What a great reading today – sets the tone for the day. The ideal woman is described through her activity as a wife. I was reading that the traditional hymn sung praising the mighty deeds of a warrior was transposed to extol a heroic wife – the focus on her exploits. As beautiful as all of this is, nothing really matches the words from her children and her husband as they praise her. What a portrait of a household ruled by Woman Wisdom and if you will, the home of those she has discipled. I love calling my wife a woman of wisdom.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her: – Proverbs 31:28 ESV
The man of wisdom himself, Solomon, takes the idea of being transparent seriously. I have so much to learn from him in this area. I notice whenever he uses the word “you” in advice or warning, he actually sounds like he is speaking to himself. While he is talking to himself about things he should be doing, he finds himself not doing it. Have to remind myself not to do that when I am preaching.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. – Ecclesasties 1:1 ESV
No matter what my need is, Jesus comes to me in my hour of need. He is watching over me even when I cannot see Him. The storm and the miracle of walking on water is a great picture of what Jesus still does in my life when I am sailing through my own storms which happen in the dark so often.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” – Matthew 14:27 ESV
I am meant to recognize the metaphor. If I allow myself to face my storms alone, that is on me.
Father, I look at this amazing woman of wisdom and I see this wise man filled with wisdom, and I cannot help but realise how You sent Jesus, Your wisdom personified, to walk with me in life. Thank You.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Uncategorized
Tagged as blessed, day, hour, man, metaphor, preacher, seriously, take
I know the Lord is good and you may rightly respond – all the time.
So why is it that I step away from Him, try to find my own way, enjoy my own pleasures and even find spiritual words, tasks and behaviours to justify such behaviour?
Have I really stopped thinking about Him?
I am the Lord All-Powerful! Israel is the vineyard, and Judah is the garden I tended with are. I had hoped for honesty and for justice, but dishonesty and cries for mercy were all I found. At your drinking parties you have the music of stringed instruments, tambourines, and flutes. But you never even think about all the Lord has done. – Isaiah 5:7,12 CEV
I have run into many followers of Christ who say they would never do what the Israelites did crossing the desert to the promised land. I have said – how could they have forgotten and so quickly, what the Lord had just done one day before?
The words are hardly out of my mouth and I have done the very same thing on the very next day.
There is one secret though that I have found, and it is the most real I can get in my relationship with Jesus. I fess up right away, I get clean right away, I set things straight and ask for forgiveness. There is one thing I do not want, will not tolerate and will not accept in my life – the absence of the Holy Spirit. A hard heart will turn Him away every time. At some point I would be afraid that I actually might not let Jesus rule my life one day should I keep rejecting His love.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me. – Matthew 23:37 CEV
Father, I know you care for me, You tend to my heart and whisper to me during the day. You set up so many different ways to protect me in my walk. Your love is felt as sweetly as the wind that blows around me when I walk and spend time in silent prayer with You. I cannot believe though that I can, the very next day, not even think about You as I find myself busy, occupied, caught up in something so meaningless. But the beauty of it all is that I notice. In noticing I can come and ask You to forgive me and You do. Thank You for being so gentle and so present. I love You.
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized
Tagged as all powerful, all the time, care, day, desert, found, gather, step away, thinking
I could spend hours in Deuteronomy 11. The boundaries are set up, they are simple to follow, do not leave any room for doubt or questions, straightforward and to the point – this is what it looks like to follow Jesus.
No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the fear and dread of you on all the land on which you set foot, as he promised you. I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – Deuteronomy 11:25-26
There are secrets to making this all happen. If you are like me, worship plays an incredible part in my walk with Jesus. Worship is an act of hope for the one day when Jesus returns – for all of us, creation included – will worship Him together
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth. – Psalm 96:11-13 NRSV
Shame on me if I am only thinking of myself to be ready for such a day. Can you imagine Hezekiah being so selfish. Every king was given the same promise given to David and one by one they failed to be faithful – they chose curses instead of blessings. Hezekiah was the last opportunity and all he could think was that he would not see the curse in his lifetime.
Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.” – Isaiah 39:8 NRSV
Shame on me if when I find myself slipping away from my walk with God and I do not stop, turn around and run back into the arms of Jesus. Even when judgement comes, so hard to believe that many of us will not turn back and repent.
The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their fornication or their thefts. – Revelation 9:20-21 NRSV
Lord, may my heart be attentive to Your loving arms around me, may my faith and hope be strengthened by Your blessings and should I find myself leaving Your side for even a moment, my the curses that come my way jar me and make me awake to the fact that somehow we have disconnected. May I find myself taking a moment each day to repent so that I will always be right with you. Amen
Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized
Tagged as boundaries, day, glad, Hezekiah, humankind, LORD, secrets, Stand, stop