Tag Archives: watch

2 Kings14; 2 Timothy 4; Hosea 7; Psalm 120-122

Our Lord is a realist, I think. He sees me in my humanity and vanity and isn’t coy about pointing out my issues. Even the way I look on the outside doesn’t escape His scrutiny. Take His description of the waning pride of Israel when He says, “Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it,” (Hosea 7:9). As a woman, I take pride in keeping my gray hairs covered, yet in between the heroic effort of my stylist, those pesky, course sprigs pop up without my knowing. I let down my vigilant watch.

So it was with the people God is admonishing in Hosea. How does it happen that I, too, so easily lose sight of my goal to live in humility and submission? Of course, pride is the first offender that comes to mind. Like Amaziah in 2 Kings 14, I have experienced success only to bite off more than I can chew on my next quest. If not careful, I’m meddling in another’s business, thinking that I have all the knowledge, education, or savvy to solve their problems. For example, I was confronted by a co-worker who asked about a software problem. At least that is what my prideful heart heard. Instead, she merely wanted to know why I chose to enter a certain date. So I spent 15 minutes patronizing her before it dawned on me what she was asking. Her agitation disguised as patience was later revealed through the employee grapevine.

A second offender is associating with ‘yes men;’ that is I prefer to be with people who agree with me on most things. Not listening to divergent opinions dulls my mind and dooms me to being bored mostly with myself. Even worse, loss of perspective can lead me to stray from the truth. The Apostle Paul urged Timothy to be watchful against a similar problem. 2 Timothy 4:3-5 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

What is comforting to me is to know that I do not have to dwell in my own chaos.  I can seek God as in Psalm 121:1, 2, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” When my eyes are on God, my peace returns, and my perspective is guided by love for Him and love for my neighbors (that is, everyone God brings to my small sphere of influence). Like the Psalmist, I return to praying for the peace of others. “’May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your wall, Prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good.”

Lord let my prayers be answered even as I bow this graying crown in honor of Your beauty, Your goodness, and Your great love for us all. Guide me to do good and to lean not on my own understanding. Help me to live in humility and curiosity for Your perfect ways. Through Christ my Lord, I pray.

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture quoted is from The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 2 Kings, 2 Timothy, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Hosea, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Judges 16; Acts 20; Jeremiah 29; Mark 15

Looking at examples in the Bible, I think God is trying to say that it’s okay to go through pain – only He wants to walk through it with us.

Samson is a fine example.  Even though he had failed, God did not leave him.

Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life. – Judges 16:30 NRSV

For Paul pain was a way of life and he prophesied the same to us. Only way through it and its the staple of my walk with Jesus is to place my hope in God, counting on His grace as my foundation and my fountain of joy.

 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God[d]that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.[e]  I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. – Acts 20:28-30

That is why I struggle with this promise that I still quote from time to time —

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.  When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,  I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes – Jeremiah 29:11-14

I struggle with it not because it is not true, but because if it is taken out of context it misses the fact that there was 70 years of pain before this promise was realized.

So Jesus’s life has to be the accumulation of all my thoughts.  The cross and Skull Hill represented death, mockery and pain but for me I found there a place of redemption, forgiveness and hope because of Jesus.  What begins in horror and inhumanity, ends in victory and grace.

 Then they brought Jesus[d] to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).  And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him – Mark 15:22-24

Lord, thank you for your promises, they are true, every last one of them.  While I  journey with You and we might be joined by hurt, may I take comfort that You and others that You have called have already gone before me.  

evanlaar

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

I Chronicles 28, 2 Peter 2, Micah 5, & Psalm 106

Watch Bethlehem!

 I Chronicles 28:20 “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God – my God – will be will you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.”

2 Peter 2:7 “…and delivered righteousness Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)…”

Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from old, From everlasting.”

Psalm 106: 1 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Some days I find myself in turmoil from competing emotions – love/fear, hope/despondency, belief/practicality…and I wonder when or IF God will do anything about my concerns.

My eyes are on the circumstances and the people about me.  My thoughts are racing from rationalizing to judging, from deserving punishment to pleading for mercy, from expectancy to acceptance of disappointment.  Too often, I crash and burn, screaming “I’m done!”

Doesn’t God hear me?  How much more can I bear? These raging wonderings result in quiet despair, and I settle into heaviness.  Why?  Do I not know that my God is with me?  When did I lower my eyes from the heavens and drag my weakened mind through thorny paths of lost hope?  Like Lot, I stand helpless, tormented.  All I can pray is “Have mercy on me, oh God.”

And every time – no, I mean it, – EVERY time – I look to The Savior, born in a manger, Who not only died for the world, but died for me, and Who was resurrected and now lives and rules and intercedes for me.  I lift my eyes to the heavens and wait.  I watch. I remember to expect the goodness of the Lord.

Then I chide myself and say “Why are you discouraged?  Your God will never forsake you and never leave you.”  I know this.  And then He comes – EVERY time.

Watch Bethlehem!  

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Peter, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Micah, Micah, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Judges 14, Jeremiah 27, Mark 13, Acts 18

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert and pray! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone; ‘Watch!'”

Mark 13:32-37 NIV

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When I was a pre-teen and early teenager, I would often babysit for families in our community. As I read these verses this week, I recalled those times when I was babysitting and the parents were out very late. I remembered being so tired and wanting to sleep on the couch after the kids were in bed, but knowing that if the parents returned and I was dead asleep, how embarrassed I would feel by them catching me like that. I doubt I would have lost any future babysitting “jobs” with those  families, but it certainly was  more responsible of me to stay awake and keep watch over the children.

That’s how I view these verses. Jesus is coming back again. We know He is, because He told us so and can truly be counted on to keep His promises. I don’t know the day or hour. My “job” while I wait is to be alert and pray, helping to further His kingdom on this earth and spread the good news that I have experienced through Him.

These verses do not say that I would lose my salvation if I’m asleep…not alert and praying…but what shame and embarrassment I’m sure I would experience if I was spiritually asleep when He returned.

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Lord,

I so look forward to that day when You will return and we will dwell with You face to face!  My desire is to honor You with my life and share the good news with those around me until that day comes. Please help me to not become complacent with my spiritual walk, but instead stay alert and to daily commune with You.

Amen.

Beckie (look2thehills)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament