Tag Archives: desire

Ezekiel 19-21, Psalm 84, John 7

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

 

 

Recently, I have had some strange feelings. Feelings of homesickness even though I am not away from my home. I am feeling unsettled and distant from this world, my friends and my community. The longing in my heart for my heavenly home increases each and every day, a longing placed there by my Master.  As I look around at the sin in the world I am heartbroken. I long for days of old, even further back than when I grew up. I know each generations has its fears and challenges but just a few decades ago, our children did not have to worry about school shootings and girls knew they were girls and boys knew they were boys. Fifty years ago the overall standard of morality was at a much higher level (or covered up to look good) and people actually cared. Today, anything goes for anyone. Even among believers, the lines between Christian freedom and moral license are very gray.

The words of Psalm 84 are so beautifully penned from the heart of a believer longing to experience the presence and glory of the Lord. In His courts we find security, protection and satisfaction. The worst job on the worst day in His presence is far better than the best day I can imagine on the most beautiful beach.

These words are speaking of an experience that I have a hard time imagining but they are also words to take comfort in while I am still in this world walking through day to day struggles and even more difficult times. I can walk away from reading this passage knowing in my weakest and darkest moments, God will sustain me with his strength. He is my shield and protector providing me with what I need at the very moment I need it. And ultimately, I am favored by him because of the blood of Jesus. I am anointed- a child of God! There isn’t anything that happens that isn’t for my good.

Dear Lord, create in me a true desire to long for a deeper relationship with you. May my heart and flesh cry out for you and sing for joy, Living God. You are my shield, protector and sustainer. I look forward to the day we meet face to face but what a joy and an honor to serve you while I wait expectantly. Amen.

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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 20; 2 Corinthians 13; Ezekiel 27; Psalms 75, 76

Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. You know that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you fail the test. (NCV)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. (NKJV)

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (NLT)

Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected? (AMP)

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. (MSG)

2 Corinthians 13:5

When Christ shed his blood on the cross, He created the path for redemption. And when I heard and believed the Good News, He renewed me, heart, mind, and soul, and took up residence in me.

I know this. I believe this. And yet some most days, when I am struggling with loneliness, or anger, or bitterness and resentment, or exhaustion, or a lack of patience, or a bad attitude, or whatever else I am getting ‘poked’ with on any given day, I question myself. I question my faith. I wonder if there is any good fruit in me.

I used to burn with passion for God, attending every prayer meeting and worship time that was available to me, even the all-nighters. I was on fire. I wanted to experience His love and give it away to everyone I met. I basked in His glory and worshipped and danced with all my might like David. I never questioned my faith; I never doubted my fruit.

Fast forward a few years, and now I just feel burned out by life. Five years as a missionary (in the field and on furlough), almost four years as a wife, and just about three years as a mother has taken its toll on me. I give and give and give, and yet I realize I am giving from the dregs of a nearly empty tank.

When I look within, I see Him there and the desire to walk with Him, and talk with Him rises up in my heart. I intend to spend time with Him, to strengthen our relationship, to worship, to pray, to read His Words…to reconnect…to refuel. Just as soon as I have a second to myself, a moment when a little someone isn’t screaming, or crying, or tugging on my leg to hurry up and get an I.want.Right.NOW.

And then I get a piece of time, a few precious moments to myself, and often, instead of relaxing in my Savior’s presence, enjoying, savoring His goodness, His splendor…I plug into a computer game or YouTube videos of “some country’s” Got Talent. I get caught up in the wasteland of needless information.

Today, once more, I examined myself, my faith, and I recognize that though I am in a different season, I have not failed, even when sometimes I stumble. In the midst of my struggles, I look to my Heavenly Father. I choose to rely on Holy Spirit for help and for comfort. And, though I may zone out in front of the computer at times to ‘escape’, I still spend time with Jesus each day.

My time with Him is no longer stretches of ‘alone’ time reading the Word and praying. My time with Him is much sweeter in a way, because it is time I share with my children too. And the fruit that comes from this time spent together is fruit that in the future will be multiplied 100 fold.

Yesappa, thank You for Your grace upon me, upon my life. Thank You for meeting me right where I am. Keep walking with me; be unrelenting in Your pursuit of me. Keep drawing me closer to You especially in the midst of life, of motherhood. Help me teach my children about You as we spend time together with You. Help me be solid in the faith regardless of the different seasons I go through. Help me to always remember that You are with me and that You will never leave me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The earth with all its people may shake,

but I am the one who holds it steady. Selah

Psalm 75:3 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Psalm 17, Psalm 19, John 9:24-41

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. John 9:31

 Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ps%2017,19;%20John%209:24-41&version=NKJV

 The Amazing Goodness of the LORD.

         I am grateful and honored to be a worshipper of the Lord God Almighty (1). Because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done on my behalf by His Atonement for my sins (2), God is Immeasurably Good to me and to those I bring before Him (3). I depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ for my sustenance in every area and these verses explain why.  Oh, What Joy!

 Psalm 19       The heavens declare the glory of God; … shows His handiwork, …  utters speech, … reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.

            God communicates to me bountifully! In speech, sound, and sight! I cannot escape from Nature’s witness! (4)   

            God’s explicit Word communicates to me, converting my soul, changing me, making me wise, rejoicing my heart, enlightening my eyes, having me desire God’s Word ever increasingly, warning me, ensuring His rewards, cleansing me from secret faults and from presumptuous sins from ruling over me by Lord Jesus’ Word convicting me of my sin and my repenting. (Psalm 51)  

            Because of God’s Good Pleasure for me, I desire to have “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 37:4)

Psalm 17                 Because You, Lord God declare me to be Your Own (1), I seek You continuously to bring “a just cause”, the deep cry of pain from my heart for a family member in sin, for You to set them free soon in the best manner glorifying to You. I know You hear me because “my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.” (5)

               I implore You to “Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip” so that I may follow closely You, Lord Jesus, to be with You all the time and bring others closer to You.  

               When I am to be around people who “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly”, I hide in Your Presence praying “save those who trust in You From those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me.

                I ask You Lord toDeliver my life from the wicked with Your sword”, the Word of God by the Holy Spirit. (6)

                 Because of “the Word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer” ,“my vindication comes from Your presence” so I REJOICE in this Glimpse of Heaven: I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

John 9:24-41            “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Speaking of Jesus Christ.

             Tangible proof! (8) The Reason for my Eternal Life.One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.Jesus gave sight to a blind man.

             After testifying that Jesus was from God, Jesus “found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The blind man answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?

               And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”   Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

            That is me! Jesus has opened my blind heart, mind and eyes!! Jesus set me free from my depravity and deceptions, and is still working on me. The Lord Jesus Christ brought me into His Marvelous Light and gave me sight! (9)  I choose to Worship the Lord Jesus Christ! (10) 

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

Some people who thought they were right by their own design asked Jesus, “Are we blind also?

              Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.  (7)

                 … Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus…  2 Timothy 1:9

            His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 

1- John 4:23-26, John 1:1-3, 12-14, 29, John 3:3-8, 15-21, 1 John 3:1, 1 Peter 1:23, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 51, John 15, John 15:5-11  

2- Matthew 26:28, Luke 23:38-47, John 19:30, Hebrews 9:22, Romans 3:21-26, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 9

3- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 1:16, Joel 2:27-29

4- Romans 1:19-20, Genesis 1, Job 38:1-42:6

5- Matthew 6:9-10, Psalm 84:10

6- Ephesians 6:17-18, Hebrews 4:12-13

7- Romans 3:22-24, John 8:24, 1 John 1:5-10, Romans 2:5-11 

8- Hebrews 7:24-25, Luke 24, Matthew 28

9- John 1:4-5,9, John 8:12, John 12:46, 1 Peter 2:9, John 3:18-21, John 14:1

10 – Exodus 34:14, Genesis 22:5, Hebrews 11:21, John 4:23-26, Revelation 15:4

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Judges 1, Judges 2, Judges 3, Luke 12:32-59

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%201,2,3;%20Luke%2012:32-59&version=NKJV

 God’s People in Pain ~ God’s people Rule ~ God’s Kingdom Comes 

Judges 1             “Judah shall go up … fight against the Canaanites …  and the Lord delivered” But the tribes “did not drive out the” surrounding peoples.  

Judges 2              The Lord came…said: you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land…tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. -Therefore… they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ So…all the children of Israel…lifted up their voices and wept…Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals…Yet they would not listen to their judges…Then the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel;  

Judges 3            they gave their daughters…they served their gods…again did evil in the sight of the Lord.  

                       The Almighty, Holy, Faithful God continuously protected His people and set them free from their enemies. God gave them a kingdom on earth and made them accountable to Him. But time and time again God’s people ignored God’s Word, Character, Commands and Love for them. They turned away from Him to worship and obey what they could see, feel, and hear. They mingled their hearts and lives with demons and idols. God’s people did evil in His sight so God’s anger was against them. Even though they “lifted up their voices and wept”, “Yet they would not listen”. 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Revelation 9:20

Points to ponder –    The Lord God is worthy of my complete, full hearted obedience. Partial obedience is DISobedience. God requires 100% loyalty, trust and faith in Action.

                 People refused God’s protective law by NOT driving out what influenced them to sin. Inaction was rejection of God.

                     God’s people, though loved by God, alienated themselves from Him. By their allegiance to personal pride and lust, their lives were filled with many types of deep pain. God’s people proved to be unfaithful and double-minded/ hearted.

                     It wasn’t about the people, it was all about God! What would have Glorified the Lord God and brought His people unshakable Joy? Living with God in the freedom of the Promised Land AND thus showing and introducing the idolaters to God, for them love, worship and be freed by the Living God too! They all would have had eternal life! And God’s peace would have reigned through them all!

                 Lord, reveal to me how I live by my physical, temporal, self-willed senses and NOT by faith and Holy Spirit “sight” in trusting Your Reality of Truth in order to please You. Show me how my mind changes due to fear and “discomfort” so I do not Love by faith in Jesus Who sacrificed His life for me to NOW live a vibrant eternal life by His Word and Power.  

Luke 12:32-59          “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give…provide…a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…there your heart will be also.”

                  Lord Jesus’ Words ringing clear and true, for the Israelites, nowadays and Jesus’ time! I hear the same tune, “Turn from you see, feel, and hear. Do not mingle your heart with demons and idols, but trust God and thereby receive the good Kingdom your Father pleasures to give you!”  

                 Jesus, please awaken many to disown their earthly treasures, loyalties and idolatries that cause their hearts to pain and fear, so not to perish. Please have Your Word Drive Out the thoughts, words, habits, values and lusts so we do not turn our backs against Your Father. Jesus, you had me born-again for God’s Kingdom living and rule under You. Please, Lord, increase Your territory of Love throughout myself and my sphere of influence.  

Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.…Blessed is that servant whom…his master will find so doing when he comes…that he will make him ruler over all that he hasBUT IF that servant…begins to beat the…servants, and…be drunk, the master…will come …when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

My Kingdom of God agenda:            What have I traded permanent for temporary? How am I using the time and tools God has allotted me?

             What territory have I left laid to waste? What “Christian” thinking of “grace” has allowed the weeds and thorns to infest and rot my “territory” because my passionate desire for God’s gleaming righteousness and glory has dimmed by excuses, rationalizations and compromise? Am I Driving Out unholy thinking with the Word of God and acting upon it?

            Am I being truthful to myself and with those in my charge? Or am I watering down the Gospel and Jesus’ Blood? Am I selling out cheap grace using a “get out of hell” card without James 1-4 enacted? What kind of servant am I? Much is REQUIRED of me by God.

Jesus said, “I came to send fire on the earth …to give…division…one house will be divided…but how is it you do not discern this time?”

                  What time is it now? “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,” and “rumors of wars”.  

“I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

 This Good News requires my responsibility and accountability to my Master, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

                 Am I using God’s eternal Tool, the Word of God? Am I praying without ceasing for God’s Holy Spirit counsel and Doing what He says? Jesus gives life to those who seek, ask and receive in God’s terms. Lord Jesus, have me follow hard after You and Drive Out whatever thwarts for Your cleansed temple within me! Have Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

Bible References –         James 2:10-26; 1 John 4:10; 1 John 5:3; Jude 1:16-25James 1:2-8, James 4:7-10       +    John 1:12-14; John 3:3-21; Psalm 51; 1 John 3:1; Psalm 145:13; Matthew 24:14; Luke 1:31-33; 1   +  Corinthians 15:23-28; Matthew 25:31; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 6:9-13; 1 Chronicles 4:9-10   +  2 Timothy 3:1-9; Matthew 24; Mark 13     +  James 1-4,1 John 1-5, Jude 1  +  1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthew 7:7-8; Matthew 11:28; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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