Tag Archives: serve

Leviticus 16; Psalm 19; Proverbs 30; 1 Timothy 1

Sometimes when I concentrate so much on my friendship with God, I forget I am made holy only through the blood of Jesus.  For God is a holy God and for the people in the New Testament and in the Old Testament who forgot that, died.

The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the Lord and died. – Leviticus 16:1 NRSV

This Old Testament example must have made Aaron scared to even enter the tabernacle to serve God.  He had to come to a place where he understood that holiness was given to him in order for him to serve, but it did not cancel his sin.

I hear people say that we do not need the Old Testament anymore – but look at the words they are missing that declare God’s Word…

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. – Psalm 19:7-9 NRSV

The Scriptures are just that – holy – of more benefit to me than the air I breathe.  I need God’s Word to see His holiness, to see a way out of my sin.  It provides a direction that is true – a fountain of lasting hopes.  By them I discover my need for a Saviour.

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. – Proverbs 30:5  NRSV

I found this promise is echoed in the New Testament too – His Word is holy, His commandment is holy and just and good.

This is really important to me – I know that Jesus is the Word – and in Jesus I have hope.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope – 1 Timothy 1:1  NRSV

The Old Testament still wraps it up nicely – I am Holy, and besides me there is no saviour.

Lord God, Father, You are holy, You are true.  Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to be a Saviour to all who want to follow You.  May Your Word continue to strengthen me, guide me, lead me and may I yield to You in all that You ask of me.  I love You – thank you for seeing no sin in me because of Jesus and for accepting me into Your presence to be loved and to love You right back.  I want to be holy as You are holy.



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Filed under 1 Timothy, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms, Uncategorized

Joshua 23, 24; Luke 6:27-49

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…

My husband and I made this choice for our family. We chose to follow God wherever he leads us. We chose to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. We made that choice when we were married and we continue to choose that path daily.

But how do I live that out?

Joshua offered advice to the people of Israel before his death. He encouraged them to fear the Lord, to remember everything the Lord has done and how He fought nations for them. He urged them to be sincere in their service, and to be faithful. He told them to put away the gods of other nations, to keep their eyes on the Lord and His laws, to not turn aside to the right or to the left.

And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you…Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left…but you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day. Joshua 23:3, 6, & 8

Out of all of the counsel Joshua gave, the piece of advice that stands out to me the most is to CLING to the Lord my God.

When I hear the word “cling”, the first image that comes to my mind is that of my daughters. When they want me to hold them, they don’t want me to let them go, they hold on so tightly to my neck, to my body, that it is nearly impossible for me to peel them away. I can’t do anything to be released from their grasp. They hold on so tight sometimes, it’s as if they are stuck to me like Velcro or like superglue.

No matter what is happening in my life God wants me to cling to Him the way my girls cling to me. When things are good and I am filled with happiness, when I am on the proverbial cloud 9. When I am feeling connected to Him, connected to my husband, to my children, to family and friends, He wants me to cling to Him. And, when things aren’t going well, in the midst of the trials I face, the struggles I experience in daily life, the times of spiritual dryness, the seasons of turmoil, God wants me to cling to Him even more.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49

He wants me to cling to His love and grace. He wants me to cling to His Words. He wants me to cling to His commands. He wants to be my Firm Foundation, my Rock and my Redeemer. He wants to be my strength so that I will not be shaken when the floods of circumstances, of enemy assignments, beat against me and try to make me falter and fall.

He wants me to dig deep into Him, to build my life, my foundations on Him, in Him, through Him. He wants me to hold on and never let go.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your strength, for being my Rock and my foundation. Help me cling to You always, in the good times and in the bad, so that my life will be a testimony of Your Glory. Help me and my family live out our commitment to follow You, to serve You in everything. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)



Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Joshua, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Kings 19; Hebrews 1; Hosea 12; Psalms 135-136

Thanksgiving month. Lots of people are practicing 30 days of thanks. I’m one of them.

I’ve given thanks for an extra hour in the day on Sunday; a handed-down kitchen table crowded with friends; a rainy day and a warm fleece blanket; the woods.

Today I woke a little stumped. A first-grade family interview project on a holiday horizon, and an elder’s “no” typed quietly across a page that screamed much more.

As Hezekiah spread a message before the Lord, I kneel before my God and do the same–Bend down, O Lord, and listen.

Lord, this is what I’ve got. Look. This is what’s going on.

The books each have a word for me, and my greedy hands grasp them for comfort when my ears need to hear love from a Father.

2 Kings 19: things happening today were planned long ago. God knows.

Hebrews 1: God named Jesus his son. And because of God’s great love for the world, Jesus died on my behalf, so that I could be reconciled to a Father and called his daughter–a co-inheritor with Christ.

Hosea 12: the boasting of chasing, cheating, lying, violence, pride. But God tells, “I am the Lord your God.”

And Psalms, closing:

Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord!
    Praise him, you who serve the Lord, Psalm 135:1 NLT

Psalm 136:1–

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

(And it was already italicized for me. Like it was saying, don’t miss this.)

2 Kings 19, I read of crops and feeding and I sit here meditating on generational sin.

This year you will eat only what grows up by itself,
    and next year you will eat what springs up from that.
But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them;
    you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. 2 Kings 19:29b NLT

And I think on life, when we do it ourselves. And what springs up from that in a next generation–without intention and cultivation–or God. But the third year, you will plant the crops and harvest them; you will tend the vineyards and eat their fruit.

Lord, it stops here. Help me to plant a crop for your harvest, one that bears fruit for your kingdom, and even for my family to enjoy. God, I know family means a lot to you–you adopted us as sons and daughters. I know the utter hopelessness of love withheld in a broken world. And I am thankful your love endures forever.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 6; Psalm 89; Isaiah 34; Revelation 4

Certain words lift off the page when I read Deuteronomy this morning: worship and serve.

When my oldest daughter was little, whenever she had a nightmare, it would make it hard for her to go back to sleep. I used to tell her to sing a song in her mind, because that way she wouldn’t be able to think the scary thoughts. She asked me to give her a song, and I told her the one that I sang to myself when my own nightmares played over and over in my head: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT.

I didn’t quite realize that in doing that, I was worshiping the Lord instead of giving power over to my fears. But over years of dealing with my own various nightmares, worship emerged in new ways beyond music–because there were days I felt so wounded, I couldn’t sing. I learned to worship Him in writing of His goodness, in telling my kids about what He has done, by inscribing His Word on the studs and floorboards of our house when we remodeled a room, in giving thanks in a weekly journal. And while certain trials remained before me for a time, these practices kept me close to my God and aware of His love.

I picked up a copy of Rick Warren’s book, What on Earth Am I Here For?, and Day 13’s reading is on worship that pleases God. He writes a thought-provoking bit about Matt Redman’s pastor and his message on the real meaning of worship: “To show that worship is more than music, he banned all singing in their services for a period of time while they learned to worship in other ways.” This practice turned out to be the inspiration for Redman’s song “Heart of Worship.”

Now that we live in the woods, I’m even more aware of nature’s worship song. When Jesus says that even the rocks would cry out with praise, I know it. And all these things sing just by doing and being what they were created to be. One day I watched a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, saw its fight for freedom and flight–its beauty and flutter dance, perhaps even its own struggle, would be its worship to its Creator.

“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11 NLT

These years of bible reading have strengthened my eyes of faith, that I can see Jesus and His work around me, in everything.

Father God, I am so thankful for evidence of your love. Even in the struggle and heartache, the world will reject, but you do not abandon. Thank  you for your protection over me, sparing me of further hurts and heartaches, drawing me close to you to realize you are what I need. May I never forget all that you have done, and may your song always be on my lips and in my heart.

Courtney (66books365)


Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation

Gen. 18; Matt. 17; Neh. 7; Acts 17

Singled out.

19 “I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” Genesis 18:19 NLT.

The Lord singles out Abraham to direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord.

In Nehemiah, some were not singled out, their names not found.

64 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests. Nehemiah 7:64.

Paul was singled out too. God used him in the everyday … Paul was just doing life as usual, going to the synagogue–as was his custom.

As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” Acts 17:2-3

And while it seems business-as-usual, it wasn’t. He was threatened, pursued, and on the run. He went from place to place with his message.

To Berea.

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Acts 17:10

And Athens.

17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there. Acts 17:17

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I used to feel a bit short-changed by that. Now I see things a little differently. Nothing is impossible with God–it’s mentioned a couple of times in today’s reading. I see his grace poured out all over my life–singling me out too in a variety of ways, some rather ironic. Actually, most of them. He’s got a deep humor–and a great love.

Dear God, I know who it was I could have been without you–and who I am because of you. You make all things new. Thank you for singling me out, for tasks I never dreamed possible–but made possible through you. Help me to navigate the everyday, to follow and serve you.

Courtney (66books365)


Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament