Tag Archives: rest

2 Chronicles 22-23; 2 Kings 11; Psalm 131; Matthew 8

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid?You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:25&26 NLT

My pastor was speaking about rest this past Sunday. How timely, after reading these verses about Jesus sleeping during the storm. The disciples went to Jesus out of fear and not faith. They were in panic mode, instead of believing. How many times is this me? More often than I’d like to admit. In Matthew and in my everyday life, Jesus is teaching me to find rest in the storm. So that I can move forward from a refreshed soul who has been in His presence. And not let worry and fear dim my perspective. This is something that I have to give to Him daily. One place that I can get bogged down is seeking the approval of others. Sometimes my judgment can get clouded when I am not pursing him. I wonder if this is how Ahaziah’s mother fell into the trap of wrongly influencing her son.

Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done. They even became his advisers after the death of his father, and they led him to ruin.” 2 Chronicles 22:3&4 NLT

As a mother I pray for Godly influences in my children’s life. I desire for them to seek after Jesus with all their heart. I can imagine that Jehosphat was saddened by his grandson’s sin. I can picture him on his knees praying for his family. Burdened by their hardened hearts. It gives me hope of how one person’s faith can change a legacy and turn it around. Even though it didn’t happen to Jehosphat’s family, Ahaziah was still given a proper burial. He was respected because of who his grandfather was. It had nothing to do of his own ability. He had messed up and made poor chooses. But, grace was given.

Then Jehu’s men searched for Ahaziah, and they found him hiding in the city of Samaria, They brought him to Jehu, who killed him. Ahaziah was given a decent burial because the people said, “He was the grandson of Jehosphat-a man who sought after the Lord with all his heart.” But none of the surviving members of Ahaziah’s family was capable of ruling the kingdom.” 2 Chronicles 22:9 NLT

Dear Father, I pray that I would find true peace in your presence. That I would take time to be still before you and listen to your voice about all others. Amen.

Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord-now and always.” Psalm 131:1-3 NLT

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Kings, 66 Books, Matthew, Psalms

Leviticus 8-11; Psalm 110; Hebrews 4

Set apart and holy.

10 You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common, between what is ceremonially unclean and what is clean. Leviticus 10:10, NLT.

You are arrayed in holy garments,
    and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew. Psalm 110:3b, NLT.

Refreshed and rested.

But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
    He will be victorious. Psalm 110:7, NLT

For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said,

“In my anger I took an oath:
    ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’”

even though this rest has been ready since he made the world. Hebrews 4:2-3, NLT

A priesthood.

The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
    “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:4, NLT

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:14-15, NLT

A God that it’s all about.

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Hebrews 4:13, NLT

16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16, NLT

Sweet Jesus on every page of this reading. These words like worship–my heart stirs. Quiet morning, pre-dawn, refreshed and rested in His presence.

So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:

“Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7, NLT.

Thankful for Today.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Jeremiah 46-48; Hebrews 4

I live in a city with a naval air base about 5 miles away. The background noise of jets soaring above and rescue vehicle sirens are a continual reminder that sin is at work: wars are all too real and accidents happen. The good news is that it’s just about a half mile walk down to the ocean where I can sit and wonder.  The noise dissolves and time seems to stop beside the water. Every day the ocean is the same but new. Beauty unfolds in a thousand ways large and small. The noise of life in a broken world fades.  My mind quiets and I BEHOLD the goodness of God as showcased in Creation.

Creation is a mere reflection of God’s glory, whereas, Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:3There’s no need to walk down to the water’s edge to discover this truth. To spend time with Jesus, dwelling on the riches and beauty of his love is to worship God and enter into the Sabbath rest the writer of Hebrews describes:

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God: for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10

God knows that our lives are busy, but to quote the old Finnish proverb, “God didn’t invent hurry.” He commands us to stop long enough embrace the Sabbath, and rest in the wonder of Jesus. It’s God’s job, not ours to make the world go around. Stopping long enough to notice his hand at work, allows him to breathe new life into us.

Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have chosen hurriedness and distraction over your Sabbath rest. Help me to stop long enough to wonder at your beauty and rest in your love.  Amen

klueh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn5ken3RJBo

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2 Chronicles 10-12; John 13:18-38

There are times when I look at the day ahead of me like a huge mountain to climb. Like the pile of laundry on my bed or the calendar filling up with end of the school year activities. I tend to focus on the problems and busyness, waiting to get some rest and relief once it is all over. I would like to think that I always look at these times as an opportunity for God to work in my weakness. Like this excerpt says, I find myself trying to push through… “When we come into contact with stress, our natural response is to push through. We don’t want to be in need or fail to meet others expectations, especially our own, we beat ourselves up for not trusting God. But, God offers us a different response. Rest, kindness, comfort. Instead of being harder on us Jesus whispers- Come to me, all those who are weary and heavy- laden and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28 (When You Need Rest and Space for You, by Bonnie Gray).

Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you. And now, whereas my father laid on a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke.” 2 Chronicles 10:4,11 ESV

Sometimes my weight is from pride and bitterness that I am holding onto. When it’s really in the giving away.  The pouring out of myself after I have let God pour in, that my load is lightened.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34 ESV

Thank you Jesus that You know what I need every day. That you don’t come expecting things from me. Instead You want me to come to You for rest. Thank you for this gift that restores my soul.

Amy(amyctanner)

 

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Numbers 7; Mark 4:21-41

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:37-40

More often than I’d like to admit, when in the midst of a crisis my faith wanes. Like the disciples, I become fearful, overwhelmed, and full of anxiety. I begin to feel hopeless. I know in the deep recesses of my brain that Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me, but I can’t always see the calm through the storm. I begin believing the lies of the enemy more than I trust Christ in me. It breaks in over me and negative circumstances fill up my boat like water. I feel like I might drown in the turmoil of the squall; I wonder how I will survive.

My current storm is one I think most mothers (and fathers) experience: the chaotic, all-consuming task of parenting small children while juggling life. I am stress out and exhausted, physically and emotionally.

On top of that, I am struggling with finding ways to keep my children occupied so that I can manage my house, and struggling to keep the to-do list small enough so I can focus on my kids. I am fraught with the frustrations of conquering one task only to find three more tasks have taken its place. I am still shocked at how quickly the girls can demolish a room – laundry I spent the morning folding but didn’t have a chance to get put away strewn across the bedroom , toys littering the play room floor, yet another wall covered in crayon mural (how did she get the crayons off the top shelf anyway!?)…Not to mention the fighting, the biting, the temper tantrums at full blast on and off all day long, the bed time resistance, the climbing all over mommy…Mommy…MOMMY!

This storm frequently feels like more than I can handle. It seems too big and some days, I am slow to remember that God is with me in the boat. I try to manage things by myself, but I am quickly overcome. I don’t feel peace. I don’t experience joy. I struggle to stay afloat. I am terrified. I am anxious. I am angry. I am impatient. I lose control and yell. “Mean mommy” rears her ugly head, producing fear and confusion, and in turn, my behavior becomes a storm for my children.

At times, when I finally do ask Jesus for help, I ask out of fear – “Don’t you care that I am overwhelmed by this storm? Don’t you care that I am afraid of drowning in it? Don’t you see I need help?”

Of course He cares. Of course He sees. He calms the storm and I am given a (temporary) breather.

However, I am learning that when I ask Him for help out of a place of faith, even when I am afraid, the storm is calmed and peace is restored in my home, and also in in my heart. He protects me. He gives me strength. He gives me wisdom. He shows me the best path to take. His love casts out my fear and I am able to lay my head in the cushion of His shoulder and rest, though other storms may come.

 Yesappa, I know you’re always there. Thank You for being with me in the midst of the storms I experience in life. Thank You for casting out fear and replacing anxiety with peace that surpasses understanding. Help me hold onto faith even when I am feeling overwhelmed. Help me trust You in all circumstances. 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, Mark, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament

Gen 33-35; Matt 11

I was browsing through an antique mall one day with a friend. While looking through all the hidden treasures we came across a wooden yoke. We both thought about how great of a visual reminder it would be to have hanging on our wall. After that day this verse kept showing up in what seemed like everything I read.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:29&30 NKJV

How many times do I try to wear other yokes? Yokes of unbelief, fear, anxiety, doubt…that only turn into bondage. But, Jesus is telling me that His yoke is freeing…

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG

In my own humanness I tend to fall back into those other yokes and try to carry them around instead. That’s why I need to have those visual reminders like Jacob did….

God spoke to Jacob: “Go back to Bethel. Stay there and build an altar to the God who revealed himself to you when you were running for your life from your brother Esau.” Jacob told his family and all those who lived with him, “Throw out all the alien gods which you have, take a good bath and put on clean clothes, we’re going to Bethel. I’m going to build an altar there to God who answered me when I was in trouble and has stuck with me everywhere since…He built an altar there and named it El-Bethel (God-of-Bethel) because that’s where God revealed himself to him when he was running from his brother.” Genesis 35:1-3 & 6-7 MSG

And that’s how it happened that Jacob arrived all in one piece in Shechem in the land of Canaan – all the way from Paddan Aram. He camped near the city. He bought the land where he pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, the father of Schem. He paid a hundred silver coins for it. Then he built an altar there and named it El-Elohe-Isreal (Mighty is the God of Israel).” Genesis 33:18-20 MSG

God revealed himself once again to Jacob, after he had come back from Paddan Aram and blessed him: “Your name is Jacob (Heel); but that’s your name no longer. From now on your name is Israel (God-Wrestler).” Genesis 35:9-10 MSG

As I sit here typing, the visuals are all around me. The bible verses taped to the wall, the journal in my hand and my word for the year, HOPE. Thank you Father that You are my Hope and that if I cling to You, the heaviness will fade away. In the quiet I hear You reminding me how desperately I need You.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81, 82; Isaiah 29; 3 John 1

The Lord says:

“These people worship me with their mouths,

and honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is based on

nothing but human rules.

So I will continue to amaze these people

by doing more and more miracles.

Their wise men will lose their wisdom;

their wise men will not be able to understand.” Isaiah 29:13-14 (NCV)

Their worship is based on nothing but human rules. (NCV)

They act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it. (MSG)

Their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote. (NLT)

Their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning]. (AMP)

Their ‘fear of me’ is just a mitzvah – [a good deed performed out of religious duty] – of human origin. (CJB)

Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized. (GNT)

Their worship of Me consists of man-made traditions learned by rote; it is a meaningless sham. (VOICE)

I recently had a conversation with a friend of the family about faith. He told me that he hates religion. Being a nonbeliever, I think he was trying to bait me, hoping I would get offended by his comments, so he could prove that Christians (or at least me) are hypocrites.

My response: I hate religion too. (I think he was a little shocked, never expecting such words to come from the mouth of a missionary).

To make myself clear…I LOVE Jesus. Being in relationship with a Heavenly Father, a Holy Trinity who loves me with an everlasting love is life-altering. My faith in Him gives me the ability to have compassion for the people society has rejected deeming them unworthy with no more value than heaped trash. My belief in Him has allowed me to witness miraculous transformations and partake in the changing of lives, of destinies.

I decided at the beginning of my journey with God that it could never be about “Christianese” and being holier-than-thou. I want ‘real’ and ‘relevant’ instead of artificial rituals. I need the Word of God to come alive, not just be lifeless sentences in an ancient book. I desire a five senses, experiential knowledge of the Savior who gave His life for me. I crave relationship over religiosity, freedom opposed to a ball-and-chain.

If I am going to follow Jesus it has to be a full-on commitment rooted in Him, one where He is seamlessly integrated into my life from morning to night: When I sit. When I walk. When I push my daughters on swings or run to stop my oldest from running into the street. When I lie down. When I rise. When I am bleary eyed and exhausted. When I am washing dishes and folding mounds of laundry. When life is a cake walk. And, when it is a scary, chaotic mess.

My commitment to worship my King originates from my heart, from the created to the Creator. It is initiated by love and longing, not by unattainable rules created by fear, overcomplicated regulations created by man to foster guilt and condemnation.

And so, I choose to worship with adoration Father, who offers me an easy yoke and a light burden. I choose to worship with reverence Son, who beckons me to come and grants rest. I choose to worship with devotion Holy Spirit who gives helps me and produces the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life. (Matthew 11:28-30; John 14:16-17; Galatians 5:22-23).

Yesappa, help me to never turn to rules and regulations, to traditions instead of to You. Help my worship be true, and worthy of Your Glory. Help my heart stay close to Yours; write my name on Your palm and mark me with Your seal upon my forehead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 3 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms