Tag Archives: Living God

Leviticus 4-7; Hebrews 3

Last weekend, I drove my daughter to a friend’s birthday party. It was at a gymnastics facility. I wasn’t familiar with the area, so I used my GPS. As we set out, the system directed me on a route that turned out to be a dead end because of a road closure. After a series of turns, the system recalculated my route, took me into a residential area, and directed me to take a left onto a road that didn’t even exist. In fact, this left turn would take me through a barricade and into a vacant, grassy lot.

We were lost. We were late. And I was frustrated. I didn’t even know my way home. (As I tried to navigate my way out of this neighborhood, to my amusement and surprise, the GPS announced we had reached our destination–and after a series of turns and about half a block later, we had.)

I thought long on the life parallel: the places we end up quite on accident by following faulty directions.

Hebrews 3 reminds–Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your heart.

The Israelites rebelled. They tested and tried God’s patience.

That is why the Holy Spirit says,

“Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
    when they tested me in the wilderness.
There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
    even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
10 So I was angry with them, and I said,
‘Their hearts always turn away from me.
    They refuse to do what I tell them.’
11 So in my anger I took an oath:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says:

“Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts
    as Israel did when they rebelled.”

16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. Hebrews 3:7-19, NLT.

Lord, this heart of mine is caught in a vicious war. It is assaulted and battered, churning on thoughts that certainly keep me out of your peace. I don’t want to follow a faulty path. In my faith journey, I want to rest confidently in who you are and what you can do. When thoughts try to lead me to dead ends, I want to remember your miracles and might. Thank you for the warning so that I won’t be deceived by sin and hardened against you.

Courtney (66books365)

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

1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalms 104

Elijah approached the people and said, “How long will you not decide between two choices? If the Lord is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!” But the people said nothing.

Elijah said, “I am the only prophet of the Lord here, but there are four hundred fifty prophets of Baal. Bring two bulls. Let the prophets of Baal choose one bull and kill it and cut it into pieces. Then let them put the meat on the wood, but they are not to set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull, putting the meat on the wood but not setting fire to it. You prophets of Baal, pray to your god, and I will pray to the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to his wood is the true God.”

All the people agreed that this was a good idea.

Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “There are many of you, so you go first. Choose a bull and prepare it. Pray to your god, but don’t start the fire.”

So they took the bull that was given to them and prepared it. They prayed to Baal from morning until noon, shouting “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and no one answered. They danced around the altar they had built.

At noon Elijah began to make fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “If Baal really is a god, maybe he is thinking, or busy, or traveling! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him!” The prophets prayed louder, cutting themselves with swords and spears until their blood flowed, which was the way they worshiped. The afternoon passed, and the prophets continued to act like this until it was time for the evening sacrifice. But no voice was heard; Baal did not answer, and no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Now come to me.” So they gathered around him, and Elijah rebuilt the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. He took twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes, the number of Jacob’s sons. (The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel.) Elijah used these stones to rebuild the altar in honor of the Lord. Then he dug a ditch around the altar that was big enough to hold about thirteen quarts of seed. Elijah put the wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. Then he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the meat and on the wood.” Then Elijah said, “Do it again,” and they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it the third time. So the water ran off the altar and filled the ditch.

At the time for the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah went near the altar. “Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” he prayed. “Prove that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant. Show these people that you commanded me to do all these things. Lord, answer my prayer so these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you will change their minds.”

Then fire from the Lord came down and burned the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the ground around the altar. It also dried up the water in the ditch. When all the people saw this, they fell down to the ground, crying, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!” 1 Kings 18:21-39 (NCV)

Elijah played a vital role in God’s strategy to reveal to the people of the time His glory and His power. God used Elijah to send a message to the men and women of Israel. God placed Elijah in the center of a miraculous event designed to challenge the status quo of those who had chosen to worship false idols, to definitively prove that He was, is, and will always be the ONLY Living God.

Elijah’s faith in the reality of God’s power gave him the ability to step out in boldness to proclaim the truth and confront the priests of Baal and the unfaithfulness of the people of Israel. He gave them an experiential demonstration of the uselessness of putting their trust in counterfeit gods, the hopelessness of rituals intended to convince a statue to relieve suffering and provide for needs.

Daring the believers of Baal to authenticate their god, Elijah goaded them with taunts of a deity too busy to listen, too preoccupied with thinking or traveling or sleeping. It didn’t matter how loud the priests prayed, how hard they danced, or how much blood they let flow from their bodies, an imitation with no eyes to see or ears to hear would never be able to ease their desperation. Elijah allowed the priest to expend themselves in the futility of calling on a fake.

When it was Elijah’s turn to take part in the competition, he upped the ante, asking the on-lookers to pour twelve buckets of water over the altar he had rebuilt, soaking the sacrificed bull and drenching the firewood. A simple, yet fervent prayer – “show us who You are Lord” – called on God to take the impossible, and make it possible.

I have seen first-hand the fruitlessness of rituals, the worthlessness of worshipping a stone or a tree or an animal or money. I have heard the stories of men and women and children who have no hope and no peace. I have looked in desolate eyes that are seeking a savior, but were never told of Jesus. And, I have encountered the desperation of hearts seeking the joy of salvation without even knowing what they were searching for.

My whole being, praise the Lord.

Lord my God, you are very great.

You are clothed with glory and majesty…

I will sing to the Lord all my life;

I will sing praises to my God as long as I live.

May my thoughts please him;

I am happy in the Lord. Psalm 104:1, 33-34 (NCV)

I have also experienced the faithfulness of God. I have felt His Father arms wrapped around me, offering hope, giving a second chance. I have surveyed the wondrous cross, His sacrifice, partaking in Christ’s Blood and in His Body, my sins cleansed. I have been comforted by the assurance of Holy Spirit, convicted in the certainty of my Savior. I have witnessed His power to make the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the blind see. I offer testimony to His miraculous works.

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 (MSG)

Like Elijah, like you, I am an integral part of His story, of God’s plan to establish His Kingdom on the Earth. I was created to exhibit Truth, to reveal His goodness. I was born to carry mustard seed faith, hope in the One, True God, the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing. I was called to walk in boldness, receiving courage from Holy Spirit to exhort the undecided, the complacent to make a choice between false idols and the Genuine Article. I was sent to carry His love, His grace, and His mercy to my family, to my neighborhood, to my city, and to the outreaches of the world.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

P.S. Thank you for your patience with the delay in this post…we had a full day shut down, no electricity for 8 hours, no internet access for 8 hours. Helps me remember the blessings of living in America. 🙂

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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Filed under 1 Kings, 1 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Isaiah 45, Isaiah 46, Romans 8:22-39

I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. A just God and a Savior; Isaiah  45

 I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 46

 … good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. It is God Who justifies, Who also makes intercession for us, Through Him Who loved us. Romans 8

Read Bible Passage – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2045,%2046;%20Romans%208:22-39&version=NKJV

Isaiah 45                   Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue, And loose, To open, … I will go, And make, I will break, And cut, I will give, I will gird you, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

                Lord God, You called a man, King Cyrus, saying “I have named You, though You have not known Me.”  You had Cyrus DO Your Good and Perfect Will! (Romans 12:1-2) You use whom You will, as You will for Your will and immense Glory for ONE Major Purpose!! “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other;” 

              Lord God, You are SO Rich!! So Full of Power, Majesty and Brilliance!! I stand in Awe of You by Your Word!!  I tremble in holy fear of the Lord God “Who created the heavens, formed the earth, established it and formed it to be inhabited!”   

     I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things. … I, the Lord, have created it.  “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!

                  Lord God Almighty, “Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together!”  Have your people deeply trust and obey Your Word by Your Holy Spirit and know without any doubt that they “shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever.” For You say, “I have not spoken in secret. I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

            Lord Jesus, in this time and day, have “the nations. They have no knowledge,” make supplication to Your people, “saying, ‘Surely God is in you, And there is no other; There is no other God. Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior!” so they will be saved by Your Atoning Blood Sacrifice!!

“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! I have sworn by Myself; The Word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow,”

In the Lord all the descendants of Israel Shall be justified, and shall glory.’”

Isaiah 46                   Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; Their idols were on the beasts. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer Nor save him out of his trouble. —  Listen to Me, who have been upheld by Me from birth, Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! and will deliver you. To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?

             Lord God, thank You for being all Wise, Nurturing, Faithful and Perfect in Your relating with me All Ways!! Lord Jesus, I regret and am deeply sorry for turning my heart and mind away from You. I have harmed myself most of all. Yes, I have hurt others, You and Your Kingdom agenda, too. “Jumping Ship” is Never excusable. Turning my back on Pure Love, Truth, and Hope (You are all of this Jesus!) in a trade for acting upon lies and deception is the cause of pain, loneliness, heartache and much worse. 1

              I have bowed down to “idols” because of my own fear of man and my own deceptions and insecurities. How wicked when I have You God Who is SOOO Real, Vibrant and Completely Good!!! The world might not even notice my sins because they may not consider it sin, but higher are Your Ways, Oh God, than mine!! I am to live a life of faith pleasing to You, Lord God, a life of Faith and Truth in my innermost parts, to Delight myself in You and rejoice that You are my Very Great Reward!  2

            Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word and Blood! I acknowledge MY sins as my own. I confess them to You directly. I turn away from each section whole heartedly and in disgust and hatred for the willful “evil” of them. And I rejoice in Your complete cleansing of my soul and conscience! Teach me Your Ways in my innermost parts so that I will not sin against You and others. I rejoice in You, my God and Savior! 3

I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ —  I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Romans 8:22-39                 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

            Thank you for the gift of praying with the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit I praise you for interceding for me! I worship You Almighty Living God!

            Thank You Lord God for having me in Your process of conforming me into the image of Your Son Jesus! No wonder you fill me with the Holy Spirit in order to protect, teach, comfort, guide, etc. for You to succeed in having me “more than conqueror” through You Lord God each moment!!  4

NO Thing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Bible Insights –

1 – 1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16; Psalm 119:160; John 14:6; John 1:14; John 17:17; Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

2- Proverbs 29:25; Proverbs 14:27; Psalm 52:1; Psalm 73:1; Psalm 118:1; James 1:17; Psalm 143:10; Isaiah 55:8-9; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:6; Psalm 51; Psalm 37:4; Philippians 4:4; Genesis 15:1  

3- Psalm 51, Ezekiel 18:32, Psalm 119:11, Luke 1:47

4- 1 Corinthians 14:14-19; Hebrews 7:25; Exodus 31:3; Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 13:9; Acts 13:52; Romans 15:13; Ephesians 5:18

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Isaiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans, Uncategorized