Thursday, May 30, 2013

Solomon built a great temple for the Lord but in his wisdom he knew hearts were and are more important to God than houses. When the temple was finished this was Solomon's prayer:

1 Kings 8:57-61
The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us,
that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers.
Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires,
that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.
Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
Bible Gateway link

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I like sheep. Happy to be one, besides, who would pass up this promise?

John 10:25-30
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me,
but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
Helen Holmes photos
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
I and the Father are one.”
Bible Gateway link

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Asking God for an understanding mind is not a bad idea. It worked for Solomon, it will work for us. Asking humbly is probably key.

1 Kings 3:7-14
And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.
And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,
behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.
And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
Bible Gateway link

Monday, May 27, 2013

Simple. This man was blind from birth, then he could see. Once one has gone from darkness to light, it is simple: " Lord, I believe."

John 9:35-38
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”
He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Bible Gateway link

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:2)

John 8:56-58
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Bible Gateway link

Friday, May 24, 2013

Are we not a nation governed by God? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it. God be merciful to us and cause His face to shine upon us.

Psalm 67:1-4
God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
bill kish
Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah
Bible Gateway link

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A father's love! Absalom had killed his brother Amnon, fled and then plotted to take the the crown from his father. But David was in such pain at his loss. He loved Absalom against all reason. Love is like that.

2 Samuel 18:33

Marcia Willmarth
And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Bible Gateway link

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He listens. Don't just say you are going to pray. Really pray. God will not reject our prayers.

Psalm 66:16-20

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.

But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

Bible Gateway link

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Even when our hearts are broken we must have faith. I'm praying for all those who are suffering, and I know that God will comfort them. His plan is a mystery to us but we can still sing praises to His name.

 (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
Psalm 66:1-4

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;

sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!

Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.

All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Bible Gateway link

Monday, May 20, 2013

What can I say?

John 6:63

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Bible Gateway link (ESV)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Let us be in awe of His signs and shout for joy.

Psalm 65:4-8

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

Bible Gateway link

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Such patience! From Adam all the way to David, from David all the way to Jesus. One generation of flawed humans after another to build this kingdom, this house and kingdom that God fulfilled for us in the body of Christ.

2 Samuel 7:12-17
  (God speaking to David through the prophet Nathan)

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Bible Gateway link

Friday, May 17, 2013

A double dose of David today. Oh how he loved the Lord. Me too!

Psalm 63:1-5

O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

Bible Gateway link (NKJV)

The moral of this story: if your husband is dancing before the Lord, don't be embarrassed, JOIN HIM. If you are dancing and he isn't, ask him to join you.

2 Samuel 6:14-23

And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.

So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
Mark Ransenberger

As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.

And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.

And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts

and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”

And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord.

I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.”

And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Bible Gateway link (ESV)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

He is looking for us! you and me, why would we hide? Think of that, HE IS LOOKING FOR US. Your only job is to worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:23-24

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when
Sidra Malik potos
the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Bible Gateway link (ESV)

Monday, May 13, 2013

First we must acknowledge we are in trouble, then have the grace to reach for help from something bigger than ourselves.

Psalm 61:1-3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
Joshua, photos

from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,

for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Bible Gateway Link

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thank God for mothers. He uses them to change the world.

John 2:1-5 

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.

When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Bible Gateway link

Saturday, May 11, 2013

John the Baptist is such a major minor character in the Gospels. He had such a servant's heart. Oh, but I aspire to have just a pinch of his humility, faith and grace.

John 1:29-34

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’

I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
 David B Crook

I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Bible Gateway link

Friday, May 10, 2013

Praises must be sung! An extra post today because our house in Hume, Virginia smells like wisteria blossoms and honeysuckle.

Psalm 59:17

O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Bible Gateway link

I get to hold the Word in my hands every day. Jesus is the Word. He was there from the beginning. Once I really got that, everything fell into place.

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Bible Gateway link

Thursday, May 9, 2013

When Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection he says something that proves true to me over and over. My mind has been opened to understand the Scriptures. They are living words and God speaks to me in different ways on different days.

Luke 24:44-47

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Gary Chapin photo

and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Bible Gateway link

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

There is evil in the world. In an effort to deny that fact we insist we can fix it. We can't. God alone can change hearts. It is not for nothing that Jesus Christ cast out evil spirits to show he was the Son of God. He taught us: "deliver me from evil." He didn't say deny it.

Psalm 58:3-8

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Konrad Mebert Photo
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,

so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter.

O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!

Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.

Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.

Bible Gateway link

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It is simple. He is God and we are not. He sees clearly, we see through a glass darkly. He knows who is in charge. We forget all the time.

1 Samuel 16:7
Bill Grange photo

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Bible Gateway link

Monday, May 6, 2013

God asks for obedience. It is far more important to Him than the rituals. Stubbornness led Saul to rejection. With the new covenant, Jesus Christ intercedes for us, but the point is valid. Obey! Don't reject the word of the Lord.

1 Samuel 15:22-26

So Samuel said:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
Paul Gammadi photo: Samuel reproves Saul

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.

Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.”

But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”

Bible Gateway link (NKJV)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

God and His man Samuel knew a king for Israel was a bad idea. And yet both God and Samuel were willing to work with them. Can we turn aside from empty thing that cannot profit or deliver?

1 Samuel 12:19-25

And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we
may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.”

And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.

For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

Bible Gateway link (ESV)

The people of Israel insisted on a King. God created one for them. Here God's man Samuel tells the future King Saul the signs that will guide him. But notice God turned Saul into another man. He gave Saul a new heart for the job. God can do this. He can give us a new heart. Don't limit yourself. He can "turn us into another man."

1 Samuel 10:5-9

After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying.

Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.

Bible Gateway link to the story of Saul

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Barren women having babies is a dominant theme in the Bible. Hannah's Samuel changed the course of history. I am barren, but as with Hannah the Lord has filled me. I will lend to Him whatever fruit I humbly produce. I pray it is useful to Him.

1 Samuel 1:26-28

And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord.

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.

Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 2:1-5

And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

“Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.

“The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.

Bible Gateway link to the story of Samuel