Tag Archives: intimacy

Exodus 19; Luke 22; Job 37; 2 Corinthians 7

Exodus 19:3,4 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.’”

Commentary from The Chumash, “When Moses spoke to the House of Jacob which refers to the women, he was to express the commandments in a manner suited to their compassionate, maternal nature.”

God has Moses speak to women in a manner suited to their compassionate nature. That is how God speaks to me. He reminds me that He brought me to Him, and He does this with great love and tenderness, so much so that I surrender willingly to His voice.

Luke 22:10-12 And He (Jesus) said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”

Commentary: Guest rooms were often made available to the thousands of pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Many times I walked into places or situations ordained by God. He prepared these before I knew to ask or to seek. Yet, how often I am surprised and definitely humbled by my own helplessness to control the outcome.

Job 37:14, 19, 20 Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. Teach us what we should say to Him, For we can prepare nothing because of the darkness.

Commentary: Elihu celebrates God’s control over the earth and he prepares Job, Job’s friends, and any bystanders for the coming of the Lord.

When embroiled in the turmoil of my afflictions and pain, no one but God can reach me. Yet true friends and family who are closest know how to soften my resistance in my confusion, to direct my gaze toward Him and to prepare my heart to receive Him.

2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more.

And into the darkness explodes brilliance, comfort, consolation, and reason to rejoice. Unexpected, such as the coming of a friend from across the country after eight years with little hope of ever being close enough for her warm embrace and sisterly love. How wonderful God is to us; He meets us where we are, no matter what shape He finds us. Right here, right now!

Oh, come Lord Jesus and have Your way with us that we might know You more and fall in love with You over and over again!

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

The Chamush. The ArtScroll Series/Stone Edition. 2000.

The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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2 Samuel 15, 16; Luke 20:27-47

And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” Luke 20:45-47


After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:1-6

My grandparents had a spunky Jack Russell terrier named WYSIWYG (pronounced “wiz-ee-wig”). WYSIWYG is an acronym for ‘what you see is what you get.’ Whenever I think about this phrase I think about the importance of being authentic, of being exactly who I am. It is about projecting my true self and not hiding my sinful nature or making myself out to be greater than I really am.

In the 10 or so years that I struggled with extreme depression I got very good at hiding myself from others. I would don different masks for different people giving them the face I thought that they most wanted to see. I didn’t realize that what many of those people really wanted was the real me.

When God removed depression from my soul and started healing my heart, I began to understand that showing my true self, being vulnerable when sharing my struggles, admitting when I stumble and fall, laying out the good and the bad, being honest about my experience and being truthful in love, needed to be what I offered to the world.

When I am upfront and honest with people about who I am it leaves no room for pride; it’s impossible for me to think I am better than someone else when they know about the skeletons in my closet. When being genuine, it is impossible to be deceitful, two-faced, and backbiting. Revealing the truth of who I am doesn’t allow for self-importance or ego, because it reminds me of how hopeless, how helpless I am without Christ in my life.

I have found that in the ministry that I do, honesty is what connects me to people. I am able to meet them right where they are, the way that God meets me in my journey. I am able to share openly about my struggles and how God has walked with me through them. I can offer them hope through my testimony, instead of condemnation and judgment. I can offer a clean slate in Jesus, and healing through His love.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your blood and Your redeeming glory, that revives me and makes me whole, that takes away my shame and allows me to be real with those around me. Continue to remove every trace of hiddenness that tries to keep me disconnected from you and from others. Help me always walk in authenticity, living a life a truth in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Genesis 27-28; Matthew 9:18-38

…a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples…When the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. (verses 18-19; 25)

…a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. (verses 20-22)

…two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David”…and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened… (verses 27-30)

Matthew 9:18-30

I believe that the stories in the gospels are only tiny glimpses of all the miracles that actually took place during Jesus’ life. And yet, the testimonies that were written down for history stand out not necessarily because they were ‘bigger’ miracles than any other wonders He performed, but because these people were willing to do whatever it took to get what they needed, regardless of how other people might judge them.

A powerful man, a ruler who would have typically sent a servant to do his bidding, humbled himself before Jesus believing for his daughter’s life. An ‘unclean’ woman, one who bled for 12 years reached out, grabbed Jesus’ clothes trusting that a simple touch would heal her. Two blind men cried out, loud voices shouting relentlessly for mercy, contending for sight.

Need motivates a willing-to-do-anything attitude; it offers a dose of faith, an ounce of hope. It bolstered boldness and gave these individuals courage to approach the Throne of Grace set before them. God’s response was to choose these people, to say ‘YES’ to their needs. He blessed them, healed infirmities, and redeemed their lives.

But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 3Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing…” Genesis 27:35-36

Generations before, Jacob also acted out audaciously. Though his dealings with Esau are typically viewed as cunning and dishonest, presented opportunities enabled him to receive inheritance and blessing essential to the fulfillment of his destiny. And rather than chide him for his deceit, God’s response was to show himself to Jacob in a dream. God chose to re-establish the covenant He first made with Abraham. God promised Jacob the land and spoke increase over his offspring. God assured Jacob that through him (by Christ’s eternal blood sacrifice), all of the families of the earth would be blessed.

And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:12-15

I look at my own life and I can honestly say that my experience of relationship with Him is most transformed when I seek the person of Christ with desperation. Those times when I come boldly before Him, I receive the grace and mercy I need most in all circumstances.

When I take time to put my focus directly on Him, when I stop multi-tasking God and single-mindedly pursue His heart, He blesses me abundantly. When I shower Him with gratitude, praise, and worship, He gives me beauty for ashes and replaces my sadness with joy. When I do whatever it takes to have more of Him, He strengthens me in times of weakness, He heals my infirmities; He liberates me from bondage and offers me true freedom in Him.

Yesappa, Thank You for saying ‘Yes’ to me, for meeting me wherever I am, whether I come to you every day or I come to you in the midst of juggling responsibilities. I ask for an extra measure of boldness in approaching Your throne, as a daughter and as a co-heir. Help me carve out more time to seek Your face, to focus solely on You without distractions. Increase intimacy in our relationship and make all our time together quality time that touches Your heart and does miracles in mine. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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1 Sam. 11; Rom. 9; Jer. 48; Ps. 25

Who wants to know a secret?  Who wants to be a trusted confidant?

While it’s not exactly on my résumé, I want to be thought of as someone who is safe enough to be trusted—I think we all would like to be thought of as “safe enough.

I believe God is looking for someone who can be trusted with a secret.  I believe He is searching for honorable, humble, and trustworthy people who long to follow His decrees and follow in His ways.  Those who get up early in the morning just to spend the first part of their day with the Father, I believe those are the one He’s searching for.  And when He’s found them, I believe He comes down from heaven and whispers His secrets into their hearts.  Secrets about His Word that He reveals to them by opening their eyes to the scripture as their eyes have never been opened before; secrets about His people and where He’d like them to go; secrets about how to love on His people and where and how to share His Name.  Secrets are shared between friends.  They are shared between confidants.  They are shared between loved ones.   They are shared between Father and sons and daughters.  They are shared between me and God.

Thank you, Father, for trusting me with your secrets.

The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant. ~ Psalm 25:14

Heather Potts5

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Deuteronomy 30; Psalms 119:73-96; Isaiah 57; Matthew 5

The Lord your God will prepare you and your descendants to love him with your whole being so that you will live. Deuteronomy 30:6 (NCV)

I am struck by the phrase “God will prepare me to love Him”.

To prepare something is to make it ready or suitable or equip in advance. It means that God, Himself will train and teach me to love Him. It is not something I have to do alone, something I have to do by myself. It is in me, because He is in me.

…the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Deuteronomy 30:14 (NCV)

Over the span of my life, experiences, trials, and cutting wounds, have built up layer upon layer of defenses, a familiar, yet counterfeit protection of my heart. Those incidents and encounters harden my heart, creating calluses, tough lumps and nodules of mental and emotional junk –fear, anxiety, jealousy, anger, guilt, regret, etc. – that cause me to turn my focus to circumstances instead of keeping my eyes on my Savior.

But God changes my heart. He makes it different; causing a transformation. The essence of my heart becomes realigned and returns to its original nature; no longer full of sin, but restored to right-standing.

My heart is renovated, a spiritual circumcision. The walls are demolished, the calluses are cut away, and piles of offense are left behind for the scrapyard. When the junk is cleared away, I can see what is really important…I am freed to choose life.

To choose life is to love the Lord your God, obey him, and stay close to him. He is your life, and he will let you live many years in the land, the land he promised to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:20 (NCV)

To choose life is to become vulnerable to the One who created me, who already knows the deepest parts of me, who knows my substance. To choose life is intimacy (into-me-see) with my Father. To choose life is to learn how to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and all my mind, with my whole being.

You made me and formed me with your hands.

Give me understanding so I can learn your commands…

Give me life by your love

so I can obey your rules. Psalm 119: 73, 88 (NCV)

Amen.

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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Genesis 18, Genesis 19, Matthew 6:1-18

It’s all about relationship! God and me – God and you. God for me, me for God. God treating me as my actions prove I choose. God with me, me with God – or polar opposites.

www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen%2018,19;%20Mt%206:1-18&version=NKJV

Snippet overview:           The Lord physically appears and comes near to Abraham. Abraham recognizes his Lord and eagerly asks to tangibly serve God. God accepts. Abraham gives God his best. God tells Abraham to expect his only child within one year. God tells His plans for Abraham.

             God reveals to Abraham His intent to see if the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is as great as reported. Then ensues a heartfelt discussion between the two; God and man. “And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” Genesis 18

             But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6

My Application:       God comes near to me. I want to serve the Lord God Almighty!

          Abraham said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring …  You have come to your servant. So Abraham hurried…”

            I have found favor in God’s sight because of His Son Jesus Christ. God adopted me as His child by the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, God calls me “friend”. John 15:13-16; John 1:1-3; John 1:10-14; John 1:29; John 3:5-7; Leviticus 17:11; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Romans 3:21-26

             I am called to serve the Lord, bearing much fruit for the delight of my Father. (John 15:5-10, 16)

           God reveals His plans to me, for me and others. I am to pray God’s Word in intercession.

God’s Motivation:             And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Why does God think this way? >> “For I have known him,” God knows me deeply, more than anyone can. God knows what to say/ do/ be for me.

The purpose of God’s relationship with me? >> in order that he (or me) may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice”    I must command myself, my family and relations to keep the ways of God, doing righteousness and justice.

And the Lord’s purpose?  >> “that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”  So that God Himself may bring to fruition what God has foretold to Abraham. The same for me! So that God will fulfill His Good purpose through me. If I do not listen to the Lord Jesus Christ and obey His Word by His Holy Spirit, God’s best will not be accomplished through me.  

What happens if I don’t follow Jesus?  My life’s results could be similar to Sodom and Gomorrah. Possibly “the outcry against” me might be “great” because my sin would be very grave.

“And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.”

So how should I be? Just as Jesus Christ says. Live for my Holy Father in heaven, earnestly for God’s kingdom to come and His Will to be done within me and my life as it is in heaven. To live fervently for my Father in heaven Who is my very great reward. Genesis 15:1  The Lord Jesus says three times: “and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  

Personally, this affects me.         God cares about all of the details of my life and relationships! Jesus Christ draws near to me when I am open to Him. James 4:8 I may not be just like Sodom, but there are parts of me that surely get God’s negative attention. Sinful facets that He might want to obliterate! There are parts of me that get God’s positive attention, too. I cherish those! When I pray God’s Word for people’s lives and my own. When I submit to God’s Word and live by His Holy Spirit.

                 Lord God Almighty, thank You for choosing me – for knowing and loving me just as I am. For changing me by Your persevering Love, Communication and Correction. I cherish being in Your Presence – for there is where I am internally changed. Please continue to cause me to worship you in Spirit and in Truth, to repent to you for the sin You bring to my awareness, and to compel me to live by Your Word and Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus Christ, You are my life, my hope and very great reward. You say this! May I live Your Words internally so Your Word bears fruit everywhere, for your purpose and glory alone! John 4:24, John 14:6

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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