Tag Archives: Word of God

Deuteronomy 10-14; Psalm 5; Luke 8

16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” (Luke 8:16-18) NIV

When I first read through this section of Luke, it seemed to have nothing to do with what Jesus had just been talking about in the previous chapters—the parable of the sower. He was telling them about the word of God and how some hear it but the devil snatches it away so they don’t believe. Others hear it but it never takes root in their lives. Some hear and let life’s worries get in the way of experiencing the freedom it brings. Thankfully, some hear it, believe it, take it to heart, and persevere through life knowing God’s love for them.

I realized these verses have everything to do with spreading the word of God! The verses speak to me of illumination. Now, illumination has several meanings. It can mean to provide a means to see: 16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” But it can also mean to reveal, or make known. 17 “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”  Jesus was teaching his disciples about the importance of sharing with others what he was teaching them. He didn’t want them to hide it, what good would that do? His words are meant to teach, rebuke, correct, and train (2 Tim 3:16). He wanted them to intently, purposefully listen and then to spread the good news he was revealing to them.

Many people followed Jesus and many heard his parables–but not all understood. Sometimes this was done on purpose. The Pharisees were always trying to trip him up by questioning his words. They were so intent upon listening to his words, they totally missed their meaning. But Jesus made sure those who sought to know the meaning understood what he was saying.

I think we could take these words as a warning to us today as well. As the world becomes less and less tolerant of Christianity, it is more important than ever to memorize scripture. When we plant it in our hearts, it is ours to keep and no one can take it away from us. We can draw upon it anytime, at any place, even when our bible is not within our reach. Because of the investment we made in memorizing His word, our spoken words may be the only way people in the future will ever see the light. “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have may be taken from them.”

Lord, I am so thankful for your word and for all You have taught me through it. May it continue to light my way as I follow you. I want to stand as a light on a lampstand reflecting your light for all to see. Let me draw from what is inside of me like water from a well so others will know the living water you give us.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Joel; Matthew 10

…I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your old men will dream dreams,

and your young men will see visions.

In those days I will pour out my Spirit

even on servants—men and women alike. Joel 2:28-29

…don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20

12shepherdsvoice_niv500x373 Recently, I have been going to my parent’s house for small group. It isn’t a traditional small group where everyone gathers for Bible study; it is a group where people come to seek the voice of God, to quiet the soul and listen for His still, small voice.

There was a time that I believed that God didn’t speak to His people anymore, but I have come to realize that the only reason I can’t always hear what He is saying is because I’m not always listening, with my ears, my eyes, my mind, my heart. Life is SO busy, and it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day that it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to me.

Sometimes I wonder if it really is God’s voice speaking to me, sometimes I wonder, “Could it just be what I am thinking? My imagination?”

A mighty woman of God shared with me her revelation on God’s voice at the beginning of my faith journey. To paraphrase, when you answer the phone, without looking at caller ID, and it is your father, your mother, your sister, brother, friend, etc., you know who it is simply by hearing them speak. You recognized their voices and don’t need them to reveal who they are. It is the same with God. When you first meet Him, you may need introductions, but as you meet with Him more and more, it becomes easier and easier to identify God’s voice and differentiate between the many ‘voices’.

I have learned to pray for discernment when I am not sure of the source of what I am hearing or seeing – a good barometer is whether or not what I am perceiving is from the Lord is that it is encouraging, edifying, and exhorting and that it lines up with the things He has already told me in His Word.

Whenever I position myself to hear from God, I do, and last night was no exception. I want to share what He communicated to me, because I know that it isn’t just for me:


I see a picture of a person in a vast body of water, deep enough that there is no perceivable bottom. I know that this person has been swimming for a while because no land is nearby. The person has stopped – he or she can go no further and can’t go back. Exhausted the person is slowly treading water to conserve energy, understanding that it is only a matter of time before he or she is even able to tread water anymore. Some time has passed and the person begins flailing, a last ditch effort for survival. Out of nowhere a life-saving ring is tossed in front of the person. At first, the person doesn’t even see the floatation device in front of him or her and continues grasping at air in desperation. As I look closer at the floatation device, I see that there is a rope attached to it, but rather than the rope leading to a boat as I would expect, it reaches into the clouds and the other end can’t be seen. I am hearing the words “Life Line”. All the person has to do is realize it’s in front of him or her, ready and available to help…

”I’m here. I’m ALWAYS here – in good times and bad, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer – nothing matters but you – loving you, caring for you, providing for you – the struggles are nothing to Me – they aren’t greater than Me, they can’t defeat Me, they won’t overcome Me, they aren’t ‘too much’ for Me – I love you with and everlasting love, incomprehensible to you, but fully unconditional – reach out, reach out for the life line I’ve thrown you, grab on and hold on tight – I’ll rescue you, I’ll bring you away from the fear, away from the panic, far away from the feeling of defeat. Grab onto Me and hold on tight.

Desperation is no longer yours – you’ll no longer feel like you’re drowning; you’ll no longer be afraid because My life line is yours, grasped tightly in your hand – always there, always rescuing you – hold on tightly to Me – hold on, hold on”…

And then I saw this: CONNEXTION


Yesappa, Thank You for meeting me. Thank You for speaking to me and showing me a piece of Your heart. Allow this word to minister to Your children. Open ears to hear and eyes to see You; and give courage to share what You are speaking. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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I Samuel 1-2; Psalm 120; Acts 5

Psalm 120:1 In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.

The Biblical story of Hannah the woman who pleaded for a child has perplexed me on many levels. First I hear the deep grief and humiliation she suffered due to the social stigma of being childless. The love of her husband was not enough to bring joy to this barren wife. Her religious convictions and obedience to God were performed externally, yet she had no peace internally. Hannah focused on the one thing that she did not have, a child, and believed God was the only answer to her prayers.

Yet, I too have been enmeshed in my own myopic version of need. Even though I had family, friends, church, and home, that elusive advancement on my job left me grumbling. I’ve spent large amounts of time serving in the church and when my motives and priorities were challenged by family, I was indignant and held selfishly to what bolstered my self-esteem. Lately, I’ve seen this problem of narrowing perspective in my pursuit of what I believe will be in the best interest of a family member – I’ve told myself that I will not be satisfied until this is done.

The second enigma in Hannah’s story is that she promised to give this child back to God, literally. The child was two, maybe three years old, and Hannah actually took him back to the temple and gave him to the priest.  I realize there is a cultural and generational gap the size of Texas between Hannah and me, but she was a mother of her first child!  I am a mother and I can tell you that I would not have been able to fulfill a vow to God to give up my toddler! I would have been back in that temple, pleading to keep my child. Yet we do not read that Hannah mourned for little Samuel; instead each year she took him the garments she stitched herself, seemingly at peace with this arrangement. Arguably, she did have other children after her first born, but none can replace a child in the heart of the mother. So how was she able to do this?

A third perplexing statement in Hannah’s story comes from her husband Elkanah. While waiting for the day to give their son to the priest, he said to Hannah, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the Lord establish His word,” I Samuel 1:23. This is Elkanah’s first son by the woman he loves most, but he agreed to give up his son because Hannah said that is what she promised to do.  According to Judaic law, he could have dismissed her vow to God.

Instead, he dropped his worldly desires and accepted the story yet to be written when he said, “Only let the Lord establish His word.”

What if we could really let go and trust God’s will be done?

What if we really knew that God was on our side? Then we might say as in Acts 5:29a, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

If we could believe or even if we could just live as if we do, perhaps then we would welcome God’s will and like Hannah be able to say, “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God,” I Samuel 2:2

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Deuteronomy 10-14; Psalm 5; Luke 8

If I first meet you and am supposed to share something about myself, I am probably going to tell you a nice version of who I am. It’s unlikely that I am going to expose my weaknesses. I’ll wait until you have been around me for a little while before I pull down the she’s-got-it-altogether facade. After all, isn’t this human nature?

This is one of the reasons I am confident that the Bible is the word of God and divinely inspired. If a man is left to write his memoirs independent of God, he usually puts himself at the center of the story and tells a far more flattering version. The story of Moses and the people of Israel is far from flattering. They are inconsistent and continue to fall gloriously short of being the people God has called them to be. Today’s Deuteronomy passage is no exception.

I can relate to Moses and the people of Israel. The beauty of their story is that it isn’t about them. It’s about the God who loves them and refuses to give up on them. I need this God and I want him in the very center of my life. I don’t want my story to be about how wonderful or how messed up I am, I want it to be about God and his wild and relentless love actively at work in my life. So how do I get there?

I think Erin answers the question in her last Tuesday’s post. It’s about letting God’s story, his word take root in my life and take over. Jesus has this to say about the word and what we are to do with it (Luke 8:15): “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart who hear the word, retain it and persevering produce a crop.”  I want my life to be that kind of soil.

Lord, take this inconsistent, often self preoccupied heart and make it yours. May your word take root and grow so that the beauty of who You are is alive and well within me. Thank you that your love never fails and never gives up. May my life be about you. Amen.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16

Klueh

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Numbers 30-33; Psalm 35; Luke 3

The Bible refuses to be a warm and fuzzy book. Today’s readings are no exception. Harsh laws, sin, wrath, revenge and judgement coexist with obedience, devotion, love and life. The Old Testament tells the full story of a chosen people who desperately need their God, but continually turn away from him. God refuses to fit into any tame, “be nice” box. The stories we read illustrate the fact that God is God and we are not.

Psalms don’t always make us want to cozy up to their authors. Instead, they explore the range of human emotion. This speaks of the God who understands my inner workings and reaches out to me as I am. The authors’ transparency before God invites me to be honest with my Maker. Last night, I woke up frustrated, tossed and turned and my mind chased after every thought that seemed to pass by. Knowing that trying to will myself back to sleep was useless, I cried out to God, turned on the light and read “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18. This brought such peace to me; I wasn’t going crazy, God understood my racing mind and had already “out thought” me and was waiting for me in the wee hours of the morning.

If the Bible was always pretty and tame, I would be less likely to come to it. It’s honesty and rawness call the sinful and wounded places within me to come and receive forgiveness and healing from the God who understands the depths and nature of my need.

The power of God’s Word never weakens.  John used the prophet Isaiah’s words to call our hearts back to God:

A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ Luke 3:4-5.

Lord, as John the Baptist used your Word 2000 years ago to call his people back to you, use your Word today to turn our hearts you so that we know the truth and live in it.  Amen.

Klueh

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Numbers 20, Psalm 58, Psalm 59, Isaiah 9:8-10:4, James 3

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Numbers 20             Moses said, “Hear now, you rebels!” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly – The Lord spoke to Moses, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

            Not by Faith, but out of anger did Moses serve the Lord God. Therefore God was not seen as Holy by the witnesses. The consequence? No Promised Land for Moses. How many times do my emotions over rule my trust in God and His Word? How many witnesses of my words and actions have I turned away from God? How many ways do I circumvent Jesus’ Glory by my own self interests? How many “promised land” situations have I been cut off from because of this!? Jesus, I willfully, actively choose to think and act by faith and trusting Your Word/ Relationship so that I do not focus on what so easily ensnares me. (1)

Psalm 58 , Psalm 59, Isaiah 9:8-10:4, James 3 –

               The wicked … go astray, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; The mighty gather against me, Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, And for the cursing and lying which they speak. Psalm 58-59

               The tongue is a little member and boasts great things. The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. … it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men…  James 3

            Lord, am I double minded and forked tongued? Do I say and do what I think and feel? Please have mercy on me and reveal to me my innermost motives, desires and Your Truth perspectives. If I do not yield to You, You will overtake me by wrathful force. (2)

              Because of this, He shall take them away as with a whirlwind, As in His living and burning wrath. .. Consume them in wrath, consume them, And let them know that God rules in Jacob To the ends of the earth. … the Lord shall set up the adversaries against him, the Lord will cut off … Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts The land is burned up. Psalm 58-59, Isaiah 9:8-10:4

              I fear both Your just judgment and wrath as well as losing Your peace, joy and intimacy in relationship with You. I confess to You the realty of my fickleness. I hate sin!

Who say in pride and arrogance of heart: “We will rebuild with hewn stones; We will replace them with cedars.” For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 9:8-10:4

              I surrender to You, Lord Jesus Christ, my willfulness to do things my own way, as I see fit without doing Your Word and Holy Spirit counsel. I purpose my mind to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” and have my tongue, hands and feet move according to Your Holy Spirit. (5)

Your judgments are clear:

              “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, Who write misfortune, Which they have prescribed To rob the needy of justice, Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, And they shall fall among the slain.” Isaiah 9:8-10:4

Yet You say FOUR TIMES in Isaiah 9:8-10:4

For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.”

             You reach out to me and to all of us – Come to Me!” “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”  Rejecting my usual patterns, turning away from sinful relationships, not wasting time, not looking at useless information, abhorring addictions, habits and weak mindsets is Your Requirement for holiness! Step by step, day by day, I will live Your success by Your Way! (3)

The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance;  So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.” I will wait for You, For God is my defense. My God of mercy shall come to meet me; Psalm 58-59

              Repentance’s fruit is Sweet! What Peace, Joy and Freedom to be unselfish and not needy when I walk in repentance! Repentance takes time, practice, pain without regret and a lot of work by Repeatedly Doing Your thoughts and Your Ways. But the Refreshment and Still waters are more than worth it!! Thanks my Mentor and Power, Lord God Jesus Christ! (4)  

But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble. To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy. Psalm 58-59

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3

 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Numbers 4, Psalm 38, Song of Solomon 2, Hebrews 2

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Numbers 4               Then the Lord spoke, “Take a census of the sons of Kohath, Gershon, Merari, Levites, … all who enter the service to do the work … but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

             You know me, Lord. I am never hidden from Your sight. You number my days. You have prepared me to do service for You. I am to commit my way to You so You will do the blessing through me.

            Working for You can be “deadly” if I ever take the glory because it is only due to You. No compliment, no esteem, no honor, no whatever can I accept without internally submitting that to You, Lord Jesus Christ. It is only under Your Authority and by abiding in You, that any eternal good can ever be accomplished.

            Lord Jesus, keep my mind and heart fresh to hear Your thoughts as my first priority whenever anyone appreciates me. I want to hear You praised and glorified within my own heart, my Savior and Lord! That is my reward!

Psalm 38                   O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; I go mourning all the day long.

            The price of sin is Enormous! The pain it causes far outweighs and outlasts any moment of illicit pleasure.  When I harden my heart, becoming stubborn in believing that “I deserve my unlawful pleasure rights” – I cause greater harm to myself and to those whom I say with my lips that I love; You Lord, my relatives, friends, and those who need Jesus yet may be led astray by witnessing an unfaithful Christ follower. 

For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God. For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin. – O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

             Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You only – and gravely. My fear of man, distrust of Your Word, and attitude of self-will all speak loudly against You, Holy One. I choose to turn away, this moment, from “my rights” and submit to Your Rights, LORD. Take this situation which is before me, give me Your Word Perspective, fill me with Your Holy Spirit wisdom and power. See – I shall turn away from my familiar pattern and do Your counsel for You, Lord Jesus Christ!   

Song of Solomon 2             The man about the woman, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.”                           

            Imagery – Imagine – Christ with His Bride, the Church, the Body of Christ! Thorns are those who are still Jesus’ enemy. I am a lily among those who are thorns. I am Your Love! What an honor to be loved and cherished by You, my Savior! My heart melts!

            The woman about the man, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. … He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love….  My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away.’”

            By Your Lovingkindness You draw me into Your Presence! Your unconditional Love overshadows all the ills in my life and overwhelms me. You always call me to stay in Your Presence. ~ ~ I rest in You, Lord Jesus. You refresh me like no other. I ponder Your Word privately, intimately, vulnerably. Your Holy Spirit gives me comfort, wisdom and holy perspective. Your Sweet Fruit I desire above all – the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and Your work.

            I shall be faithful to You, Lord Jesus, my Betrothed. You are always beneficially honest with me for Your glory! Your everlasting love binds my heart, mind and all to You, my Beloved King!

My beloved is mine, and I am His. v.16

Hebrews 2                How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Spirit …?

             No adultery! No neglecting the Great Salvation which the Lord Jesus paid for me! No betraying or rejecting the One Love that can save me and fill me with healing and wholeness!

           But how am I unfaithful to my first Love? Who or what do I run to when I am upset, bothered and wanting to escape even minor “moody pain”? how many times have a failed? and harmed others in my wake? Do I first run to Jesus, the Word of God, and stay there? For Good counsel, comfort and wisdom to change my perspective and situation? Do my reactions have Jesus being the Fragrance people smell, instead of my own odorous ways?

     Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. …For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

I am free and empowered, indeed, to live for You! Thank You Lord Jesus!

“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. I will put My trust in Him.” v.13

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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