Tag Archives: Father

Exodus 26; John 5; Proverbs 2; Galatians 1

I remember the first time I told someone God talked to me.  I now know why the reaction was so much of a recoil.

Moses was my first inspiration.  In fact, I remember vividly telling God that I wanted to be the next Moses.  I mean look at the details that God gave him – imagine the conversations.

You shall also make curtains of goats’ hair for a tent over the tabernacle; you shall make eleven curtains.  The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the width of each curtain four cubits; the eleven curtains shall be of the same size.  You shall join five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and the sixth curtain you shall double over at the front of the tent.   – Exodus 26:7-9 NRSV

Even Jesus told those in His time that if they really knew God, really heard from Him, they would know that He was God.  Why?  Because Moses wrote about Jesus.

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope.  If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.  But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” – John 5:45-47 NRSV

And in the copy of my first book, given to me by the wife/mother of a family that took us into their home when we had nothing – she penned this proverb…

My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—then you will understand the fear of the Lord  and find the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1-5 NRSV

I took all of this with me into my first pastorate experience.  That is where I found out just how many people “hear” what God has been telling them.  So the issue, I found out, really isn’t that God does not talk to us and that we shouldn’t take time to listen, the issue is – who am I listening too?

For I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[d] that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. – Galatians 1:11-12 NRSV

Lord, I want to hear your voice, I want you to speak through Your Word to me loud and clear.  Enable me to grow more intimate with You, to serve as You in our world and to leave this world a better place than when I entered it because I walked with You.  Thank You.  

evanlaar

 

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Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4

Inheritance and legacy, big themes in these chapters. I read of Jacob’s last words to his sons.

I think on (all) these brothers, the men they’ve become.

Reuben, as unruly as a flood, and will be first no longer.

Zebulun, a harbor for ships.

Asher will dine on rich foods and produce foods fit for kings.

“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;
    their weapons are instruments of violence.
May I never join in their meetings;
    may I never be a party to their plans.
For in their anger they murdered men,
    and they crippled oxen just for sport.
A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;
    a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;
    I will disperse them throughout Israel. Genesis 49:5-7, NLT

A father knows his sons.

Jacob’s body is laid to rest in the land he designated. The brothers accompany Joseph back to Egypt. The brothers who sold him for dead. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. Genesis 50:15, NLT.

These are the words that comfort me today:

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20, NLT.

Words of a son who knows his Father.

I know this truth. I know that God redeems the lost time. I know that God is able to turn someone’s harmful intent into something good. All of it.

I know my Father.

And He knows me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Revelation 21

We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;

but even though he is just and righteous,

he does not destroy us.

No wonder people everywhere fear him.

All who are wise show him reverence.”

Job 37:23-24

Elihu spoke correctly. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I cannot fully imagine the complete power of God. A friend of mine once said that even if God showed every one of us in the world a new facet of who He is every day, He’d still only show us the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

That, in and of itself, is mind blowing. And then on top of His righteousness, the depth of His character, personality, abilities, etc. is His love, grace, mercy, and goodness. He is a good Father, a merciful God. He is the Beginning and the End. He gives me life and calls me His own.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7

Though I am undeserving, He loves me with an everlasting love. He gives me everything I need and surprises me with more of my desires. He is full of forgiveness. He heals me, protects me, and gives me His strength. He redeems my life daily, liberating me, and allowing me to walk in truth and freedom.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Ps 103: 1-5

In the day to day hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget all of the good things God has done for me. It is easy to get lost in the mundane tasks and the chaos of busyness. It is easy to lose focus on what matters and let God slip into the background.

As David knew, the way to remember, to regain focus is to praise the Lord; to worship His name with my whole heart, with every fiber of my being. And, as I praise Him, I create a memorial to His glory.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me, showing me mercy, and giving me gifts of grace. Help me to remember the good things you’ve done for me. Help me to make praise more and more a part of my daily life so I focus on Your truth rather than my circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie,

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Joshua 9-10 & Luke 3

There is a scene in The 13th Warrior, (a movie loosely based on the epic, Beowulf), where actor Antonio Banderas’s Arabian character looks anxiously to the heavens and says, “Are you listening, God?” The question makes me smile every time because I relate so well.  There is no doubt in my mind that God is all-powerful, all-seeing, and all-knowing.  I even believe in miracles such as recorded in Joshua 10:12 where we are told that God answered Joshua’s prayer for the sun to stand still and the moon to stop for an entire day to allow him to finish the battle with his enemies.

What I sometimes doubt is that I’ve done everything necessary to get my prayers answered.  I totally believe that God is a personal God who cares about us, and that Jesus Christ our Savior even intercedes for us.  I acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit to change me from the inside out and to make deep, silent prayers on my behalf.  I enjoy meaningful communion with God when I go to my knees in prayer.  It’s just that sometimes when I get up, having left my burden at the Cross, I still have no clue what to expect next.

Was my prayer aligned with God’s will? Did I do everything right to get His attention? Believe me, I’ve looked into this to see if there is a formula that works every time.  I’ve search through books, listened to learned pastors, sought teachings, and participated in conferences on answered prayer. I’ve learned that Scripture does give guidance on getting our prayers answered.

For instance, we cannot have unforgiveness toward others.  Make apologies. We must confess our sins and accept Christ’s redeeming blood.  Nightly confessions. We should always pray and sometimes even fast in approaching God.  No Little Debbie’s for a week and keep praying. We are told to go to God boldly, but remember to remain humble. Cry out and beat my chest. And above all, enter the spiritual realm though praise and thanksgiving to God. Make a gratitude list.

When all is done and I begin to wait expectantly, some well-meaning soul will say something like, ‘In this world we all will have trouble.’ Deflate.

Oh, to be like Jesus! When He came up from the baptismal water, He prayed and God answered immediately, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!” (Luke 3:22)

To be honest, this declaration by God to the world gives me more hope and comfort than all the instruction on answered prayer. For in John 17:20-26, Jesus demonstrates God’s intent to love and accept us just the same as He loves Jesus. His prayer is “that they are one just as We are one…I in them, and You in Me…that [You] have loved them as You have loved Me…that the love with which You loved Me may be in them.”

This knowledge restores my wavering faith and stops these runaway fears. God listens to and answers my prayers, not because I am following a formula but because I am His daughter, and He is my Father who loves me.

Janet

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, Joshua, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament

Judges 20; Acts 24; Jeremiah 34; Luke 3

When all the people were being baptized by John, Jesus also was baptized. While Jesus was praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit came down on him in the form of a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with you.” Luke 3:21-22 (NCV)

There were so many topics bouncing around my head while I was reading today’s passages. I was having a hard time even focusing, because of the depth of the subjects (Israel against the Benjamites, prophecies of Judah falling into the hands of Babylon, Paul in Jail…) and, because my kids wouldn’t settle down long enough for me to read or write a complete sentence.

And, then I read Luke 3:22, “You are my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with You.”

These words coming directly from the mouth of God Himself; a Father’s love poured out over His Son. Pure acceptance, not for anything He did, but simply for who He was, is, and is to come.

Jesus was still a ‘nobody’ to the world. He hadn’t turned water into wine. He hadn’t healed anyone, hadn’t cast out demons, hadn’t raised anyone from the dead. He hadn’t walked on water or calmed storms. He hadn’t challenged the sensibilities of the priest or changed the hearts of sinners. He hadn’t died, hadn’t been buried, hadn’t risen from the dead.

I think about when I watch my own daughters. I consider who they are. I study the beauty that they carry, both inside and out. I reflect on the short time that I have had to get to know them, their personalities, their quirks, their identities. I ponder in my heart their possibilities and what the future may hold for them.

They are my daughters, whom I love. And, I am well pleased with them. They are ‘nobodies’ to the world; they have ‘done’ nothing. And, yet, I am overwhelmed at the immensity of how much love I have for them, the pleasure they bring to my heart and soul.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the amount of love I have for my girls, is only a tiny fraction of the amount of love that God has for them…and, the amount of love that God has for me.

He didn’t just say those words to Jesus. He said them to me, to my daughters, to everyone…ALL of His children. It doesn’t matter if I am ‘known’ or ‘unknown’, if I have done ‘something’ or done nothing at all but live life. It doesn’t matter if have a pure heart and clean hands or if I am walking in sin.

It doesn’t matter because He loves me with an everlasting love. He sees me for the diamond that I am, even if I am covered in muck. He sees my potential. He sees my future and He knows the plan is good.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your acceptance and Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Jeremiah, Judges, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Joshua 4; Psalms 129-131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

All of us are dirty with sin.

All the right things we have done are like filthy pieces of cloth.

All of us are like dead leaves,

and our sins, like the wind, have carried us away…

But Lord, you are our father.

We are like clay, and you are the potter;

your hands made us all.

Lord, don’t continue to be angry with us;

don’t remember our sins forever.

Please, look at us,

because we are your people. Isaiah 64:6, 8-9 (NCV)

I reflect on God as Father.

He made me. He gave me form. He gave me character. He gave me abilities. He gave me free will.

He gives me the freedom to make choices. And, in spite of the bad choices that I make in my lifetime, He loves me…unconditionally.

I am aware of my sin, small on the worldly continuum, but sin just the same. I am conscious of my mistakes, of my poor decisions. I know that I have sinned and fallen short, yet I will never be forsaken. He meets me where I am. He is with me in the midst of my failings. He is with me in the midst of the consequences.

Lord, if you punished people for all their sins,

no one would be left, Lord.

But you forgive us…

People…put your hope in the Lord

because he is loving

and able to save.

He will save [everyone]

from all their sins. Psalm 130:3-4a, 7-8 (NCV)

I am mindful of His forgiveness and His lack of condemnation. I am awakened to the knowledge that Christ died for me while I was still His enemy, before I even knew His name.

I consider His mercy and grace, a banner of love, an assurance of hope.

I am amazed by His goodness and glory. I am overwhelmed by His affections for me, staggered by His acceptance. I am uplifted by His redemption. I am encouraged by His restoration. I am comforted by His protection and provision.

I am grateful I am His child, His daughter. I am privileged to call Him Father.

 

 

[Everyone] put your hope in the Lord

because he is loving

and able to save. Psalm 130:7 (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Exodus 27, John 6, Proverbs 3, Galatians 2

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%2027;%20John%206;%20Prov.%203;%20Gal.%202&version=NKJV

Exodus 27    You shall make an altar … You shall also make the court of the tabernacle…. And you shall command…

            The details for the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Court of the Tabernacle are too much for me to build and to maintain. Lord God, I am deeply and gratefully indebted to You for having managed all the details of my sacrificial offering for all of my sins by Your only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Your Son Jesus did it once and for all. If it were up to me alone, I could never make it into Paradise. (1)

             And even the care of the Lampstand is beyond my ability. I will forget, get distracted, get caught up in the “works” of it and not maintain the humble and worshipful attitude You desire and deserve. So in Your Omniscience and Omnipotence, Merciful Father, You chose to indwell within me by Your Holy Spirit! You counsel me, remind me, equip, enable and sanctify me – so that I am, more and more, a bright light for all to see so that people may see Your good works and glorify You, my Father! (2)

           Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the sanctification process. I am overjoyed for times like now, when You, my Potter, have completed a section, so I am in a season of refreshment! (3) 

John 6           Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus said, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” … One of His disciples, Andrew, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

             I love this part! Andrew takes Jesus’ cue and looks for food to serve the people. Andrew trusts Jesus enough to go into action. Andrew does not come up empty handed either! He has something to offer the Lord. Yet, he thinks it isn’t enough. Andrew is right. In and of ourselves, nothing is sufficient. But Andrew loves and trusts Jesus enough to know to ask the Lord Jesus, “what are they among so many?” In response to Andrew’s desire which matched Jesus’ desire, Jesus does what Jesus Does – Jesus multiplies the “one small boy sized portion” which was brought, to Him to feed thousands of people! – With a large basket of leftovers for each disciple!  (4)

            Lord, I give You my heart, soul, mind and strength for You to take all of me to multiply Yourself to everyone you have me encounter! Make Yourself known, magnifying Yourself to the multitudes!

John 6           The sea arose because a great wind was blowing. … they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; … they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

            Lord Jesus, may I please walk with You? Holding Your hand, I will not be afraid of my situation, circumstances, or future. May I gleefully, by faith in You, look expectantly for Your coming on the waves, me walking with You as Owner, Ruler and Authority over whatever is going on! By my doing so, I trust that I will watch You save many souls from hell, mature the saints for Your paramount service and bring Yourself unsurpassed Glory! This is the desire of my heart! (5)

John 6           Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. … everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” … he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—… He who eats this bread will live forever.”

            I hunger for Your Righteousness, Lord Jesus. I feed on Your Word ravenously. I am satisfied when I continue chewing, ingesting and exercising what You have given me. Thank You! And then, after I work it off, seeing sin, unrighteousness, being in dis-unity, I hunger and thirst again. It is an unending cycle, though the Food content alters. Sometimes I feed on Your Word of Your attributes or Your creation, praise or crying out, or Your actions while You lived on earth,… Oh so much to feast on! I never tire of You, Beloved Father! (6)

            But there is a responsibility You give me, and everyone who is forgiven and changed by Your Word, my Master. I must pour out what You pour into me. I must freely give what You have freely given me. I must comfort those with the comfort You give me. I must teach those what Your Word teaches me. I must love with the love Your Word and Holy Spirit love on me. “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.” Luke 12:48 I yield by the Holy Spirit Power You give me Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice for the honor of Your call and seeing Your transformations!  (7)

Proverbs 3               My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

            Lord God, I do not despise Your chastening nor detest Your correction because I know it means that You love and delight in me as My Father and You will bring me into  closer intimacy with You. You must love me Tons because of all the correction You give me! I am overwhelmingly appreciative to be Your child whom You delight in. I learn from You every day! (8)

Proverbs 3               Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. … Happy is the man who finds wisdom … let them not depart from your eyes— Keep sound wisdom and discretion; For the Lord will be your confidence … His secret counsel is with the upright.

            Holy One of Israel, I find solace and effective wisdom in Your Word. You impart to me Your compassion, understanding, mercy, grace and truth for my words for others. I am grateful that You train me to obey Your Word, to trust You above my own feelings or faulty thinking. I am learning ever increasingly how unwise I am, and how Brilliant are Your Ways!!  I delight in You, my Father and Savior!  I fear You, so I am thrilled and Joyously run from evil and run to You. May it always be so! By my exercising the wisdom You give me, I am happy and I deeply enjoy Your secret counsel to me. Your abundant grace upon me is very humbling, Lord Jesus.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,…The wise shall inherit glory, Proverbs 3

Galatians 2               For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

            What a miracle Father! That You would trade Your only begotten Son Jesus’ honorable life for my wretched life and destiny of condemnation to hell!  Unfathomable in the world’s economy – but Perfect in Love and Power in Heaven’s economy! Grace, unmerited favor, is all over this!! I am so grateful it was You, Lord God Jesus Christ, because You alone could rise from the dead! And I can be with You now and forever!!!

             Because of Your extravagant love on me, my debt of love beckons me to live for You always, my Christ. I ceaselessly desire for others to come to the saving knowledge of You, Sovereign Savior, and to mature IN Christ Jesus, so they will bear fruit for Your glory alone unendingly!

            Lord God, by Your indwelling Holy Spirit, You live through me. You continually caution me to not seek my fleshly desires and pleasures, but seek Your kingdom, righteousness and purposes so that Truly, the desires of my heart are met! And by my living by faith in Your Son Jesus daily, I see what You are doing, and am increasingly excited for the new, fresh new things You will do in and around me! Life is truly an adventure through communication with You by thought, word and action!

            My friend’s family which I help, the strangers I speak with, my family members I serve, – all are affected by Your Higher view and wisdom. Their hearts process Your Word to turn to You, away from sin and bitterness. And it’s only because of You Lord God! No one can change a person. But Your Word changes everything! I am so excited that You, Word of God, Jesus Christ, are so powerful, effective and victorious!! All praise and glory to the one High King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ! (9)

In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:4

Bible Insights –

1 – James 2:10; John 3:16-17; Hebrews 10:10; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:23-24; Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1-2

2 – Matthew 5:16; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 2:12-18; Ezekiel 11:19-21; Ezekiel 36:25-29; Jeremiah 31:33-34; 1 Peter 1:23; Acts 13:52; John 15:7-11; John 15:26-27; John 3:5-8

3 – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 , Isaiah 64:8,  Acts 3:19

4 – John 15:4-5, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 23:5, Luke 6:38   

5 – Psalm 37:4

6 – Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, John 4:32, 34, John 1:1-3, 14

7 – 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 10:8; Luke 7:47; 2 Corinthians 1:4; Psalm 51:12-13; Romans 1:16; Deuteronomy 6:7; Titus 2:1-5; John 15:12; 1 John 3:1; Luke 12:48; John 14:12

8 – Luke 18:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 14:26; Psalm 86:11; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 3:1; John 17:17; Psalm 25:5

9 – 1 John 3:1; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38; Galatians 3:11; John 3:30; Luke 2:49; John 4:32-38; Psalm 37:4; John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Hebrews 4:12-13; Isaiah 55:11

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Galatians, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Uncategorized