Tag Archives: Faith

Exodus 12-14; Luke 20; Psalm 21

Doorposts marked with lamb’s blood. They ate dressed to go, ready to go. That’s what I noticed first. But then, an army in pursuit, to take them back, to make them captives again, slaves. After all the signs, and after the deaths of all first born, probably a worse fate awaited them if they returned. Moses tells them that God will fight for them, but still, they also had to take action. They had to walk in the path opened before them.

In Luke, Jesus is teaching.

One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”

Luke 20:1-2, ESV

And later,

19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

Luke 20:19-26, ESV, emphasis added

And this is what I notice–how an enemy hunts. An army in pursuit–a vast force. Or here, watching and baiting spies pretending to be sincere. How an enemy opposes freedom, opposes truth, opposes God.

Your hand will find out all your enemies;
    your right hand will find out those who hate you.

You will make them as a blazing oven
    when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    and their offspring from among the children of man.
11 Though they plan evil against you,
    though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12 For you will put them to flight;
    you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
    We will sing and praise your power.

Psalm 21:8-13, ESV, emphasis added

Lord, be exalted in your strength. I will sing and praise your power.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 24-26; Luke 7; Psalm 6

Genesis 24:12-15 “Then he said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold here I stand by the well of water…let her be the one You have appointed… And it happened, before he had finished speaking that behold…the young woman was very beautiful…” Genesis 24:26 “Then the servant bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and truth toward my master.'”

Prayer is one way we talk with God. And if we doubt His ear, listen to the words of Abraham’s servant. Even before He had finished asking God to give him success in his task to find a wife for Isaac, God sent Rebekah to the servant just as requested in every detail.

Some ask, ‘but why do we have to pray?’ Deliverance and mercy are not a given. Psalm 7:3-5 says, “O Lord my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands, If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, Or have plundered my enemy without cause; Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, And lay my honor in the dust.” Given the many times I fail at being kind, forgiving, and humble, I cannot be sure that I deserve divine help. Getting my heart attitude right is a pre-requisite in asking for God’s intervention. Psalm 7:9-10. “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.”

Therefore, my faith in God’s deliverance cannot depend on my belief in my own goodness or good works. For even I do not always understand my own heart, what motivates me to speak or be silent, or what defenses I employ to salvage my dignity or get my way. Some days, loving God and doing right seem so clear, so pure, so easy. Other days, I am astounded at the little uglies that ooze out of small wounds still festering in my soul. What can I do about this? Luke tells a story about a certain centurion servant who was not a Hebrew, but who asked Jesus to heal his beloved servant. However, the centurion did not want Jesus to even enter his home. The man said, “Therefore, I did not even think myself worthy to come to You.” Being honest and open with God when I pray strips away the falsehood of self-righteousness.

Is this why I doubt my prayers are heard? Yes, and more to the point, I have sinned. Is my self-worth getting in the way of faith? Probably, though I will never be good enough to have earned the right to sit and talk to Jesus. Then is it possible to have faith in God’s goodness without being worthy? Yes, in fact, this is the Gospel. This sacrificial love from Christ given to me; His eyes of forgiveness looking tenderly at me; His powerful touch of healing and comfort reaching to the core of my needs and disregarding my inadequacy. Unconditional love because under no condition could I be good enough to deserve His love.

I wish I could promise Him that I will be the saint He has called me to be. Instead, I pray that He will keep making all things work together for my good, for I love God, and I believe He has called me according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 personalized for me). And since Christ justifies and intercedes for me, then no one can separate me from His love.

He listens to me then, not because of what I do, but because He loves me. Can you believe that simple childhood song, “Jesus loves me” is still the foundation of all that matters in this world? How much He loves me is my assurance in answered prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus,

You alone know my brokenness and my concerns. I lay them all at Your feet. You gift me strength and courage. You comfort me with peace that passes all understanding. You say that I am Yours. And I believe.

Jansuwilkinson

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Genesis 17-19; Luke 5; Psalm 3

I want to be strong in the Lord.

Sarah doubted that at her age and stage in life that she could bear a child. And she’d be right, except for the Lord.

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Genesis 18:12-14, NIV, emphasis added

I want to run like Lot in the warning and coming destruction, and not look back like his wife did.

23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Genesis 19:23-26, NIV

I want to trust in the Lord because of what he’s said.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Luke 5:4-6, NIV, emphasis added

Oh to be strong in the Lord, and know that he can do what seems impossible, even through me.

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Luke 5:12-13, NIV, emphasis added

When people are watching and failure awaits, I pray that I would be confident in the Lord, like David.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Psalm 3:1-6, NIV, emphasis added

Lord, I want to be strong and live strong in you. You are the one who equips, who provides, who protects, who sustains. Many other verses come to mind when I think of all that you can do and all that you are. And this gives me confidence as your daughter. Thank you for loving me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Gen. 5-8; Luke 2

“After another 40 days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew the floodwaters were almost gone. He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back. Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw the surface of the ground was drying. Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!” Genesis 8:6-14 NLT

Noah had the patience to wait on God’s timing. He didn’t lose hope that the promise would be fulfilled. He seemed to have a calm that God was in control and was protecting his family. Even when the water was gone, God knew it wasn’t safe for them to leave the boat yet. Did 2 more months of waiting make them frustrated and anxious? I can only imagine that I would have been.

“At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Luke 2:25&26NLT

“Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple, but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38 NLT

Simeon and Anna never lost hope that they would see the Messiah. They saw the promise fulfilled. They must have been overflowing with joy. I want to have a heart posture of surrender. Am I willing to lay down my control to the one who knows what is best for me? Trusting in His promises and plan for my life?

Thank you Father for your faithfulness. I look forward with expectant hope. I desire to be lead by your Holy Spirit. I eagerly await your return. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Happy New Year!

Thank you for journeying with us through the Bible in 2022.

We are happy to say we’ll be starting up again on Monday, January 2, 2023, with a 5-day plan. The plan is up on the blog–or take a look here.

We hope you’ll join us and trust that God will meet you wherever you are.

Happy New Year and God’s blessings to you!

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