Tag Archives: reverence

1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 9; Matthew 5

Solomon had it all–he was powerful, wealthy, intelligent. The Queen of Sheba pays him a visit, and she is wowed by all she sees–all that she’s heard about Solomon is true. But despite all that, he was living in a deficit, a weakness and drain he either didn’t seem to notice or didn’t take seriously.

The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been.

The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command (1 Kings 11:2-4, 9-10, NLT, emphasis added).

Solomon was a very smart man, but how did he get this so wrong? His father was DAVID. Maybe he didn’t think some rules applied to him. Maybe he didn’t really consider the consequences of his actions–it was in the name of love after all.

Self, take warning. Guard your heart. What places in my life have I not taken seriously that the Lord wants me to guard and submit to him?

In the New Testament reading, Jesus has a lot to say about the law, anger, adultery, divorce, vows, revenge, and love for enemies. Actions are birthed from thought, and thought provokes a choice.

28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28, NLT).

He knows the power of the heart. He knows how small choices of disobedience can take one so far off course, leading away from God instead of closer to Him.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless (Matthew 5:13, NLT).”

God has always given people choice. And thankfully, with that choice, He has also given guidance and warning because He is a loving father. The warning He gave to Israel was for the nation and for the individual. Jesus speaks to the body of believers: A word not just for a time, but for all time; a word not just for a body but every body.

Lord, I’m thankful for how much you love me. You are a father who loves and leads. I don’t want to take your word as a broad guideline for mankind, but as a tender counsel for my very heart.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Chronicles 3 & 4, Nahum 2, Luke 18, 1 John 3

Awe:

noun

an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is
grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.
I have recently come to realize how under-inspired I have become. I have lost my sense of awe of the Creator of the universe. When the day to day life becomes mundane and boring, crazy and chaotic, I tend to take my relationship with the Lord for granted. When I am far from him, I forget the beauty of his splendor.
Out of fear and reverence of the Lord, King Solomon not only built the history Temple but he spared no expensive. The temple Solomon built was not built out of pride for what he could afford or what he would be able to show off to the people around him like so many other Kings would have done, it was built out of sheer awe!
Back in 2 Chronicles 2 Solomon said,
“5 The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him? 7″
Solomon didn’t take the left over money in his bank account to build the walls of the temple. He didn’t simply hire someone to make the plans and take care of the details. Out of reverence and honor, Solomon took his time and spared no expense. Bronze, silver and gold metals, rare wood materials and large fountains were all engineered and commissioned by skilled workmen brought from the east and the west. Solomon stopped at nothing to attempt to build a temple that would be adequate to hosue the Ark of the Covenant, the home of the Lord all while knowing nothing would ever really be good enough.
19 So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of God: the golden altar, the tables for the bread of the Presence, 20 the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold to burn before the inner sanctuary, as prescribed; 21 the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of purest gold;22 the snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and fire pans, of pure gold, and the sockets[f] of the temple, for the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and for the doors of the nave of the temple were of gold. 2 Chronicles 4:19-22
Even reading the scriptures of Solomon’s temple I take for granted how beautiful and huge this temple was. My husband is a general contractor and works in the field of civil engineering. He cannot even fathom the logistics of how this was built let alone how the obtained the materials and afforded it. The details literally boggle the mind. And what boggles my mind even more is that it all started with Solomon’s fear and reverence for the Lord. He loved the Lord God so much that this was the outpouring of his heart.
So, I must ask myself this question. Do I live in fear and reverence of the Lord God Almighty who created the heavens and earth? Do I worship him in spirit in truth to express the awe that is within my heart? Do I stop at nothing to share that with others? I have a long way to go and am thankful that the Lord is gracious and merciful because often my answer to these questions is “no”.
Thank you, Father, for your incredible love, grace and mercy to me. O, Lord, You are great and greatly to be praised. There are not enough words to praise you and as Solomon said, who is able to build you a house since even the highest heaven cannot contain you. I stand in awe of you, Lord. Amen.
temple

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Nehemiah 7, 8, 9; Revelation 18

I think a lot of people do this: look back over the year and remember the things that happened. Make resolutions to be different going forward, the clean slate of a new year. A fresh start.

In Nehemiah, the people who are gathered together listen as Ezra reads the words of God to them.

So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law. Nehemiah 8:2-3 NLT.

And there is weeping. Conviction. When faced with the law, they see how far they are from what God wanted for them.

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

11 And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” 12 So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them. Nehemiah 8:9-12.

There is something about being in God’s Word that changes a heart. For me, it has sparked renewal and produced great joy–the presence of the Lord–words written by holy inspiration, here in my hands. My journey through these 66 books has brought me closer to God than I ever imagined, how he has changed my heart, by Word and whisper–more than any list I’ve resolved to do. Still, looking back over a year, I do want to take an honest account of my shortcomings, repent of sin, and pray that going forward, God will continue to meet me where I am in my walk. As in Nehemiah, they praise the Lord of all the things he has done for them–and I should too.

 And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word. Nehemiah 9:8b.

I think of the days when the world spoke to me and I followed it, prioritizing earthly things over a heavenly kingdom. But he has shown me a different way.

Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her. Revelation 18:4

Father, thank you for your word in my hands, for this community who hungers for you and follows you, for your whispers to my heart and the change you’ve made in my life. Thank you for making a way that we are together another year, for the friendships forged and founded in you. You have blessed me in ways I never imagined, and I am grateful.

Courtney (66books365)

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

Joshua 3, Psalm 126-128, Isaiah 63, Matthew 11

Following reverently. . .

It truly amazes me that the simple process of reading scripture with the goal of journaling can help me to see things that, on any other day, I would breeze right over and be on my merry way. Today, the Lord stopped me dead in my tracks with Joshua and then illuminated everything else in light of what he showed me…

When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it” (Joshua 3:3-4).

Light bulb goes on—too  often I am either running ahead of the Lord or following at whatever distance I desire, at times treating the Lord without true reverence.   Moving into the Psalms, the Lord reminds me that “unless He [the Lord] builds the house, its builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1) which again highlights His point to me today…don’t move out ahead of me, daughter. Once again He taps me on the shoulder with “blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways” (Psalm 128: 1). Okay, Lord, I think I’m seeing a theme develop, even though I did not intend to look for one.

At this point, I was eager to follow this line of thought, but was not expecting to be moved with compassion FOR the Lord… “I [the Lord] looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me” (Isaiah 63: 5). Lord, we’ve all been forgetting to keep a reverent distance behind you…running out of ahead of you and getting into big messes (sigh!). BUT “In his love and mercy he redeemed them;   he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them” (Isaiah 63: 9-10). What a roller coaster you’ve been on Lord! If only we could just remember to keep following you reverently!

God, you are so good, for just when I was starting to feel like this goal of following you reverently was too hard, you give me… “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). I think the point has fully sunk in…if I just keep my eyes on Him, He will teach me how to follow reverently. I don’t need to strive to do this in my own understanding. Thank you, Lord.

In His Service,

Sherrie (gueston66books)

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Filed under Isaiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms