Tag Archives: control

Deuteronomy 23; Psalms 112, 113; Isaiah 50; Revelation 20

The Lord God helps me learn,

and I have not turned against him

nor stopped following him…

The Lord God helps me,

so I will not be ashamed.

I will be determined,

and I know I will not be disgraced.

He shows that I am innocent, and he is close to me…

Isaiah 50:5, 7-8a (NCV)

It is said that one never stops learning until death. And, as I am not dead, I am in the midst of yet another learning cycle. I find it interesting though, that the learning I am doing right now has little to do with the reading, writing, and arithmetic I learned in school. It has little to do with the life experiences of learning right from wrong or learning how to iron a shirt or set a table properly or change a baby’s diaper.

The education I am receiving now is just one more onion peel layer of trusting God above all else; learning how to walk in stronger faith, that faith that will move mountains even though the circumstances are impossible from a human perspective.

The experience is not always enjoyable. It is hard to let go sometimes, to relinquish the idea of control over my surroundings, my fate. It is difficult not to know all the answers or understand all of the solutions.

But at the same time it is exciting. And, what most excites me in this learning process is coming to the understanding that no matter what is given to me to bear, God is always there to help me through it. I can call on him at all times for help and He will always meet me where I am.

He walks with me when I need a friend. He carries me in His arms when I can’t do it by myself. He loves me and protects me as my Perfect Father. He covers my failings, my iniquity. He is always close to me.

Yesappa, Thank You for ALWAYS being there for me. Thank You for teaching me. Thank You for removing my shame, safeguarding my virtue and restoring my innocence. Stay close to me every moment of every day and help me to always follow You, to never turn to the right or to the left. Help me to always keep my eyes on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Lev. 25; Ps. 32; Eccles. 8; 2 Tim. 4

I’ll never forget going to summer church camp as a child and going on the horse trails.  Younger years there was a trainer who led as you rode, and I longed for the day when I could take the reins and ride ALONE.  Well, that year finally came and I was so excited and jumped up on my horse, named LUCKY, and I began to trot off.  I tried to turn the horse left, he wanted to go right. When I made attempts to slow down, he sped up going off the course causing the saddle to come loose and me to fall off.  Thankfully the only injury was my ego! Someone retrieved Lucky and helped me back on, showing me  the proper way to lead him.  When the trail ended, we were handing the horses to the next riders and I handed over the reins and said, “If you are as lucky as I was on Lucky, then you will definitely be taught a thing or two!”

In Psalms 32:8-9 it says: “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

My horse had a bit and bridle, but it was me who was out of control with my thinking–requiring a spiritual bit and bridle to be put upon me to keep my pride in order. I love how we are promised that God will guide us along every pathway and watch over us. He does not need us to plan our own routes and hold tightly to the reins.

Life-changing moments stand out: the horse’s saddle, and the old, wooden, splintery pew in an outdoor open chapel service at the camp that same week.  For that is where I released the control of the reins of my life and heart over to the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 8:17 “This reminded me that no one can discover everything God has created in our world, no matter how hard they work at it.  Not even the wisest people know everything, even if they say they do!”

Lord, I ask that when I start to believe that I have it all under control and know everything, I pray that you knock me off the saddle again and help me to willingly hand back the reins and give you the control of my thoughts, actions, words and paths I take in life.

Leviticus 25:20-21 “But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?” “I will order my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a bumper crop, enough to support you for three years.”

BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS OVERFLOWING! He doesn’t owe me an answer, but I’m thankful that He always does give one IN HIS TIMING and I’m working harder each day at having more  faith that when He says GO LEFT I will GO LEFT, even if I really  think going right would be better! Sitting down in a seat of Faith will provide for me a better pathway paved!

2 Timothy 4:3-5 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching.  They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.  They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.  But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.  Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ.  Complete the ministry God has given you.”

I’m thankful for what I have been given and pray that I use it properly to help LEAD others to Christ!

Erica (guest on 66 Books)

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2 Chronicles 33,34; Acts 23:16-35

This year I seem to be seeing a basic recurring theme of the mysterious balance of God’s sovereignty (or control of the happenings in the world in general and my life in particular) and the individual’s role in carrying out the purposes of God; how our actions affect not just our lives but the lives of those around us; how God often uses ordinary people to accomplish things, yet sometimes he just shows up with some supernatural force.

In our Old Testament reading the up/down cycle continues. “He/they did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord” is followed by hard times and captivity, then “he/they did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” followed by peace and prosperity.  We have it in multiple combinations (Manneseh starts out on the evil path then repents, Amon is evil from birth to death, Josiah is on the good path from start to finish). While the people seem to reap consequences of their actions, both good and bad, when we step back we see that God had a plan all along. Each part of the cycle had a part to play in the grand scheme of things.

In our New Testament reading yesterday we learned that God intended for Paul to go to Rome. Today we see that plan starting to unfold. But people still had a part to play. Paul’s nephew happened to be in the right place at the right time to learn of the plot to kill Paul, but he also had to be brave enough to get to Paul, pass on the message, tell the commander, etc. The centurion had to obey Paul’s request, the commander had to listen to this boy/young man, the commander had to take quick action. Everything had to be done in quick succession. People had their part to play, but we can see the orchestration if we take a step back and observe the big picture.

I know that when I am facing a trial I need to make sure I take a step back and realize that God is in control. My job is to do my part. I may not know until many days, months, years, decades later how the various events of my life played a part in a grand plan, but I can be confident that ultimately God is in control. Any my God is the God who saves.

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (2 Chronicles 33:10-13)

27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. (Acts 23:27)

suegraff

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1 Samuel 24, 1 Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you… 1 Samuel 24:10

 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:4-7

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. Ezekiel 3:1-4

King Saul threatened David’s life. The Lord turned the tables on the chaos and confusion, putting the control into David’s hands.

This past week an earthquake and a hurricane put many people at risk. With no electricity, no running water and no ability to cook food, my life felt fleeting and unstable. My security blew away with Irene’s wind.

Thankfully, no trees fell on my house, but the damage done area wide humbled me. Water became precious.

Ezekiel 3 reminded me that I had “eaten the scroll” for years as I read, meditated and studied the Scripture daily. Most of God’s word flows through my blood, dictating my philosophy, yet my trust during this time of stress did not seem to lie with my Maker.

Now I ask myself, Lord what do I look for? Is my hope really in You?

yicareggie

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Exodus 16; Luke 19; Job 34; 2 Corinthians 4

This morning I was feeling a bit burdened about everything I had to do today. I had a busy day ahead of me at work, community group as soon as I got home (with not much chance for dinner), I had homework that needed to be done after CG and posted by midnight (now I know why I waited 28 years to go to grad school), and 66Books to write and post by 4AM. As I was starting to rattle off my list to my husband and resigning myself to a very late night I had an idea…  maybe he could be a guest writer for 66Books!! He could write it while I did my homework! What a great idea! I pitched it to him and he quietly accepted the task.

Fast forward to tonight…  community group was cancelled so I had a chance to actually eat a leisurely dinner (out!) AND get my homework posted by 10PM! And my wonderful husband did the honors and wrote my 66Books entry anyway! Although now that I read it I feel a bit guilty… I thought for sure he would choose one of the Luke passages, maybe the parable of the talents (the Luke version) – at least that’s what I would have choosen.  I wonder if there is a message here for me? Anyway, enjoy! And thanks, dear.

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Scripture

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor. 4 (NIV)

Observation

In this passage it feels like Paul is has been under a lot of stress, and very likely the Church at Corinth also. He has this great ability to take the focus off the current situation that he is in and put it in an eternal perspective. At the same time he highlights God’s continual grace to the believer.

Application

On occasions that take me out of my normal comfortable routine I find myself starting to feel stressed, the uneasy feeling of not being in control, the anger when things are not going as planned.  I need to go to this passage to be reminded that no matter what we are faced with it does not compare to the rewards that are to come for being faithful.  I also need to be reminded that what I am going through is nothing compared to what others have gone through. When we do take the eternal view of our trials we are witnesses to others of the grace and glory of God.

Prayer

Lord, help me not lose heart when trials come but look to you for guidance and grace. Let me daily seek Christ revealed in my life.

Rob Graff

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