Tag Archives: life in Christ

Exodus 10-12; Ephesians 2

Captive 430 years.

40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation. (Exodus 12:40, NLT)

A ruler’s hardened heart.

Signs of such magnitude, so all will know.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 10:1-2, NLT)

Modern day captive.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. (Ephesians 2:1-3, NLT)

Modern day hardened hearts.

Signs of such magnitude, so all will know.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:4-10, NLT)

Father, Savior, King of my heart–I’m grateful for your work in my life, your love and mercy. Celebrating you, praising you. Saved by grace. Created anew. Grateful.

Courtney (66books365)

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Ezekiel 31-33; John 11

“So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ ” John 11:3

Jesus lingers and Lazarus dies. His sisters are heartbroken. The One who loves them and has the power to heal and save doesn’t show. When Jesus finally arrives, Martha goes to Jesus and speaks words of faith,

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:21-22.

And Jesus reveals to her who He is.

“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” John 11:27

Mary’s initial response is different. She stays home blanketed in grief and pain. The weeping sister falls at the feet of Jesus and acknowledges her deep disappointment. Jesus,  deeply moved asks, “Where have you laid him?” John 11:34.

Jesus asks me a similar question. Where have I laid disappointment and pain? Guilt and shame? Where have I buried hurt and lost hope? Where are the dark, inconsolable corners of life? I pray that God would open those places so I can say with Martha and Mary,

“Come and see, Lord.”  John 11:34.

Wherever Jesus goes, light, life and joy follow. It is still a broken world; Lazarus will die again, but Jesus has broken the power of sin and death:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25.

Lord, give me the gift of faith. Help me to be honest with you and allow you into those places of my heart that I have kept hidden even from myself. You know me better than myself. Have your way with me and bring your healing and life eternal where the sorrow is deep and the hope is gone. You alone are my hope and joy. Amen.

Klueh

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Leviticus 15-17; Matthew 27:1-31

“… for the life of the body is in its blood.” Leviticus 17:11a NLT.

Leviticus 17 speaks against consuming blood, and instructs the way to offer a sacrifice.

“I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.” Leviticus 17:11b NLT.

Instructions for the native Israelite and the foreigner living among them who goes hunting and kills an animal or bird that is approved for eating, he must drain its blood and cover it with earth. 14 The life of every creature is in its blood. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood, for the life of any creature is in its blood.’” Leviticus 17:13-14 NLT.

This is the image, blood poured out upon a field, that stays with me when I read Matthew.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”

“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”

 

Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

 

The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says,

“They took the thirty pieces of silver—
    the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
10 and purchased the potter’s field,
    as the Lord directed.” Matthew 27:3-10 NLT

Judas is weighted down with remorse at the realization of his betrayal. It is a guilt he cannot carry, and a pardon no man can issue. The leading priests and elders had no desire to help him.

“What do we care?” they say.

“That’s your problem,” they say.

The money purchases a cemetery for foreigners, this field of blood, blood where life is found. With the distinction of native and foreigner in Leviticus, and the cemetery for foreigners purchased with blood money in Matthew, the way is laid out–a way for everyone who believes that Jesus died for their sins.

Father, no ordinary man can take away the guilt or shame of my sin. Left with this burden, I would also be weighted to hopelessness. Even in my beginning years as a Christian, I couldn’t grasp freedom from the burden, just a growing shame of my humanity. How I recognized my need for a savior. Only the blood of your son could take away my sin, make a way for life (now and eternally), and make purification possible. It is time in your word that tells me again and again of your great love. When the world is quick to condemn and leave me weighted down by my imperfections, mistakes and sins–you don’t give up on me, your mercies new every day, your faithful love unending. I am grateful.

Courtney (66books365)

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Gen. 3; Matt. 3; Ezra 3; Acts 3

There were other trees in the garden that day. There was the tree of knowledge–its beautiful fruit, looking so delicious, and ripe and full with wisdom. There was also the tree of life. Genesis 3.

John was in the wilderness, baptizing people after they confessed their sins. He tells those watching, Pharisees and Sadducees, of God’s judgment. John baptizes with water, but tells of someone greater who baptizes with Spirit and fire. Matthew 3.

Unified for a purpose, the people come together to rebuild an altar. When the new foundation was complete, the older priests and leaders wept. Others shouted for joy. Joyful shouting and weeping mingled together, heard from a far distance. Ezra 3.

The lame will walk–leap, in fact. Healed by faith in Jesus’ name. Jesus, author of life. Acts 3.

This morning it reads like a stream of consciousness: the sinful choice in the garden, act of disobedience, knowledge of good and evil, tree of life, repentance and confession of sin, someone greater, a new foundation, faith in Jesus, the power of his name, author of life.

Scripture laid side by side, shows the single thread woven all throughout: Jesus. I see him in the tree of life. He is the someone greater, fulfilling prophecy. A new foundation. Author of life.

That is my biggest takeaway from reading today. Author of life.

Lord, I have searched and longed and hungered for the very thing you came to give: abundant life–found in you.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament