Tag Archives: relationship with God

Ezekiel 7-9; John 3

As a young teenager I found reading parts of the Old Testament rather exciting at times, confusing some of the times, and many times the dots just did not seem to connect. Thankfully, as I continued to read, and engage in a local church, it was helpful to get some perspective on certain stories and how the connection between the Old and New Testament narrative really made a difference in my understanding of God’s relationship with me.

Peace has been a measuring stick for success in many of the Old Testament stories.  When there was no peace, you could count on something being wrong in characters relationship with God.  I hold the same yard stick in my life.  If peace is missing in any decision that I make, I know I need to square things up with God or step away from the activity where I find peace missing. I cannot imagine what it will be like in the end times when the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth and people will be looking for God but cannot find Him.  The book of Revelation says that they would rather have the mountains and rocks fall on them instead of living life without God’s love.

 You will be terrified and will desperately look for peace—but there will be no peace. – Ezekiel 7:25  CEV

The story I am most impressed upon, in keeping a right relationship with God, is where the people of Israel are complaining, once again, and God allows poisonous snakes to come into camp to kill them. I think the story was one of awe and wonder that God had just about had enough of all this complaining.  Could He ever run out of patience with me? Then I keep reading the story in Numbers 21.4-9 and it ends with an amazing gift from God once the people repented. A bronze snake is made, put on a pole, lifted up, and every person bitten were healed if they looked at the snake and every person looking at the bronze snake were not bitten. In other words, if you looked at the bronze snake, you did not die.  What a story!

Then to see that this was not just a story, but a game plan God had in mind with Jesus, I am still blown away today.  Here is God, trying to explain exactly what He means by sending Jesus to the cross, and He has created the perfect illustration from a real life experience in the Old Testament. I could not miss this plan of salvation even if I tried.

And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. – John 3:14  CEV

That is how much He wants to save me from my sin, my rebelliousness, my desire to walk away from Him.

Lord, what can I say of Your desire to create peace in my heart by having such a loving relationship with You. Thank You!

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezekiel, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Jeremiah 1-4; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 9

I love the promises that God gives us – promises to protect, and keep us safe.

I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid. – Jeremiah 1:8  CEV

Those were what I counted on in the newness of my relationship with Him.  I needed those to survive, to transition, to be changed by the Holy Spirit to become what He purposed me to be.

When you were my young bride,
you loved me
and followed me
through the barren desert. – Jeremiah 2:2  CEV

Somewhere along the way, there are those friends of mine who have found that the narrow path has lost its flavour.  The joys of this world, the pleasures, somehow made us forget that God was blessings us. We forgot that these things were not for us to absorb and keep, but to give away to others who had less than we did. Unfortunately, I have met many of these individuals personally.  I wish I could say that in my desire to disciple them back into a relationship with God, I could not.  Their story is very much like the world Jeremiah was speaking of.

Your shoes are worn out,
and your throat is parched
from running here and there
to worship foreign gods.
“Stop!” I shouted,
but you replied, “No!
I love those gods too much.” You are so clever
at finding lovers
that you could give lessons
to a prostitute. You have more gods
than a prostitute has lovers. You act like a prostitute
when you try to win back your lovers. – Jeremiah 2:25,33;3:1;4:30  CEV

I was taught in my first year of ministry that one of the best ways to avoid the temptation of pleasure was to give.

God loves people who love to give. – 2 Corinthians 9:7  CEV

While my walk with God is crazy, I can see one very common, reappearing theme in my life – I have always given what I have, away.  I know that it is not my salvation, but I also know that pleasure will not take me off the narrow path – I just do not give it a chance.  Will my friends ever find their way back to God? Yes, I will be praying for them as will others. When God steps in and grabs their attention, then those that love them will walk alongside of them.  The Lord, who never leaves us or forsakes us, will be there alongside too.

The Lord will save you
from all of your sins. – Psalm 130:8  CEV

Father, it must hurt You so much when we deliberate leave the palm of Your hand and go elsewhere to find whatever it is that we think we need or want. Forgive me for even thinking of it sometimes. Keep my feet steady, may I always find that my trust is in You alone. Walk with my friends who are struggling so much.  They need You. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

 

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized