Tag Archives: vision

Deuteronomy 10; Psalms 94; Isaiah 38; Revelation 8

Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer…But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.” Psalms 94:17-19;22 NLT

My heart is heavy this morning for my little nine year old guy. He has been battling fear and anxiety in his mind that I know all too well. As his mom I just want to take it away from him. I know what it is like to be paralyzed by fear and to let that hold me back from doing what God has called me to do. I am thankful that God is patient with me. He sees me as his beloved child. He wants what is best for me. He is the best parent.

Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next. Think of it-the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the Lord.” Isaiah 38:17-20 NLT

Hezekiah understood that God can work all things for good. His life was a testimony to that. As hard as it is to see my child struggle, I pray this for him as well. Do I trust the Father’s heart toward me? Am I desiring for God to get the glory from my life? How awesome it is to think of my children telling their children of the great things the Lord has done.

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul.” Deuteronomy 10:12&13 NLT

Thank you Father that you hear my prayers. Thank you that I can look back and see your faithfulness in my life. Thank you for the perspective of generations coming to know you. Forgive me for my pride and selfishness.  I give you all the praise. Amen.

Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.” Revelation 8:3&4 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms, Revelation

Genesis 18; Matthew 17; Nehemiah 7; Acts 17

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?“Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son. But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” Genesis 18:13-15 NLT

If I am honest with myself, there have been times when I have laughed at God like Sarah did. I’m sure she didn’t think that God heard her, since it says that she “laughed within herself” (Gen 18:12NKJV) She even denied it, but God knew her heart. How many times has God spoke to me, but I laugh instead. I explain away my disobedience. God was fulfilling His purpose in Sarah’s life. He is fulfilling his purpose in my life too. Even when I am confused and don’t understand. I am thankful for a God who is much more patient with me, than I am with myself. He pursues me. He never gives up on me. I give up on people far too easily. Sometimes I stop praying for them if it seems they are beyond reach. But God is prodding and showing me that he is still working in hearts.

Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, we can’t get away from him!” Acts 17:26-28 MSG

Abraham asked the Lord to show mercy on Sodom.

Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for a lack of five?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.” Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?” And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of forty.” Gen 18:28-29 NLT

Nehemiah listened to God to return the exiles from captivity.

Then God put it into my heart to gather the nobles, the rulers, the people, that they might be registered by genealogy…There are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away.” Nehemiah 7:5&6 NLT

The disciples were relying on their own strength.

Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:19-20 NLT

Dear Jesus, Help me to be obedient to your plans for my life. I pray that I would listen to your voice even when it is hard. You might be using those times to refine me. Asking me to step out in faith to overcome my fear. Thank you that you are always with me. Give me a boldness and courage that can only be found in you. Help me to truly love others like you do. And to reach out to them with your grace and mercy, like you have done to me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Genesis, Matthew, Nehemiah

Daniel 4-6; John 18

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity. But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in bed. At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. “While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth. The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.” Daniel 4:4-11NLT

Just like I can lose sight of God’s hand in my life, the King had forgotten that it was God who built the city and not him. “As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.” Daniel 4:30 NLT. The king was relying on his own strength. And even though he was professing the Lord with his mouth, his heart had turned prideful. God used this dream to humble the king and show him that He is in control.

God has used situations in my life to remind me that I am not in control and to draw me closer to him. Recently, I was worried and afraid. My husband asked me, “Did you pray about it?” It sounded so simple, but I had not. He prayed for me, and afterwards I felt a great sense of peace. Sometimes, I am apprehensive about being vulnerable, even with God. But, God is showing me, that can be a form of pride. Because, when I admit my weakness…it’s God’s power that is displayed in my life, not mine.

Daniel willingly went into the lion’s den. It didn’t mean that he wasn’t afraid, but he trusted his Father to take care of him. Do I?

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions mouth so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your majesty.” Daniel 6:20&21 NLT

Dear Father,  Forgive me when pride creeps in. Because, you have given me everything that I have, my very life. I pray that I would use it to further your Kingdom and not my own. Thank you for Jesus, who is the greatest example of humility. Amen.

Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthy kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world. Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true” John 18:36&37 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Daniel, John

Ezekiel 22-24; Psalms 134; John 8

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world.   If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT

As I read through John, this verse pops out at me like the vibrant fall colors outside my window. This was the verse of the day on my you-version bible app. I  skimmed over it than, but maybe God is trying to get my attention now. “If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness…” How many times do I walk in darkness? Stumbling around for direction? Asking others, instead of asking God?

Or, like the Israelite, I turn to other things that become idols…

Now this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned – city of idols, filthy and foul-you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made.” Ezekiel 22:1-3 NLT

I am thankful for a Father who goes before me, so that I don’t have to find my way in the dark.

I “have the light that leads to life.”  But when I find myself living in a fog, it’s because I am not asking Jesus for guidance. Sometimes, my heart is turning cold, like the pharisees. “The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” Jesus told them,”These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.” John 8:14-16 NLT

Thank you Father for being so patient with me. For loving me where I am at, but never wanting me to stay stagnant. You know the plans you have for me. Forgive me for when I turn to other things. I praise you Lord. Amen.

Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, you who serve at night in the house of the Lord. Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord. May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.” Psalm 134 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Ezekiel, John, Psalms

Isaiah 45-48; 1 Corinthians 13

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily.  “If it is a good morning,” he said.  “Which I doubt,” said he.  AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Eeyore moments are no laughing matter. When our vision is confined to what we see, despair, anger and depression follow. Isaiah and his people have every earthly reason to throw up their hands and give in to the darkness around them. Morally bankrupt leaders and nations are on the attack; the world as they know it is collapsing around them. It is only natural that the people of Israel take an Eeyore posture, but God speaks and commands his people to listen.

“I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord speak the truth; I declare what is right.”                     Isaiah 45:19

“…And there is not God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other…Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.’  All  who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.”   Isaiah 45:22

God appeals to Israel’s imagination; He gives them a vision of what is to come:

“Before me every knee will bow; by every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength. All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But in the Lord and all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.”                                                                                                                                                                                      Isaiah 45:23-25

I hear God asking me about my hopes and dreams. To whom and in what am I entrusting my future? Politicians, pastors, 401K’s? My own ability to figure things out? My force of will and determination? When I hit snags in personal relationships, do I trust in my sense of personal righteousness and insist on my way, or do I submit to God’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13)?  Do I allow Him to win the day  even when if things appear to be a total loss?

O dear Father,  thank you for calling me by name and telling me to listen. Your Word sits before me;  you speak. I am listening. Have your way in my life. Strengthen my humble faith so that I trust you in all things—the major and the minor, no matter how things appear. Teach me to sing of your beauty and goodness in all things and in all times.

Klueh

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Uncategorized

2 Kings 4-6; Matthew 5

I want my eyes to be open.

The physical army was easy to see outside. It was the spiritual army that was not as apparent–at least not to Elisha’s servant.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:15-17, NLT)

This story has been on my mind recently–and I’m thankful to encounter it again today.

***

The last words I read last night were the first ones to confront me this morning:

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48, NLT)

Why was this gnawing at me? I thought of times when it was easier to show love to an enemy. Ah, but this one thing, still sore and nagging–to the point that I had to start my reading repeatedly and work through it in small bites.

I stopped and prayed, “Oh, God, you know. You know.” And I put my troubled thoughts into his hands.

That’s when I read Elisha’s story. The physical army that was easy to see, and the spiritual army that stood behind it. The Lord showed me, sometimes I can be focused too much on what I can see, and I forget there’s a bigger story accompanied by a big army, led by a big, sovereign, mighty God. And because of this, I can do hard things–through Christ’s strength–and have peace.

Oh Lord, I want my eyes to be open.

Courtney (66books365)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Uncategorized

Proverbs 22-23; Psalms 117; 1 Thessalonians 1

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 NLT

My oldest son just turned 13. My husband wanted to do something special to mark this important milestone in his life. He gathered a few older, wiser men that are important in my son’s walk with the Lord. They each took turns walking on a trail with him and speaking into his life. Than they all gathered around him and prayed for him. He will also have letters from each of them to save and look back on. As his mom, I am grateful for these Godly men in my son’s life. And even more grateful that he is humble and desires their wisdom.

Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today-yes, you-so you will trust in the Lord. I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.” Proverbs 22:17-20 NLT

Commit yourself to instruction; listen carefully to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12 NLT

I think about my own life and the friends/mentors that God has given me. They have helped me get back on the path when I strayed. Or when I came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. They spoke truth into my life when I needed it the most. There have been times when I had to be vulnerable and reach out to them. This is scary, because sometimes its hard to admit my weakness. But, I am so thankful that I did. It is a reminder to me to teach my kids to reach out to others and live in community. To press in to God and others when it might feel more safe to pull back.

And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 NLT

Dear Father, I pray that my heart will stay pliable to Your teaching. I pray that I would keep a soft heart so that I can hear your truth more clearly. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.

Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 117 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Thessalonians, Proverbs, Psalms