Tag Archives: path

Nehemiah 10-12; John 18; Psalm 1

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked. (John 18:4, NLT)

These were not friends arriving for a tea or a wayward group looking for directions. The “them” in this passage is a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards accompanied by Judas to arrest Jesus. Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. And everything in me stirs to his acceptance and strength and courage. He walks into his purpose (and he always has).

His character can speak for him.

19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. 21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.”

22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?” (John 18:19-23, NLT, emphasis added)

He is smacked by a guard for the offense of truth.

33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.

34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.

38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. (John 18:33-38a, NLT, emphasis added)

The reading in Nehemiah tells of people who recommit themselves to following the Law of God–and I appreciate their telling of what they will do and how it will look.

In John 18, I think long on Jesus, His purpose, His kingdom and truth.

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!
    They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
    Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
    but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. (Psalm 1, NLT)

I attended a choir performance this week. I sat in the section just behind the choir reserved seats. After their special performance, they returned to these seats, and when the rest of the congregation joined in song, I had what felt like a rich privilege to be close to the choir–their voices strong, melodious, ringing out so that my own voice rose to meet theirs, without reserve. It was beautiful, meaningful, joyful worship.

The Lord shows me how to worship too–honoring truth and standing for values even in the midst of accusation, condemnation, aggression. It doesn’t seem as lovely as a song, but my God sees with Kingdom eyes. He sees fruit in seasons of heartache. He watches over the path of the godly.

Lord God, I’m thankful for your character, your example and your sacrifice. I’m thankful for your guidance, your promises and the truth. Thank you for seeing worship in the lovely and unlovely. I keep my eyes on you and look to your kingdom.

Courtney (66books365)

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Lev. 4; Ps. 1,2; Prov. 19; Col. 2

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21

 

We’ve often heard of a “double-minded man,” well lately I’ve been walking around feeling like a “quadruple-minded woman.”  I know that sounds tongue-in-cheek, but I felt like one minute I wanted to go left and the next, right.  Then a few minutes later, I wanted to go sideways, then slantways.  I could find “comfort” in my decision, but only for a little while.  It wasn’t the peace of the Lord at all.

 

One evening, when I couldn’t sleep, because being a quadruple-minded woman keeps the mind fully active, I hung out with God and laid out all the cards and asked Him to show me which way I was really supposed to go.  He revealed to me that I had “made plans in my heart” and those plans seemed right to me, but were not His plans for me.  He revealed to me that I had married myself to those original plans and when they didn’t come to pass as I thought they would, I was devastated.  He said that as a result, I was in a period of mourning, as a person would the loss of something very important and precious to them.  He said that my focus needed to be on Him and that He’d show me His path for me.

 

Psalm 1:6 says, “For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside of God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to naught).  Even though I’ve seen God’s vision for me, I was no longer on His path to get me there.  I don’t want my way to end in ruin.  I want God’s plan, purpose, & vision for my life.  God, I want you and all that you have for me.  Father, forgive me for each time I’ve stepped outside of your plans for my life, thinking that my way is best, because it seem right.  Help me to walk closer with you that I will always be attentive to your Word and follow more closely to your path.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

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Micah 4-5, Acts 21:18-40

And it will come about in the last days

That the mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established….

That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”

Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of his god,
As for us, we will walk
In the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.
 

“But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord,
And they do not understand His purpose;
Micah 4:1-2, 5, 12
 

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2
 

After saluting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.  And upon hearing it, they adored and exalted and praised and thanked God. Acts 21:19-20

Though Paul won many for Christ, the Jews disagreed so vehemently with his teaching that they threatened his life. Paul knew that he had to stand up for His Lord, regardless of what others did or who they chose to follow.

Very recently, I felt angry toward a politician over legislation I disagreed with. After listening to him speak, my anger subsided, though the difference in opinion remains. We each continue to go our own way.

I wonder about our walks. Are we learning from God’s teachings? Or do we fail to understand God’s purposes and just delude ourselves about our choices?

Jesus came forth from Bethlehem to set us free from the law. I still struggle. My heart and my head oppose one another all the time. I don’t want to act like a Pharisee, but I don’t want to behave like a pagan either.

Does anyone ever really understand God’s plans and purposes?

Many of the issues we have to vote on in November directly relate to Gods word. Whose path are we going to take?

yicareggie

 

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Isaiah 23,24,25; Ephesians 5:17-23

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. ~ Ephesians 5:17

 

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a song that basically said without knowing God’s plan and without His help, I will go when I need to stay and stay when I need to go.  That’s where we are—my husband and I—right now.  We are following a path, one that we feel we should stay on, as all other doors are closed to us, right now.  But the prayer in my heart, my deepest desire, is to understand the Lord’s will, so that I may follow it and be in it.  When I say “understand,” I don’t mean that I need Him to answer me each time I ask, “why.”  I guess to a certain degree, I want insight into this path, but mostly so I make sure I’m on the right road, going the right direction, for the right amount of time.

 

Father, today my prayer is that you would help me to be wise in the understanding of your will.  I do not want to be known as foolish, but as wise concerning your desires for me.  Father, above all else, my desire is to follow where you want me to go—to follow you.  Please continue to show me the way, that I may follow you all the days of my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

HeatherPotts5

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