Tag Archives: first love

Hosea 9-11; Revelation 2

The readings speak of a love turned tepid.

“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:2-4, NLT.

At the end of a year, I’m still running–to keep up with a course load, to school my kids, to manage a house and other responsibilities, to serve at church, to cultivate friendships, and on and on. A lot of my days are just focused on a moment. I try not to look too far ahead, or linger too far back.

There are words of sexual sin and food of idols, of wrong teaching on one side of the scale, and words acknowledging hard work, endurance, suffering, and faithfulness on the other side. A warning to listen.

I know I’ve been so busy at times it seems like I don’t slow enough to listen long enough to hear. Yesterday, I sat in a heap on the floor and prayed–and not the kind of prayer while I dry my hair and pack up books and rush out the door. I just sat–and realized then it had been a long time since I was so still before you.

“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
    How can I let you go?
How can I destroy you like Admah
    or demolish you like Zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me,
    and my compassion overflows.
No, I will not unleash my fierce anger.
    I will not completely destroy Israel,
for I am God and not a mere mortal.
    I am the Holy One living among you,
    and I will not come to destroy.
10 For someday the people will follow me.
    I, the Lord, will roar like a lion.
And when I roar,
    my people will return trembling from the west.
11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt.
    Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria.
And I will bring them home again,”
    says the Lord. Hosea 11:8-11, NLT.

He is the Holy One living among (us).

Lord, I want to abide in your presence and listen to you. Whatever idols fight for first place in my life, show them to me. I fool myself thinking that all this busyness is living–I miss you. Help me to be fully present and intentional in my time with you and with others.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

Numbers 34; Psalm 78:38-72; Isaiah 26; 1 John 4

Read at – www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Num.%2034;%20Ps.78:38-72;%20Isa.%2026;%201%20John%204&version=NKJV

Numbers 34             Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance—the land of Canaan to its boundaries.’ These are the ones the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan. V.1-2,29

            The Lord God, the only Owner of all, has the authority and exercises His authority in giving inheritance to whomever He chooses. God’s commands are specific in detail. Who am I to not obey Him in using His gifts? How do ignore His spiritual, physical and intellectual gifts and not use them for His designed purpose and glory? When do I ignore the responsibility He has given me?  Where is the territory God has entrusted me to “rule” under His authority by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit? Do I hold myself and those assigned to me, such as my children, family, friends, neighbors, everyone I encounter, so to see, sense and be drawn to the Love of God by His Son Jesus Christ in order for their eventual surrender to follow the Lord Jesus? Do I live and speak the Word of God in love? How often do I pray for them? Lord, thank You for trusting me. Help me to honor You more.

Psalm 78:38-72                   But He (Lord God), being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them.  …  How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!  They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, … For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. When God heard this, He was furious, And greatly abhorred Israel, …  He also gave His people over to the sword, And was furious with His inheritance. … He put them to a perpetual reproach.

               Lord God, I am grateful that Your mercies are new every morning. That You forgive my iniquities as quickly as I repent to You. Thank You for Your mercy on those who have not yet repented to You, by Your patience for them to come to You before their time here on earth is over. Hebrews 9:27, 2 Peter 3:9

            But chose the tribe of Judah, …He also chose David His servant, … To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

            Lord God, You sent Your one and only Son Jesus to be born of the line of King David, of Judah to shepherd Your people! Thank You merciful King of kings! John 10

Isaiah 26        You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

              As I see destruction around me, God’s judgment for rebellion, my heart and mind are safe because I trust in You, Lord God. Proverbs  3:4-6   Your love for me compels me to love them all.

            The desire of our soul is for Your name And for the remembrance of You. … With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;

My soul grieves for the unrepentant –

Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

1 John 4                    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God … Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

              The culture these days is wrought with deceiving spirits. May I cling to Your Word (Romans 12:1-2) in my mind and heart to abide in You Lord God. John 15

            In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  

I rejoice in this!!

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. … There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  We love Him because He first loved us.

              I continue to proclaim, to serve, to pray. It is endless: the work and love that is involved in being humble under You King of kings! Yet You refresh me by the fellowship with Your children! The mind of Christ Jesus is powerful within them! Thank You Lord God for Your Son and all His people!

You are of God, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than He Who is in the world.   By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Bible Insights –

1- Exodus 19:5; Psalm 50:10; Joshua 1:2-9; Deuteronomy 28; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51; Psalm 46:10; Romans 12:1-2; John 15

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Exodus 23, John 2, Job 41, 2 Corinthians 11

All these Do’s and Do Nots!

 “Who then is able to stand against Me? … Everything under heaven belongs to Me.” Job 41:10-11

 Found at Bible Gateway –   http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%2023;%20John%202;%20Job%2041;%202%20Cor.%2011&version=NIV1984

 All these Do’s and Do Nots! All because You, my LORD, care so much for each person, no matter what their status. You Love the wicked man enough to correct him so he will be Godly, safe, joyous, and not burning under Your eternal wrath. Your heart breaks for people wrongfully treated. You hate lying and cheating! You “will not acquit the guilty.”

             Your warning and promise for me is clear: “Pay attention …Do not rebel… I will be an enemy to your enemies…” v.20-22  You, the All-powerful, send terror and confusion to those who oppose You. I am grateful to be safe because of Your Son’s blood. Your tender side entreats me: Engage in caring for Every person. Lord, grow my trust in Your Ways and my heart in Your compassion. I cannot do it without Your Spirit. Fill me with your Holy Spirit!

             You must be my and my family’s First Love, restfully refreshing ourselves in You every seventh day. Being intimate with You, I may not even speak of false gods! Lord Allmighty, I fear You! You can smite me with a thought. I tremble in awe of You, humbled. Indebted to You because of Jesus’ atonement, I do not take You for granted. You own me! I know that I find pleasure in things that are not of You. Make me aware of my “false gods”. Have me detest them as You do. Reveal the deception of those who flatter, ploy, coming as “angels of light”, wolves in many outfits and sounds. Abundantly give Your True Light to set Your suffering flock free!

             Make me proactively aware of idolatry and ideology that opposes Your Word. Make me intolerant of sin and sinful patterns as You are. Chasten me to keep my righteous boundaries firm to prevent me from being ensnared by sin and depraved. v. 32-33 You placed Your Spirit in me, making my body Your Temple. (1Cor 6:19) Continue to cleanse me. Remind me that You give me far greater and real pleasure when I am in Your Presence!    

             I need You Lord God Almighty like I need breath to live. I cannot live an eternal life without You. I choose to be set apart for You and not yoke or covenant with sinfulness. Cause my country to delight in You, so within our borders will be fresh and clean, and we will see Your Glory 24/7/365. 

             You desire me to joyously celebrate You! Never to come to You empty handed, but to bring You my best, not perfection, but just my all. That is how You are for me! You Joyously Celebrate over me! You serve me the Best! You know my needs thoroughly. You miraculously saved me from Hell by Your greatest Gift, Jesus. Yet Your Love-Gifts never end.  

             Someone came to our home to sell us a set of VERY expensive knives a few years ago. My old set was well cared for and did a good job, they noticed. But You showed me that their tools were far superior! I could make one cut and the job was done. Life would be faster, more accurate, and easier with these tools. But You “told” me that it wasn’t safe to have a set of sharp knives in my home yet. Again, this summer I saw excellent knives. I asked You, “Can I have them?” and quickly added, “I don’t want to spend Your money on what I don’t really need. What I have is still useable.”    You shocked me Jesus. On Christmas Day, under the tree, were the Best set of knives. A salesman gave them to my husband, who gave them to me, for me to serve others~~!! Oh Joy!! You know the minutest desires of my heart. Frivolous, yet valuable to You. – And I learned a lesson by it – Tools are Very Important, especially when in the Hand of the Master. Make me a Great knife in Your Hand, please!! Make me skilled with Your Sword of the Spirit!! Let me not be a clunker, bashing the meat, pulverizing the tomato… but instead, sharp and direct, causing little destruction yet bearing great fruit for You! Please Lord?!

             The leviathan~ I rejoice in Your creativity and power! I delight in your Brilliant Intelligence! I burst with Joy for Who You are and what You do!! You created and know this beast; his emotions, capabilities, and those of his enemies! How much better must you understand, love and think about me? Your child, one made in Your Image. I must pursue thinking this way rather than discounting my value to You, my Lord and Savior. ~ There is nothing too much for You, my God! You can, and You do!

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, Exodus, Job, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized