Tag Archives: faithful

Leviticus 23; Psalm 30; Ecclesiastes 6; 2 Timothy 2

Holidays interrupt the ordinary activities of my life and give me an opportunity to revitalize my commitment to God or holidays can draw my spirit into contemplating my recurrent need to depend on God. Such interruptions can lead to restoration and hope of blessings. Leviticus 23 lists the times of many God-ordained holidays, reminders of God’s deliverance, provision, forgiveness, and mercy. His presence is the gift in the midst of community, and the same is true during Christian holidays. I didn’t know how much I missed community until this past Easter. I have felt like a nomad these last 10 years, moving from state to state, changing jobs, changing churches, leaving the bones of loved ones in strange lands.

Ecclesiastes 6:2, written by my soulmate, Solomon, says, “A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it…this is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.” Solomon contrasts this scenario with his earlier statement that every man to whom God prospers and gives the divine gift of enjoyment receives blessings, indeed. Holidays have a way of slowing down my soul’s race to acquire the object and turning my eyes toward the Giver of my soul’s redeemed desires.

Interruptions in my work week can illuminate the threads of discontent or the tears in the fabricated beliefs I’ve entertained. The simplicity of following Christ needs no interpretation – if I am faithless, Christ remains faithful; he cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). I am therefore unafraid of the future, and I am free to “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.”

So Lord Jesus Christ, resurrected Savior and lover of my soul, I am pleased to be interrupted with holy days that urge me to focus on You. Like King David, I can praise (Psalm 30:11, 12).

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my        sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise            to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

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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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