Monday, January 25, 2016

Bible in 90 Days – Day 69

Bible in 90 Days – Day 69
Matthew 5-15

Matthew 12:36 Careless: Lazy, shunning the labor they ought to perform, from which no profit is derived although they can and ought to be productive. Purely temporal

Matthew 7:6 Pearls before swine. I need to study up on this some more.

Matthew 7:14 This will not be an easy journey.
Matthew 7:25 The one who acted on His words didn't fall in adversity because the Rock was the foundation. Acting on His words = Built on. Not just thinking about or reading His words, but doing them.
Matthew 8:26 Faith leaves no room for fear.
Matthew 9:36 He felt compassion on them because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd:
Without Jesus, our Rest, we do get worn out.

Matthew 8:17 "He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases." (See also Isaiah 53:4)
Matthew 9:36 He felt compassion on them because they were weary and worn out.

Matthew 10:34-37 We must not idolize relationships over Christ
Matthew 12:36 People will have to account for every careless word that they speak (see careless, above)
Matthew 6:9 Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 15:8-9 On worship vs. tainted worship. How do we hallow God's name in the present day? With pure and untainted worship (See Malachi 1:6-11, Malachi 3:16)

Matthew 6:5-15 Prayer! Don't babble. Pray in secret. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matthew 15:21-28 Persistence in Prayer

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bible in 90 Days – Day 6

Bible in 90 Days – Day 6
Exodus 15-28

Exodus 17:15 Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord is My Banner. This was when Moses’ hands were lifted for victory – God is the Victory!
Exodus 20:5 worship – H5647 To work for, to serve, to make oneself a servant to, to serve as subjects
Exodus 20:12 honor – H3513 heavy/weighty (Hebrew idiom designating significance)

Exodus 16:4 The last thing that was recorded to be rained down (Exodus 9:18) was for destruction, but this was for life.

Exodus 16:29 God provides the means for us to obey. He provides the means for us to please Him.

Exodus 16:24 Imagine the reality of Sabbath – with a weekly miracle: the food did not spoil as normal.

Exodus 18:10-11 The first retelling of this (Exodus 10:1-2) recorded here.

Exodus 23:1-7 You must not spread a false report, and stay far away from false accusation.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bible in 90 Days – Day 5

Bible in 90 Days – Day 5
Exodus 1-15

Poor speaker (Literally “Uncircumcised lips”) – a Hebrew idiom for any imperfection that interferes with efficiency.

Exodus 8:6 Where did the frogs go ‘up’ from?
Exodus 8:18 This is the first one the magicians could not copy- the gnats. At this third plague, they acknowledged the power of God.
Exodus 9:18-21 By the seventh plague, some of Pharoah’s officials feared God.
Exodus 9:27 Seventh plague Pharaoh admits sin and acknowledges God, but in 9:34 when it got easy again he sinned again. This time, too, he hardens his own heart – up until now it’s been God hardening his heart.
Exodus 12:38 Ethnically diverse crowd – does this mean that some Egyptians came with them?

Exodus 14:4 Sometimes my path may be longer/harder because God wants to do a work in someone else.

Exodus 10:1-2 So that I may do, and you may tell. (Don’t we often miss the first part? Or reword it so that we are the doers? He’s so got this.)

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.

Exodus 6:9,12,30 The peoples’ spirit was broken and their hard labor kept them from listening to Moses, but he thought it was his own lack of skill. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen either and he again thought it was his own lack of ability, but it was his hard heart.
how often have we made the same conclusion? That because of some imperfection of our own we ought not do something, even if it’s something God has asked us to do

Exodus 14:21, 23:15 Moses stretched out his hand, and the Lord _____.  Are my hands available for the Lord to ______? Am I offering what I have?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bible in 90 Days – Day 1

Bible in 90 Days – Day 1
Genesis 1-16
For now I’m going to structure my posts like this. This is a new way for me to study so I may change it as I go along. I found that I’m easily distractible as I’m reading, because I have such a bent toward “study” in place of “reading”. This takes exponentially longer, and since there’s so much reading each day, I decided to jot notes in a separate journal as I go along, so I don’t stop. Kindof like taking sermon notes during a sermon, as I can’t very well raise my hand and ask my pastor to hang on while I go and research this or that.
Here’s my structure for today.
Words: Words that popped off the page for me
Wonders: Things I sortof wonder about, that I’d have to go and read some commentaries or study up a bit farther – if there’s even any complete explanations out there. God does love a good mystery, after all.
Principles: Maybe a little theological one-liner that one could infer from the text.
Hugs: Warm fuzzies for the romantic in me. When God’s tenderness and faithful love is especially evident to me.
Mirror: When I see myself in the characters. God’s word is like a mirror (James 1:23-25)
(Also, I’m going to be using the HCSB. I love the HCSB Notetakers Interactive Edition Bible for its huge margins, lots of study info and cross references.)

Gen 2:18 helper – 5828 One who helps; from 5826 to help, support.
Note: This is the first job description for a wife, before woman is even created.

Gen 2:24 bonds with – 1692 To cling to, to stay with
Note: Marriage rules determined as soon as marriage is established.

Gen 2:25 no shame – 954 (Not) put to shame, disconcerted, or disappointed. (Not) acting shamefully.
Note: Shame and Audacity cannot coexist.

Gen 8:21 pleasing aroma
God was well pleased with the performance, v. 21. He smelt a sweet savour, or, as it is in the Hebrew, a savour of rest, from it. As, when he had made the world at first on the seventh day, he rested and was refreshed, so, now that he had new-made it, in the sacrifice of the seventh he rested. He was well pleased with Noah's pious zeal, and these hopeful beginnings of the new world, as men are with fragrant and agreeable smells; though his offering was small it was according to his ability, and God accepted it. Having caused his anger to rest upon the world of sinners, he here caused his love to rest upon this little remnant of believers. –Matthew Henry

Genesis 12:1 This seems a little out of nowhere. Why Abram? Perhaps because God knew he would obey? Perhaps God saw Abram’s faith even before He called him, before we get the chance to see his faith recorded? God looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Gen 4:12-22, 6:5-8, 8:18, 10:1-32 Righteousness is more important than knowledge or skill. All (or perhaps many) of the makers, music makers, thinkers, etc were washed away in the flood.
Gen 12:7-8 Abram worships. Even though he doesn’t know where he’s going, and there is no hope of fulfillment, he worships.

Gen 13:17 “Get up and walk from one end of the land to the other, for I will give it to you.” (This reminded me of a daddy excitedly giving his child a new car, or house, or something amazing, and saying “Push all the buttons, give it a try, test drive it, look in all the doors and cabinets! It’s yours!”)

Gen 15:2, 16:2 Abram and Sarai are trying to figure out how God could keep His promise, and they’re trying to come up with a solution for Him, praying with this finite solution in mind. A solution born of finite understanding, when God has something better and more amazing in mind. It’s hard to believe in the supernatural when our minds are so human. See also Romans 8:26 – when we don’t know how to pray, and Eph 3:20 He is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or even imagine.

Bible In 90 Days Challenge

Today I am joining my friend in a challenge to read through the Bible in 90 days. I am going to be using this blog as an outlet for some of the thoughts God stirs in me during this challenge. It's likely going to be a little less structured than some of the previous posts/studies found here, and I probably won't post daily, but I'd love to invite you to join me here and read and study along. I would also love for you to join me in this challenge.

My friend Amy who invited me to join her in this challenge writes about it on her blog Eternity in My Heart and you'll love her heart.
She used the Zondervan's 90 day Bible but you can also print the plan and use your favorite Bible.
The picture I used below is not my own but I think it is beautiful. I got it from here
Right-click on it to save and print it.

My thoughts and comments are in the next post.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


It’s hard to fully express what I felt God working in my heart last night when my husband was reading the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook to the kids. It was the story found in Acts 16:24-40, where Paul and Silas are in prison. Worshipping. And then God worked, and removed their chains, but they stayed.

First, I must recount the definition I read this week for ‘trial’. It has really stuck with me and resonated with me.

“Trial: from the Hebrew sara or srh, which means to bind, tie up, restrict. Thus the noun comes to denote a narrow place in life where one is bound or restricted.”

I also read the truth that stated “we listen, we praise, we walk in the direction of God’s voice and we obey. It’s that simple. Sometimes that means we get to unbind and celebrate. Sometimes it means we don’t.” (Both quotes from I Will Carry You by Angie Smith)

So God tied these thoughts up together with a bow.

We are grieving. We are grieving the loss of a much loved one taken too soon by cancer. We’ve been praying that we get to unbind and celebrate the healing that we’ve been praying so desperately for. But God had other plans.

He did unbind.
He did answer.

Just not in a way we were planning.

So do we run? Do we flee? Hide? Do we turn our backs?

I’ve been feeling in a prison. That seems funny to say. But it’s a mind-picture I made even before bedtime stories last night. A prison where someone we love has cancer. We are bound, our hands are tied and unable to even help him get comfortable, much less find healing.
It has made me go mad and feel like running. It has made me get mad and feel like doubting. But I’ve given in to neither.

I stayed in the prison.
But did I worship?

Maybe. Sometimes.

Did I pray for deliverance? You bet.
But did I worship and sing hymns, focused solely on my great God, not expecting anything in return?
I’m not sure. Only God really knows.

But then, now that it is finished – as finished as that part of the trial can be this side of Heaven, for we will always feel the loss and the pain of separation – do we move on? Or do we minister?

Paul and Silas could have left to finish ‘their’ work, the mission they had planned, but they stayed where God placed them.

God penned their story, putting them right where He wanted them to serve. And so they did. And a household of people came to know Jesus because of it. (And we will get to meet them in Heaven one day!) They served in a way they never could have had they never gone through this trial. Only when their work was done there did God move them on, blessing their freedom.

So I must keep reminding myself, when I feel trapped, or bound, going through this trial, or any trials I have yet to encounter that only God knows of:



See also this post about unanswered prayers

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Building Favor

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” NKJV

We are stewards of God’s mysteries. We. He entrusted us failing, flawed, finite humans; entrusted with His name and the knowledge and message of the Mighty Creator.

Stewards (verse 1) comes from oikonomos, meaning ‘manager of, as household, affairs, farm, or of finances as treasurer.

If we were entrusted with the management of someone’s business for a time, or of the wealth of an individual, company, or nation, we would certainly be wise and careful, and faithful to attend to it, yes?
Why, then, do we take for granted and ignore the most valuable treasure in existence?
What is that ‘faithful’ we are required (yes, it says required, not ought) to be?

Let’s look.

Faithful. From pistos: can be relied upon; faithful in execution of commands

And I also found it very interesting where that word pistos comes from. Let me preface this next part by saying that we are loved and accepted by God no matter what we do, but that I have seen Scripture after Scripture where God is more pleased with someone in particular, or holds a greater favor toward them based on their actions.
Look at Abraham, David, and even Jesus. Jesus grew in favor with God. (Luke 2:52) Jesus Himself had the capacity to grow in greater favor. If Jesus’s favor in God’s eyes can grow, then certainly ours has room to grow, yes?

So let’s look at where faithful (pistos) comes from. It comes from peitho: to make friends of, to win one’s favor, to seek to win one, strive to please one.

Are we seeking and striving to please our Father? Are we seeking and striving to live out our faithfulness to Him?

Let’s go back one chapter to 1 Corinthians 3:9. It says that, even though (1 Cor 4:1) we are His servants, we are also His co-workers. We are working alongside Him. The actual root of the word ministers/servants in 4:1 is huperetes: underrower/subordinate rower, attendants of a kind, serves with hands, any who aids another in a work.
So we work, together with Him, but as His subordinate.

It also says we are His building. Again I find it humbling that He would choose us for His building.
Here’s where this is going to start coming together and getting more personal. Can you go there with me? Let’s get vulnerable and be changed, shall we?

Read 1 Corinthians 3:9-13.
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” NKJV emphasis mine

Our Foundation is Jesus Christ. Thank goodness our foundation is God Himself. And One who is continually growing in favor with God, amen?

Anything we build from there in our lives or in the lives of others will either have eternal value and be that of worth, or it won’t (vs. 12).

And here’s where it might sting a little – each of our works will be “made manifest” (KJV) which is from phaneros: to appear, to be known openly, abroad.
God tries each work for its lasting value.

1 Cor 3:13 “their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” NIV

And not only are our works tried, but we are tried as well. Are we of the quality that is pleasing to God? To gain favor in His eyes?

Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” KJV

1 Peter 1:7 “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” NKJV

1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” NKJV

So if we are wanting to be His building of lasting worth, quality, and pleasing to Him, what needs to happen? If when we, and our works, are tried for what sort they are and we want them to be those of gold, silver, and precious stones, built on the solid foundation that we have, that is Jesus Christ, we must build wisely (vs 10). Pay careful attention to “how you build thereupon”.

1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”

Take a look at Nehemiah 4:10.

Nehemiah 4:10 “Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”

This was an epic building project, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Wouldn’t it have been disheartening to have spent all that work only to have it crumble away, or worse yet, blow away in the wind? That’s why they needed to first clear away the rubble.
Look at these excerpts from a commentary by John Brown.
“If the walls were built without clearing first, they would be unstable and ultimately fall again!”
“In the church as well as in our private lives, if anything is not built upon the ROCK, it has to go! If it is not built upon the ROCK then it is built upon the "rubbish" and must be cleared so the foundation can be seen and the building process started over!”

What sort of rubble might be in our lives to prevent our building efforts, our works, and even a strong relationship with God from lasting? This is highly applicable in our habits and disciplines – clear away the rubble to make room for good ones, to establish strong building of new habits and lasting disciplines, such as Scripture memory, prayer, and more.

Clear away the rubble on non-truths. You can’t build on these – your building will be unstable. The non-truths will crumble and you won’t know what to believe when it’s all crumbled in front of you.

Most importantly, clear away the rubble of those who you have wrongly put your faith in. Who are you really trusting in? If your object/person of faith was ‘tried for what sort it is’, would it last? Would it shine, or would it burn away?

So in closing, shall we take a hard look at how we’re building and what we’re building with? When the building that is us, and our lives, is tried, what will be made manifest? What will be left after the trying fire? Are the ways we are building on our foundation going to be truly pleasing and of increasing favor with God?

Let’s memorize:
1 Corinthians 3:13 “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” NKJV