Tag Archives: God’s provision

Proverbs 1-4; Matthew 6

Matthew 6 is the middle chapter in Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. There is almost too much to take in when reading through these three chapters. D Martyn Lloyd Jones, the British theologian, wrote a book on these three chapters. The book is over an inch thick. Just think about what is found in that book that we can’t even take the time here to contemplate.

So what do we take away from this reading today? And that doesn’t even take into account Proverbs 1-4. In fact while reading these passages this week, they sound eerily similar. Two passages of God’s Word separated by many years, yet many good admonitions in living a godly life in the here and now.

What is your daily routine? What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Do you check email first? Do you read the news? Or do you spend time in God’s Word and prayer? I was watching a video blog by a person I follow in the business world and I believe he is far from a Christ-follower. He let’s nothing from the outside into his mind till he has done his yoga and meditation in the morning. Yet many of us who are Christ-followers are reading our emails, watching/reading the news and then by the time we get around to reading the Bible and prayer we are so distracted we cannot hear what God has for us. Here in Matthew 6 we are told not to worry about tomorrow or one could say anything before spending time with our Lord.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34 [ESV])

I have found that if the first thing I do in the morning is to spend time with God, almost everything else takes care of itself. Worrying and being anxious before your time with God limits His access to your life and mind. It’s like a haze or fog you have already put in front of you. Then you strain to see what He is trying to teach you about Himself and His plans for your life.

Father God thank you for the life-giving power of your Word and presence. Give us the discipline and power to focus on You and You alone at the beginning of each day. We pray this in the wonderful and strong name of Jesus, Amen.

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Exodus 22-24; Luke 23; Psalm 12, 14

14 “Each year you must celebrate three festivals in my honor. 15 First, celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast, just as I commanded you. Celebrate this festival annually at the appointed time in early spring, in the month of Abib, for that is the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. No one may appear before me without an offering.16 “Second, celebrate the Festival of Harvest, when you bring me the first crops of your harvest.

“Finally, celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest[i at the end of the harvest season, when you have harvested all the crops from your fields. 17 At these three times each year, every man in Israel must appear before the Sovereign, the Lord. (Exodus 23:14-17, NLT)

A deliverance. A planting. A harvest. These are the three festivals for the Lord’s honor.

When I first started reading the scriptures today, I hoped that I could gain insight to a specific circumstance in my life. While the reading didn’t necessarily address it, I was reminded: God is just. And I trust in that. As I read about the festivals in His honor, I think of it symbolically today.

God delivered me from the captivity of sin and oppression. He has planted me in this place to sow what I will. And at the end of a life or a time, there will be a harvest.

19 “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 23:19a, NLT)

These festivals were held yearly in the Old Testament–and I wonder if I looked closely at how I spend my time, what would I notice of sowing and harvest in a year? Would it honor God? Did I take what He has given me and use it wisely, intentionally? Have I given Him the honor and best of the harvest?

Lord, I’m so grateful for all that you have done for me. In this time of healing and discovering, I trust in you. I want to take my eyes of my broken heart and focus on purpose–a kingdom purpose. Help me to steward well what you have entrusted me. Help me to honor you and keep you as the focus of my heart, my words and my actions. Thank you for your Word that speaks to me of your presence and promises. Thank you for being trustworthy and just. Thank you for loving me just as much on the days I’m a shortsighted mess as you do on the days I’m bringing my best.

Courtney (66books365)


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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Old Testament

I Kings 17; Colossians 4; Ezekiel 47; Psalm 103

A thread runs through the scriptures that is hard to miss – God’s provision. I have seen it im my own life, as well. God has provided in countless ways that I could never have imagined. While it may not have always been what I expected, He has always given me what I needed at the time. Like there was the time our family was struggling financially – 3 young children at home, Christmas was just around the corner. As a mom, I was heartbroken about not having gifts under the tree. One day a packaged arrived filled with wrapped gifts for my children. To this day I don’t know who sent it.

God provided.

Sometimes it is less tangible, but just as needed. I was in the midst of a particularly challenging job that was required to earn my master’s degree. I didn’t think I could make it through another day. I awoke one morning to find that my daughter had posted a verse on my mirror:

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil4:6-7

I was praying to leave the situation.

God provided a way through it.

In I Kings 17, God provided food and water for Elijah, a widow, and her son during a time of drought and difficulty.

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lordsends rain on the land.’” NIV

God provides

In Ezekiel 47, we learn of a tree that bears nourishing fruit and heals.

 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” NIV

God provides a beautiful picture of things to come. God provides a Savior.

Paul encourages us in Colossians 4 to “make the most of every opportunity.” as we speak with outsiders. May we be ready and willing to share of His provision in our lives and His provision for all lives.

Let’s sing praises as David did:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1-5 NIV

Ann (naturelady)

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

My trust is in God.

It seems like such a simple statement. But how easy is it to claim it?

The Israelites are rescued from slavery, and God, in his mercy, leads them. He took them in a roundabout way, through the wilderness, toward the Red Sea. (Last year, I read an insightful and helpful book called Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. When I think of the Red Sea, I know there is a watery expanse in front of Israelites, and a pursuing army behind them. There’s really nothing to do at that point but trust God, because He’s the only one who can make a way.)

17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Exodus 13:17-18, NLT.

Job gives a final protest and defense of his innocence. (I know from Job 1, he is a man of complete integrity. The Lord even refers to him as a man of complete integrity, calls him the finest man in all the earth, blameless.) So when he pleads his case of innocence and asks these questions, it seems right. (God has His own questions for Job in chapter 38!) But was his defense just his trust in himself?

“Have I lied to anyone
    or deceived anyone?

16 “Have I refused to help the poor,
    or crushed the hopes of widows?

24 “Have I put my trust in money
    or felt secure because of my gold?
25 Have I gloated about my wealth
    and all that I own? Job 31:5, 16, 24-35, NLT

Jesus has a story to tell, and I sit at his feet and listen closely.

Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’

“The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’

“So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’

“‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’

“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Luke 16:1-13, NLT

You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Serve God, trust him, work for him. Or be enslaved to money, an earthly focus, greed, an idol. Is it possible this parable is about trusting God?

(The next story Jesus tells is about the rich man and Lazarus. A very thought-provoking, telling read.)

 Paul is crushed and overwhelmed. He and those he traveled with expected to die.

We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.2 Corinthians 1:8-10, NLT

There are times I could recount all the things I have done, in my own defense. It points to my (limited and short-sighted) strength. But in the times of overwhelm, of an army and an ocean, of the things I can’t see versus the things I can see–those things point to a great God who is really in charge. He deserves all the glory.

Lord, instead of focusing on my own ability, I want to focus on you. When I think of what I can do, it tricks and traps my mind and causes me to stumble in my walk. Suddenly, I’m trying to figure out all the answers instead of turning to you. Help me to keep my eyes fixed firmly on you. You have called me to certain tasks, and I want to face them in your wisdom and guidance.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 15-18; Psalm 115; Luke 9

At the end of the seventh year you must cancel the debts of everyone who owes you money. This is how it must be done. Everyone must cancel the loans they have made to their fellow Israelites.”  The Lord will bless you as he has promised.  Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.”Deuteronomy 15:1-10 NLT

Somewhere along the way I bought into the lie that if I had more, than the more generous I can be. If only I had more money, time, energy…than I could stop to talk to that person who needs Jesus, make a meal for the mom who just had a baby or give to that person in need.  He calls me to be a good steward of what He has given me, but he also asks me to have faith that He will supply all my needs. I have seen His faithfulness in the past. Maybe He is asking me to trust Him for today, even when I feel like I have nothing more to give.

But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there…Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!” Luke 9:13-17 NLT

The disciples didn’t think they had enough food to hand out. I think that is where Jesus wants me, so that He gets all the glory. Than I am not boasting over what I did, but instead saying…But, look what Jesus did in my life. He gave me so much more, even when I didn’t deserve it. He loves me that much. I think about the times when I have given a meal away and He has supplied that back to me. Or, when I didn’t think I had the energy to minister to someone, He gave me the time to refresh in His presence. I can rest in knowing that He knows what I need.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness…Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands…And those idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. O Israel, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield. The Lord remembers us and will bless us. He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and lowly.” Psalm 115:1-13 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for canceling my debt on the cross. Thank you for the promises in your word. I praise You for who You are. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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2 Kings 4; 1 Timothy 1; Daniel 8; Psalm 116

2 Kings 4—a widow is in financial trouble and risks losing her sons to slavery if she can’t pay. Elisha asks, “What do you have?”

“Nothing but a flask of olive oil,” she replies.

God performs a miracle. The widow gathers as many jars as she can, and God fills them with this single flask so that she is able to sell the oil to pay off her debt. (There is even enough money left over for her and her family to live off of.)

God provides.

I serve on a team that feeds 20 people at church. There have been weeks when I shopped for my family and the 20 other adults I’m feeding at that time, and I’ve come in below my average household budget (even when I expected I’d be well above it).

God provides.

My husband and I have talked about it, whether it’s money, time or resources—God provides in ways that leave us scratching our heads in wonder.

He is able to do a lot with a little.

Whenever I’m tempted to think: I don’t have the time. I don’t have the skill. I don’t have the energy.

I hope to remember: if he brings me to it, he’ll bring me through it. (Ack, cliche.)

Sometimes overflowing, and sometimes just enough.

Lord, I face today fueled by You. With a schedule that left me feeling I didn’t have time or energy, You came through when I put my faith in You (and not myself). I feel joy, and not for circumstance, but because of how amazing You are. Thank you!

Courtney (66books365)

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Deut 17; Ps 104; Isa 44; Rev 14

My five year old son Ian finished his first t-ball season today. I went to check on him while he was asleep and he had his trophy on his belly. He told me it was special to him. It is a tangible reminder to him of how proud we are of him, much fun he had, the hits he made and the courage that he learned.

While the trophy seems like a fun, harmless object…I want him to know that God gave him that courage and the ability to run and hit the ball. I think about the “trophies” in my life that can become idols. That is usually when I forget that they are reminders of God’s faithfulness and not something to hold on to. I need to give them back to him in thankfulness and praise. Because He is so generous to me, pouring out his gifts on me…

When you begin living in the towns the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman among you might do evil in the sight of the Lord your God and violate the covenant. For instance, they might serve other gods or worship the sun, the moon, or any of the stars-the forces of heaven-which I have strictly forbidden…You are about to enter the land, the Lord your God is giving you…you must never return to Egypt” Deut 17 NLT

I want to be satisfied in You...

O Lord my God, how great you are! You made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun knows when to set…They all depend on you…they are richly satisfied….”Psalm 104 NLT

You have not forgotten me…

Do not be afraid…For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. I will pour out my Spirit on your descendents, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank…Who is like me? Do not tremble, do not be afraid, didn’t I proclaim my purposes for you long ago? How foolish are those who manufacture idols. I made you, I will not forget you.” Isaiah 44 NLT

I want to fear You alone…

Fear God,” he shouted.“Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as a judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water…Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.” Rev 14 NLT

Let all that I am praise the Lord!” Psalm 104 NLT

Jehovah-Jireh, thank you for your provision and unfailing love towards me. I pray that I would give glory to You alone. Amen

Amy(amyctanner)

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