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Ezekiel 13-15; Psalm 136; John 5

What did he say?

Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!’ (Ezekiel 13:1-3, NLT)

What did the Lord say?

“Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. I, the Lord, will answer all those, both Israelites and foreigners, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 14:6-8, NLT)

What did the Lord say?

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. (John 5:5-15, NLT, emphasis added)

When there’s so much to take in in the story, it’s easy to miss the message by considering the setting, interpreting a message, looking at the Pharisees. What did the Lord say? If I look past the descriptive sentences and focus on the dialogue, what did the Lord say? What if he said those words to me? Just these words: “Would you like to get well? Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk! Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Something even worse than being hindered and ineffective for 38 years. Something even worse than watching everyone else take action and rise victorious. Something even worse than blaming others, feeling abandoned, being stuck, or feeling self pity.

Lord, you’ve not been silent. You speak your word to people who may not want to hear or listen. This reading today (beyond what I’ve selected) tells me so much that you’ve said–about truth, accountability, error, sin, forgiveness, judgment, and more. You didn’t tell that man at Bethesda, “Ah, you’re a sinner so you’re just going to keep on sinning. It’s ok. Stay where you are.” You offered him a choice, told him to take action, and reminded him about who he is: NOW YOU ARE WELL. SO STOP SINNING. Oh, if I would just keep your words high above all the other distractions–a setting, a message, a body of people and their judgment. If I just kept your word as my focus–to choose you, to take action, to remember who I am in you. Could it be that simple? To lay down my excuses and my feelings, and just follow you to freedom and victory?

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4

Dear God,

Thank you for freedom. Thank you for knowing me, loving me, calling me your own–a daughter, your child. Thank you for fighting for me, dying for me, delighting in me, singing over me. You give me what no one can ever take away. Today, I celebrate.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (Galatians 4:4-7, NLT)

Today, I celebrate freedom.

Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing. 12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws. (Galatians 4:8-12, NLT)

Freedom.

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message. (Genesis 49:28, NLT, Jacob’s last words to his sons)

I filled in the blank of the goal planner when asked my definition of success: being true to who God made me to be, living (it out) unapologetically and free.

Father God, you know my heart and you bless me deeply. Thank you for giving me the only blessing that matters–yours.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 20, Deuteronomy 21, Deuteronomy 22, Luke 6:1-26

Read at: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Dt%2020,21,22;%20Luke%206:1-26&version=NKJV

Warfare and Healing

Deuteronomy and Luke present different facets of the same theme:

Principles Governing Warfare

In Deuteronomy 20 God gives orders of how to go to battle against your enemies.         “Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” … If there “is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.”

            Living under Christ’s command requires going into the difficult places in my heart, life, and in those of others; Being open to God’s Word and obeying His commands. Not being faint hearted but stalwart because the Lord Jesus Christ goes with me to set me and other captives free. Sometimes the territory gets Very large and the enemy seems Very fierce. The fainthearted near me debilitates me because he is without God’s vision. If I don’t wear the Word of God over my eyes and ears 24/7/365 I am UNempowered.  

              I need bold hearted men and women around me, especially at this time of my life. Prayer warriors who pray for God’s Word to be done. People of God’s Righteousness for God to live through them for the eternal benefit of everyone around them. For words of encouragement and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Who IS the Victor!! I yearn to see and hear God’s Glory when I see so much carnage. I know it’s all so temporary, but I want God’s justice to turn people’s hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ! I am grateful to be that way, but I can grow weary in the battle. I am grateful for the bold hearted ones with me. I rejoice that Jesus has already won the War.

           Israel is about to be engaged in war. Iran will be sending missiles to our shores. People will die, but where will they go? To Heaven or hell? Who will tell them the Gospel before their time is up? Lord send me!

             Is it really that simple? Am I not to be despondent or to despair over what is coming? No, the Lord Jesus Christ says. The enemy will want me to feel “I am in charge”. What a proud arrogant lie! I rejoice in that Truth (that it is a Lie)!! Yippee!! I am free from the bondage of the responsibility for souls. But what AM I in charge of? Just being God’s daughter and following and loving the Lord Jesus Christ with my life each day. Step by step Jesus will show me His Great Adventure that I join. Whew!! Got through that One! May I live it another day by the Holy Spirit’s power! 

In Deuteronomy 21-22, the Lord addressed laws regarding unsolved murder, female captives, firstborn inheritance rights, rebellions sons, immorality, sins deserving of death as well as commands to helping your fellow man and woman and not being unequally yoked. All of these deal with sin, captives of sin, and how justice and God’s righteousness can be executed well for His Glory.

In Luke 6:1-26 Jesus said, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” – Jesus declared Himself God and boldly chose to heal on that day, setting a captive free.  Later on, Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He … chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” The Lord Jesus chose the men for His army.

            Jesus continued setting people free: “He came down with them … a great multitude of people who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases … who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. … for power went out from Him and healed them all.”

             In the Be-Attitudes, Jesus the set the priorities for God’s people who win in the Kingdom of God: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. … Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.”

              I fit right in. I look forward to when the Righteousness is Full and I can no longer mourn over the pain and suffering of people which is caused by sinful, wicked choices.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.  Luke 19:10

For Further Reading – Matthew 11:28-30; John 3:5-21; John 15:3-11; Psalm 51; Romans 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Joel 2:28-29 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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