Tag Archives: reputation

2 Kings 9-10; 2 Chronicles 21; 1 Thessalonians 1

A young prophet was given instructions for an important task–to deliver a message and run (for his life!).

So Jehu left the others and went into the house. Then the young prophet poured the oil over Jehu’s head and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anoint you king over the Lord’s people, Israel. You are to destroy the family of Ahab, your master. In this way, I will avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord’s servants who were killed by Jezebel. The entire family of Ahab must be wiped out. I will destroy every one of his male descendants, slave and free alike, anywhere in Israel. I will destroy the family of Ahab as I destroyed the families of Jeroboam son of Nebat and of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 Dogs will eat Ahab’s wife Jezebel at the plot of land in Jezreel, and no one will bury her.” Then the young prophet opened the door and ran (2 Kings 9:6-10, NLT).

Jehu was tasked with an important role the Lord had appointed, and to fulfill the words the Lord commanded, an instrument in the Lord’s vengeance. The suspense builds as troops approach.

Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out in their chariots to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. 22 King Joram demanded, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”

Jehu replied, “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us? (2 Kings 9:21-22, NLT, emphasis mine)”

Jehu was obedient to the Lord’s command as I read of the ensuing bloodbath and destruction. However:

28 In this way, Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel. 29 He did not, however, destroy the gold calves at Bethel and Dan, with which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin.

30 Nonetheless the Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit (2 Kings 10:28-31, NLT).

Destroying the gold calves would have been the easiest of all the things he had to do. Why did he destroy every trace of Baal worship but not these? How did he justify salvaging the golden calves? Was it easier to see idolatry in someone else than it was to recognize it in himself? It seems possible that one can love and serve the Lord, but not with all his heart. Oh, how can there be peace as long as idolatry is around?

Jehu had a story of purpose and might, a story punctuated with a pivotal however. In 2 Chronicles 21, Jehoram is designated successor king because he’s the oldest, kills off his brothers and marries one of Ahab’s daughters. He’s also known for doing evil in the Lord’s sight. When Jehoram dies a miserable death, no one mourns him and he is not buried in the royal cemetery. Jehoram’s story speaks of his heart, focus and desire.

In 1 Thessalonians 1, Paul writes of a people’s reputation:

And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thessalonians 1:8-9, NLT).

Not only did they turn away from idols to serve the living and true God, but they kept their focus on His kingdom and eagerly awaited his return.

Lord, show me places of my heart that I haven’t given you. Remind me when my focus strays.

Courtney (66books365)

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Ezekiel 10-12; Psalm 83; John 4

I recently got results from a DNA ancestry/health test I took. I was unprepared for the depth of feelings I’d feel as I looked at the results and saw a profile of my ancestry–such a gasp of wonder and joy, a glimpse into a past. It was really exciting, and more than that, I felt a connection and belonging to a greater history. There were fun findings–that I’m likely to drink more caffeine than average (true) and that I am likely to be more afraid of heights than others (also true). And it fell short in a couple of places suggesting that I don’t have a widow’s peak (I do), and that I’m likely to dislike cilantro (I buy it weekly–love!).

Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. They talk, and he tells her things about herself she already knew–things about her choices and past. It’s stuff the people in her life might know, that she might even be known for, but that a stranger wouldn’t know. Instead of feeling shame or embarrassment or apathy, she has a kind of wonder, and perhaps relief.

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” (John 4:39, NLT, emphasis added)

She comes to the well every day to fill a very real need (and perhaps much of her life was spent trying to fill a need for acceptance, provision, love, belonging, purpose, fulfillment), and he promises her an everlasting satisfaction. Living water.

I think of my ancestors and I want to know more–their names, their stories, and what they were searching for. What were they leaving, and what were they pursuing that moved a lineage from place to place, and finally here to my doorstep in the woods?

Father God, you will stop at nothing. No distance. No desperation. You already know I love cilantro and coffee. You know the depth of my weaknesses. You know my struggles and my strengths. You know every thought I’ve ever had, every word I’ve ever spoken, and every feeling I’ve ever felt (even the ones I try to keep from myself)–and you don’t flinch. You don’t turn away. You meet me in the place of my need, and I feel like you’re telling me, ‘You can keep coming back to (this place) looking for (understanding, satisfaction, answers, fulfillment, love), but even if it meets your need today, you’ll be back here again tomorrow. I can meet that need once and for all time so that you don’t need to keep returning to (a place) that can’t (heal you).” Lord, I believe you because … you know everything about me, you keep your promises, you are able.

Courtney (66books365)

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Proverbs 19-20; 2 Corinthians 3

I started the new school year’s teaching gig yesterday: a class of 9th and 10th graders, medieval history and literature. One of the first things I did was administer a test on what they remembered from Chapter One’s reading assignment, but on the flip side of the paper was a get-to-know-you questionnaire. I’ve asked these questions in other classes too: using one word, how would you describe yourself, how would your friends describe you, how would your mom describe you, how would you like to be known?

I’m not sure that people really give this tremendous thought, but we’ll all be known for something.

Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, NLT.

What kind of mark does my life leave upon another’s heart?

I don’t ask myself this question to number my shortcomings, but to number my days.

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. Proverbs 20:11, NLT.

Numbering my days to live intentionally, wholeheartedly.

Ears to hear and eyes to see, both are gifts from the Lord. Proverbs 20:12, NLT.

Today’s reading is filled with insight on mockers, chattering gossips, the lazy, the fools, a quarrelsome wife and her dripping nagging … as well as wisdom, self-control, and friendship.

Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? Proverbs 20:6, NLT.

Chapter One’s history reading was a gripping account of the battle at Milvian Bridge, and Constantine left an impression with readers, all of us using words to describe him–because we’ll all be remembered in some way … whether in a history book or in a heart.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NLT.

Lord, may I always keep my eyes fixed on you.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Samuel 13, 2 Corinthians 6, Ezekiel 20, Psalm 66, Psalm 67

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

             Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles”  Ezekiel 20:22

 Read at – www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Sam.%2013;%202%20Cor.%206;%20Ezek.20;%20Ps.66,67&version=NKJV

2 Samuel 13             Horrific tale: Lust, bad advice, rape, shame, desolation, hate, revenge, murder, broken relationships, death. Where is the justice? Where is the reconciliation, peace and healing in this chapter? There is none because it’s not an episode from TV Land. The Bible is Real Life. Imperfect people: imperfect dad, sons and brothers and a Perfect God. People severely flawed by their sin nature in need of God the Savior. 

“Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but Me.” Isaiah 45:21

            “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.“ James 1:14-15              ~~       Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:8

The remedy? >>  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Romans 7:24-25

                    The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:26-27, Romans 7:14- Romans 8

2 Corinthians 6                   Lord Jesus, Your commands are clear – I am to turn away from my own natural affections for the pursuit of Yours

                      How often do I yoke in agreement with people who do not know, love or obey You? People who unknowingly live according to idols of “harmless pleasure” of spiritual death. I restrict myself from Your limitless Joy, Peace, Wisdom and Hope whenever I do!! You contend with me: “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.” Thank You for that reminder!

                    “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “ I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 

            The day was clear and bright. The people were in the bar of smoke and noise. You spoke softly and clearly to me to go out. I came out into the bright sunshine and smiled! No more gossip in my ears or infidelity in my eyes. Just freedom to receive Your overt love and healing! What relief and joy filled my being! Thank You Jesus!

Ezekiel 20                 “Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles …  Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord GOD.   Ezekiel 20:22,44

                     Oh the incessant rebellion of God’s people! A repeated cycle: “the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; but they profaned My Sabbaths.” Ezekiel 20:21

              Your faithfulness abounds limitlessly!! You are God “Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number.” Job 5:9

                       You planned and did change history, proclaiming it ahead of time! “I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers.” Ezekiel 20:41-42 You have already accomplished this Holy One! Israel is a nation, drawn from countries all over the world! (Isaiah 66:8, 1948, 1967)

            Thank You for Your Word, Lord God. It increases my trust in You by seeing You through the ages of history onto the annals of the future. Your steadfast and good character makes me KNOW I can depend on You for my every good desire and need. You compel me to adhere to Your Word and submit to Your Holy Spirit for the Joy of my life and the soundness of my heart and mind. Thank You Father for adopting me to be Your child by the Blood of YourSson Jesus. I am grateful and feel indebted to love You with all of me.     (John 1:12-14; John 3:3-6; John 3:15-18; Ephesians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-21; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 3:1)

Psalm 66 and Psalm 67               

Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!   How awesome are Your works!  Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
         
Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.
Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard, For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.

                     The theme is consistent throughout these readings! Lord God, You are Sovereign and Good. Your Word stands true timelessly. I rejoice with You, Lord God, for Your victory over all. Continue to display Your character and glory so that all people throughout the earth will repent, turning to worship You. Only then are they saved from permanent, torturous destruction in hell. I was not worthy of Your changing me, and I am grateful that You continue to reach out to all, inviting them to be changed by You! Matthew 11:28-30; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 14:6 

I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows,
Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.
I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. Psalm 66

For You shall judge the people righteously, And govern the nations on earth. 
God shall bless us, And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him. Psalm 67

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized