Tag Archives: the Message

Deuteronomy 20-22; Mark 14:26-50

Using prayer as a first defense, not a last resort. I get this backwards a lot.

Before a battle, a priest would go to the troops and pray over them.

1-4 When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and soldiers far outnumbering you, do not recoil in fear of them; God, your God, who brought you up out of Egypt is with you. When the battle is about to begin, let the priest come forward and speak to the troops. He’ll say, “Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you’re going to do battle with your enemies. Don’t waver in resolve. Don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.” Deuteronomy 20:1-4, The Message.

God teaches a lot about honor in these chapters. When a neighbor’s ox is wandering, don’t look the other way: help out, restore. Honor. Not just honoring a neighbor, but how to honor the land, a captive woman, a first born son, a family, purity, God.

When the soldiers were upon nearby enemy territories, God told them to destroy everything–because he knows how weak man is. He knows how the flesh is tempted.

18 This will prevent the people of the land from teaching you to imitate their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 20:18, The Message.

Jesus is in the garden praying, the night of his betrayal and arrest. He knows about weakness–as Peter, James and John were with him, they fell asleep.

37-38 He came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” Mark 14:37-38, The Message.

Said another way:

37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:37-38, NLT.

Jesus, our priest, who prayed before battle. His prayer, God honoring.

 

35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.

43 And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. (Mark 14:43, NLT)

He is outnumbered, and the reading reminds me of Old Testament–the priest praying over troops.

Honor, prayer, enemies, battle. God fights for us.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

Lev. 7; Ps. 7,8; Prov. 22; 1 Thess.1

Example. Leadership. Imitation.

Point your kids in the right direction, and when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG

The map I was handed was passed down from generations. It was a dead end. And not just an end that didn’t lead anywhere, it led to death. I didn’t really know it at the time. (Thank you, God, for speaking into my life.) I feel really protective over my kids–I want to spare them of that legacy. So I study the Word. And I study people. I study them for how they live and how they love and how they give. I look at them to learn how they handle conflict and forgiveness, how they press on in trial. I watch how they serve, and who they serve. I take in as much as I can, and I sift through it. I try to imitate the good in them.

I know I don’t have it all together. But I know who does–the one who came to save me from certain death.

2-5 Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

5-6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

7-10 Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. 1Thessalonians 1:2-10 MSG. Emphasis mine.

Lord, thank you for rescuing me from certain doom. Steel me up with your Spirit. I pray that my life honors you, and that my children will know you and seek you all the days of their lives.

Courtney (66books365)

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