Tag Archives: loved

Amos 4-6; Psalm 55; Matthew 14

It was probably ten or eleven years ago, and my dad wasn’t speaking to me, and my heart ached. One day I was out at the grocery store with my kids and a dear friend. I kept seeing an older man with the brightest blue eyes in the store. We had made eye contact several times, and it seems so crazy now (and maybe even a little crazy then), but I had such an urge to approach him. I parked the shopping cart off to the side in an aisle while my friend stayed by my kids. I walked over to the stranger.

“My dad has blue eyes like yours,” I said to him, awkwardly, and he smiled at me. We talked a little, and at the end he opened his arms to me and hugged me (God, bless that man), and I choked back my tears. I looked at my friend and she was crying.

***

Last year within days after my dad died, I was at the UPS Store, my mind scrambled by a to-do list of so much that had to get done that week, and planning a funeral. I walked into the store directly behind a man, who, when he turned, I recognized as a friend.

“Hey!” he said, “How are you?”

I tried to find a way to speak, to respond, and finally I reached out to him and said, “My dad died on Saturday.” And he mercifully hugged me and let me cry. (Thank you, God, for the loving timeliness of friends running errands too.)

***

35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed (Matthew 14:35-36, NLT).

There are times when the need is so strong to cry out to God, the desire great to hear His voice, or if I could … at least touch the fringe of His robe–but really to have Him sit across from me and hold my hand and hear my heart. Hard days when I cling to His Word that He has a plan, that He loves me, that He sees me, that He’s for me, that He will be with me, that He sings over me, that He will bring good and beauty from heartache and ashes.

I read these verses in Matthew and imagined the scene, to reach out and touch the Lord. To be that close. To be healed.

“If you could meet with any person from the past,” I asked my daughter on a car ride recently, “who would you pick?”

Thankfully, one day, I truly will get to sit across from Jesus, and He will wipe away my tears.

Father God, thank you that you hear me from heaven. Thank you for your sovereignty and great plan. Thank you for blue-eyed strangers and friends on this earth who comfort and love and help and encourage in all of life’s seasons.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 5; Psalm 88; Isaiah 33; Revelation 3

It’s hard not to imagine David Crowder singing as I think, “He is jealous for me.” I read in His commandments, again, that He is a jealous God. And His jealousy is not the kind that separates, but the one that draws close. When so much drives me at hustle speed, I slam on the brakes to grasp this. He is jealous for me.

“You must not have any other god but me.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. Deuteronomy 5:7-10, NLT

The God who rescues from slavery. Who disciplines those he loves. He lays a path to walk upon.

33 Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deuteronomy 5:33, NLT

He is merciful. He is strong. He protects.

But Lord, be merciful to us,
    for we have waited for you.
Be our strong arm each day
    and our salvation in times of trouble.
The enemy runs at the sound of your voice.
    When you stand up, the nations flee! Isaiah 33:2-3, NLT

My foundation. A store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. My treasure.

In that day he will be your sure foundation,
    providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
    The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

My God who is jealous for me?!? He lays a path to walk upon. He tells me how to walk upon it.

14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear.
    Terror seizes the godless.
“Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry.
    “Who can survive this all-consuming fire?”
15 Those who are honest and fair,
    who refuse to profit by fraud,
    who stay far away from bribes,
who refuse to listen to those who plot murder,
    who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong—
16 these are the ones who will dwell on high.
    The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress.
Food will be supplied to them,
    and they will have water in abundance.

 

He gives a vision.

17 Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor,
    and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.

20 Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals.
    You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure.
It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut
    and whose stakes are firmly fixed.

21 The Lord will be our Mighty One.
    He will be like a wide river of protection
that no enemy can cross,
    that no enemy ship can sail upon.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    our lawgiver, and our king.
    He will care for us and save us. Isaiah 33:17, 20-22, NLT

Jealous.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.

10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.

18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Revelation 3:4-5, 8-12, 18-22, NLT, emphasis mine.

Father God, thank you for loving me so fiercely. Thank you for wanting my love.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

 To Be Known.  (and To Know God)

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, … , “I am Joseph!  – “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. – “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? – preach the gospel where Christ was not known …  join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.  Genesis 45,  Mark 15, Job 11, Romans 15

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2045;%20Mark%2015;%20Job%2011;%20Romans%2015&version=NIV1984  

I want to be known and understood! Valued and Loved, just as I am!

God wants me to know Him! Valued and loved by me! God-man Jesus (Hebrews 1:3) lived, died and rose for me to know Him. Then Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to keep me knowing Him more intimately (John 15:26)!

Genesis 45 –             Joseph is known! After 22 years Joseph finally reunites with his brothers! No more living in obscurity as “lord of all Egypt.” v.9. Joseph bursts to reveal himself to his brothers. Great conversation reveals Joseph wants to be known and to know his family intimately again. “he threw his arms around his brother… he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. … Now hurry back to my father and say to him … Come down to me; don’t delay.” v.14-15, 9 A spectacular reunion!! 

Mark 15 –                    How was Jesus known? “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. v.2 Others mocked Jesus before He took the punishment for their sins. v.16-20, 29-32. “The centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus… said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” v.39  The Lord God knew Jesus as the only acceptable and permanent sacrifice for all sins (v. 33-34, 37-38, Hebrews 10:5-6,10,19-23). So I can approach God’s Holy of Holies through Jesus Christ.     

Who is Jesus to me? A historical person? A friend? Lord, Master and God? A Savior saving me from eternal hell? Do I relate with Him personally, intimately, and dependably? Or is Jesus just another stranger who is really strange?

Job 11 –                      How is Job understood? How is God understood?  Job was not known by his friend. Zophar wrongfully accused Job (Job 11:1-6, Job 42:7-10). Yet Zophar knew the Almighty’s character: “Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens—” v. 7-9  Zophar knew sound advice for a sinful man to heed: “Yet if you devote your heart to him … if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell … you will stand firm and without fear.” v. 10-20  

Romans 15 –             Are other Christians known? Do I know their walk and heart, their struggles, strongholds, and freedom victories which the Lord Jesus Christ did for them? Do I studying them through the lens of God’s Word? Do I “bear with the failings of the weak and not to please” myself, but “for his good, to build him up” in Christ Jesus? v.1-2  Do I accept and serve them just as Christ accepted me “in order to bring praise to God”? v.7-8

Do I make Jesus known? How do my heart and actions prove that I am “a minister of Christ Jesus… proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit”? v.16  Do I boldly “not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me… through the power of the Spirit”? v.18-19

How do I come to my siblings in Christ with “the full measure of the blessing of Christ” and in His Joy? Do I join in the struggles of my fellow Christians by praying to God for them? v.29-30 Do I pray for their success under Christ Jesus for the salvation and maturation of souls?

Do I study people not yet regenerated in Christ Jesus (2Cor 5:17)? Do I learn of their needs in order to bring them to Christ through prayer and action? Do I invite the Holy Spirit to show them Christ through me and His Word? Is my heart broken for those heading for hell? Do I yearn to make Christ known? v.20  

            I am Soooo grateful that You know me LORD!! I bask in Your Presence as I rest in You! Nothing is sweeter or more medicinal than You!! I treasure Your Word and Holy Spirit. Continue to show me Yourself and how You can live through me more and more! Please reveal Yourself to those who are deceived (Matthew 7:23). Please reveal to me any harbored resentment or unforgiveness so that I can embrace more people with Your unconditional Love as Joseph did. Show me my blind spots of sin so I can hate them as You do, turn away from them, and live without shame, standing firm without fear and being secure with hope. (Job 11:15-18) Give me Your heart of compassion for those perishing so when my life is done, my joyous reunion with You in heaven will be to Your Glory alone!! Matthew 25:14-30

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under Genesis, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans