How many times I have struggled with something and called it my “thorn in the flesh?” Abram’s wife, Sarai was no different.
Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, and so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Why don’t you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. – Genesis 16:1-2 GNT
Though I try to hide it, there is pain from not seeing the hand of God moving in my life. If I leave it unattended, even the hope of prayers not yet answered leaves me. If I have been vocal, there is public shame. Then I come to the place where I blame God and that brings a different kind of pain in my life.
So I walk around and from time to time speaking audibly – “Lord have mercy on me” – just to clear my soul. No different then the woman looking to Jesus for healing.
Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.” – Matthew 15:21-22 GNT
It is a form of intercessory prayer.
That is what Paul and Barnabas wanted to do in their missionary journey – visit all the church plants, see what was going on, and then deliver a report so the whole church could be praying for them.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in every town where we preached the word of the Lord, and let us find out how they are getting along.” – Acts 15:36 GNT
Am I rejoicing, am I secure in who I am in Christ, am I weeping and am I experiencing comfort in my salvation? The offer is to come and pray together.
Father, even when I think You are not there, may Your Holy Spirit remind me of Your promise to always be there. Do let let me think too long or too hard on myself so that it hardens my heart towards You. I need Your mercy and if that is all I cry out to You for, give it to me in the largest measure possible. As long as I have You, You are all I need. Being strengthened, I can walk alongside others You send my way that need encouragement and hope just like I did. Thank You that I can talk to You at anytime. Amen
Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, Old Testament, Uncategorized
Tagged as audibly, Barnabas, flesh, hide, intercessory, missionary journey, rejoicing, Sarai, Sidon, think
I have just finished a wonderful week of vacation and have really enjoyed knowing that God has been caring for me and protecting me no matter where our family went and no matter what our family did. It was so gracious to hear each of us take time to thank God for asking Him to protect us. He honoured our trust in Him and was so faithful to be present in all of our activities.
The Lord is good.
He protects those who trust him
in times of trouble. – Nahum 1:7 CEV
This is why Sunday morning worship is something our family enjoys the most when we go to church. It is a time where we join with others to thank God and to worship Him for all His blessings.
Shout praises to the Lord!
Sing him a new song of praise
when his loyal people meet. – Psalm 149:1 CEV
What makes this the hardest to understand is that so many times I think about all these blessings coming my way because in some way or form I have earned them. It is the hardest thing to get out of my system. My head knows the truth, there is no way in this world that I could deserve even a little of what God has been so gracious to give. My head knows that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and each morning when I spend time with Him, I invite Him to walk with me during the day. I know He fills me with His Holy Spirit so that the work I will do for Him does not come from my own strength but from Him alone.
We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. – 2 Corinthians 4:7 CEV
Lord, forgive me when I have even a passing thought that I have earned anything. I know it is You and You alone that has protected me, cared for me, loved me and have blessed me. You have graciously given me so much including the power of Your Holy Spirit to live the life You have asked me to live. I have so much to be thankful for and I thank You right now, today, for this gracious gift you have so freely given. Amen.
Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized
Tagged as earned, enjoy, Lord is good, Nahum, our family, praises, think, treasure is stored
Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. – Exodus 12:22-23 NRSV
The blood on the frame of the door must have made a powerful statement in my life from a young boy. To this day, the “blood covering” is part of my prayer life. I travel quite a bit, and whenever I enter a hotel room, I touch all the walls, floor and jump to the ceiling and I am covering my room with the “blood” because I have no idea what spirit could have been left there from the previous guests. It may be extreme. It reminds me to this day that in reality it was representing the sacrifice Jesus made as the Lamb of God. He was my passover and it was His death that gave me life.
‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ – Luke 15:6 NRSV
I am so glad Jesus loves me with an unconditional love. I would be in ruin today if that were not so. I still cannot get over that He rejoices in finding me. My parents never joy’d in me when I did something wrong – I still grew up in an era of spanking and my parents gave liberally in such deliveries.
“And now they mock me in song; I am a byword to them.” – Job 30:9 NRSV
I think I spoke too soon – God does take a moment of two to make sure I stay humble. This is not the only time in the Bible that He used this method to bring back a lost soul and to teach them humility (Lamentations 3:14). But He always brings me back with love – that is what matters most.
Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14 NRSV
There are many of us who serve Christ in places of danger. Others who find themselves in leadership in the Church where they are entrusted with the spiritual lives. I find myself praying like this — Lord, may I find myself willing to love as much as You do, judge very little, joy in lives that were lost and are now found, stay humble and be a servant for You and most of all, may I never forget what You did for me. May I have as much grace to give as I have received. Thank you.
Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, Uncategorized
Tagged as blood, danger, doorframe, joy, love, mock, think, unconditional