Tag Archives: need

Leviticus 16; Psalm 19; Proverbs 30; 1 Timothy 1

Sometimes when I concentrate so much on my friendship with God, I forget I am made holy only through the blood of Jesus.  For God is a holy God and for the people in the New Testament and in the Old Testament who forgot that, died.

The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the Lord and died. – Leviticus 16:1 NRSV

This Old Testament example must have made Aaron scared to even enter the tabernacle to serve God.  He had to come to a place where he understood that holiness was given to him in order for him to serve, but it did not cancel his sin.

I hear people say that we do not need the Old Testament anymore – but look at the words they are missing that declare God’s Word…

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. – Psalm 19:7-9 NRSV

The Scriptures are just that – holy – of more benefit to me than the air I breathe.  I need God’s Word to see His holiness, to see a way out of my sin.  It provides a direction that is true – a fountain of lasting hopes.  By them I discover my need for a Saviour.

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. – Proverbs 30:5  NRSV

I found this promise is echoed in the New Testament too – His Word is holy, His commandment is holy and just and good.

This is really important to me – I know that Jesus is the Word – and in Jesus I have hope.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope – 1 Timothy 1:1  NRSV

The Old Testament still wraps it up nicely – I am Holy, and besides me there is no saviour.

Lord God, Father, You are holy, You are true.  Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to be a Saviour to all who want to follow You.  May Your Word continue to strengthen me, guide me, lead me and may I yield to You in all that You ask of me.  I love You – thank you for seeing no sin in me because of Jesus and for accepting me into Your presence to be loved and to love You right back.  I want to be holy as You are holy.

evanlaar

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Filed under 1 Timothy, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms, Uncategorized

Genesis 27-28; Matthew 9:18-38

…a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples…When the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. (verses 18-19; 25)

…a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. (verses 20-22)

…two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David”…and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened… (verses 27-30)

Matthew 9:18-30

I believe that the stories in the gospels are only tiny glimpses of all the miracles that actually took place during Jesus’ life. And yet, the testimonies that were written down for history stand out not necessarily because they were ‘bigger’ miracles than any other wonders He performed, but because these people were willing to do whatever it took to get what they needed, regardless of how other people might judge them.

A powerful man, a ruler who would have typically sent a servant to do his bidding, humbled himself before Jesus believing for his daughter’s life. An ‘unclean’ woman, one who bled for 12 years reached out, grabbed Jesus’ clothes trusting that a simple touch would heal her. Two blind men cried out, loud voices shouting relentlessly for mercy, contending for sight.

Need motivates a willing-to-do-anything attitude; it offers a dose of faith, an ounce of hope. It bolstered boldness and gave these individuals courage to approach the Throne of Grace set before them. God’s response was to choose these people, to say ‘YES’ to their needs. He blessed them, healed infirmities, and redeemed their lives.

But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 3Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing…” Genesis 27:35-36

Generations before, Jacob also acted out audaciously. Though his dealings with Esau are typically viewed as cunning and dishonest, presented opportunities enabled him to receive inheritance and blessing essential to the fulfillment of his destiny. And rather than chide him for his deceit, God’s response was to show himself to Jacob in a dream. God chose to re-establish the covenant He first made with Abraham. God promised Jacob the land and spoke increase over his offspring. God assured Jacob that through him (by Christ’s eternal blood sacrifice), all of the families of the earth would be blessed.

And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:12-15

I look at my own life and I can honestly say that my experience of relationship with Him is most transformed when I seek the person of Christ with desperation. Those times when I come boldly before Him, I receive the grace and mercy I need most in all circumstances.

When I take time to put my focus directly on Him, when I stop multi-tasking God and single-mindedly pursue His heart, He blesses me abundantly. When I shower Him with gratitude, praise, and worship, He gives me beauty for ashes and replaces my sadness with joy. When I do whatever it takes to have more of Him, He strengthens me in times of weakness, He heals my infirmities; He liberates me from bondage and offers me true freedom in Him.

Yesappa, Thank You for saying ‘Yes’ to me, for meeting me wherever I am, whether I come to you every day or I come to you in the midst of juggling responsibilities. I ask for an extra measure of boldness in approaching Your throne, as a daughter and as a co-heir. Help me carve out more time to seek Your face, to focus solely on You without distractions. Increase intimacy in our relationship and make all our time together quality time that touches Your heart and does miracles in mine. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

1 Chronicles 16; Psalms 42, 44; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

Remembrance

Hope

Need

Example

1 Chronicles 16–David’s song–full of praise and remembrance of what God has done. And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Psalm 42–not so jubilant. Panting, yearning, craving, breaking–the psalmist is deeply discouraged. But his message and resolution speaks last, “Hope.”

Psalm 44–God is praised; he gets the credit. But the psalmist is confused: We’ve praised you all day long, but now you’ve tossed us aside; we are butchered, mocked, humiliated.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path.

1 Corinthians 10

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago […] These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 1 Corinthians 10:1,11 NLT.

I see themes of life: celebration, adoration. Depression, despair. Confusion, wondering. Hope. And while our clothes and lifestyles are unique bookends to time, we seem rather the same at heart–those wilderness wanderers and us.

I can look around and name friends who are celebrating, friends who are mourning and depressed, friends who wonder and wander–and if I look at 2012 through a lens of antiquity, isn’t it true of believers today:

And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 1 Corinthians 10:17

Maybe the biggest changes can happen not in the span of centuries, but in the vapor years of a lifetime–the reversal of heart disease from hardened to tender–if we’re lucky. Paul writes to the believers in Corinth of the example of the past. And how blessed am I to hold their stories in my hands and learn from them. This bible, a book of remembrance; a book of hope; a book of need; a book of example.

Thank you, God.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Numbers 6; Psalms 40,41; Song of Songs 4; Hebrews 4

When a friend is hurting and hunkering under the weight of her decisions, it’s easy to feel helpless. Words of comfort and compassion can seem an empty response to her “why?” How do you say, “Give it to God” to someone who doesn’t know him? When she would blame him for an addiction, a heartache, and punishment–it’s hard to say how he loves. She doesn’t feel loved.

She tells me she can ask me, but hopes I won’t take offense–she’s not sure she can buy into this God idea or this book written by men … she resents he made the very drug that holds her prisoner … that she can’t go to him because her life is out of control and all she can do is ask, ask, ask. She doesn’t want to be so needy.

In Psalm 40, I read of David, and I read of God. A God who lifts out of despair and mud and mire; who sets feet on solid ground and steadies to walk along; who gives a new song. And while it sounds so pretty and poetic, these are more than just words. His wonders and plans, too numerous to list, serve as constant witness (of who he is, of what he can do) to our needy hearts.

Hebrews 4 and the rest for those who believe, the rest that is since the creation of the world. Of Jesus, whom we can approach in confidence (boldly) so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.

And I think of what I have in Christ. And I want that for her too.

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7b (NIV)

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms