Tag Archives: light

Job 28-30; Revelation 18

20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction[b] and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:20-28) NIV

Sometimes I read scripture and it touches the very core of my being.  Tears well into the corners of my eyes as I think about the goodness of God in my life. These words affected me this way.  I shudder to think where I would be if He had not pursued me.

Truthfully, I know exactly where I’d be!  Still searching for that one “thing”, that one “person” that would fill the emptiness inside me.  Nothing satisfied that longing for acceptance, significance, and unconditional love until I began my relationship with Him.

Quite a few years ago, I heard a sermon at our church that spoke of choosing one word as our focus each year instead of making resolutions.  I’ve been doing that for several years now and have been amazed how God has used each word in my life for something going on at the time.  The year I was unemployed my word was “abide”.  It was the perfect word for that season of my life because abiding in Jesus is what got me through.

This past year my word was “light” and I am not sure any of my words have had more of an impact. I started the year still in a deep depression that I had been struggling with for quite some time.  When He brought that word to my mind, it went with the verse “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5b)  I knew He was my way out of the darkness of soul I felt.  During the course of the year, God has revealed the many meanings of the word through verses, studies, devotionals, and sermons.  God spoke and light came into being.  His word is light.  Light is illumination (makes things visible, gives you understanding, the proverbial light bulb over your head).  He taught me so much this past year about Him and about me—things I saw and understood for the first time.  Light also means “not heavy”.  He has lifted burdens from my heart and given me a freedom I didn’t know was possible.  I am truly lighter in so many ways.  Light is gentle, delicate.  All colors depend on light. You can light a fire, ignite a flame.  As I spent time with Him and let Him work, each of these meanings was revealed to me in different ways.

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

If we ask Him, God will reveal wisdom to us.  Somehow or other as this year comes to a close, I feel wiser.  It really has been a year of growth for me.  It has been painful—I think I’ve cried buckets of tears as I’ve let go of so many lies (shun evil).  In order to do this, I’ve had to bring them out into the light.  Those lies buried deep in my heart were hidden in darkness.  But no more!  “Surrender it all to me”, I felt Him tell me.  I was afraid of the magnitude of the pain of doing that. “On the other side of surrender is freedom” was what I sensed Him telling me in my spirit.  And it was!  Once I surrendered that last bit of my past, that last piece I was clutching, came freedom.

Today is Christmas.  It is the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He came to earth to set us free.  I have been singing Christmas Carols as long as I can remember but this year, in particular, there are many I cannot sing without tearing up.  The gratitude I feel for what He did by coming to earth and sacrificing Himself for me is overwhelming.  “O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Merry Christmas!

Lord, thank you for Jesus!  Thank you for your plan of redemption through his birth, his life, and his death on a cross.  Thank you that he was raised to life once again and now sits at your right hand interceding for those of us who call upon His name.  Thank you for loving me as you do.  In Jesus name, Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job

Ezekiel 1-3; John 1

In the beginning was the Word…

I learned John 1 when I was 10 years old and have never forgotten it. I learned it in the King James, so sometimes when I go to say it there are some words that seem funny being used in the 21st century.

The first fourteen verses of John 1 are an awesome defense of the deity of Jesus. Here is a list of the statements that equate Jesus to being God:

  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • The same was in the beginning with God.
  • All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
  • In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

It doesn’t get any more explicit than that. We read the Bible every day and then come to a chapter like this. What a blessing this passage is to our faith. If you need biblical proof that Jesus is God, that He is co-equal with the Father here it is.

How does this change your day/week? The last statement above does it for me. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. That is still true today. Do I need wisdom or understanding? He is the source of life and our illumination of truth and direction. Do you need Him in that way today? I know I do.

Make sure you go with God. He is going with you.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ezekiel, John, Uncategorized

Ezra 3-4; Psalm 92; I John 1

I John 1:5 says, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Wish I could say that about myself. Instead, I regularly confess shades of sin to God and to others whom I have wronged so that God, who “is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” will send His grace and mercy to this repentant heart. (John 1:9). Blatant sin such as thefts, murders, and adultery may not be on my conscious, but the Holy Spirit is quick to convict me of blaming others, acting self-righteous or lacking faith. But what about defenses buried in sin that are unrecognizable until after they bite?

I came home from work the other day, glad for another blessed Friday. My elevated mood sparked my interest in making a real meal, not just the casual, lazy, Friday night fare of pizza and hot wings. Hubby heard me singing along with the radio, and I knew he was smiling before he poked his head around the corner to tell me hello. He let our small dog out of the cozy room among the laundry appliances and linen soaps. Seeing that smash-nosed, bow-legged, 16 pounds of lion-hearted loyalty, added to the promise of peace and harmony for the weekend. Yet when I reached down to kiss his silky head, our family pet violently, and without warning, bit me on the face. The shock of teeth penetrating skin was nothing compared to the painful reality that my 11 year-old friend had turned on me. The rest of the evening was a shambles caring for my wounded cheek and rationalizing the unexpected attack. Was he in physical pain? Is his advancing age a factor? What is the risk of repeated dog biting behavior? My husband and I talked about our fear that the dog would do the same or worse to our grandchild or other visiting family and friends.

Upon awakening the next morning, and after a sickening dream of giving poison to a guinea pig (go figure), the emotional jet lag felt defeating, and I sought consolation through the Word of God. As I meditated, the smog of confusion cleared and I felt convicted of sin – the sin of neglect.

Vignettes of a dog’s life played in my head. Especially over the last three months, I had not spent quantity or quality time with my canine friend. I rarely walked him. He was not allowed to be in the living room with us in our new house. I had developed a low tolerance for frustration which caused me to shoo the little guy out of the kitchen regularly so that he wouldn’t be under my feet or be a nuisance at the table. The story of neglect continued to play. Where once my dog would find a corner to curl up wherever I was, he now chose to stay in his own room. Instead of lying beside me feet, he preferred to be near my husband. He stopped asking for the treats that rarely came from me. I believe that God showed me that the sin of neglect was a contributing factor of my dog, old and blind in one eye, perhaps not knowing me at the moment he literally snapped.

“O Lord, how great are your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, nor does a fool understand this. When the wicked spring up like grass and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is that they may be destroyed forever,” (Psalm 92:5-7).  Lord, I can see how the sin of neglect sprang up and is a microcosm of relationships in my life that have long-since dissipated or relatives who no longer expect more than a hastily signed Christmas card once a year. I pray that the sin of neglect is destroyed once and for all by revelation, correction, and restoration. Through Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen!

2 Comments

Filed under 1 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Ezekiel 22-24; Psalms 134; John 8

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world.   If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT

As I read through John, this verse pops out at me like the vibrant fall colors outside my window. This was the verse of the day on my you-version bible app. I  skimmed over it than, but maybe God is trying to get my attention now. “If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness…” How many times do I walk in darkness? Stumbling around for direction? Asking others, instead of asking God?

Or, like the Israelite, I turn to other things that become idols…

Now this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned – city of idols, filthy and foul-you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made.” Ezekiel 22:1-3 NLT

I am thankful for a Father who goes before me, so that I don’t have to find my way in the dark.

I “have the light that leads to life.”  But when I find myself living in a fog, it’s because I am not asking Jesus for guidance. Sometimes, my heart is turning cold, like the pharisees. “The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” Jesus told them,”These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.” John 8:14-16 NLT

Thank you Father for being so patient with me. For loving me where I am at, but never wanting me to stay stagnant. You know the plans you have for me. Forgive me for when I turn to other things. I praise you Lord. Amen.

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, you who serve at night in the house of the Lord. Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord. May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.” Psalm 134 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Ezekiel, John, Psalms

Exodus 28-31; Philippians 2

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:13-16

As I am reading these verses the first thing that comes to mind is one of the Sunday school song I grew up singing:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

As much as I try to shine like a light, I know that there are days when my light is more dim than bright. There are days spent complaining and grumbling. There are days when I am irritable and argumentative, with little self-control. There are days when I feel and act more like the people of the world than like a child of God; days when I’ve hidden my light under a bushel and it’s all I can do to keep satan from blowing my little light out.

I want people, especially my children, to get a glimpse of God through me, to see what it means to believe and living right. But, all too often, I find myself stressed out and falling into old patterns from before I truly gave my life to Jesus; and then I feel like I’ve failed.

As I continued delving into these verses, looking at a Greek Interlinear Bible, the thing that stood out to me was the words in the New King James version of verse 15 – ‘…that you may be…’ was noted to be ‘…ye-may-be-becoming…’

The noun “becoming” is defined as any process of change…

Even as I strive to live a clean and innocent life, I am going through the process of changing more and more. Whether I have an off day or I am successful at keeping negative behaviors reigned in change is occurring. I am progressing, maturing into the potential that God put in me. I am becoming a better person and my light shines brighter.

I don’t need to feel condemnation at failing to always be a bright, shining light for the Kingdom of God. I don’t need to feel weakened by the mistakes I make. I just need to press into Holy Spirit as I go through the process of learning, trusting Him to check my spirit and teach me how to do better.

Yesappa, Thank You for being there and giving me everything I need to be a shining light…help me to do everything readily and cheerfully, without bickering, without second-guessing. Help me go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Use me to provide people with a glimpse of good living and of You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Prayer based on Philippians 2:15-16 The Message.

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Exodus, New Testament, Old Testament, Philippians

Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19; Mark 1

We used to live in a big field. The morning sunrises were spectacular and the sky seemed endless. If anything sang glory, that sky did each morning.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship. Psalm 19:1, NLT

Now we live in the woods, and I never really expected to see the sunrises because of the trees. I’ve learned to appreciate seasons in a different way living in the woods, and winter is no exception. I’ve even learned to love winter in a way I never thought possible. It is still and quiet, and the sunrises sneak up on me through the woods line–only visible because all the foliage has fallen away.

Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world. Psalm 19:2-4, NLT

Sometimes it takes a barren season and stillness to become aware of what has always been.

I have a friend who is like a father to me. He is eighty, and the years have stolen ability and freedom from him. He has long periods of time and stillness to reflect on life. He told me his lack of busyness has birthed wonderment in the world around him.

I praise God that in the winters of life, we can see something in a new way.

I try to find a connection between the readings. In Genesis, creation of heavens and earth, creation of all things and mankind. In Psalm 19, the glory of the heavens proclaiming God and his goodness, and reflection on the frail and faulty heart.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin. Psalm 19:12-13, NLT

And in Mark 1, a way is made, the first disciples follow Jesus, and Jesus travels a region healing people and telling them of God’s kingdom.

It is January 1, and I look at a new year with a mental list of changes I want to make. I can’t help it. Like the psalmist, I’m aware of the visible and the existence of the unseen–I know how sin wrecks a life. But Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to make a list of their faults and a list of how they proposed to fix it all. He just said, “Follow me.”

Thankful for a savior who is bigger than my mess.

Lord, help me to keep my eyes on you. You have the power to create heavens and earth with a word; you have the power to (restore broken relationships, heal the sick and hurting, make the impossible possible, change a heart …). Whether through your word or your creation, help me to seek and see you with wonderment.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

2 Chronicles 14, 15; Revelation 4; Haggai 2; John 3

As much as I can, I try to be honest. I want to be the same person in church, at work,  home, sitting in traffic, with my believing and non believing friends and family.  I try to use the same language and have the same overriding purpose.  That being said, there are moments of personal duplicity that leave me feeling like a fake. I want Jesus to own my heart no matter what the circumstance. He knows that,  he loves me and hangs in there with me. Enter Nicodemus.

Nicodemus seeks out Jesus under the cover of the night. Maybe because Jesus was not easy to be alone with during the day, but more than likely because he didn’t want to be seen with Jesus.  I love how Jesus skillfully weaves his words concerning the new order of the day to a personal challenge. He dares Nicodemus to leave the darkness he hides in and be the person he was created to be.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But he whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. John 3:19-22

So I ask myself, why and what am I trying to hide from God? from others? I ask God to make me his, 100% and keep me from being afraid of the light; after all, he knows and understands EVERYTHING that was and is and is to come.  When I fall and look to the one who loves and forgives me, He is gives grace and restores what I have broken. I pray God gives me a love for him that is far stronger than the fears that would keep me in the dark.

Kathy

PS You can read the rest of Nicodemus’s story in John 19.

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized