Tag Archives: sanctification

Leviticus 20; Psalm 25; Ecclesiastes 3; 1Timothy 5

“I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. 

God has done this so that all should stand in awe before him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14

Of all days on the Christian calendar, this is the day to let our jaws drop and stand in awe of the mighty work of God on our behalf. It was from His holiness that the supernatural power of His love overcame broke the chains that sin and death held us prisoner. “Up from the grave he arose,” says the old hymn. The Resurrection changes everything.

I need Easter to remind me of the fundamental truth of my life. All that I am is fundamentally tied to the Resurrection. It is the air I breathe. Without it, I am a vapor that is here one moment, gone the next. With it, I have the joy of knowing that whatever comes my way in this life, I belong to Jesus. I am his and he is mine. His work for me is complete, while his work in me continues

“Consecrate yourselves therefor and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statues and observe them since I am the Lord, I sanctify you.”  Leviticus 20:7-8

Lord, from your beauty and holiness, you call me to follow you. You are the Spring rain that falls;  you have cleansed and forgiven me of my sin. You are the coolness that revives what is weary and broken. You bring the freshness of a new day dawning. Your Resurrection bursts through the sorrow, pain and isolation of Good Friday to birth light and life and the song of Easter. Praise you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your love endures forever.  Amen

klueh

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Filed under Ecclesiastes, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Ex. 40; John 19; Prov. 16; Phil. 3

Please indulge me for a time as I want to focus my work on John 19 and the meaning behind this writing and its timely description of this season of life and rebirth…

In John 19:1-18, it has amazed me over the years what key decisions made that day of Christ’s death had from that day forward, particularly that of Pilate, to be thought and spoken of by so many great men. What my Lord endured for me was brought to life in the 2004 Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ… willing to be exposed to such scorn. While many of the scenes were incredibly difficult to witness, I believe that they helped strengthen my faith exponentially… to behold Christ Jesus in his sufferings… to behold Him, and fall in love with Him even if for the first time; to be still looking unto Jesus in utter helplessness. There was a scene in the film when Jesus was being whipped and the witnessing Pharisees needed to turn away at the sight of Jesus’ suffering… what were they thinking then having help to put Jesus in this place? Even Pilate seemed to have thought that Jesus might be someone above the common order. In the end, our Lord was made to suffer the sins of both Jews and Gentiles; that the Jews should first purpose his death, and the Gentiles carry that purpose out. But, had not Christ been rejected by men that day, we would have been forever rejected of God! Now the Son of man was delivered into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. He was led forth for us, that we might escape. He was nailed to the cross, as a human Sacrifice bound to the altar. That day, Scripture was fulfilled; he did not die at the altar among the sacrifices, but among criminals sacrificed to public justice.

John 19: 19-30 articulated many amazing events surrounding the circumstances of Jesus’ death. Pilate refused the chief priests that the writing above Jesus be altered… perhaps God dwelling within his heart? That this statement “Jesus of Nazarath, King of the Jews” describing our Lord’s character and authority might continue? Additionally, the many things done by the Roman soldiers were fulfilments of the prophecies of the Old Testament including how Christ tenderly provided for his mother at his death. Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he offers another in ways and places we never considered. Christ’s example teaches us to honor our parents always… providing for their needs, and to provide comfort whenever possible. Observe the dying words of Jesus as He breathed His last… It is finished; that His sufferings were now fulfilled… that all prophecies of the Old Testament, which pointed at the sufferings of the Messiah, were accomplished… that the ceremonial law is abolished; the substance is now come, and all the shadows are done away… that an end is made of transgression by bringing in an everlasting righteousness… that His sufferings were now finished in both soul and body… that the work of man’s redemption and salvation is now completed. His life was not taken forcibly from Him but freely given up.

John 19:31-37 saw Jesus lay His life down with his body speared. The very fountain of life offered blood and water from the pierced side of our Redeemer, signifying the two great benefits which all believers partake of through Christ, justification and sanctification with blood signifying atonement and water for purification (Philippians 3). Pilate not allowing Christ’s legs to be broken fulfilled Scripture (Psalm 34:20)… the paschal lamb described in Exodus 12:46.

In John 19:38-42, just as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus stepped up to tend to Christ’s body after his death and show value they had for Christ’s person and doctrine, we are called to do our duty daily and leave it to God to fulfill His promises in His own way and His own time. However, in order to accomplish this task, we must prepare our hearts, for where God has a throne and an altar in the heart, there is a living temple in which the Spirit will be manifested (Exodus 40, Proverbs 16).

My prayer is that we continue to look to Jesus, whom, by our sins, we have ignorantly and heedlessly pierced, who shed from His wounded side both water and blood, that we might be justified and sanctified in His name. So great was His love for us, that He endured unspeakable suffering to set us free from condemnation forever… what greater love than this exists? Let us continue to live our lives in such a way that is honoring to God for His tremendous suffering, so that when people who don’t even know our name can recognize that there is change… that when they see us, they’re seeing You! In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Happy Easter all…
Greg (gstefanelli)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, John, Philippians, Proverbs

Exodus 27, John 6, Proverbs 3, Galatians 2

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%2027;%20John%206;%20Prov.%203;%20Gal.%202&version=NKJV

Exodus 27    You shall make an altar … You shall also make the court of the tabernacle…. And you shall command…

            The details for the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Court of the Tabernacle are too much for me to build and to maintain. Lord God, I am deeply and gratefully indebted to You for having managed all the details of my sacrificial offering for all of my sins by Your only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Your Son Jesus did it once and for all. If it were up to me alone, I could never make it into Paradise. (1)

             And even the care of the Lampstand is beyond my ability. I will forget, get distracted, get caught up in the “works” of it and not maintain the humble and worshipful attitude You desire and deserve. So in Your Omniscience and Omnipotence, Merciful Father, You chose to indwell within me by Your Holy Spirit! You counsel me, remind me, equip, enable and sanctify me – so that I am, more and more, a bright light for all to see so that people may see Your good works and glorify You, my Father! (2)

           Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the sanctification process. I am overjoyed for times like now, when You, my Potter, have completed a section, so I am in a season of refreshment! (3) 

John 6           Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus said, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” … One of His disciples, Andrew, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

             I love this part! Andrew takes Jesus’ cue and looks for food to serve the people. Andrew trusts Jesus enough to go into action. Andrew does not come up empty handed either! He has something to offer the Lord. Yet, he thinks it isn’t enough. Andrew is right. In and of ourselves, nothing is sufficient. But Andrew loves and trusts Jesus enough to know to ask the Lord Jesus, “what are they among so many?” In response to Andrew’s desire which matched Jesus’ desire, Jesus does what Jesus Does – Jesus multiplies the “one small boy sized portion” which was brought, to Him to feed thousands of people! – With a large basket of leftovers for each disciple!  (4)

            Lord, I give You my heart, soul, mind and strength for You to take all of me to multiply Yourself to everyone you have me encounter! Make Yourself known, magnifying Yourself to the multitudes!

John 6           The sea arose because a great wind was blowing. … they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; … they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

            Lord Jesus, may I please walk with You? Holding Your hand, I will not be afraid of my situation, circumstances, or future. May I gleefully, by faith in You, look expectantly for Your coming on the waves, me walking with You as Owner, Ruler and Authority over whatever is going on! By my doing so, I trust that I will watch You save many souls from hell, mature the saints for Your paramount service and bring Yourself unsurpassed Glory! This is the desire of my heart! (5)

John 6           Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. … everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” … he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—… He who eats this bread will live forever.”

            I hunger for Your Righteousness, Lord Jesus. I feed on Your Word ravenously. I am satisfied when I continue chewing, ingesting and exercising what You have given me. Thank You! And then, after I work it off, seeing sin, unrighteousness, being in dis-unity, I hunger and thirst again. It is an unending cycle, though the Food content alters. Sometimes I feed on Your Word of Your attributes or Your creation, praise or crying out, or Your actions while You lived on earth,… Oh so much to feast on! I never tire of You, Beloved Father! (6)

            But there is a responsibility You give me, and everyone who is forgiven and changed by Your Word, my Master. I must pour out what You pour into me. I must freely give what You have freely given me. I must comfort those with the comfort You give me. I must teach those what Your Word teaches me. I must love with the love Your Word and Holy Spirit love on me. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48 I yield by the Holy Spirit Power You give me Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice for the honor of Your call and seeing Your transformations!  (7)

Proverbs 3               My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

            Lord God, I do not despise Your chastening nor detest Your correction because I know it means that You love and delight in me as My Father and You will bring me into  closer intimacy with You. You must love me Tons because of all the correction You give me! I am overwhelmingly appreciative to be Your child whom You delight in. I learn from You every day! (8)

Proverbs 3               Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. … Happy is the man who finds wisdom … let them not depart from your eyes— Keep sound wisdom and discretion; For the Lord will be your confidence … His secret counsel is with the upright.

            Holy One of Israel, I find solace and effective wisdom in Your Word. You impart to me Your compassion, understanding, mercy, grace and truth for my words for others. I am grateful that You train me to obey Your Word, to trust You above my own feelings or faulty thinking. I am learning ever increasingly how unwise I am, and how Brilliant are Your Ways!!  I delight in You, my Father and Savior!  I fear You, so I am thrilled and Joyously run from evil and run to You. May it always be so! By my exercising the wisdom You give me, I am happy and I deeply enjoy Your secret counsel to me. Your abundant grace upon me is very humbling, Lord Jesus.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,…The wise shall inherit glory, Proverbs 3

Galatians 2               For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

            What a miracle Father! That You would trade Your only begotten Son Jesus’ honorable life for my wretched life and destiny of condemnation to hell!  Unfathomable in the world’s economy – but Perfect in Love and Power in Heaven’s economy! Grace, unmerited favor, is all over this!! I am so grateful it was You, Lord God Jesus Christ, because You alone could rise from the dead! And I can be with You now and forever!!!

             Because of Your extravagant love on me, my debt of love beckons me to live for You always, my Christ. I ceaselessly desire for others to come to the saving knowledge of You, Sovereign Savior, and to mature IN Christ Jesus, so they will bear fruit for Your glory alone unendingly!

            Lord God, by Your indwelling Holy Spirit, You live through me. You continually caution me to not seek my fleshly desires and pleasures, but seek Your kingdom, righteousness and purposes so that Truly, the desires of my heart are met! And by my living by faith in Your Son Jesus daily, I see what You are doing, and am increasingly excited for the new, fresh new things You will do in and around me! Life is truly an adventure through communication with You by thought, word and action!

            My friend’s family which I help, the strangers I speak with, my family members I serve, – all are affected by Your Higher view and wisdom. Their hearts process Your Word to turn to You, away from sin and bitterness. And it’s only because of You Lord God! No one can change a person. But Your Word changes everything! I am so excited that You, Word of God, Jesus Christ, are so powerful, effective and victorious!! All praise and glory to the one High King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ! (9)

In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:4

Bible Insights –

1 – James 2:10; John 3:16-17; Hebrews 10:10; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:23-24; Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1-2

2 – Matthew 5:16; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 2:12-18; Ezekiel 11:19-21; Ezekiel 36:25-29; Jeremiah 31:33-34; 1 Peter 1:23; Acts 13:52; John 15:7-11; John 15:26-27; John 3:5-8

3 – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 , Isaiah 64:8,  Acts 3:19

4 – John 15:4-5, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 23:5, Luke 6:38   

5 – Psalm 37:4

6 – Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, John 4:32, 34, John 1:1-3, 14

7 – 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 10:8; Luke 7:47; 2 Corinthians 1:4; Psalm 51:12-13; Romans 1:16; Deuteronomy 6:7; Titus 2:1-5; John 15:12; 1 John 3:1; Luke 12:48; John 14:12

8 – Luke 18:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 14:26; Psalm 86:11; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 John 3:1; John 17:17; Psalm 25:5

9 – 1 John 3:1; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 10:38; Galatians 3:11; John 3:30; Luke 2:49; John 4:32-38; Psalm 37:4; John 1:1-3; John 1:14; Hebrews 4:12-13; Isaiah 55:11

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Galatians, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Uncategorized

Genesis 34, Mark 5, Job 1, Romans 5

Please Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2034;%20Mark%205;%20Job%201;%20Romans%205&version=NKJV

Genesis 34          Dinah … went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem … saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. …And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing … Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give…. but give me the young woman as a wife.”

               But the sons of Jacob answered Shechemspoke deceitfully, … “on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised,” … Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males…. and they plundered even all that was in the houses. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land,” …But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

               Revenge  Taking matters of justice into our own hands. We use our logic, our will, our provision, our anger and our vengeance. The result? Death and further separation from God. Revenge never teaches righteousness. But God’s revenge, that teaches Righteousness! (1)

              Lord God, I can be angered by the leaders in my nation and by people who lie, deceive, steal, maim and seek to destroy Truth, babies, relationships and Your Word. But Lord God, You are have the Last and The True Word (2). Right now You are teaching me that what I say and do DO matter. That while I can call congressmen, sign petitions, donate to just causes – my speaking, living and loving Truth (You Jesus) will heal the broken hearted and cause conviction of sin to the wayward for their repentance and reunion with You. My being Salt and Light will heal the wounded and dispel darkness so less people may be deceived. I am not useless, but useful IF I follow You Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You! (3) 

            Rape is horrific! But revenge does not heal or restore righteousness. But You, God, and Your Ways do! I seek Your counsel and the Holy Spirit Power to fulfill Your deepest desires for a bounteous harvest here and now. Amen   

            Lord God, I pray for Revenge Your way! Lord God Almighty, hunt down the people who harm others so that they know that there is no escape from You! Soften their heart, convict them of sin, and have them repent of all the wrong they have said, done, thought, etc. Lord Jesus, make them New Creatures in You so they will be so in love with and submitted to You that they will never harm anyone like that again! Bless them with salvation and bless those whom they have harmed, in this very same way, for Your Glory alone! (4)

Mark 5            immediately there met Him …a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs .. crying out and cutting himself with stones.  When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. … he cried out with a loud voice, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”… He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” …And at once … the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine … and ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

                Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed …sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.…Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

          when Jesus got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus … said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”  And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

              Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, the One worthy of worship, did not have revenge. Lord Jesus, You had compassion and renewed! You did not torment the insane man. Instead You set him free! Demons and sin had claimed the man as their victim. But Only You, Jesus can set him free from both. Lord Jesus, thank You for setting me free, too!

 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

               But the bystanders could only see their money going down into the sea. Where is my focus? On the here and now? The physical? Or am I Seeing with God’s Eyes a man free from hell, a man now with friends, a hope and a future, a man clothed and in his right mind, a man with incredible value because he shares the reality of God’s compassion and deliverance with ten cities! Lord Jesus, may I not be sold out to the slavery of money or blinded by the values of this world so that I would not keep and maintain the principles of Your Word every moment of my life!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things … When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” … And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”… He looked around to see her who had done this thing.But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”

            Lord Jesus, I hold onto Your cloak. I seek the hem of Your garment. For I am in need. You know my needs. They are many. And there is no one who can fill them for me. They are deep, they are real, and they are life sustaining in so many ways. Lord Jesus, I look to You, I seek Your Face, and I desire to know You in Your fullness so that I may relate with You more intimately, effectively and submittedly. Yet You come to me, seeking me and the “lost areas” of my life to cleanse, restore, realign and sanctify me. Thank You Lord Jesus. Lord God, make my faith sight while I live so that I may do Your bidding just as You ask. May I never be ashamed of the gospel or of Your reality in life. May I live a life flowing from Your Sacrificial Blood, filled with the Holy Spirit and pouring out Your True Love always. May Faith in You and Your perfect Love cast out all my fears. I praise and worship You Lord God Jesus Christ! Amen (5)

 And He said, “Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:33

Job 1                Job … was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. … Job would send and sanctify them, … For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. …  And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.

                 While he was still speaking, another also came and said (x 3!) … Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

             How encouraged am I! Job did not have the full Bible. Job did not have the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Job did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit for counsel and power. Job did not have the fellowship of sanctified believers. Job did not have all these things that I have. I have hope!

             Job, a prayer warrior and one who feared God and lived to honor Him, had humility – and that is good with me! Micah 6:8

 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Romans 5            having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

             Character – only one way to attain it: God’s Way – within the Potter’s Palm! Lord God, I am grateful for Your gift of faith by which You have justified me, given me access to You, peace with You and continually show me “factually” of Your real Presence! (6)

            And because of You, Lord Jesus, I have particular tribulations. Things occur which show that I am in a war of good versus evil. If I wasn’t Your child, I wouldn’t desire greatly nor be able to successfully pursue Your righteousness amidst the enemy’s tactics. (Thank You for saving me! Please bring many others to repentance to You so that they, too, will be new creatures and able to truly live by, for and with You, Lord Jesus Christ, with peace, hope and Great joy!)

              As I am obedient to You while in these tribulations, You display Your glory, for which I greatly rejoice! And as I go through them with, by and for You, You produce in me the stamina to persevere. My impetus to continue is because I want to see Your righteousness more and more within me and around me! By these things You sanctify and develop in me Your character. So as I more and more deeply see Your good results despite the strife, I hope in You more and more greatly! Thank You, thank You, thank You for Your All Powerful Love Lord God Almighty!  (7)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us. Romans 5:5 

Bible insights –

 1 – Ezekiel 18:32, Deuteronomy 32:35 , Romans 12:19 , Hebrews 10:30

2 – Revelation 1:8, John 1:1-3,14

3 – Matthew 5:11-16

4 – Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 6:10

5 – Philippians 2:12, Psalm 2:11, Mark 2:17, Luke 19:10, Matthew 18:10-14, Matthew 10:32-33, Mark 8:34

6 – Isaiah 64:8, Isaiah 49:16

7 – 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:5-21, John 1:12-14, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:1

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans, Uncategorized

Genesis 1; Matthew 1; Ezra 1; Acts 1

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness…So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. Genesis 1:26-27 NCV

A beautiful love story.

God created me. Created me in His own image and likeness. The pattern He used was flawless and never duplicated. He knows every part of me. I was called good.

And yet, even in the freedom that was given, that perfection was whisked away and I fell. I welcomed drama into His perfect world and our love crumbled. Our connection was severed. He was forced to turn His back to me; yet only for a moment.

He had a plan…

The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20b-21

His name is Jesus. Fully God, yet fully man, come to earth, born of a virgin. His purpose: to redeem and reestablish. His goal: to love. The end and the beginning on a cross at Calvary. Christ paid my debts in death and life. His blood covered me, my faults, my sins, from head to toe. An exquisite, red dress that I continue to wear exposed the sacrifice made to save me. I turned and twirl back into His caring arms. I surrendered to His grace and mercy, my will melding into His. Restoration.

May God be with all of you who are his people. Ezra 1:3a NCV

We are together forever. He in me and I in Him. Our relationship renewed. Jehovah Jireh, my provider. Jehovah Rapha, my healer. Jehovah Raah, my shepherd. He is my sanctification and my righteousness.

Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. These things are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.” Acts 1:7-8 NCV

I am waiting only for the marriage feast, the reception to celebrate our eternity together. A time, drawing closer and closer, to when we will be able to walk together once more in the cool of the day. And until that time, I will roam the world telling the mysteries of His everlasting love for me.

And so, one year ends and another begins. A reminder of my new birth, my new creation. A reminder of happily ever after.

 

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

 

Happy New Year!

May 2013 be a year of blessing and abundance in your life!

 

 

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 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

I was a late bloomer athletically.  During most of my school years, I was one of the slowest boys in my class, year in and year out.  I’m not sure when that began to change, but by late in high school I could keep up with the pack when running, and in my college years I discovered I could actually leave many behind in a sprint.  Only in sprints though.  I had developed a quick but short-lived burst of speed.  Several times I began a jogging regimen only to remember a couple weeks into the process that I absolutely hate distance running.  My all-time record distance is a two-mile run.  Noteworthy, it is not.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Paul uses athletic events such as foot races as metaphors for our spiritual journey.  He doesn’t mention the distance of the race he has in mind, but for the comparison to have any validity, he must be referring to a long distance event.  My spiritual growth remarkably mirrors my running achievements, and thus you may correctly imagine that I find this passage  somewhat concerning.

My spiritual growth tends to come in sharp bursts followed by distressing plateaus or even periods of backtracking.  I see the growth I’ve undergone, or I revel in new knowledge or a breakthrough in understanding that God has provided me, and I stop growing while I indulge my sense of satisfaction.  On occasion I’ve even gotten so confident I’ve grown past a given sin that I’ve gotten complacent and fallen right back to the struggle I had supposedly overcome.

Paul urges us to instill in our spiritual growth the attitudes of an elite athlete in training.  Stopping in the middle of the race course to revel in my progress along the track…  Getting so confident in my lead that I actually backpedal along the more scenic sections of the course so that I can take it in all over again…  Paul says that’s no way to run this race of the life of the Believer.

Enduring self-discipline.

Constant clawing and scratching for every new inch of the track.

Steadfast determination to never give up ground.

Focusing on the prize awaiting every victorious servant of God.

Doing all things that draw me closer to it and doing nothing that carries me away from it.

These are the attributes of any Olympic runner capable of grasping a prize of limited value.  Paul invites me to consider how much more I should be doing to win a prize of eternal value.  My conclusion?  Far more than I’ve ever done thus far.

Dear God, You’ve taken me far from where I began in my journey of sanctification and service in Your glorious name.  At times, You’ve grown me in ways and with speeds that took my breath away.  In between those times I’ve often sat idly waiting, distracted from the goals You’ve set before me.  Forgive me.  Build within me great energy and endurance.  Teach me to keep You and Your plans for me in the forefront of my mind at all times.  Show me how to love all actions that bring me closer to the man You desire me to be, and teach me to hate every use of my time and energy that takes me in other directions.  Make me into a servant that pleases You, one with a record of service that is worthy of the time You’ve given me on this earth.  Amen.

Michael  (mmattix)

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament

Judges 20, Acts 24, Jeremiah 34, Psalm 5, Psalm 6

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You… You hate all workers of iniquity…. who speak falsehood;

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness … Make Your way straight before my face. …For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:4-8, 12

 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judg.%2020;%20Acts%2024;%20Jer.%2034;%20Ps.%205,6&version=NKJV

Judges 20                What a tragedy: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25  Israel fights the Benjamites and annihilates them. Where is the sense? The justice? And why the defense of a man with a concubine? Precisely because Israel had no king. Now we have the Righteous King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus the Christ. People born again have the indwelling Holy Spirit for counsel and comfort, wisdom and healing. May I avail myself of these gifts tirelessly every day so that I might not be “senseless” and instead live for God to reveal Himself through me more clearly!! (Revelation 19:16, John 3:3,5-6, 1 Peter 1:23, John 14:26, John 15:26)

 

Acts 24                      16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” says Paul. No matter how many people were offended by the Truth of God’s Word coming out of Paul, including religious leaders and royalty, Paul feared not man, but God. And thus God changed people throughout the ages through Paul’s words, actions and attitudes. May I be this way Lord Jesus – grow me!!  Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33 , Psalm 51

Jeremiah 34             “But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear. 15 Then you recently turned and did what was right in My sight—every man proclaiming liberty to his neighbor; and you made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. 16 Then you turned around and profaned My name…”

Judgment and death (of all types) come to those who turn away from God and His commands. How I see that in the lives of the people around me, and in myself, too! I am not allowed to change my mind towards my own selfishness and pride, but only towards God’s Holy Mind and heed His Word! (1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:1-2)  

Psalm 5                     For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You… You hate all workers of iniquity…. who speak falsehood; But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness … Make Your way straight before my face. …For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:4-8, 12

Psalm 6                     I am troubled, worn and weak. Watching evil doers consumes me, wears me out. I feel their pain, I ache for the trajectory of their demise. I yearn for their transformation by the Lord Jesus Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Watching the slow growth in Jesus Christ of those I love leaves me with less hope than is rational. What am I to do? Face Christ Jesus and Live! (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Cor 4:18 They, like I, are in process, and the Best is yet to come!! Guaranteed!! (Philippians 1:6) You showed me that Father, when I came to You!! You filled me with reasonable Hope – True Hope of You and Your Word! Thank You!!

7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.” But I do not consider people my enemies but enemies of God instead. (Philippians 3:18, Colossians 1:21, Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 15:25) So Christ’s Love compels me to pray for their salvation (v. 8-10) and sanctifaction.

While I am sometimes in Great pain because of those around me, You, Lord God, compel me to come to You for what I deeply and truly need. I trust You Lord Jesus, for You have done the Unexpected Goodness for me continually!! >> “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:19-20

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized