Tag Archives: Revelation

Exodus 5; Luke 8; Job 22; I Corinthians 9

I’ve heard it said that God’s word is rhema; that is, “It is a word that signifies the action of utterance (my emphasis),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhema. Not superfluous, surface, or meaningless words. So I submit that neither can we listen passively; rather we should be active listeners expecting God’s word to bear fruit. It is usually easy, at least in America, to hear God’s word spoken, written, paraphrased, and even misquoted. Childhood songs like “Jesus Loves Me,” or “This Little Light of Mine,” are tunes familiar in many homes, daycare centers, and after-school programs. And though I take the words directly quoted from the Holy Bible to be true, I am not always likely to grasp the fullness or the revelation of those words because of familiarity, disassociation, or resistance.

Eliphaz lacked ears to hear God’s heart for loving one’s neighbor as he loves himself. Quoting Scripture, Eliphaz instead talked the entire time; accusing, pronouncing judgment, and mocking suffering Job, who sought to only speak truth. How often, I too have thought, “I’ve got this,” and used the Sword of the Spirit to slash away at imagined demons in the mist only to find wounded innocents in the clearing.

Jesus said in Luke 8:10, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’” I wonder how many of the over 800,000 words, reportedly printed in several versions of the Bible, (words are like seeds), have found root in my own soul’s soil. “The ones by the wayside hear, but the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts. The ones on the rock hear and receive with joy, but have no root and are tempted away. The ones among the thorns hear but the word is choked out by cares, riches, and pleasures of life. The ones who hear with a noble and good heart keep the word and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:11-15).” Without revelation, I stumble over chapters and verses that do not seem relevant to my modern-day world. Yet, how amazing to hear someone preach on the same passage of Scripture in a way that illuminates God’s will and exponentially increases my faith.

I think my worst error in experiencing the active voice of God is resistance. I may listen to, understand, and even set out on my calling from God. Then I behave much like Moses early in his mission. God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses heard these words – “Tell Pharaoh, ‘Let My people go.’” Yet when Pharaoh did not listen to Moses, but ordered more hard labor from the Israelites, Moses complained to God, “Why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.” Just a little resistant? Not a burning bush, not having Aaron by his side, not even given miraculous powers could stop Moses from complaining. I, too, find myself questioning why I struggle in the midst of doing God’s will.

I want to be like the Apostle Paul. He writes to the Corinthians that since he received God’s calling to be a minister of the gospel, he listened to God, and with overwhelming passion, ran “with certainty.”

Lord God, You are a God of great compassion. Forgive me for listening half-heartedly, for failing to seek Your deeper truth, and for resisting Your calling. More importantly, open my ears to hear Your voice and embolden me to do Your will. In Christ’s name.

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture quoted from The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Job 34-36; Revelation 20

11Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. Earth and sky ran away from him and disappeared. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And the book of life was opened. There were also other books opened. The dead were judged by what they had done, which was written in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. Each person was judged by what he had done. 14And Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 (ICB)
I’ve been enjoying cheesy Christmas romantic comedies the last couple of weeks. They’re light-hearted and they distract me from the difficulties in the day to day of life, despite being particularly predicable.
This week I watched  a new one, called “How Sarah Got Her Wings”. It was about a woman who died and had to come back to earth to get her name on the list to get into heaven. She was desperate not to got to hell, a place where the people look pathetic and forlorn like a row of wallflowers at a junior high school dance. So the manager of purgatory sent her back to earth to do something, anything to get her name on the list. It took her a few tries, but she finally figured out the way to get into heaven.
Though the movie was cute and enjoyable, I had to shake my head at the message that’s being sent by a movie which sets up the gates of heaven to be like a hip new restaurant that you need reservations for.
The truth is the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ and He’s the only one who can make certain that my name is in the book of life. It doesn’t matter how many good deeds I have done in my life. It doesn’t matter how many amazing things I do for other people or how many sacrifices I make before my life is over. What matters is whether or not I believe in Jesus-come to earth in the flesh-that I believe that He died on the cross, and rose again, and is now sitting at the right hand of God continually interceding on my behalf.
When and only when I turn my life and my heart to Jesus, will I be able to enter heaven when my time comes. My name will be in the book of life.
Yesappa, Thank You for choosing to lay yourself down, so that in death and in life we can always be connected. Thank You for the eternity in heaven that You made possible for me. Thank You for rescuing me from the pit of hell and writing my name in the book of life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation, Uncategorized

Job 1-3; Psalm 29; Revelation 10

Psalm 29 (ICB)
God in the Thunderstorm
A song of David.

1Praise the Lord, you angels.
Praise the Lord’s glory and power.
2Praise the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord because he is holy.

Yesappa,

You are glorious, full of power. I’m in awe of You. You are worthy to be praised. You are good. You are holy. You are full of righteousness. I lift my eyes to You and raise my hands in worship. I open my ears and my heart to You, trusting in Your grace, Your mercy, Your love.

3The Lord’s voice is heard over the sea.
The glorious God thunders.
The Lord thunders over the great ocean.
4The Lord’s voice is powerful.
The Lord’s voice is majestic.

I listen for Your voice in everything. I listen in the midst of moments of stillness. I listen in the midst of the tempests of life. I can find You in the quiet, yet Your voice is loud. I can find You in the thunder, yet Your voice is tranquil. Your voice can be heard no matter where I am. Your voice reverberates truth in my heart. Your powerful voice gives strength to me in my weakness and comforts me when I am feeling low, reminding me that I am Yours, I am the daughter of the King.

5The Lord’s voice breaks the trees.
The Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes the land of Lebanon dance like a calf.
He makes Mount Hermon jump like a baby bull.
7The Lord’s voice makes the lightning flash.
8The Lord’s voice shakes the desert.
The Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9The Lord’s voice shakes the oaks.
The leaves fall off the trees.
In his Temple everyone says, “Glory to God!”

Your voice makes the earth respond to Your commands. With one word, You can build up. With one word, You can tear down. Your voice changes things; it changes the world around me. Your voice changes me, changes my heart.

10The Lord controls the flood.
The Lord will be King forever.
11The Lord gives strength to his people.
The Lord blesses his people with peace.

You are in control. Nothing is too big or too small. You are King. You will reign forever in the heavens and on the earth. Your name will ever be praised by Your creations.

You are more powerful than the storms in my life, thunderstorms that threaten my safety. You give me strength to withstand. You give me strength to overcome. Your peace that surpasses my understanding rests on me and Your truth brings triumph.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings,
Julie (juliet2912)

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Proverbs 6-7; Psalm 7; Romans 11

Murmuring sounds rising like iridescent bubbles, then softly falling; unintelligible languages punctuated by “Amen!” joining my heart, tender with the fresh washing of a new believer seeking a deeper walk with Christ. The congregational worship suddenly quiet as our pastor gently commanded a woman to come forth – a woman whose description perfectly fit me. Surely another woman in congregation attending this special prayer meeting would stand up. But no, so at the third call I rose and walked to the altar. Elders and Pastor prayed over me and then interpreted their impressions. Curious but confused and disappointed by their words – I knew the wrong person was standing before them. Pastor, with concern in his voice, said, “May I pray for you, again? I truly believe God has a word for you.”

I trusted Pastor J then and now, 30 plus years later, due to his gentle authority and fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture. These were his words, verbatim to the best of my memory:

When I prayed for you, I saw a vision of a little girl, five or six years old. There was a gravel road in front of a small, white house. The child stood behind the gate of the covered porch watching her parents get into a gray, family sized car. The little girl watched as they drove away; and without outward emotion, turned around, walked to the screen door, and entered the house.

Twice Pastor J repeated, “Before you speak, please do not tell me this happened just to agree with me.” Then he asked, “Has anything like this happened to you?”

How could he have known this about me? Dry mouthed, emotionless, I confirmed the accuracy of this vision which matched one of my first vivid memories of childhood. (The following day, my mother substantiated the details of that event, describing without prompting the day she left me at my grandmother’s house for six months due to moving the family to another state. Even the color of the big Rambler station wagon was accurate.)

But the words that came next on that evening of revelation undid me completely: “Your Father in heaven wants you to know that He will never leave you nor abandon you.”

This was the first of many immersions into God’s lovingkindness, deepening my desire to continue in His grace, listen for His voice, and walk out His commands. For example, when I read Proverbs 7 which says, “Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart,” I accept these words without hesitation. Or as declared in Proverbs 6, “When you roam they [God’s commands] will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you. And when you awake, they will speak with you,” I have access to God 24/7. And I delight in the emotionally packed letter from the Apostle Paul in Romans 11, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen!”

I am still overwhelmed by God’s intimate knowledge of my life’s journey; I am still comforted by His daily concern for my needs; I am satisfied knowing His mercies are new every morning. All this and more when all I can say is “Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father from whom all blessings flow.”

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Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Revelation 21

We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;

but even though he is just and righteous,

he does not destroy us.

No wonder people everywhere fear him.

All who are wise show him reverence.”

Job 37:23-24

Elihu spoke correctly. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I cannot fully imagine the complete power of God. A friend of mine once said that even if God showed every one of us in the world a new facet of who He is every day, He’d still only show us the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

That, in and of itself, is mind blowing. And then on top of His righteousness, the depth of His character, personality, abilities, etc. is His love, grace, mercy, and goodness. He is a good Father, a merciful God. He is the Beginning and the End. He gives me life and calls me His own.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7

Though I am undeserving, He loves me with an everlasting love. He gives me everything I need and surprises me with more of my desires. He is full of forgiveness. He heals me, protects me, and gives me His strength. He redeems my life daily, liberating me, and allowing me to walk in truth and freedom.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Ps 103: 1-5

In the day to day hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget all of the good things God has done for me. It is easy to get lost in the mundane tasks and the chaos of busyness. It is easy to lose focus on what matters and let God slip into the background.

As David knew, the way to remember, to regain focus is to praise the Lord; to worship His name with my whole heart, with every fiber of my being. And, as I praise Him, I create a memorial to His glory.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me, showing me mercy, and giving me gifts of grace. Help me to remember the good things you’ve done for me. Help me to make praise more and more a part of my daily life so I focus on Your truth rather than my circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie,

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Job 4-7; Psalm 99; Revelation 11

“In the past you have encouraged many people;

you have strengthened those who were weak.

Your words have supported those who were falling;

you encouraged those with shaky knees.

But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.

You are terrified when it touches you.

Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?

Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope? Job 4:3-6

 

His friend Eliphaz begins questioning Job, reminding him of who he was and wondering why Job is not remembering his own words of encouragement for himself. Eliphaz  goes on to question why so many bad things are happening to Job and blaming it on sins that Job “must” be committing.

Though my trials are not the same as what Job experiences during his testing by the enemy, I have found that my own attitude in the midst of my personal trials mimics Eliphaz’ observations – I have moments when I lose heart, become fearful, forget my confidence in myself and in God, and feel hopeless.

There are days when I think I can’t go on, moments when I want to give up. I cry. I scream out loud. I ask, “why?” I succumb to the feelings of despair that have been building – which usually manifests in lounging on the sofa with a batch of warm brownies and cold milk, bingeing on my latest TV find.

After my pity party, I choose a trusted friend and ask to process, ask for counsel, ask for a hug; my eyes are once again open to the truth…I have been walking in my own weakness and not relying on God’s strength. I pray.

At least I can take comfort in this:

Despite the pain,

I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

But I don’t have the strength to endure.

I have nothing to live for.

Do I have the strength of a stone?

Is my body made of bronze?

No, I am utterly helpless,

without any chance of success. Job 6:10-13

Because I believe that God knit me together in my mother’s womb and knows every hair on my head, I believe that my circumstances aren’t a surprise to God. He knows what I am going to walk through and He knows the solutions to my problems. All I have to do is wait on His timing…patiently…for the answer, trust that God will bring me through, hold onto His Words for strength and encouragement.

I don’t have the strength of a stone nor a body of bronze, and without God I don’t have strength to endure. Without God I am utterly helpless without any chance of success.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your perfect timing. Thank You for helping me walk through the circumstances and keeping me strong. Help me continue to trust You and to fully rely on You. Help me stand firm in the knowledge that You are always with me, You will never leave nor forsake me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie,

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Esther 7-10; Revelation 3

John writes to seasoned believers. They have withstood persecution and hardship. They chose to follow Christ when it was the most difficult and now Jesus has words of correction for them. Note to self: who I was yesterday is of little value. It is who I am today, at this moment in time that Jesus is concerned with.

And Jesus sees all and knows all. There is nothing that can be hidden from the eye of God. The only person I may be fooling is myself. Jesus sees me right where I am and does not want me to stay stuck:

“But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Revelation 3:17-18.

Repentance is a life long theme. Jesus is not content to leave me alone in my ignorance and poverty of spirit. He desires so much more for his beloved:

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice end opens the door, I will come in and eat with him , and he with me.”  Revelation 3:19-20

Lord, thank you that you never fail to see me as I am. You desire only the best for me and don’t leave me ignorant and bound by my own sin. Thank you that your goodness and mercy heal the dark places I tried to hide from myself.  Amen.

Klueh

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