Tag Archives: worry

1 Kings 19-21; 2 Chronicles 17; Matthew 24

I listened to a podcast where the host remembered an interview with a businessman about priorities, and he said that taking care of health was the single most important thing one could do for his business. I wonder if business classes teach the importance of self care?

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:3-13, NLT)”

I looked up an image of a broom tree, and imagined Elijah there. I emphasized words in this reading that resonated with me–about feeling afraid and alone, weary and despaired. Stress and worry and hustle are killers, consuming from the inside out.

Rest, nutrition, finding quiet before the mountain amidst the storm and chaos, listening for the Lord–are these things so seemingly simple that they get neglected in the flurry and fury of flight/fight mode? These things have become the top of my tending list, not an afterthought behind a lengthy to-do, and not my last resort when I have exhausted myself. Not anymore.

Father God, I am so grateful for your tender care. Your Word often reminds me of your sovereignty and strength–especially when I feel so small and insignificant. Thank you for meeting me daily in my walks. You are my source of life.

Courtney (66books365)

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Proverbs 1-4; Matthew 6

Matthew 6 is the middle chapter in Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. There is almost too much to take in when reading through these three chapters. D Martyn Lloyd Jones, the British theologian, wrote a book on these three chapters. The book is over an inch thick. Just think about what is found in that book that we can’t even take the time here to contemplate.

So what do we take away from this reading today? And that doesn’t even take into account Proverbs 1-4. In fact while reading these passages this week, they sound eerily similar. Two passages of God’s Word separated by many years, yet many good admonitions in living a godly life in the here and now.

What is your daily routine? What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Do you check email first? Do you read the news? Or do you spend time in God’s Word and prayer? I was watching a video blog by a person I follow in the business world and I believe he is far from a Christ-follower. He let’s nothing from the outside into his mind till he has done his yoga and meditation in the morning. Yet many of us who are Christ-followers are reading our emails, watching/reading the news and then by the time we get around to reading the Bible and prayer we are so distracted we cannot hear what God has for us. Here in Matthew 6 we are told not to worry about tomorrow or one could say anything before spending time with our Lord.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34 [ESV])

I have found that if the first thing I do in the morning is to spend time with God, almost everything else takes care of itself. Worrying and being anxious before your time with God limits His access to your life and mind. It’s like a haze or fog you have already put in front of you. Then you strain to see what He is trying to teach you about Himself and His plans for your life.

Father God thank you for the life-giving power of your Word and presence. Give us the discipline and power to focus on You and You alone at the beginning of each day. We pray this in the wonderful and strong name of Jesus, Amen.

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1 Kings 13; Philippians 4; Ezekiel 43; Psalms 95,96

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9 NLT

This passage has become all too familiar to me. I have recalled it to my weary mind time and time again. But sometimes I forget how powerful it can be in my life. When my nine year old son was scared, I told him to say the name of Jesus and his fearful thoughts would flee. In her book “Battlefield of the Mind for Kids” Joyce Meyer paints such a vivid picture of Jesus guarding the mind. “Dear Jesus, please protect my thoughts and mind. Please stand between me and any lies that might come into my head.” In order to train my thoughts I need to stay disciplined in his word. The Psalms have a way of directing my heart back to him…

He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest of mountains.” Psalms 95:4 NLT

I am reminded of his majesty

Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.” Psalms 95:6 NLT

I am reminded of his constant provision.

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” Psalms 96:1-3 NLT

I praise him for all he has done!

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NLT

Thank you Father for your love for me. That you delight in me and care about the smallest details of my life. Help me to be grounded by your word everyday. Forgive me when I grumble, I want to have a grateful heart. Give me a mind that is filled with your desires. Thank you for all you have done for me. Amen.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Genesis 15; Matthew 14; Nehemiah 4; Acts 14

“Peter said to him,” Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. And he said, “Come!” and Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith! Why did you doubt?” Matt 14:28-31

Everywhere I turn, in everything I read, I’m hearing the Lord tell me to keep my eyes on Him. To make looking at Him the way I live, moment to moment. I’m learning this gaze…trying to learn it…praying to learn it.

Yet too many times lately the wind has been so strong and the water has been choppy, and I have looked at them, and become afraid, and begun to sink into the dangerous depths of anxiety.

This looking is an act of faith; a choice.

I read about Abraham, in Genesis 15, who believed God’s promise to make His offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky, even though he had no son, and it was counted to him as righteousness (v.6).

What will I look at? My circumstances? My reasoning? Or will I look at the one who created me? The one who knows the end from the beginning?

And yet there is more. Not only must I be careful where I look, but to whom I listen.

I read about Nehemiah and the builders and the voices that comprised their “winds”of adversity. The enemy of my soul whispers lies.  That I am feeble…that I will only, always, ever fail. (Nehemiah 4:2-3)

It’s not just the circumstances, but the lies of the deceiver…arrows aimed at my weakest spots on my weakest days.

To my unknowns he whispers worst case scenarios and if I listen, suddenly , I’m not just dealing with the wind and the waves that are actually there, but with wind and waves that do not exist and may never come my way… “what ifs” and worries.

I must not look at the wind and the waves, I must not listen to the mockery of the enemy.

I must only LOOK UNTO JESUS.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)

I look to Him in faith, look to Him for faith, and all of my looking is with the faith He provides.

And that, my friend, is grace. All grace.

Amy W. (gueston66books)

From the archives. Originally published January 14, 2013.

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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)

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