Tag Archives: made new

Ezekiel 13-15; Psalm 136; John 5

What did he say?

Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!’ (Ezekiel 13:1-3, NLT)

What did the Lord say?

“Therefore, tell the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins. I, the Lord, will answer all those, both Israelites and foreigners, who reject me and set up idols in their hearts and so fall into sin, and who then come to a prophet asking for my advice. I will turn against such people and make a terrible example of them, eliminating them from among my people. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 14:6-8, NLT)

What did the Lord say?

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. (John 5:5-15, NLT, emphasis added)

When there’s so much to take in in the story, it’s easy to miss the message by considering the setting, interpreting a message, looking at the Pharisees. What did the Lord say? If I look past the descriptive sentences and focus on the dialogue, what did the Lord say? What if he said those words to me? Just these words: “Would you like to get well? Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk! Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Something even worse than being hindered and ineffective for 38 years. Something even worse than watching everyone else take action and rise victorious. Something even worse than blaming others, feeling abandoned, being stuck, or feeling self pity.

Lord, you’ve not been silent. You speak your word to people who may not want to hear or listen. This reading today (beyond what I’ve selected) tells me so much that you’ve said–about truth, accountability, error, sin, forgiveness, judgment, and more. You didn’t tell that man at Bethesda, “Ah, you’re a sinner so you’re just going to keep on sinning. It’s ok. Stay where you are.” You offered him a choice, told him to take action, and reminded him about who he is: NOW YOU ARE WELL. SO STOP SINNING. Oh, if I would just keep your words high above all the other distractions–a setting, a message, a body of people and their judgment. If I just kept your word as my focus–to choose you, to take action, to remember who I am in you. Could it be that simple? To lay down my excuses and my feelings, and just follow you to freedom and victory?

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Kings 4, 5; Ephesians 2; Ezekiel 35; Psalm 85

David couldn’t build the temple because he was always at war. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over his enemies. His son, Solomon, would experience  peace and prosperity in order to carry out the plan.

But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’ 1 Kings 5:4-5 NLT.

And even though Solomon was the direct son who would build a physical temple, I see Jesus in the words–a son who would raise a temple to honor God’s name.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the front line. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing the target. Inside my skin there is a turmoil, a commotion, a storm that stirs. I get hit by cross fire of devil and flesh and the fight in me rises, ugly. I sense the commander of a spiritual warfare; and I remember who I was without Jesus.

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 2:2 NLT.

When another’s words wound, I am strengthened by reminders (“Love is manifested in how we treat people, not in how they treat us.” Joyce Meyer Ministries; “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT).

Jesus raises something new. He is the foundation, the cornerstone. He is victor over sin.

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. (emphasis mine)

I try to wrap my mind around the thought: that kindness could turn one away from sin. And not force or fight or even silence. Saved by grace.

A Temple for the Lord

19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT.

Oh, God, I need you! Help me with this kindness/mercy/love idea. When someone pushes my buttons long enough, sometimes I want to push back. Thank you for reminders in the day–you play by different rules. Your fight is the good fight. When I look in the mirror, or even back at the day, will I see the reflection of my former self, or who I am in you?

Courtney (66books365)

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Gen. 32; Mark 3; Esther 8; Rom. 3

He makes things new.

These brothers at odds, and understandably so–one tricked his way into an inheritance. Their family divided. This is the start of a nation and people–though threaded thick with sin-theme (all of us). But God would make something new from it–something better. Jacob wrestles alone with God at night …

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” Genesis 32:28 NLT.

Made new.

A people on the verge of destruction–Haman’s plot sealed with a king’s signet ring. God uses Esther to bring about a different ending–and Mordecai writes words that empower and protect the Jews. There was great joy. A fate reversed, and hope–

made new.

Jesus on the Sabbath …

Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! Mark 3:1-5 NLT.

Restored. (Restored!)

Made new.

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. Romans 3:21-25 NLT.

Sinners, fallen short of the standard–declared righteous.

Made new.

Father God, when I wrestle with you, and you make me new. I hold out my hand to you, and you restore what is broken–even if others say you can’t (or shouldn’t). You make me new. Kindness undeserved, your mercy–thankfully received. My life in your hands, new joy (my fate reversed–from death to life!) and hope. Declared righteous, and yours.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans