Tag Archives: sovereign

Numbers 19-21; Colossians 4

She was a mom of three. She devoted herself to home tasks, which later left her feeling helpless after his trespass and abandonment. The home, a prison. Her children, shackles. Outside her window, a perceived freedom of women climbing corporate ladders–she faced having the electricity shut off; broke and broken. It was too much. She felt hopeless.

***

Another woman was recovering during a time that felt like a life sentence. The nurses were wardens and the rules were constricting, restricting punishments. She felt all freedoms had been stripped away. Every day was punctuated by offense, oppression, complaint. The days ticked past. She praised the Lord for what he’d done in the past, but she was unable to praise him in the present for the meal, the care, the provision. She felt trapped, like she was in prison.

***

I was tasked with duties without warning. A lifelong obligation. A tethering, and sometimes too heavy–the bombardment of negativity, of opposition, of uncertainty. I fought against my own complaint, but sometimes, and sometimes often, I still complained. I fought against bitterness, and when I felt its squeeze, I cried out–oh, not this heart, Lord.  I remembered Paul. I thought of his chains.

Remember my chains. (Colossians 4:18b, NLT)

If he could find understanding and purpose in the worst of circumstances, could I find them in mine?

If I let him, could God use my circumstance to speak the Gospel? Could he use this circumstance to demonstrate his glory and goodness and sovereignty? What the enemy uses to break and beat down, could my God use to build upon and make new? Where an enemy declares an end, could God pronounce a beginning?

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (Colossians 4:2-6, NLT)

Nothing is a surprise to my God, however it may surprise me. These things he knew before time. Tasks prepared in advance. Yes. Don’t let me miss it–that sometimes ministry is in the middle of mess and misery. For Paul, he was literally a prisoner in a prison, but for others, it’s circumstance that feels hopeless, punitive, imprisoning, endless.

17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” (Colossians 4:17, NLT)

Archippus, did you? Did you carry out the ministry the Lord gave you?

Lord Jesus, you have been with me every step of this journey, and you know how hard it’s been. You know how desperately I begged to quit from the pressure. And whether the job was heaped upon, handed over, appointed–you knew. And you intend(ed) it for my good and your glory. May it be so. Fixing my eyes on you, author and perfecter of faith. You can bring beauty from ashes.

May God’s grace be with you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 9, Psalms 92 & 93, Isaiah 37, Revelation 7

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.” Isaiah 37: 14-20

 

Have you ever received bad news and wondered what would happen next? Or maybe just news that was completely unexpected, something that catches you off guard? The way that we respond to such unexpected things can be a testament of our faith. I am a person who enjoys being in control of all circumstances. I like structure and routine. I like to know what to expect in every situation that lies ahead and for me, there’s nothing worse than the unexpected.

I find recently that the Holy Spirit has been whispering reminders to me of his greatness, his power and sovereignty. Though independence can be a good characteristic it also can lead to pride and mistrust. Despite my knowledge of the Word, I often forget that the Lord knows the steps ahead of me long before I take eve one. It is quite humbling to read this passage where King Hezekiah gets on his knees and not only acknowledges God’s sovereignty but boldly asks for God to handle this situation in front of him. He remembers the power of the Lord and Hezekiah’s desire is not simply for the rescue of his people but that the people in all the earth would know that there is only one true God.

I am trying to imagine Hezekiah going into a quiet place, getting down on his knees and literally laying out before the Lord the letter he had received from his enemies. How often do I take my problems to the Lord instead of looking to my own power? How often do I trust that He is in control and has planned my steps before time began? How often do I rest in the Sovereignty of his plan knowing that he will be with me in the future just like he was with me in the past?

I am so thankful for God’s true and holy Word. For reminders of His Sovereignty and the whispers of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Lord for being all power, all knowing and all present. Father, help me to trust in you with my next steps no matter what the circumstance that lies ahead. Amen.

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Isaiah 12, Ephesians 2, Isaiah 13, Isaiah 11

Behold, God is my salvation, Isaiah 12:2

 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13

 The Lord of hosts musters The army for battle. They come from a far country, From the end of heaven— It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13

  With righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; Isaiah 11:4

  Read Bible Passage – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2012,%20Ephesians%202,%20Isaiah%2013,%20Isaiah%2011&version=NKJV

             Amazing progression by each Bible Chapter!! ~ God says He is Savior. ~ The Lord God Jesus Christ is the Blood Atonement to accomplish Salvation. ~ God commands His raptured people who are dwelling in heaven to war against the ungodly on earth for the great and terrible day of the Lord. ~ The Millennium Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ is over His peaceable kingdom on earth!! ~ The Lord God Almighty rules throughout All Time and Space!! Amazing progression in Scripture!!!  Joel 2:1-11

             Lord God, You know the place I am in today. Troubles of life and death swirl about in my head incessantly. Ponderings of the present and future’s uncertainty grip me; about my family, friends, nation and Israel. Curious of what You will have me do, How it will occur, couched with fears.

 Yet when I STOP. And ponder Your Word. All Time stands Still. You, O LORD, are the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

              What a Relief!! What Joy! This is Just what I want. That is the desire of my heart!! (Psalm 37:4) This lesson teaches that very thing! You tell me past, present and future all simultaneously! You Lord Jesus are the Owner and Definer of All things!

  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; Isaiah 12:2

             You saved my soul from certain death, from eternal damnation, hell. I didn’t even do anything to earn it!! You did it ALL for me.

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

               And how I live is Still Your responsibility!! Wow!! But I so yearn and pray incessantly to be within Your Holy Will, empowered by Your Joy, and filled with Your Wisdom and Holy Spirit my Beloved Savior!  

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

             Is it really that easy LORD? Is it really just a matter of You “Speak” and I “Go!” ? It has operated that way for a long time. But should I fear when the lions and bears turn into Goliaths? Of course not! I am continuously in training for larger conquests and more fruit by You, my Master. The Goliaths of yesterday will seem like Lilliputians tomorrow because of Your lessons Lord. 1 John 4:4, 1 Samuel 17:34-37, John 15

 I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones for My anger— Isaiah 13:3

             How glorious to You Mighty King!! Swift Justice, Righteousness and Victorious Truth!!

 I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; Isaiah 13:11

             These days I “see” clearly Your handwriting on the wall. Now it is not so far off, like the persecution of the Chinese Christians. For now I can “see” persecution coming close in my own homeland.

 He will destroy its sinners from it. … Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place. In the wrath of the Lord of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger. Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13

“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19

              I rejoice in Your exaltation my King!

             But knowing Your mighty effectiveness Lord, the Certainty of your Successful Hand for Good, and my position of lacking fear, now that You have spoken: I beg of You for Mercy on all the people who are not yet Your people. Just as You did for me, Please Merciful King, Please soften many hearts, draw multitudes to Yourself, and bring them to the full Salvation by the Blood of Your Appointed Anointed Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Job 42:1-6, Hosea 2:23       

 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Isaiah 59:1

             How glorious it will be when all of us, the multitude of saints, are living with King Jesus on the earth during His 1,000 year reign! Revelation 20:4

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon (King Jesus), The Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,   Isaiah 11

              The Rod of Your mouth, Lord Jesus, is correction! Thank You for teaching us! And we shall learn ever more easily because The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11

            Oh, want a fabulous time we shall have!! The animals will have a Peaceable Kingdom! And I can pet them all!!

            “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,

            Lord, my troubles have seemed to vanish as I ponder Your Word. Your Power, Your Majesty, Your Control for All Good! The God of the millennium, far off in the future, is still my God at this very moment!

 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. Isaiah 11:5

                  Lord God Jesus Christ, You are Pure Righteousness and Faithful! Whom then shall I fear? No one But You! (1) I shall,

Sing to the Lord, For He has done excellent things; Isaiah 12:5 

Through All My Past, Present and Future!!

 (1) Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9; Psalm 34:11; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 19:23; Proverbs 23:17; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Isaiah 9-10, Ephesians 1

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Isaiah 9:10

This Scripture from Isaiah has received a lot of attention lately due to its appearance in the book “The Harbinger”. Beautiful Messianic prophecies that precede it in the same chapter are not even mentioned. The persons who quoted this Scripture in reference to the tragedy of 9/11 merely used it as a rallying cry in the face of adversity. They were likely more interested in boosting the morale of a mourning nation than pointing to Jesus Christ the Messiah.

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7 
 

When Scripture is randomly pulled out of context, I wonder if anyone even understands its meaning. Of course, matters of fealty to our Creator God can not be legislated, but then one wonders why public officials drag out words from the Holy Bible to address the country, in the name of man and not in the name of Jesus.

Jesus achieved sovereignty over my heart when I embraced his death and resurrection as payment for my sins.  I know that I can’t rebuild or replant anything without his blessing.

I live in the woods. About 75% of the trees, shrubs and flowers I have planted in the last twenty five years have died, but the trees that sprung from wind blown seeds eighty years ago are still standing. That which God sows endures. That which man sows fades away.

Sometimes I think about who lived here before me. Where they are now? There is no sign of them, except for a crumbled stone foundation sleeping under moss and weeds at the edge of my property. All our rebuilding will come to this same end. In spite of all our grand proclamations, only God and his mercy endures forever.

yicareggie

 

 

 

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Deuteronomy 12, Psalm 97 & 98, Isaiah 40, Revelation 10

To whom then will you liken GOD?

…would you compare HIM with worthlessness? the work of our own hands?

Even the best we could make… wood that is costly is overlaid golden, chained in silver, crafted with skill… an abomination cast in order to see and to touch… it. will. not. move.  worshipers of things shall be put to shame.

…would you compare HIM with one of us? the work of His own hand?

Even the best of us… like grass withers, like flowers fades, even the whole lot are but a drop in a bucket, dust on the scales… nothing. In comparison, less than nothing and emptiness. weary. weak. wicked.

Haven’t you been told, and heard and known?

Get you up to a high mountain!  Lift up your voice with strength, say…

“Behold your God!”*

The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth* and everything in it!
He does NOT tire, nor grow weary, with understanding unsearchable, He gives power and increases strength, His right hand has worked salvation for Him.

He has done MARVELOUS things*…

measured the waters in the hollow of hand, stretches heavenly curtains and spreads them tent-like over us, the world is lit up by His lightnings; the earth sees and trembles …mountains have been moved and will melt like wax …brings the mighty to an empty nothing …He blows, they wither.

He created the hosts, brings them out, calls them by name, not one is missing.
As shepherd, He will tend His flock, gather the lambs, carry and gently lead them.
Those that wait for Him shall renew strength, mount up, run, walk and not be weary.

Rejoice!

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, his reward is with Him*…
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice!*

Oh God, how we DO rejoice! How we must!
We rejoice because we know and love You.
Our hearts sing that we are Yours!
We worship, for You are our God!
We can’t keep from making joyful noise!
For You have made known Your salvation,
revealed Your righteousness for all to see,
You remembered your steadfast love!

“Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and all who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before You, for You come to judge the earth.
You will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.”*

Come Lord Jesus, we are waiting.
Amen.

amy in peru

*Is. 40:9 — Is. 40:28 — Ps. 98:1 — Is. 40:10 — Ps. 97:1 — Ps. 97:7-9

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Jeremiah 1-3

Scripture

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

“Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:6-8 (NIV)

The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:12 (NIV)

Observation

Jeremiah captured my attention before I even read a word he penned. Reading about him in the background information, I found I liked him for his self-analysis and self-criticism. I liked how he’d lay bare the deep struggles of his inmost being. I even liked that he was considered the “weeping prophet.” And that his name toggled between definitions like “The Lord exalts” and “The Lord throws.” This was a man God would use in a powerful way–and Jeremiah was aware of the big job ahead of him.

Application

So many verses jumped out at me, I grabbed one after another, totally unable to settle on just one. And I could have kept going until my hands were full. I fluctuated between awe, reassurance and fear of the Lord, line by line.

Awe: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you …”

Reassurance: “I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”

Fear of the Lord, the powerful language of a father rebuking.

How do I apply these words to a prophet of nearly 3,000 years ago? I am not faced with the task Jeremiah had. But still, these words are applicable to all: God knows us–even before we were born. He will equip us for whatever job he has–he’s done it all throughout history. And he is in control: watching to see that his word is fulfilled.

A soothing salve to my sometimes anxious heart.

Prayer

Father, your word is living. These words written so long ago, during a time so very vastly different from today, still stir hearts. You convict us, encourage us, admonish us, guide us, comfort us and warn us page after page. This is amazing to me. Thank you for these words so I can know better who you are and what you can do. Amen.

Courtney

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