Tag Archives: faithful

Joshua 9-13 & Luke 16

Joshua is one of my favorite books of all time. It doesn’t matter if I read one verse, one chapter or the entire book, God always speaks directly to me. I guess you could say that about the entire bible but for some reason, Joshua is just special to me. The Lord knew I would be very forgetful when it comes to his faithfulness. I need him to remind me over and over again and this entire book does just that. Right now my family and I are wrestling with some decisions that will potentially affect the next couple of generations. As I opened up this section to my assigned reading I was blown away. The decisions that we are wrestling with have to do with where we will live and even more specifically, the boundaries of a piece of land we are praying over. Timing. His timing is perfect and priceless.

Just like many in the old testament, we get to read about Joshua’s journey that spanned many decades. We see him start off as Moses’ aid and the bible ends his story when he is old and advanced in years. There are very few characters where we get to see such a lengthy story. Joshua was a strong leader and faithful servant of the Lord. But it seems he still needed reminders that the Lord was in control and had Israel’s back.

Joshua 10:8 “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.”

10:24- 25 “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”

11:, 6  “They came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel

Joshua was faithful with little in the beginning of his journey. Small steps of faith and obedience led him to be one of the greatest leaders of all time. He didn’t know what was up ahead or around the corner but he knew he could trust the Lord. He won battle after battle and was rewarded with being able to divide up the people’s inheritance that Moses spoke of 40 years prior. Because he could be trusted with a little, the Lord gave Joshua “much”. When Jesus spoke to the dishonest manager, in Luke 16, I don’t think he was simply talking about money.

 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

When I think about our current situation, I think about the responsibility the Lord has given me to take care of my family and resources the has given me. Part of our wrestling goes back to how we are being called to use what he has given us. Is this what he is calling us to do or is this just what we want? We must remember that no matter what’s ahead, whether we can see it or not, whether it’s good or bad (in our eyes), God always has our best interest in mind. He is the one who sets up our boundaries and supplies us with our inheritance. We don’t know if the land is viable, buildable or even reasonably priced at this point but we can rest in him. We are to trust him in the journey, obey him when he calls and wait patiently for the inheritance he has prepared for us.

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1 Chronicles 6-7; John 8:21-36

I sat next to a man at a conference once, and I noticed he wasn’t taking notes.

“You’re not taking notes?” I asked. I was scribbling wisdom all over the margins as fast as I could.

“No,” he said. “I never read my notes. If whatever is said doesn’t make enough of an impact for me to remember it, there’s no point in writing it down.”

Hmm. I still took notes, but I got his point.

I’ve taken a few Bible studies with groups of women. The studies were amazing. Some studies shook my world so hard, I cried. Some were healing. Some gave me a lot to think about, even when it was over. But honestly, I never went back to the books to look at my notes. Workbooks began to grow on shelf space, until one day I recycled them.

I don’t buy books as much as I used to. I go to the library. If I dog-ear enough memorable passages in a book, I’ll buy a copy of it (but even still, with the reading time I have available, I’m usually consuming new material than revisiting books I’ve already read.). Life is too short to read everything I want to read, and then read it again. But maybe that’s because I’m a slow reader.

Right now I’m reading Multiply by Francis Chan. I renewed the book three times before I even started it because I was knee-deep in several other books. I’m halfway through it now, and doing it all wrong since I’m not watching the videos online or discussing it with a group. Even still, there’s impact.

This morning I got on my knees before the Lord and prayed about a lot of things. But mostly, that I would be aware of the opportunities to put his word in action. Sometimes I’m too rushed to notice. Sometimes I forget about the right thing in the moment. Sometimes I don’t make the connection that blessing an enemy is as close as the person across from me at a get together.

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32, NLT.

The Bible is a book I never want to put down. I hope that I will spend my whole life searching scripture, praying and clinging to the Lord. He is at work changing this heart of mine.

Lord, I’m grateful for the teachings in so many books and studies, even more grateful for your very words in my own hands. You are truth. You are freedom. You are life. Thank you for meeting me where I am, for your love and patience, and for your faithfulness. I’m even thankful that I have yet to read the whole Bible in a year.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Numbers 4, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2

Read - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%204;%20Ps.%2038;%20Song%202;%20Heb.%202&version=NKJV 

Numbers 4               Then the Lord spoke, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath, Gershon, Merari, Levites, … all who enter the service to do the work … but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

             You know me, Lord. I am never hidden from Your sight. You number my days. You have prepared me to do service for You. I am to commit my way to You so You will do the blessing through me.

            Working for You can be “deadly” if I ever take the glory because it is only due to You. No compliment, no esteem, no honor, no whatever can I accept without internally submitting that to You, Lord Jesus Christ. It is only under Your Authority and by abiding in You, that any eternal good can ever be accomplished.

            Lord Jesus, keep my mind and heart fresh to hear Your thoughts as my first priority whenever anyone appreciates me. I want to hear You praised and glorified within my own heart, my Savior and Lord! That is my reward!

Psalm 38                   O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; I go mourning all the day long.

            The price of sin is Enormous! The pain it causes far outweighs and outlasts any moment of illicit pleasure.  When I harden my heart, becoming stubborn in believing that “I deserve my unlawful pleasure rights” – I cause greater harm to myself and to those whom I say with my lips that I love; You Lord, my relatives, friends, and those who need Jesus yet may be led astray by witnessing an unfaithful Christ follower. 

For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. – O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

             Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You only – and gravely. My fear of man, distrust of Your Word, and attitude of self-will all speak loudly against You, Holy One. I choose to turn away, this moment, from “my rights” and submit to Your Rights, LORD. Take this situation which is before me, give me Your Word Perspective, fill me with Your Holy Spirit wisdom and power. See – I shall turn away from my familiar pattern and do Your counsel for You, Lord Jesus Christ!   

Song of Solomon 2             The man about the woman, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.”                           

            Imagery – Imagine – Christ with His Bride, the Church, the Body of Christ! Thorns are those who are still Jesus’ enemy. I am a lily among those who are thorns. I am Your Love! What an honor to be loved and cherished by You, my Savior! My heart melts!

            The woman about the man, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. … He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love….  My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.’”

            By Your Lovingkindness You draw me into Your Presence! Your unconditional Love overshadows all the ills in my life and overwhelms me. You always call me to stay in Your Presence. ~ ~ I rest in You, Lord Jesus. You refresh me like no other. I ponder Your Word privately, intimately, vulnerably. Your Holy Spirit gives me comfort, wisdom and holy perspective. Your Sweet Fruit I desire above all – the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and Your work.

            I shall be faithful to You, Lord Jesus, my Betrothed. You are always beneficially honest with me for Your glory! Your everlasting love binds my heart, mind and all to You, my Beloved King!

My beloved is mine, and I am His. v.16

Hebrews 2                How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit …?

             No adultery! No neglecting the Great Salvation which the Lord Jesus paid for me! No betraying or rejecting the One Love that can save me and fill me with healing and wholeness!

           But how am I unfaithful to my first Love? Who or what do I run to when I am upset, bothered and wanting to escape even minor “moody pain”? how many times have a failed? and harmed others in my wake? Do I first run to Jesus, the Word of God, and stay there? For Good counsel, comfort and wisdom to change my perspective and situation? Do my reactions have Jesus being the Fragrance people smell, instead of my own odorous ways?

     Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. …For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

I am free and empowered, indeed, to live for You! Thank You Lord Jesus!

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. I will put My trust in Him.” v.13

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Lev. 18; Ps. 22; Eccles. 1; 1 Tim. 3

Psalm 22

My idea on prayer has been changing greatly lately.  I’ve been reading a book that has revolutionized my thinking about how we pray.

My initial reaction to David’s prayer in Psalm 22 is “How can David say these things to God?” “How can he be so honest about his despair?”  I would have never prayed like that; I always felt that I needed to come to God and say all the things that I thought He wanted to hear.  David comes directly to God expressing his honest feelings with complete faith in God.

God wants me to come to Him in relationship.  He wants me to share myself honestly with Him.

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

Jesus prays this same prayer from the cross (Matthew 27:46).  Jesus and David demonstrate honest communication with God.  It’s OK for me to tell Him how I feel.  How freeing!

The Psalmist also demonstrates that even in his despair he remembers, knows and trusts in a Sovereign God;

“You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.  Our fathers trusted You; they trusted and You delivered them.  They cried to You and were delivered; they trusted in You and were not ashamed.”

Father, help me to direct my prayers to You honestly always remembering that You are sovereign and faithful.

Kathleen (guest on 66 books)

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Exodus 13, Luke 16, Job 31, 2 Corinthians 1

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%2013;%20Luke%2016;%20Job%2031;%202%20Cor.%201&version=NKJV

Exodus 13    Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place….‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me’

              Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.” And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.  

              Lord God, You are the Deliverer, the Provider and Sustainer. I suffer because I focus on my circumstances rather than clinging to You, no matter how much, often and powerfully You reveal Your character, attributes and activity in my daily life.

              Father, thank You for being the Sovereign Lord God throughout all time and space. You brought Joseph through many trials and hardship, where Joseph clung to You because of all his unfaithful and cruel family members, owners and friends. There was no person he could trust but You. Lord God, You were and are always Faithful! You let Joseph know You would bring him out of Egypt to be with Your people – and You covered Israel as You set them free! You saved Your people from judgment of death because You provided the only Way out! The Passover Lamb of God, representative of the eternal Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. (1)

            Lord God, You have been present during my past and are bringing me to the future You have planned. Help me to be faithful to You in my daily thought life so that I will not be depleted, distracted, saddened or without vision to forfeit what You want done, Your good and perfect will.

Luke 16         There was a certain rich man who had a steward, … and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?’ … So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. …  And I say to you, … He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

            Lord God, You amaze me! You have trained me to be frugal and to give to You generously out of desiring for Your will and glory to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Your  Word has done within me what You purposed! Yet it is never about money! It isn’t if we have money or not, are rich or not. It’s about depending on You, relying on You in a relationship based upon You, Lord Jesus! It is about living for You with integrity and honoring You with my attitude, motive and intent, along with everything else of my being. It is truly all about Jesus, the Word of God. (2)  

“it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17

               The rich man and Lazarus, hell and heaven, show me that it isn’t about who had ‘good’ or ‘evil’. It is about what we do within our circumstances about You! It doesn’t depend on seeing You, Jesus, but IF we heed You, the Word of God. (vs. 30-31)                     

Job 31           For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps? … For destruction from God is a terror to me, And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

            What Wondrous expressions displaying Job’s Love for God! The intimacy and passionate desire for God from Job is sacred. Job 31 reveals the tender subtleties of living a life with the sensibilities for God to honor of the Lord God Almighty. Oh, Lord, that I, in this day, would have the same fear of You and honor for You! My heart weeps at the iniquity within me and around me! Your heart must be continually broken by each subtle ignoring of Your Presence here on earth!

             Job cries out, “Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, That my Prosecutor had written a book! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, And bind it on me like a crown; I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” Job 31:35-37

            Many of us suffer seasons of tragedy, loss and of friends with bad advice. Oh! That Job would have had the Book of Your Word! Then Job could have “heard” from You as his Most Trusted Friend! You, Lord Jesus, the Word of God! (3)   

            How blessed! I DO have this!! We have a book called the “library”, the Bible! Many of us do carry it around and bind it to our hearts and minds like You command. Some Christ followers yearn to have it, yet because of cultural and governmental oppression, they must quickly memorize the single page that is smuggled to them. Others hold Your infallible Word in disdain, and seek to destroy Your reputation and your living tablets of the Word. Sadly, some who claim to belong to you, ignore your commands, precepts, principles and promises. They live a life by “their own understanding” and not a life in the Fear and admonition of the Lord. (4)

             Lord God, by Job’s circumstances and choices, I see how You were involved and protecting his person the entire time, You teach me Who You are and How You are with me. Your Word grows in me a healthy fear and respect of You in order to hide safely in Your Presence.

              Some seasons “feel” like God is displeased with me, though it is the exact opposite because this is when I am being hewn out of His Love for me. It is at these very moments that God is surrounding me closely, protecting me, providing and preparing me for greater intimacy with Him and for His plans of fruitfulness in His Presence for my future! (6)

            Job suffered for one terrible, agonizing season. But Job’s unwavering faithfulness to God seems matchless to me. In the end, Lord God, You double-blessed Job, proving a “a rich harvest of righteousness” and reimbursing Job for “what the locust had eaten”. (5)

             Joseph, too, had an agonizing season before God brought abundance and saved the nation of Israel. My agonizing season, though nothing in comparison to theirs, seems hard to me all the same. Much time in a “wilderness” with much pruning, breaking, healing and training for me by the Husband’s (a farming term) Skillful Hand is to have me trust, rely and adhere to the Almighty alone.

              What feels like “being deprived”, tortured, rejected and “soulful pain” – however real, is really heavenly pruning. God is cutting off deception, sin patterns, strongholds, lies I trust in, and setting me free so that I am no longer captive to my flesh, emotions and evil that I am unaware of. I have prayed, and I mean it – Lord, You know. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. No matter what the cost – because You already Paid the Price. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 1       Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

            Oh, Lord, the pain I feel seems interminable …. even though I know it is circumstantial and it will have an end. I do trust in the “God who raises the dead”. I am being helped by people “in prayer”. What if those two were not in place! I shudder to think of it. Lord God, help and save those who do not have You, the God of my salvation, the Holy One of Israel, for their Deliverer! Amen!

             For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Bible Insights –

1- Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19; John 1:29; John 1:36; Revelation 7:9-12; Romans 12:1-2  

2-  Isaiah 55:8-11; Colossians 3:23-24; John 1:1-3; John 1:14

3- Proverbs 18:24; John 5:24; John 6:63; Psalm 33:4; Psalm 119:43; Psalm 119:160; John 17:17; John 1:1-3; John 1:14

4- Psalm 1; Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Deuteronomy 6:4-8; Deuteronomy 11:16-23; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Peter 2:5; Judges 17:6; Proverbs 3:5-7; Proverbs 18:2; Job 28:28; Ephesians 6:4

5- Psalm 4:8; Job 42:10-17; Joel 2:25; Hebrews 12:11

6- Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 1:1-3; Job 42:10-17; John 14:2-3; John 8:31-36; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:21; Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:3-11; Revelation 3:19

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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