Tag Archives: security

Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

I ran into a church friend in a parking lot yesterday. I love the deeper bonds I experience with sisters in Christ, that after the hellos and hugs were given, our conversation could go to a much deeper place–and it didn’t seem odd or inappropriate to reveal hearts and hurts to one another. We talked about family.

Lately, thoughts on family and home have been top of mind. My husband and I talked about how we were raised, and how teachings were passed down to us, shaping how we handle conflicts or other issues. We could laugh at some things–like my father-in-law’s firey courage, but other things caused a somber reflection. What values do I want to perpetuate? What things need to stop here?

When I think of family or home, it is described by words like welcome, safe, loved, included. And yet, these are not the words I would use to describe where I came from. They’re what I wanted for myself, and what I want for my children (or anyone who enters my house). And I wonder, if we are to live in but not of the world: Shouldn’t home feel holy? Set apart from the world?

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:5-6 NLT

First Peter 3 is where I linger today, with thoughts on family laid out before me. He advises the wife on godliness and beauty; and the husband on how to honor her. This, for all of us:

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 10 For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
    and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
    and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
    against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 NLT

In a bloodline divided, to love like brothers and sisters seemed foreign to me. But God shows me what love looks like, through his own for me, and through sisters and brothers in Christ who know and show love. He puts this lonely one into a bigger, broader community of family. Isn’t this what he wants (for all of us): Unity? Love?

I want that too.

It’s all a work in progress, but I’m so thankful to have God’s Word to guide me. Home, set apart–not an idol or a realm of perfection, but a model of love and forgiveness–where we are not cast aside for our imperfection and brokenness, but spurred by one another, tenderly and humbly.

I asked my kids what words they would use to describe home … I heard things like safe, protected (from my 10 year old) and happy (from my 6 year old). We talked about ways we can live and choices we need to make.

Father God, I’m grateful for this life tapestry you’ve woven–how sisters enter my life to encourage and show me by example how to follow you better. I’m grateful to call you Father–and to know you love me, that I can trust you, and you will not forsake me. I am your child, and you live in me. What love you have lavished upon me. I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother–help me, Lord, daily, to follow your call. Thanks (always!) for your patience and guidance.

Courtney (66books365)

Listening to Matthew West’s song, Hello My Name Is

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Filed under 1 Peter, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament

1 Samuel 24, 1 Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you… 1 Samuel 24:10

 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:4-7

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. Ezekiel 3:1-4

King Saul threatened David’s life. The Lord turned the tables on the chaos and confusion, putting the control into David’s hands.

This past week an earthquake and a hurricane put many people at risk. With no electricity, no running water and no ability to cook food, my life felt fleeting and unstable. My security blew away with Irene’s wind.

Thankfully, no trees fell on my house, but the damage done area wide humbled me. Water became precious.

Ezekiel 3 reminded me that I had “eaten the scroll” for years as I read, meditated and studied the Scripture daily. Most of God’s word flows through my blood, dictating my philosophy, yet my trust during this time of stress did not seem to lie with my Maker.

Now I ask myself, Lord what do I look for? Is my hope really in You?

yicareggie

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Joshua 24, Jeremiah 13, Matthew 27, Acts 4

“‘So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’ Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.'”

Joshua 24:13 – 15

“‘I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind. This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods.'”

Jeremiah 13:24 & 25

“All the people answered, ‘Let His blood be on us and on our children!'”

Matthew 27:25

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

“All the believers were one in heart and mind.”

Acts 4:12 and Acts 4:32

__________

Living the Life

My kids and I have been listening recently to a CD by Group1Crew called Ordinary Dreamers. They are a Christian rap group. (I know…strange that a 38 year-old, homeschooling, mother of 5 likes rap.) One particular song “Livin the Life” really seemed to make a connection to today’s scriptures in my mind.

Joshua, nearing his death, recalls all the ways that God has led the Israelites starting all the way back with Abraham to their present situation in the Promised Land, living in houses they didn’t build, eating food they didn’t grow. God had led, God had provided. They were living the life.

Move forward around 800 years and the Israelites are given the message from the prophet Jeremiah that because they forgot the Lord and trusted in false gods, they were about to be scattered like chaff in the wind. Their supposed “security” about to be destroyed in the wrath of God’s judgement. They thought they were living the life, but it was not God’s life.

We move forward another 600 years and we read about the Crucifixion of Christ. Jesus is at the end of His 3 year ministry, in which He had attempted to reach the people of Israel, offering them Himself as their Savior, wanting to give them the good life in Him. The people are given the choice to have either Jesus or Barabbas released. They choose Barabbas.

Then in Acts, we read the story of Peter and John being thrown into jail by the Sanhedrin, following the healing of the crippled beggar, and then questioned about whose power accomplished this. Peter preaches his first sermon to the people, proclaiming the name of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Upon their release, they return to their fellow group of believers and pray for God’s guidance and protection. The believers are certainly living the life. A life of unity, faith and dependence on Jesus. They are following hard after Him.

__________

What I’m not saying is that living the life means no worries, no hardships, only smooth travels. But rather that living the life means that Jesus is continually there to help me through. Through Him I have salvation, through Him I have forgiveness, through Him I have eternal security…that is living the life.

__________

Lord,

Everything I am, everything I have, is all due to You. You are the provider of all. I praise You for giving me the chance to live the life with You. Thank you for covering me with Your blood of redemption. Help me on this journey through life, through its ups and downs to hold fast to You, to follow hard after You, to live the life You have chosen for me.

Amen

– Beckie (look2thehills)

*Scripture taken from the NIV

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Filed under Acts, Jeremiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament