Posts Tagged With: Bible study

Everything


Panoramic image looking south from the upper deck of the ‘Top of the Rock’ observation deck on Rockefeller Center. Lower deck is visible on the right edge of the frame. Photo by Daniel Schwen

Good morning beloved,

A friend opened her house to anyone in our co-op to come over yesterday and view History Channel‘s The Bible. I sat and watched scenes that until this moment have just been pictured in my imagination. It would be easy for me to criticize or wish for pieces to be shown differently. However, I cannot. Why? Abraham.

The impact of watching the scene play out from Genesis 22 hit me hard as I drove home. You see, you know what is unfolding, but to watch Abraham pick up his beloved son, lay him on the altar they both designed and pick up his knife. We wait for God‘s messenger to deliver. As Abraham begins to drive the knife into his son, he covers Isaac‘s eyes and the angel cries out. Abraham’s hand plunges into the wood rather than his beloved. They turn and they see a beautiful, spotless, white lamb.

It hurts my heart. I see that lamb as Jesus. A foreshadowing of what is to come. God will not hold His own hand.

Does it ever just hurt your heart to think of God’s Son was not held back? Do you ever ponder the wonder of a love so great?

13 Then Abraham ·looked up [L lifted his eyes] and saw ·a [or another] ·male sheep [ram] caught in a ·bush [thicket] by its horns. So Abraham went and took the sheep offering it as a whole burnt offering to God, ·and his son was saved [L  … in the place of his son]. 14 So Abraham named that place The Lord ·Provides [or Sees; C Hebrew: Yahweh Yireh]. Even today people say, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be ·provided [or seen].”

15 The ·angel [messenger] of the Lord [16:7] called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “The Lord says, ‘Because you did not ·keep back [withhold] your son, your ·only [precious] son, from me, I ·make you this promise by my own name [L swear by myself]: 17 I will surely bless you and ·give you many descendants [L multiply your seed]. They will be as many as the stars in the ·sky[heavens] and the sand on the seashore, and they will ·capture [L possess] the ·cities [L gates] of their enemies. 18 Through your ·descendants [L seed] all the nations on the earth will be blessed, because you ·obeyed [listened to] me [12:1–3].’ ” Genesis 22

Hard video, friends, I have trouble even watching, but the song, the lyrics speak exactly to what I am trying to write.

Just to be with you, I (God) would give anything. He gave everything.

Here I am. Thankful.

My thankfuls:

214. For Precepts Bible studies where I truly understood the word covenant.

215. Your hand, Lord, Your hand not holding Your Son back.

216. I am thankful that this series is being shown on the History Channel.

Praying for your pastor and his wife today:

Pray that God will build a hedge of protection around your pastor’s marriage, and that he and his wife will be aware of the potential for any improper relationships. Pray that their family time will be protected. (Ezek. 22:30a; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Matt. 19:6)  (Revive Our Hearts)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Trust issues?


Crepuscular rays in the steam from a hot spring. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (USA).

Good morning, beloved,

The quiet of the early morning, this morning there are no birds around to break the quiet.  However there are always cars, and trains and motorcycles and trucks to shake up. This morning I strained to understand what God was showing me in His Word. The Bible study was not igniting a passion to study. A passion to connect with the questions asked of me. I closed the book not understanding and not connecting with where the author was taking me.

You see, I prefer to dig into the Word and nose around. Glean, connect other passages..fun stuff for little ol’ me. Yet, if I am real here, I think the questions hit very close to home. I connected WAY too much with what the author was asking.

To delve into places in my heart that I prefer to keep shut, to open the floodgates..the Spirit is alive and active this morning. It is uncomfortable. And most likely, I need to truly hear where He is guiding me to look with eyes to see.

You see, I want to trust God. I cry out and ask for help to trust God. However, I am resembling a two-year old that shares her toy but then wants it back two seconds later. I give God my stuff, but when the bills keep coming, the car is breaking down, the health of the body is shaky..I run to find answers. Who can help us? When is that check coming? Should we take a loan? I begin my planning. Why? At the heart of it all, I believe this is all our fault and God is up watching me and shaking His head in disbelief.

Good mercies! Where can I find that truth in the Bible? Um, nowhere. There is no verse in the Bible that says God helps those who help themselves. Have I sinned? Have I done things to get me to this place? I suppose yes..my sin blackens. Yet, the sin that captures my heart now? I have trust issues.

Why? I look back. I see what our family has walked through and I think..I pray for this, it didn’t happen. I pray for this, nothing happened. Those are the thoughts in my head. I confess that. I dive into the mire and muck around, throwing sludge all over me. My fault, God won’t help this, shame, whatever the terms…I rub the sludge all over me. And I forget. I can’t see…until..

Psalm 40: 2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.

The Lord comes in, right now, and says:

2 Corinthians 6:2  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

The “Rosenmühle” with mist and fog in the evening. The “Rosenmühle” on the river “Haller” is a former water mill in Adensen, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany. by Michael Gäbler

I am welcomed. Now. I am assured a welcome like no other. God listens when we call. God is always responding. God is always speaking. We need to be listening. I need to clothe myself with truth. For God is the one who has kept us warm. God is the one who keeps the lights on. God is the one who feeds us. God is the rock. God is the steadying grip on my shoulders.

Isaiah 2:22 Cease to trust in [weak, frail, and dying] man, whose breath is in his nostrils [for so short a time]; in what sense can he be counted as having intrinsic worth?

God has provided over, and over, and over again. So Satan, enough of your stupid lies. I know the truth and that sets me free. I am free indeed. For I have the God of Angel Armies and He is always, always, always by my side.

Pray on. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coping or thriving?


 

Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” John 14:23 AMP

Glass beach, Fort Bragg, CA by Jef Poskanzer

Good morning, beloved,

How do we get through the hard times? When the stress bubbles in our lives and threatens to boil over, how can we walk?

My son has been struggling with bursts of anger.  I realized I tell people all the time, like a broken record, put verses on note cards, memorize and speak His Word as you feel yourself slipping.  Yesterday, Joshua and I began to map that out for him. What are your favorite verses? Do you have them memorized? Can you recall them? Our son broke down and began to get very angry and we called out to him to begin saying the verses he chose. And then he did and there was a physical transformation in his body. I watched God‘s Spirit fill him as he began to speak the Word. Is that how it looks in me? I marveled at the power of the Word and he didn’t get angry again last night. We talked about it later. Lights went on in his brain and he connected.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

We are to be like Jesus. Jesus quote Scripture all the time. When the Accuser (Satan) was attacking Him in the desert, what was His response? The Word. The Word. ( In my Bible study yesterday, the woman who gave the message gave us verse upon verse encouraging us to read, to study and to hear the Word. I want to share some of the verses with you. )

1 John 3:Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [[b]as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him [c]just as He [really] is.

Revelation 1Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, [d]to be envied) are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.

To those who are God’s children, we shall resemble Him. We are blessed when we read aloud, who hear, and who keep themselves true.

Oh, beloved, we cannot stay faithful in our own strength. Remember my son, if that helps, for the power of the Word filled him. The power.

Pray on, pray on.

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oaths


 

Grandidier’s Baobab, picture taken near Morondava, Madagascar. by Bernard B

Well, we are sitting in the quiet of the library. The boys are having some fun with the computers and Ella brought in a bag. Should’ve know there was trouble in the bag. Soon, she was pulling out play dough and dumping it all over the library table. Then here comes the librarian! AHHH! So here we are waving and smiling whilst she is putting the messy play dough away, hoping she won’t look over. So we get that all put away and she asks if she can get out her purse. Now, I’m sure I’ve never had such a styling purse, silver, glitz, beautiful handle. I’m telling you she’s styling. Then she whips out a mask (from Danny’s stint at the hospital) puts it on, gets her mini shampoo and conditioner (also gleaned from the recent trip), and a play dough cup and is about to start mixing. Um. Ella? I don’t think so. She looks at me with shock. How could I not let her play with these things? She was sure…so I shooed her off to play in the library and she went off to chat with the librarian. Now she’s trying to convince me that the family would like a Barbie movie for our movie night.

I’m hoping to have some quiet to do my Bible study but I will tell you in light of all the recent events, God has nudged me to remember to love the moment. To say what is on my heart now, to say I love you, to treasure, to hug…

Psalm 119:

29 Remove from me the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness [to You], and graciously impart Your law to me.

30 I have chosen the way of truth and faithfulness; Your ordinances have I set before me.

31 I cleave to Your testimonies; O Lord, put me not to shame!

So as we turn our eyes to Your Word, Lord, we thank You for this day. We thank You for life. For Your counsel. May we always turn to Your Word for the hope we need.

Oaths…..Jesus has some words about that in the Sermon..let’s look:

Matthew 5: 

33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord [as a religious duty].

34 But I tell you, Do not bind yourselves by an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is the throne of God;

35 Or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

36 And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black.

37 Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.

Verse 33, Jesus is quoting a few different passages and let’s see what He is quoting.

Leviticus 19: 12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, neither shall you profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

It is so important to look and draw out some amazing truths here. You’ll notice that verse 33 and verse 12 have a phrase in common. You shall not swear falsely. So, we see that Jesus by just saying this phrase is drawing up in His audience’s mind the rest of this verse. He doesn’t need to continue that verse. And this is how Rabbis would speak. They would teach, argue, speak in phrases of Scripture all the while knowing their audience would know the context, the verses! So the next part of Jesus’ quote will now come from

Numbers 30: If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break and profane his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

AND…

Deuteronomy 23:

21 When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack in paying it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and slackness would be sin in you.

22 But if you refrain from vowing, it will not be sin in you.

23 The vow which has passed your lips you shall be watchful to perform, a voluntary offering which you have made to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth.

The Lord requires it of you. The brevity found these words is unmistakable . It would be better, as Jesus said, to not make the oath, the vow. God view our words, our actions with much more seriousness than we ever realize. There is an awe that must come with relationship.

Now look in these verses in Hebrews 6 with me:

13 For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear,

14 Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.

15 And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized andobtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.

16 Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife].

17 Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath.

18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].

There is so much here! Who could God swear by? :) NO one greater than Himself. Can I get an amen? Grasp the immensity o His love and desire to bless.

So men swear by God and the oath is final and ends the conflict but God, through His oath with Abraham, blessed and multiplied through Him..

God has never and will never be false or wrong us. On the other hand, we can never say the same. And what is striking to me, is how vehemently Jesus is saying to just not even speak the oath.

Not to heavens…

 

Not to the earth..for it is the footstool of HIS feet..

From 4 million miles away on December 16, 1992, NASA’s robot spacecraft Galileo took this picture of the Earth-moon system. Our moon is one of the largest moons in the solar system. It is even larger than the planet Pluto. In this picture, the Earth-moon system actually appears to be a double planet. by NASA

Or by Jerusalem the city of the Great King…

View of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

To finish for today, in light of all the reading, let’s look through one final passage:

James 5: 12 But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.

Well, we, in our culture, are very easy to say…

I swear I’ll do it!

I promise I’ll…

Fill in your own way to say…I vow, I oath. And I’m presenting this to you and to me, for that matter, let’s pray about this and seriously consider how our words impact. Not just the people around us.

Jesus.

Pray on friends, pray on.

 

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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