than the others. It must be my age. But God has provided–a functioning wood stove insert that blows out delightful heat, enough wood to get us through the season, even lap blankets unexpectedly gifted to me by a dear friend and my dad. I think I’ve spent too much time complaining.

Old Testament. Stepping out into freedom from slavery must not have been such an easy task–a pursuing army ready to recapture or kill, obstacles ahead that seemed unnavigable, even the lean days–the hard days–where daydreams of captivity and slavery seemed easier.

New Testament. Paul’s letter to Ephesians. He’s begging and imploring–don’t go back to slavery.

17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:17-24, NLT.

My conviction: The passages in Old Testament and New Testament speak to me on every issue I face today. While Exodus reminded me of God’s provision and my complaining, Ephesians is the shoulder-grab and about-face direction to remember who I am. Not a slave to who I was. Don’t look back. Throw it off.

Put on (your) new nature.

Lord, I need that thirst quenching gush of water pouring over me: your Spirit to renew my thoughts and attitudes. My victory and salvation are through you alone. You provide for my needs in so many ways. Thank you! Your word today, a gift and gentle, honest reminder to watch where my thoughts lead me. Help me to throw the negative thoughts far, far away.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30, NLT.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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I Samuel 24, I Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

There are times in my life when it’s pouring down rain and I pick up the phone to call someone and complain.  I talk about my problems and how nothing’s working out and share with them how it makes me yell and shout.  In the back of my mind I think that this is the solution, when all I’m really doing is spreading verbal pollution.  In Psalms 39 David had many reasons to be blue, but only spoke his cries to God whom he knew could see him through.   He kept his tongue from sin and from spreading it around and in turn allowed the Lord to turn his frown upside down!  People often come to me and ask me for advice and more often than not I throw my two cents out and don’t think twice.  It’s interesting to me that in Ezekiel  3:26 the Lord causes Ezekiel’s  tongue to on the roof of his mouth stick.  It goes on to say in verse 27 that the Sovereign Lord will loosen it when He delivers His message from heaven.    Once the words were revealed it was evidently clear that what  came from Ezekiel’s mouth was the Authoritative Truth people needed to hear!  I have a wonderful friend who is a pastor’s wife, who has always taken time to pray and seek God’s word before giving me advice on my strife.  At first I did not like this and wanted immediate response , but the more she showed patience in replying I saw many ‘IN HIS WILL’  answers from God.

A couple weeks ago I got a text from an old friend, she was sharing with me about some sin she had just gotten in.  She didn’t act remorseful, rather tried to get me on her side and where years ago I would have gone along, this time I made the choice to not compromise.  I Samuel 24 shows David’s refusal to go with the crowd, rather to stand up with courage, do what’s right and not take the easy way out.  Peer pressure is all around us every single day and we will fall to the ground if we do not consciously place ourselves there to pray.  It saddens me that this friend is straying from the Lord, and as hard it may be I Corinthians 5 talks about the need to “cut the cord”.  It doesn’t mean I put her on my enemies list, but I lift her up to Jesus and pray for restoration and godly fellowship.

I can lead a horse to water  and even teach it how to drink, but if it chooses to thirst to death, judgmental is not the way I need to think.  Verse 13 of I Corinthians 5 says, “God will judge those on the outside.”

Just the other day I saw a note from a friend  “Please, can you help me, there’s a snake here on my end”.  I rushed to her house to remove it from her shed, and once I got it down  we chose to keep it alive instead of causing it to become dead! It was long, black and slimy and smelled disgusting too, but we chose to take it into the woods, release it and pray that no more visits there it would do. We both discussed how it reminded us of Satan and how he tries to hide, but also the way he tries to slither and throw us off stride.  It made me more aware of how quickly he can make his way in and if I don’t remove him when he’s there there will be a stench that grows within.

After having read all these passages and taking them to heart, I’ve learned more about how God wants me to play my part.   I’m thankful for God’s word, and the reminders I am given,  and my prayer from here on out is that I truly seek Him for my soul livin.

Live2love4Him4Ever

~Erica

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, Ezekiel, Psalms

Num.12,13; Ps. 49; Isa. 2; Heb. 10

I have always been fascinated with the Israelites.If anyone should trust and believe that God is big and has things under control, it is the Israelites.God worked a ton of miracles to get them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea.But it did not take long for them  to complain that they needed water and food and every time God provided in a big way – water from a rock, manna and quail from the sky.By the time we get to our text in Numbers 21 it appears that they had had it.They had wondered in the desert for a long time and the promised land was just out of reach.They had forgotten.They grumbled and complained and asked why God had even brought them out of Egypt.Um, really?Slavery seemed better to them at this point? Apparently, God had had it, too.He sent poisonous snakes among them and there were people who were bitten and died.I am thinking that God had to show up in a big way to get the Israelites to listen.And listen they did.“We sinned when we spoke out against God and you [Moses].”   (vs 6)  They asked Moses to pray and ask God to remove the snakes but God was not going to just give them what they wanted.God told Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.”  (vs 8)  Anyone who was bitten and looked to the snake lived.

I live a blessed life.I have a healthy family, my husband and I are both employed, my kids are good kids, I live in a house, I drive a car, I have food and a bed and heat.I have friends and extended family.I have Jesus.What more could I want?And yet I OFTEN find myself grumbling and complaining.Just like my friends, the Israelites, I have forgotten everything that God has done for me.God has provided for my family in many ways.God has provided people, money, things, comfort, jobs, food, unexpected gifts, opportunities to serve, even a break in my schedule just when I need it but yet I let the smallest thing turn my eyes off of Him.Why do I not have_______?Why cannot I be______?Why can’t I buy_______ ?Why? Why? Whine….  I question God.  I forget to remember all that He has done for me.

Thinking about this I stand in awe of His grace.

I honestly do not believe that God brings “snakes” into our lives to harm us.I think that He allows things to happen to help us refocus.We need God.When we are faced with the “snakes” in our lives – the grumbling and complaining that pull our eyes OFF of Jesus, we need to refocus ourselves and look up TO Jesus.In our obedience to Him we are made whole.Matthew  6:33 tells us to “…seek first His kingdom…and all these things will be given to you…” and Psalm 37:4 tells us to “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”We need to take action and be obedient.In the “looking” we are saved.

Dear God, I am sorry that my heart is full of grumbling and complaining.I am sorry that I forget what you have done for me and where you have brought me.I am sorry that you have to allow “snakes” into my life to get my attention and bring my focus back to you.Thank you for loving me despite all of this and providing the perfect “bronze snake” for me in your Son, Jesus.  Please help me to seek and to delight in you.

Amy W. (guest on 66 Books)

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1 Chronicles 16; Psalms 42, 44; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

Remembrance

Hope

Need

Example

1 Chronicles 16–David’s song–full of praise and remembrance of what God has done. And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Psalm 42–not so jubilant. Panting, yearning, craving, breaking–the psalmist is deeply discouraged. But his message and resolution speaks last, “Hope.”

Psalm 44–God is praised; he gets the credit. But the psalmist is confused: We’ve praised you all day long, but now you’ve tossed us aside; we are butchered, mocked, humiliated.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.

1 Corinthians 10

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago […] These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 1 Corinthians 10:1,11 NLT.

I see themes of life: celebration, adoration. Depression, despair. Confusion, wondering. Hope. And while our clothes and lifestyles are unique bookends to time, we seem rather the same at heart–those wilderness wanderers and us.

I can look around and name friends who are celebrating, friends who are mourning and depressed, friends who wonder and wander–and if I look at 2012 through a lens of antiquity, isn’t it true of believers today:

And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 1 Corinthians 10:17

Maybe the biggest changes can happen not in the span of centuries, but in the vapor years of a lifetime–the reversal of heart disease from hardened to tender–if we’re lucky. Paul writes to the believers in Corinth of the example of the past. And how blessed am I to hold their stories in my hands and learn from them. This bible, a book of remembrance; a book of hope; a book of need; a book of example.

Thank you, God.

Courtney (66books365)

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Numbers 17, Numbers 18, Numbers 19, Mark 15:1-25

Read at –   http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2017,18,19;%20Mk%2015:1-25&version=NKJV

Numbers 17:5          It shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make  … behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. … , “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.”

               The Sin of Complaining is so serious that God had to physically demonstrate to His people that He deemed to “put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.” God calls those who complain “rebels”.

                Am I living in rebellion against God? Hhhhhmmmmm…… NO wonder I need the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!!

How many thoughtless complaints do I think or mutter about the temporal without a thought to the eternal repercussions? Who is listening to me? Why do I put forth such effort when God gives me His remedy for my healthy psychology and productive spiritual life? Philippians 4:4-9, 19-20

Numbers 18             The Lord said to Aaron: “You …shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and … associated with your priesthood.  …  I am your portion and your inheritance.”

Numbers 19  a red heifer without blemish, …  it is for purifying from sin.

               “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” The Lord God Almighty instructed the priesthood regarding removing iniquities and giving them the highest reward, Himself for their portion and inheritance.

Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Numbers 15:40 

God does not change and neither does His Word. Malachi 3:6, Matthew 24:35

                Lord, these days I find myself praying harder and deeper than ever before. It seems that as I breathe, I grieve. I don’t know what You are doing in the heavenlies or what is going to happen here on earth, but the sin is escalating, the venom of people against You in governments is increasing, Oh…. You have me praying in ways I don’t even know. Thank You for not having me complain, for that does NO GOOD. In fact, when I have done that, I promote the problem instead of praying Your Word for Your purposeful, effective change for Your glory alone!

            Please move the hearts of Your people to pray without ceasing, to storm Your Throne, going to our Royal High Priest Jesus to change the spiritual climate, to make us holy as You are holy, to be fruitful in the Holy Spirit now and until You return.

               I am sick inside. The pain moves me to be surrendered to serve You wherever You place me. Please Lord Jesus, send many of Your workers. Convict us who are called by Your Name to confess You, Jesus, as Lord, to repent, to worship You and testify of You, the only Sovereign God.

Romans 8:28; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 9:10

Mark 15:1-25                        Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” … “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” … Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

                This Jesus is our High Priest Who took upon Himself the sins of the people away from the Lord God Almighty, and purified us who believe and live surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

                  I praise and thank you Lord Jesus Christ for Your courageous victory over sin and death out of immeasurable love for me! Please continue changing me more into Your image so many people will see You, and then surrender, love, obey and worship You now and forever! I yearn to see Your Glory here on earth as it is in Heaven!! Magnify Yourself through Your children Lord Jesus! Amen!!

John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; Romans 1:20; Romans 5:8-21; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:5-6; Hebrews 7:20-28; Hebrews 8:1-6; Hebrews 9:23-28; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:4-6

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Numbers 12,13,14; Mark 14:27-53

It makes me never want to complain again. Ever.

Miriam and her complaining to Aaron. Oh, the trouble it stirred up. Her words announcing, “Unclean! Unclean!” complaints that revealed an underlying disease of heart, jealousy and contempt, pouring right out of her mouth.

And the Israelites, when faced with the ripe and juicy fruit of promise, resort to complaining, fret and worry.

Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. 3 “Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Numbers 14:2-4 (NLT).

Choose a new leader. Go back to Egypt.

I wonder sometimes if that’s what complaining is all about. Choosing a new leader. Going back into captivity of the familiar (instead of the freedom of God’s promise!). Doesn’t complaining imply we know better?

I’m reading a book by Elizabeth George, Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials. It’s a library copy, otherwise I would have underlined this:

“Just as you weren’t sure why the teacher asked some of the questions [on a test], the teacher knows the reasons for the questions–each one of them. And likewise, you may not understand why you’re being tested in a certain way: But God does. He knows that it will be for your ultimate good, that it will contribute to His purposes and bring Him great glory as you pass each test and become more dependable and useful to Him. Then He can work through you even more to reach people with the Good News and accomplish His will.”

Jesus, distressed and crushed with grief to the point of death, awaiting the mob and his betrayer, took his petition by prayer to God.

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36 (NLT).

The NLT reads crushed with grief, but there’s no turning back.

No. No choosing another leader. Jesus says, Father, I want your will to be done.

Lord, I’m so grateful for these texts side by side, to see how complaining leads to ungratefulness, wandering, death, remorse. Yet, even in dire circumstances, your example shows we can stand up to the test. In times of worry, fret, and grief, we can take our petition to our loving Father, who cares and leads us through trials, to His promise for our good (even when it doesn’t seem good) and His glory. I want to trust in that (in you!) and not myself.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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