Tag Archives: Scripture

Isaiah 7-10; Psalm 22; Matthew 26

Every time I read the Old Testament passages like the ones for today and then compare them to the New Testament and today we look at Matthew 26 I cannot help but be in awe and once again celebrate the very truth of God’s Word. And also how reliable it is. Look at these verses from Isaiah 9:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[e]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6&6 [ESV].

This book is not a jumbled pile of prose and poetry that is disconnected, but there is a crimson thread that starts in Genesis One and runs through the entire Bible connecting with Revelation 22.

How many prophecies in Isaiah 7-10 & Psalm 22 do you see being fulfilled in the New Testament. At the end of the day today I’ll give you my take on it in the comments. This really is a cool deal. God is real and He has laid out an intricate plan for us that is still unfolding!

 

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I Chronicles 26, 27, 2 Peter 1, Micah 4, Luke 13

Do you sometimes look for the exceptions in Scripture? That is, does a phrase or description cause you to pause and wonder? I’m studying the Word for the nth time and still surprised by what I missed all those other times. I don’t always approach Scripture with an agenda. I’m not always looking for an answer to prayer or searching for my life’s purpose. When reading the Bible, my curiosity catches a word or phrase and I am bound to circle context and content until I find relevance. For relevance are what all Scripture offers.

Take the many lists of fathers and sons in Chronicles. What pops out to me is the phrase after introducing the eight sons of Obed-Edom – “…for God blessed him,” (I Chron. 26:4-5) What to make of that; are we not blessed who have few or no sons? Or is it that Obed-Edom was blessed because his sons would be tasked with heavy responsibility in the kingdom of God?

“Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shri the first (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him the first,” (I Chron. 26:10). This is yet another example in Scripture where a firstborn lost his heritage to a younger son. Depending on where you stand politically, you might herald this as a great triumph for the last being first. Another might decry, “Unfair!” as Lucy says on A Charlie Brown Christmas, “All I want is what I have coming to me; all I want is my fair share!”

“To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came out…watchman opposite watchman,” (I Chron. 26:16). Ominous, isn’t it? There is this perpetual need for watchmen; the eyes facing out, backs forming a barrier between the unknown dangers without and the trusting protected ones within. Who are our wathcmen?

“Also Jehonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a wise man, a scribe…” (I Chron. 27: 32). Keeping family who know you best in your inner circle can mean accountability and practicality; uncomfortable at times but grounding when needed.

And this much debated truth – God chose holy men to be His spokesmen. “…knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,” (II Peter 1:20). Thus, the source of all Scripture is God Himself. How reassuring! When I veer off, Scripture draws me back to God’s truth.

“Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…He shall teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’” (Micah 4:2)

Talk about getting grounded! I am reminded not to be fooled or led astray by the automatic negative thoughts that lead to disturbed emotions and unthinkable behaviors toward others.

Jesus debunked false ideas: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

(Luke 13:4-5)

Lord Jesus, I do not mean to end my wonderings on a seemingly negative note. In fact, I am encouraged by picking out these exceptional verses of Scripture. They remind me of the intense focus you place on speaking to your children from creation to eternity. No matter that I am limited in understanding by my finite, mortal brain. Your Spirit calls to my spirit and I relish in listening, asking for clarification, responding to Your intimate knowing, and surprised repeatedly by Your mysteries. Love You, Lord! Looking forward to the next immersion in Your Word!

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

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

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Peter, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Micah, Micah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

1 Samuel 25; 1 Chronicles 7; Acts 17

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11

When I began my journey with the Lord, rather than going deep into scripture myself, I relied heavily on the studies of the pastors in my life. I listened to their words and gained understanding through their revelations.

I had a desire to go deeper, but I wasn’t sure how and I was overwhelmed by not knowing where to start. I would try to read the Bible, but I had a difficult time understanding. The verses that I read often were just writings on a page that translated into a jumble in my brain and would more often than not lure me into sleep.

When I was in ministry school, I encountered so many amazing teachers and one in particular broke open the flood gates to my desire to search the scripture in a new and revelatory way. My homework every night during this particular class was to read the book of Galatians in a different translation. I was encouraged to read beyond the standard versions that can easily be purchased at a local Christian book store.

I grew up with the New International Version and many people I had encountered held to the belief that the King James Version was the ‘true’ Bible. At first I didn’t understand why I would need to read so many versions. It seemed like wasted time, because I figured they would all just be saying the same thing. But as I read through, I was amazed at how similar and yet how different many of the versions were. I came to realize that the value in studying the Word in different translations was found in the opening of the eyes of my heart to better understanding and a desire to delve into the meanings of the Words He spoke.

As I read one translation, if I didn’t understand something – a word, a concept, the history, etc. – I’d look to another translation to help me piece meaning together. If something differed, curiosity sent me to a Greek or Hebrew interlinear Bible and usually also to the Strong’s Concordance to help me understand the original meaning better.

As I have continued to study this way, God has become more and more real to me; His Rhema Word bringing life to the dry bones of my soul. My mind has expanded to better recognize and understand and every time I open the scriptures He reveals more of His truth, His promises, His revelations to my heart.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your Word, Your Truth. Thank You for giving me scripture to chew on like meat so that I can grow and learn as I search for You and as I search for understanding of truth. Open my eyes, open my mind, open my heart to the revelations You’ve prepared for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

 

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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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Acts, New Testament, Old Testament

Deuteronomy 27-28:19; Psalm 119:1-24; Isaiah 54; Matthew 2

Scripture:

Psalm 119:11,  I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

Observation:

What a simple verse. This entire chapter is a testimony of the strength we find in God’s holy Word. What a great resource this chapter is in finding the treasure we have in the Bible. And here we find one of the reasons we need to memorize God’s Word. It keeps us from sin. Not the act of memorizing it keeps us from sinning, but when we encounter those circumstances where sin could occur we find strength in God’s Word for us to repel the evil one and those evil desires that reside in us as well. When we are confronted with a situation, at that point it’s too late to run to God’s Word and look for strength. It needs to be in us and ready for recall and application at a second’s notice.

Application:

I don’t know about you, but memorizing Scripture is a chore for me. I’m not a good memorizer. When I was younger I belonged to an organization called the Bible Memory Association. We were given books of Scripture that we had to memorize — sections each week — and then we receive rewards for our hard work. Because of those sessions I still can recall the entire first chapter of the Gospel of John. What a gem that passage has been for me in so many circumstances. On the other hand as an adult one night while I wrestled with thoughts that were not God-pleasing words from Romans 8 came to me taking my mind off the mischief at hand. I’m not saying I’m perfect or even accomplished at this thing called memorization, but I have experienced its benefit in my life both in youth and adulthood.

In adulthood do you struggle like me to memorize the Bible? Has your hard work paid off in a closer walk with God?

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your Word. I pray Your Holy Spirit will help us to stay at this great task of memorizing it and using it to stay close to You in all we do. Thank You for the great treasure we find in it and You as we memorize. We pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen!

dmbaldwin

from the archives, June 22, 2011

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Numbers 27, Psalm 70-71, Isaiah 17-18, & I Peter 5

It is uncanny, seemingly coincidental, and a little unsettling that the readings this week in the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan and my 31 Days of Praise devotional appeared to be preparing me to handle a surprise attack at work.

In Numbers 27, I read that five sisters approached Moses and demanded that he give them the inheritance that traditionally would only be passed to the sons because there were no sons. (Okay, no big deal, and kudos for the rights of women.)

Then Psalm 70 bursts out with an urgency to have God’s deliverance from enemies; and Psalm 71 goes on to plead that God would keep the praying soul from being put to shame. (I’m still not thinking there is anything for me to ponder too deeply at this point; my life has been relatively calm for a while.)

Then comes Isaiah 17 with lots of descriptive judgments such as calling the nations chaff (a lack of value, stability, life) and being caught up in the whirlwind of God’s rebuke.  (Hmmm…am I about to feel the divine correction of God?)

Isaiah 18 isn’t much better.  The first word is “Woe.”  I’m wondering what the line, “And when the sour grape is ripening in the flower, He will both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.”  (I’m starting to sweat as I worry what is about to be lopped off.)

Surely the New Testament will bring a hope of mercy, but no!  We are urged to “be sober and be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (Now I’m looking over my shoulder to see what is about to pounce on me.)

I calm myself with the assurance that my devotional is focused on praise, so I expect to find comforting words.  You can imagine how I felt when I read, “Thank You again that You meant for good the terrible things that happened to Joseph…,” (remember he was sold into slavery by his brothers and thrown into a pit a couple of times) “…I’m glad Lord, that You are the same today – well able to work things out for us, to turn evil into good.” (I’m not kidding, I’m quoting!)

So I’m certain at this point that all these readings must have something to do with my life or else I am not listening to my God who speaks through Scripture.

And then the bomb fell.  I learned from a coworker that the person who works closest to me had gone to our supervisor to say that she was working harder than me and that it wasn’t fair.  The coworker’s words were, “She’s gunning for you.”

Now had I not read Scripture, prayed over the Word, sought the Lord for wisdom, and accepted whatever He has prepared for me, I think I would have returned to my flesh-like ways of defending myself to my supervisor.  Instead, I repeated the comforting words of thanksgiving from my devotional, “Thank You that I can safely commit my location and situation to You. I can ‘be willing for You to shift me anywhere on life’s checkerboard, or bury me anywhere in life’s garden, gladly yielding myself for You.” I think my submitted attitude to God helped me to submit to my supervisor and find favor in her eyes. What a relief we have in the promise of Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

A thousand times better than taking Xanax!

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Ezekiel 18,19; 2 Timothy 3

Training up a child …

This past week, I’ve thought over things I was taught growing up, and things I wasn’t taught. A good friend said she had taken for granted some lessons her mother taught her–never realizing not all children were taught the same things. For a moment, I felt sad because I was clueless to some of these ways and I wondered what else I was missing.

15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15 NLT.

It gave me food for thought, the things a parent teaches–whether on purpose or by example. I think harder of what I want my kids to know. And how do I teach them if I don’t know for myself?

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16.

In fact, it was through opening the pages of the Bible and reading God’s word, that I became aware of the (important) things I lacked.

Lucky for me that women came along to teach me in the kitchen, show me how to make a home, even how to be a loving mother. I’m still growing in these things.

But it was God’s word that spoke to my heart, changed me from the inside, showed me a different side of the world–and now knowing, I’m so very thankful.

17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:17.

When my daughter gets frustrated over a math problem, I calm her down and explain, “You’re learning. No one expects you to already know this.” And I grab the same grace for myself with enough to extend to those around me.

Scripture has helped me to see our need and our hope.

Father God, I’m thankful daily for your word and the free access I have to it. You work on this heart gently and firmly, and I’m grateful for your loving care. Thank you that you equip all of us to do good things in your name. It is my hope that I actually do them.

Courtney (66books365)

 

 

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Filed under 2 Timothy, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament

Genesis 49, Luke 2, Job 15, 1 Corinthians 3

Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
Job15:8 ESV

Not even in my wildest dreams, could I have ever conceived of, let alone worked out over thousands of years (obviously), the AMAZING scheme of events that is so clearly laid bare before me in my open Bible.  As I read, I try to remember that it wasn’t all that clear all at once.

In God’s Script I find, unquestionably imperfect people (not unlike myself), making humiliating mistakes (like I do), alternately flailing one moment and soaring the next. God chose to make something out of nothing.

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but ONLY GOD who makes things grow.”

1Cor.3:7 NIV

Only God.

Turning to one of the scenes near the beginning, I look on as Jacob blesses his sons. He says to one of his particularly troublesome offspring,

“The scepter scepter shall not depart from Judah… and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

Genesis 49:10ESV

Mysterious underlying plots keep me glued to the book.  I trace the lines of the Playwright’s pen, I watch, I read, I wonder. Sometimes I get lost in the drama, but God knows who He’s using… messy people like, Judah and Tamar and Rahab. Various others like, Ruth, David, and the wife of Uriah… and countless extras who didn’t even make the credits.
People like me.

Only God.

As I read ever on in Luke 2, I’m jostled awake by good news of great joy!
The ONE to whom that scepter and the obedience of nations belongs is finally come? … God’s salvation!
But, wait! A baby? An inheritor of a motley human lineage, lying in a manger, because there was no room?

… He was only God.

I like Mary, treasure these things in my heart. If Mary pondered, how much more I who have not seen, but have only heard? Captivating, winsome, mysterious ways.

God, only You…

thought it all out before the beginning began.
do all things best.
ALONE are God, and I marvel at Your ways.

Only You can…

wash me of my worldliness.
grow me to play the part you’ve written for me.
remind me to treasure Your doings.
teach me how to build for eternity.

Oh please relish, as we glorify and praise You for all the things we have seen and heard.
We want to grow old awaiting Your Promise,
or better yet…

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, I pray.
Amen.

amy in peru

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