Tag Archives: creation

I Samuel 31; I Corinthians 11; Ezekiel 9; Psalm 48

The men of Israel had fled from the lost battle, and Saul and his sons were dead, their headless bodies attached to a wall. “Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted for seven days.” I Samuel 31:11-13.

For all his faults and even though the kingdom was torn from his hands, Saul was still mourned and honored in his death. Sometimes I wish that I could undo all the mistakes and missteps I made in digging my own pit. Truly, the resurrection power of Christ Jesus that lives in me is the only force that could pull me up and out of those dark places.

Even so, I have experienced times when God seemed far away from me. At such times, I have examined my motives and my works to learn how far I have gone from Him. Corinthians 11:30-32 “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

Often, during those times, my family and others have commented on the blessings of God observed in my life. Their remarks confirm to me the unique position believers have in Christ Jesus. God illustrated that fact when speaking through Ezekiel and other prophets in the Bible to remind us that He marks His own.

Ezekiel 9:4 “…and the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’” I think of my many prayers to the Lord – admitting helplessness over things I have no power to change. Why does He come near? Because I am good – no! Because I am marked by Him; I am His own, and He alone is able to save.

I look around and the signs of God’s presence are everywhere – He is in the beauty of His creation; He is in His people, the Church; He is in the sacrifices and the tender gestures of the strong and the weak. He is here right now.

Psalm 48:12-14 “Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following. For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

There is no place I would rather be, Dear Lord God, than here and now to be in Your presence!

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture and commentary quotes from: The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Genesis 1-3; Matthew 1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty,  darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water…”  Genesis 1:1,2

I love the beach.  It seems to be the closest I can get to the Creation story,  back to before the Fall.  Sun,  sand,  sky, waves,  gulls hovering above,  the sound of children squealing with laughter.  All that is required is to breathe and take in the wonder of all that is around me.  Tension slides off my shoulders and gets left behind like unclaimed baggage.

I was there yesterday.  At the beach. My mom and I strolled down the board walk on a clear and warm blue sky winter’s day.  As we walked along,  a tall black man in a track suit,  singing in a rich baritone with words we couldn’t make out wandered up the shoreline.  Periodically,  he would stop, dance a few steps and wave his arms at the sky.  I chuckled and wondered what his psychiatric diagnosis might be and where he would lay his head at night.  On we walked.

A little while later,  Mom and I stopped to take in the ocean scene and up into our view wandered our eccentric friend.  He faced the ocean and was dancing and singing out.  A rough looking fellow with a warm grin on his face stepped up beside us and called out to our friend,  “Man of God!  How are you?”  Our friend spun around and joyfully called out to our new companion,  “Good,  so  good.  God is good,  so, so good!”  It was then that I understood his song and that he was dancing for the pleasure of his Creator.  I was humbled yet encouraged as I realized that this conceivably deranged man was far more tuned in to the reality of God’s goodness than I and was not afraid to show it.

Dear Father, Creator God,  May I be quicker to respond to your beauty and goodness than to the troubles and worries of this world.  May I receive the gift of 2012 with a grateful heart and a thankful tongue and somehow be a blessing to you.  I do love you.  Please teach me to love you more.  Amen

Kathy

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Filed under 66 Books, Genesis

1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104

 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, …  and they said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” 1 Kings 18

You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God… Jesus Who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1

 Bless the LORD, O my soul!… O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions— Psalm 104

Read at – www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Kings%2018;%201Thess.1;%20Ezek.48;%20Ps.104&version=NKJV

1 Kings 18                Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” v. 38-39

                   Elijah’s identity was marked by God’s Mount Carmel Victory! Elijah stood for the Lord God Almighty and against the false god and idol of Baal. God’s majesty and sovereignty were magnificently displayed because Elijah took a bold stand. The God of the Bible was honored!

                   We as new-creation believers (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:20) can have occurrences like these daily because we are indwelled by the Holy God (Acts 2:4; Acts 4:31; Acts 13:52; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 1:14; Isaiah 57:15; John 20:22; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:38). (See the book of Acts)

What did it take for Elijah?

  • Elijah spent time with God on God’s terms (Psalm 1).
  • Elijah listened to and obeyed the living God.
  • Elijah had stalwart allegiance to the Lord God Almighty with great trust in God’s Word and Character.
  • Elijah stood firmly apart from the gods of his day. NO compromise, excuse, rationalization or people pleasing, even at the risk of losing his life by the king.
  • Elijah trusted what was not humanly possible. It would take God to accomplish this task! (1 Kings 18:30-37)

 What did it take for God? Being in relationship with Elijah, meeting his needs, and joyously winning unbelievers over by displaying His Power and Glory!  (Philippians 4:19) (1 Kings 18:38)

What was the result? Rain. God reigned! The people were rejoiced and were pleased. The land was refreshed and restored. The idol worshippers and those opposed to God were vanquished. (1 Kings 18:39-46)

What does it take for me? The very same things – Purity and faithfulness to God. Keeping Jesus Christ in my sights within my heart and outward in my life. Continually bowing my heart and will before the Lord Jesus Christ, with confession and repentance of sin, learning and growing under His power and tutelage. Living joyously with praise and grateful indebtedness to the only One Who truly sees me. Doing what is not natural to my nature, but super-natural by God’s nature within me. Romans 8:1; Romans 8:5-10; Romans 8:26-27; Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 4:6; Romans 12:1-2

Taking a stand Every Where I go and what I do! – To live speaking Truth, thinking Truth and loving Truth (John 14:6). And in that way God will reveal His magnificence to unbelievers through me and my life. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

1 Thessalonians 1             You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God… Jesus Who delivers us from the wrath to come.

                      Oh the joy of being with new-creation believers (John 3:3-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23)! Those who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” v.9, and whose “joy of the Holy Spirit” and ”faith toward God has gone out” v.7-8.  May I do likewise: “give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” v.2.

                      Thank You Lord Jesus Christ for sending workers who give the gospel “in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance” v.5. Use me, too, my Deliverer Lord Jesus (v.10)!

Ezekiel 48                 “and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”  

                    Lord God Almighty, You are specific in Your directions, according to Your Good pleasure! You divided the holy land. You set apart a district just for Yourself (v.10). You order our steps and lives. May we not kick against You, but yield with contrite and glad hearts! Higher are Your ways than ours. Only by walking under and in You will I fulfill Your desires for my life and for Your glory! Please Lord Jesus Christ, make me Your delight! (1 Peter 3:15; 1 Peter 2:9; Acts 9:5; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 55:9; Micah 6:8; Psalm 37:4; Hebrews 11:6)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23  NKJV

Psalm 104                 Bless the LORD, O my soul!… The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works…. In wisdom You have made them all. … I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

O LORD my God, You are very great:are clothed with honor and majesty, cover Yourself with light, stretch out the heavens like a curtain.

My God – lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, makes the clouds His chariot, walks on the wings of the wind, makes His angels spirits, ministers a flame of fire.

Laid the foundations of the earth, covered it with the deep, set a boundary that they may not pass over, sends the springs into the valleys; (giving) drink to every beast of the field;  Waters the hills from His upper chambers; to …bring forth food from the earth, appointed the moon for seasons;

You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; May the LORD rejoice in His works.

He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke.  

                And who am I to not trust You to purify and sanctify my wayward child? How arrogant am I to not trust Your Holy Spirit to make new that which is not Yours. John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 5:17 – I come to You in prayer, boldly to the throne of Christ Jesus. Lord Jesus save from hell “___” and have them make You their First Love For Ever! Amen  (Revelation 2:4)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 9:11-15

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

 

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Filed under 1 Kings, 1 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

I rise early in the morning, long before my three wonderful little distractions wake up.  I turn on the news, mainly to catch the weather.  Usually I have to wait for some headlines to air first.

Crime close to home.

Natural disasters around the world.

The latest events in the world of radical Islam.

Threats of new wars in the Mideast.

Rumors of impending global economic Armageddon.

Sigh.  Perhaps knowing the weather forecast isn’t so important.  The next time this happens, maybe I’ll remember to return to today’s reading to revel in the sovereignty of the One who ordains every aspect of creation, past, present, and future.

Psalm 104 is a celebration of the sovereign majesty of an infinite God who imagined the finite.

An eternal God who invented time.

A spiritual Being who conceived of matter.

A self-existent God who envisioned angelic servants and human children.

A Being who needs nothing from anyone yet delights in beings who need Him for everything.

The master Inventor with the intelligence to design everything we will ever know of.

Psalm 104

2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent

3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.

 

5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.

 

7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;

8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.

At every level of creation there is beautiful order, whether it be at the level of the galaxy superclusters spread across the universe, the galaxies themselves with the wondrously artistic arrangements of their countless stars, our solar system with each planet, moon, and comet following its defined path, the earth with its amazing variety of delicately complex ecosystems, the organ systems that maintain the physical life of every creature, the perfect cooperation among the stunning variety of molecular machines within every cell composing every body of every living thing, and even the organization of the particles composing each atom in the universe.  Beautiful, amazing order where, given any lesser creator god, chaos would abound.

17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.

21 The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.

24 How many are your works, LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.

Moon, mountains, seas, goats, lions.  They all obey their Creator.  They all trust Him for their needs.  At every point, every aspect of creation serves its purpose.  Every creature has its place.

 27 All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.

29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

 EVERYTHING was conceived within the mind of God in eternity past, was brought forth by the power of His word, and is perfectly governed and sustained according to His wisdom and will.

After contemplating these things, it’s awfully hard to care about the day’s news.

35 …Praise the LORD, O my soul.  Praise the LORD.

Michael  (mmattix)

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Filed under 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Genesis 1, Ezra 1, Matthew 1, Acts 1

Scripture

“… And it was so.” Genesis 1:7 (NIV)

Observation

Genesis: the creation of the world. Matthew: the conception and birth of the Christ. Acts: the start of the church. All of them, beginnings–appropriate starting places to this new year in the Bible. But while these starts are what first caught my attention, it was this simple sentence that caused me to look deeper. To look at God’s command to speak a world into existence–and it was so. To see him move hearts as he did in Ezra 1. To read as he changed a mind, as he did with Joseph who had planned to quietly divorce Mary in Matthew 1. And when Jesus tells the disciples in Acts, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”, wasn’t it so?

Application

And it was so is not something I considered scripture to plug into my life, to be a verse to hold onto. But it surprised me in its simplicity and power. God creates. He changes hearts and minds. And he speaks with purpose and power. I can remember these words and know who is really in control. I love how he whispers to me in the small sentences.

Prayer

Father, maybe this year I will learn how to rely more on you. You really do determine my steps. Thank you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under Acts, Ezra, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament