Saturday, November 30, 2013

There he is again in the Old Testament, the Son of God. Daniel and the other two believers were willing to put God above their own safety. Look at their reward: affirmation of the one true God and a few moments with his Son on earth.

Daniel 3:24-25
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

I would be scared to death if there were a lion stalking me, roaring, ready to pounce! "Resist him." Are you kidding? Apparently Peter is not kidding. "Resist him, firm in your faith." Then the promise for suffering a little: God himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. OK, I'm game.

1 Peter 5:8-11

Be sober-minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why does stuff like this make women crazy? It says by your mere behavior you have the power to win your husbands to the word. What is wrong with that? Also, at this stage I am up for imperishable beauty.

1 Peter 3:1-4
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,
when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

As a kid, I remember how safe I felt in my father's arms. To feel that childlike sweetness of being truly safe we have to give up a couple of things.

1 Peter 2:1-2
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

Monday, November 25, 2013

Through the centuries one thing has never changed. It was true for Isaiah, it was true for Peter, and it will save you. "...the LIVING and abiding word of God..." (emphasis mine)

1 Peter 1:22-25

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.The grass withers,and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hate to interfere? Here is some encouragement from James.

James 5:19-20
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Earthly, unspiritual, demonic." Doesn't James' description make you think a little of our political leaders? I've always thought wisdom was wisdom and that wisdom was good. But James knows better and he has good advice: " do not boast and be false to the truth."

James 3:13-17

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ever wonder why you seem to get yourself in the same mess over and over again? It happens to me all the time. James has the answer: faith. It is not a concept to be pondered. It is a state of being that takes practice.

James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This is packed with things we all need to hear. I'm also delighted that the author of Hebrews seems to like the same Old Testament verses I do.

Hebrews 13:5-8

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said,

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

So we can confidently say,

    “The Lord is my helper; 
      I will not fear;
     what can man do
     to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I've always liked this, but now I realize I never understood it. Discipline is not to be endured because it is some weird form of love. It springs the trap we impose on ourselves spiritually and shows us the way ahead. We don't move there willingly. Our traps may be painful but they are familiar and so safe.

Hebrews 12:5-7

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
     “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
             nor be weary when reproved by him.
     For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, 
             and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Proverb for Sunday!

Proverbs 28:25

A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Are you exhausted from holding your life together? Are you sleepless with anxiety? Give over, have a little faith and then enjoy this promise, " he gives to his beloved sleep."

Psalm 127:1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house, 
   those who build it labor in vain. 
Unless the Lord watches over the city, 
  the watchman stays awake in         vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
  and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
  for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do you know yet what you can endure? We are often so busy keeping ourselves comfortable we never experience those soul-wrenching depths. Jesus wrenches our souls. Let him, there is great reward.

Hebrews 10:35-39

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

   “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not           delay;
     but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks            back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Bible Gateway link

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This pleases me. The author of Hebrews is struck, as I was, by Jeremiah 31:31-34. (God) put his laws into our minds and wrote them on our hearts. "They shall all know me..."

Hebrews 8:10-13

 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel 

     after those days, declares the Lord:
  I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
  and I will be their God,
     and they shall be my people.
  And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
     and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,
  for they shall all know me,
     from the least of them to the greatest.
  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
     and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm still a babe but I'm practicing! I'm finding it's not about adopting policies then living them out no matter what. It is about living every moment with God, discerning, practicing and sorting out good from evil. It's really hard!

Hebrews 5:12-14

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food,
for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Any comment from me is unneccessary.

Psalm 121:1-8

The hills God gives me in Hume, Virginia
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
  From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
  who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
  he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
 will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
  the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
  nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
  he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep 
  your going out and your coming in 
  from this time forth and forevermore.

Friday, November 8, 2013

It is amazing how my bible readings on a daily basis seem to be so relevant. Before we helplessly lash out at liars, follow this advice: call to the Lord! He will answer you and deal with the deceitful tongue, the lying lips, in his way, in his time.

Psalm 120:1-4
In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given to you,
and what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
A warrior's sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Worldliness, sophistication, cynicism are all symptoms of a hard heart. I know, it took blatant manipulation to soften my heart: say puppies or an ATT commercial at Christmas. An open heart takes something else. It takes sincere confidence in Christ..."firm to the end"-- and a little help from your friends.

Hebrews 3:12-15

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Could this possibly be true? Every morning God's compassion is new. His faithfulness cannot fail, it defines him. All I have to do is believe, obey and wait quietly.

Lamentations 3:22-27
Dawn again

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mercy, regeneration, renewal and our righteous works have nothing to do with it. I'm so grateful.

Titus 3:3-5
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
Thank you Diane Griffith
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Iniquity and dominion, what a bad combination. Here's a prayer for us all "Keep steady my steps..."

Psalm 119:132-133
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fierceness and pride go a long way in the world. Then you find yourself up there with the eagles. It turns out not to be such a great place after all.

Jeremiah 49:16
Your fierceness has deceived you,
The pride of your heart,
O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Who hold the height of the hill!
Though you make your nest as high as the eagle,
I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.