Tag Archives: deceit

Exodus 23; John 2; Job 41; 2 Corinthians 11

I take note in Exodus of justice, refreshing, and annual festivals. I smile because I know in John, Jesus will turn water into wine. I imagine the Leviathan in Job–monstrous and mighty. And in 2 Corinthians, Paul boasts of weakness. But there’s more–guidance, caution.

20 “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. 21 Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. 22 But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you … 32 Make no treaties with them or their gods. 33 They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry.” (Exodus 23:20-22, 32-33, NLT, emphasis added)

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart. (John 2:23-25, NLT, emphasis added)

22 “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck
    strikes terror wherever it goes.
23 Its flesh is hard and firm
    and cannot be penetrated.
24 Its heart is hard as rock,
    hard as a millstone.
25 When it rises, the mighty are afraid,
    gripped by terror.
26 No sword can stop it,
    no spear, dart, or javelin.

33 Nothing on earth is its equal,
    no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
    It is the king of beasts
.” (Job 41:22-26, 33-34, NLT, emphasis added)

19 After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools! 20 You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face. 21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that! (2 Corinthians 11:19-20, NLT, emphasis added)

I consider God’s provision and protection, and man’s choices (oh, what of my own?) that pitch a trajectory of sin and idolatry. Jesus, who walked this earth and came to save, who knows people down to their very heart. A monstrous beast, Pride, the king of beasts (taking great creative liberties here). And Paul’s common sense pleading to correct poor vision–why would anyone choose to be enslaved, robbed, taken advantage of, powerless, abused or insulted? These sound like choices of brain fog and deceit.

Lord, I think on the Passover celebrations woven throughout your word, to celebrate a salvation from slavery, to celebrate your might and protection–you make a way, and you make a way for me too. Help me to keep clear vision, a kingdom focus, to be aware of your guidance and counsel, to heed it, to not be duped by the deceit of sin. You are good, and you have good planned for me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 38-40; Matthew 12:22-50

  • Judah already lost two sons, and was afraid he’d lose his last–so he told Tamar to stay with her father until (Shelah) was old enough to marry her. He had no intention of following through with his end of the deal.
  • Tamar disguised herself and led Judah to believe she was a prostitute so that he would sleep with her. It worked.
  • Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and tried to seduce him. When he wouldn’t comply, she accused him of trying to rape her, to cover up her actions.

Fear, a quest for justice, desire. These are the things I notice in today’s reading–and I see deceit, disguise, cover-up.

Jesus talks about fruit and what’s in a heart.

33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:33-37 NLT.

In my life, I will feel so many things. Sometimes those feelings come upon me and knock me over. Hurt over a comment that sits and stews in my heart–it strains a relationship; insecurities that whisper and taunt and push at me–they make me want to hide; a pressing desire for change (that leads to a hair color snafu; or a spending spree; or in frustration/weakness, a chocolate binge).

These days, I’m trying to just take it to God. He knows my thoughts anyway–and I can’t run and hide or cover up the truth. I can try a new approach–and just tell him what’s on my heart.

Lord, I feel hurt by that comment she made.

Lord, I feel discouraged.

Lord, I feel inadequate to do this job.

It’s in those honest moments that I approach God and lay it before him. Help me, I’m weak … I don’t know what to do … I don’t know what to say.

Sometimes the feelings aren’t pretty or noble. But it’s when I suppress, cover-up, deny and try to control a situation that I can make a mess of it.

Jesus, you are always with me and want to help. I can ask for wisdom at any time and you will give it. I can ask for forgiveness and you will give it. I can look to you and find my identity and strength. You know my heart and I can trust you with it.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Samuel 14; 2 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 21; Psalm 68

God places the lonely in families … Psalm 68:6a NLT.

This verse stumps me.

It makes me think that families are a haven of one big welcome.

Some of the loneliest times in my life were in the midst of family. I bet Absalom could relate.

Joab sends a woman to appeal to King David, her story a fictional parallel she reveals later to convict.

13 She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son. 14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” 2 Samuel 14:13-14 NLT.

God is one of reconciliation. I tell myself this over and over–even when relationships are strained, and ways are parted.

God is for reconciliation.

David allows Absalom to return, with conditions. For two years, Absalom never got to see his dad.

33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him. 2 Samuel 14:33 NLT.

The chapter stops here, and I have hope to keep reading. (So I sneak ahead to the next chapter, and see that dysfunction and division are alive and well. It was not the happily-ever-after I hoped would wrap up neatly.)

I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 NLT.

In the time Absalom was away from David, I think whatever sorrow he may have felt turned bitter with resentment and grew. Paul writes above to the Corinthians, and his words churn in my thoughts as I sip at coffee. The kind of sorrow that God wants us to experience, that leads us away from sin and results in salvation. And then there’s worldly sorrow, lacking repentance, resulting in spiritual death. Absalom’s sorrow will lack repentance (turning away from the sin) and lead to death–as it is today: relationships break apart in friendships and families; sorrow without change whittles away at everyone.

I examine the fractures in my life.

Lord, help me to reconcile without conditions so I don’t place stumbling blocks in front of a friend/family member. I want to be mindful of the condition of my own heart, turning from sin (please help me to see it!) and trusting in you. Where hearts are hardened, Lord, I pray that you will work on them. You are the God of reconciliation and restoration. I want to want that as much as you do. Thank you, that you don’t leave me where I am, but want to change me from the inside.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Lev. 7; Ps. 7,8; Prov. 22; 1 Thess.1

Example. Leadership. Imitation.

Point your kids in the right direction, and when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG

The map I was handed was passed down from generations. It was a dead end. And not just an end that didn’t lead anywhere, it led to death. I didn’t really know it at the time. (Thank you, God, for speaking into my life.) I feel really protective over my kids–I want to spare them of that legacy. So I study the Word. And I study people. I study them for how they live and how they love and how they give. I look at them to learn how they handle conflict and forgiveness, how they press on in trial. I watch how they serve, and who they serve. I take in as much as I can, and I sift through it. I try to imitate the good in them.

I know I don’t have it all together. But I know who does–the one who came to save me from certain death.

2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. 1Thessalonians 1:2-10 MSG. Emphasis mine.

Lord, thank you for rescuing me from certain doom. Steel me up with your Spirit. I pray that my life honors you, and that my children will know you and seek you all the days of their lives.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 34, Mark 5, Job 1, Romans 5

Please Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2034;%20Mark%205;%20Job%201;%20Romans%205&version=NKJV

Genesis 34          Dinah … went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem … saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. …And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing … Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give…. but give me the young woman as a wife.”

               But the sons of Jacob answered Shechemspoke deceitfully, … “on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised,” … Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males…. and they plundered even all that was in the houses. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land,” …But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

               Revenge  Taking matters of justice into our own hands. We use our logic, our will, our provision, our anger and our vengeance. The result? Death and further separation from God. Revenge never teaches righteousness. But God’s revenge, that teaches Righteousness! (1)

              Lord God, I can be angered by the leaders in my nation and by people who lie, deceive, steal, maim and seek to destroy Truth, babies, relationships and Your Word. But Lord God, You are have the Last and The True Word (2). Right now You are teaching me that what I say and do DO matter. That while I can call congressmen, sign petitions, donate to just causes – my speaking, living and loving Truth (You Jesus) will heal the broken hearted and cause conviction of sin to the wayward for their repentance and reunion with You. My being Salt and Light will heal the wounded and dispel darkness so less people may be deceived. I am not useless, but useful IF I follow You Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You! (3) 

            Rape is horrific! But revenge does not heal or restore righteousness. But You, God, and Your Ways do! I seek Your counsel and the Holy Spirit Power to fulfill Your deepest desires for a bounteous harvest here and now. Amen   

            Lord God, I pray for Revenge Your way! Lord God Almighty, hunt down the people who harm others so that they know that there is no escape from You! Soften their heart, convict them of sin, and have them repent of all the wrong they have said, done, thought, etc. Lord Jesus, make them New Creatures in You so they will be so in love with and submitted to You that they will never harm anyone like that again! Bless them with salvation and bless those whom they have harmed, in this very same way, for Your Glory alone! (4)

Mark 5            immediately there met Him …a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs .. crying out and cutting himself with stones.  When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. … he cried out with a loud voice, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”… He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” …And at once … the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine … and ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

                Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed …sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.…Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

          when Jesus got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus … said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”  And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

              Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, the One worthy of worship, did not have revenge. Lord Jesus, You had compassion and renewed! You did not torment the insane man. Instead You set him free! Demons and sin had claimed the man as their victim. But Only You, Jesus can set him free from both. Lord Jesus, thank You for setting me free, too!

 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

               But the bystanders could only see their money going down into the sea. Where is my focus? On the here and now? The physical? Or am I Seeing with God’s Eyes a man free from hell, a man now with friends, a hope and a future, a man clothed and in his right mind, a man with incredible value because he shares the reality of God’s compassion and deliverance with ten cities! Lord Jesus, may I not be sold out to the slavery of money or blinded by the values of this world so that I would not keep and maintain the principles of Your Word every moment of my life!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things … When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” … And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”… He looked around to see her who had done this thing.But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

            Lord Jesus, I hold onto Your cloak. I seek the hem of Your garment. For I am in need. You know my needs. They are many. And there is no one who can fill them for me. They are deep, they are real, and they are life sustaining in so many ways. Lord Jesus, I look to You, I seek Your Face, and I desire to know You in Your fullness so that I may relate with You more intimately, effectively and submittedly. Yet You come to me, seeking me and the “lost areas” of my life to cleanse, restore, realign and sanctify me. Thank You Lord Jesus. Lord God, make my faith sight while I live so that I may do Your bidding just as You ask. May I never be ashamed of the gospel or of Your reality in life. May I live a life flowing from Your Sacrificial Blood, filled with the Holy Spirit and pouring out Your True Love always. May Faith in You and Your perfect Love cast out all my fears. I praise and worship You Lord God Jesus Christ! Amen (5)

 And He said, “Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:33

Job 1                Job … was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. … Job would send and sanctify them, … For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. …  And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.

                 While he was still speaking, another also came and said (x 3!) … Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

             How encouraged am I! Job did not have the full Bible. Job did not have the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Job did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit for counsel and power. Job did not have the fellowship of sanctified believers. Job did not have all these things that I have. I have hope!

             Job, a prayer warrior and one who feared God and lived to honor Him, had humility – and that is good with me! Micah 6:8

 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Romans 5            having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

             Character – only one way to attain it: God’s Way – within the Potter’s Palm! Lord God, I am grateful for Your gift of faith by which You have justified me, given me access to You, peace with You and continually show me “factually” of Your real Presence! (6)

            And because of You, Lord Jesus, I have particular tribulations. Things occur which show that I am in a war of good versus evil. If I wasn’t Your child, I wouldn’t desire greatly nor be able to successfully pursue Your righteousness amidst the enemy’s tactics. (Thank You for saving me! Please bring many others to repentance to You so that they, too, will be new creatures and able to truly live by, for and with You, Lord Jesus Christ, with peace, hope and Great joy!)

              As I am obedient to You while in these tribulations, You display Your glory, for which I greatly rejoice! And as I go through them with, by and for You, You produce in me the stamina to persevere. My impetus to continue is because I want to see Your righteousness more and more within me and around me! By these things You sanctify and develop in me Your character. So as I more and more deeply see Your good results despite the strife, I hope in You more and more greatly! Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your All Powerful Love Lord God Almighty!  (7)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us. Romans 5:5 

Bible insights –

 1 – Ezekiel 18:32, Deuteronomy 32:35 , Romans 12:19 , Hebrews 10:30

2 – Revelation 1:8, John 1:1-3,14

3 – Matthew 5:11-16

4 – Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 6:10

5 – Philippians 2:12, Psalm 2:11, Mark 2:17, Luke 19:10, Matthew 18:10-14, Matthew 10:32-33, Mark 8:34

6 – Isaiah 64:8, Isaiah 49:16

7 – 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:5-21, John 1:12-14, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:1

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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