Posts Tagged With: Blue Letter Bible

John The Baptizer


I must admit posting a video of Handel’s Messiah on the cusp of June feels a bit like walking into a store in October with Christmas decorations. Bear with me.

When our President comes to town, roads close, traffic comes to a halt. Here’s an example from a recent trip to Chicago:

http://www.nbcchicago.com/portableplayer/?cmsID=253610081&videoID=jir5R8bRn8Fv&origin=nbcchicago.com&sec=blogs&subsec=ward-room&width=600&height=360

The town prepares. I don’t even know what the Secret Service and government does. I’m not going to even try to research that.

When Mark introduces us to the Beautiful, he tells us about His messenger first. And He starts by reminding us about a prophecy in Isaiah.

This passage in Isaiah is a comfort passage. The Messiah is coming, beloved. Your God has not forgotten about you. Your God has not abandoned you. Make the roads ready. In the Old Testament times, when the people knew that their king was coming they would prepare the roads, fill in the holes, make the kingdom ready! They wanted to be ready for their king.

Well, John is the messenger. According to David Guzik,

John the Baptist’s was the one crying in the wilderness, and through his message of repentance, he worked to prepare the way of the LORD. We often fail to appreciate how important the preparing work of the LORD is. Any great work of God begins with great preparation. John wonderfully fulfilled this important ministry. “John was God’s bulldozer to build that highway.” (Steadman)

Who is John the Baptist?

The Prophecies

Malachi Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.

But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.

Parentage

We’ve looked at his parents in my earlier blog. John comes from a priestly heritage on both sides. Zacharias came from the division of Abijah. There were 24 divisions of priesthood according to 1 Chronicles 24. Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron.

Description

Matthew 3:This same John’s garments were made of camel’s hair, and he wore a leather girdle about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Jesus described John best. :)

Matthew 11

Then as these men went their way, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out in the wilderness (desert) to see? A reed swayed by the wind?

What did you go out to see then? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in the houses of kings.

But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one [[b]out of the common, more eminent, more remarkable, and] [c]superior to a prophet.

10 This is the one of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who shall make ready Your way before You.

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

12 And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a [d]share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied up until John.

14 And if you are willing to receive and accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come [before the kingdom].

His work

  • Temporary…Matthew 3 In those days there appeared John the Baptist, preaching in the Wilderness (Desert) of Judea

And saying, Repent ([a]think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, [b]direct).

28 You yourselves are my witnesses [you personally bear me out] that I stated, I am not the Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), but I have [only] been sent before Him [in advance of Him, to be His appointed forerunner, His messenger, His announcer].

29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

33 You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth.

34 But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound).

35 John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light.

The fame

Matthew 3

Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the country round about the Jordan went out to him;

And they were baptized in the Jordan by him, confessing their sins.

Jesus heard. Jesus came. And just as quickly as John’s flame burst on to scene? It was swept away…

Luke 3:

19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been [repeatedly] told about his fault and reproved with rebuke [h]producing conviction by [John] for [having] Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the wicked things that Herod had done,

20 Added this to them all—that he shut up John in prison.

John then spends eleven chapters of Matthew in prison and we hear nothing of John the baptizer. Then, we hear. John is having doubts. The man who pointed Jesus out to all of his followers in the beginning? He isn’t sure.

Matthew 11

When Jesus had finished His charge to His twelve disciples, He left there to teach and to preach in their [Galilean] cities.

Now when John in prison heard about the activities of Christ, he sent a message by his disciples

And asked Him, Are You the One Who was to come, or should we keep on expecting a different one?

And then…

Matthew 14

And he said to his attendants, This is John the Baptist; He has been raised from the dead, and that is why the powers [a]of performing miracles are at work in Him.

For Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison [to [b]stow him out of the way] on account and for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,

For John had said to him, It is not lawful or right for you to have her.

Although he wished to have him put to death, he was afraid of the people, for they regarded John as a prophet.

But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst [before the company] and pleased and fascinated Herod,

And so he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

And she, being put forward and prompted by her mother, said, Give me the head of John the Baptist right here on a [c]platter.

And the king was distressed and sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests, he ordered it to be given her;

10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in on a [d]platter and given [e]to the little maid, and she brought it to her mother.

Whoosh. That was a ton of reading. Hope you learned a little about John. All in one place.

Categories: Bible teaching, New Testament, Old Testament | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Zacharias’ Monologue


Good morning, friends,

So the Bible study began two nights ago, it was a beautiful thing to see all the women come out discuss, discover and uncover truths in the word. Those that have done Pam’s studies before, the seasoned look, yep, lots of work. Those who are new have a more “deer in the headlights” look or “what have I gotten myself into” look or “how can I dash outta here and look cool” look.

We did the first week together, discussing the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Now, this week the ladies on on their own. We read these events so frequently, don’t we? That we forget how shocking they really are to the system. Angels, teenagers with babies, love came to earth and changed it all.

Recently, Noah took a class with our local drama club and studied Shakespeare. Be still my heart, he loved it The woman who taught his class brought Shakespeare alive with many different methods and ideas and techniques. He memorized some brief monologues to recite in class and then perform at the end of season show. What struck me about Shakespeare this time around, because, well, I love Shakespeare, I teach him to my kids, I’ve taught a class in my co-op…I get pretty passionate about igniting a love for him, the beauty of his monologue. Oh, it’s witty, it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous.

I got to thinking about some of the “monologues” that greet us in the first few chapters of the New Testaments, especially the one ignited by the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at that one together. By the way, you heard me right, ignited by the Holy Spirit. First part of the New Testament, not in Acts, not part of the sweeping, powerful movement of Pentecost, this was Zacharias. Check it out.

Luke 1

67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
71 aq]”>[aq]Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
ar]”>[ar]By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Remember Zacharias, right? He was serving in the temple, visited by the angel Gabriel and told that his wife would bear a son who turn the hearts back to the Lord and make way for the Messiah. Oh, yeah? How can I be certain? (FACE PALM) Well, easy for me to say, as I’m sitting here comfortably in my pjs, with my cup of coffee, dog at my heels, typing away at my laptop making judgments and NOT in a temple with the angel Gabriel.

Anyway, go back up to verse 67, and let’s pull this text apart together. His name, Zacharias, means God remembers. So, even as Z was entering this world God was blessing the world by reminding us all that He remembers. He doesn’t forget His promises. He won’t let go. Elizabeth was old! And yet, God had a plan, a beautiful plan for this couple that included a baby.

was filled with the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was bestowed for certain times, on certain people. On Saul, who can forget when the Holy Spirit was removed? On David, when the Spirit entered…See 1 Samuel 16 for further study.

And so the song, the monologue begins. John’s name means grace of God and so this song, we shall see, shows us the loving grace of God.

accomplished redemption. Deliverance, release, purchase from slavery for His people.

raised up a horn of salvation. picture of horns of a most powerful beast, symbol of power, strength, used in battle and where is this coming from? The house of David, lineage of the tribe of Judah, Mary and Joseph are both from the line of David.

salvation, deliverance. All prophesied ahead of time, friends, now coming true in the Messiah. It’s all happening, in their time.

mercy, remember what John’s name meant? Grace. And remember what Zacharias’ name meant? God remembers. His holy covenant. He was bringing all together. Oh, and Elizabeth’s name means oath of God.

oath which He swore. 

grant us rescue. Deliverance from danger! Salvation! Serve Him.

Now imagine this next part, Z holding his precious child, after nine months of being mute, able to bless this child and see the promise come true. The promise he scoffed. Yet, here was the gift. Oh, how gracious is our God.

John…this is who you will be.

  • prophet of the Most High
  • go on before Him
  • prepare His ways
  • to give His people the knowledge of salvation (words of life, hope)
  • he grew, he became strong in spirit, lived in the deserts until his appearance in Israel

Jesus…what does Zacharias say about Jesus.

  • He is the redemption
  • He is the horn of salvation
  • He is the fulfillment spoken by the prophets of old
  • He is the salvation from the enemies and from the hand of all the enemies who hate us
  • He is mercy
  • He is the fulfillment of the covenant
  • He is our rescue, the oath
  • The Lord, the forgiveness of our sins
  • The Sunrise…the anatole, the dawn from on high who will visit us..oh, that’s lovely…
  • To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death
  • A guide for our feet into the way of peace…

That is quite a list. Over the night I had a dear one request prayer. It was not specified. It was not quantified. That’s okay. God knows. I love this list to pray over someone in dark times, to remember the truth in dark times. Darkness will not win, my dear one. I wasn’t going to include this image but I am…John Piper in a message on this passage describes the horn of salvation this way: (This is written in my Bible from 5 years ago so please allow for some error…)

This symbol of power can be best summed up as a wild ox seven feet tall. The crown of his head is nine feet tall. Both sides of his horn curving up and out, six feet long, twelve inches thick at the base. He stands at the top of the hill, sunlight shooting out all around him, his massive neck slightly cocked. And impaled at the end of his right horn hangs a lion, dead. A conqueror. Imagine the power.

Our God is strength. Our God is power. No matter what our circumstances may seem right now, He is over them and He loves you. Cling to Him.

Pray on. Pray.

Categories: Bible teaching, New Testament, Prophecies | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mercy


Shandrivs’kyi Falls Photo by Vovavovk1

Good morning, friend,

Today begins a new week. A fresh week, a fresh start. What are you thankful for this day? How do you begin this day today?

I am so very thankful today to have caught a Matt Redman concert on KLOVE last night as I drove to pick up my son from youth group.

I am thankful for Upwards basketball, HRK basketball and the impact both are having in my children’s lives this year. What a gift.

I am thankful for our church, to see our pews filling, see our children worshipping, my eldest up with me playing his guitar…we, as a church, voted to financially support TWR missionaries Mike and Wendy Lambert yesterday. If you haven’t had a chance to see the work that Mike will be doing in Guam for TWR, please check out his website. The need for Mike is critical. Right now, they have only one engineer working on the equipment that serves a huge audience of nearly two billion people and to work effectively the station should have three technicians. Please be praying.

What I am chewing on today…

a song that I heard for the first time last night by Matt Redman…Mercy. You know I have to share it with you. :)

May I never lose the wonder of Your mercy…

Do I ever just pause and wonder at the amazing depth and beauty of His mercy?

11 As high as the ·sky [heaven] is above the earth,
so great is his ·love [loyalty] for those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7].
12 He has taken our ·sins [transgressions] away from us
as far as the east is from west.
13 The Lord has ·mercy [compassion] on those who ·respect [fear] him [Prov. 1:7],
as a father has ·mercy [compassion] on his children. Psalm 103 EXB

What sparks my interest, what motivates me, what keeps me studying are phrases such as we find in these verses in Psalms.

As high as the sky is above the earth (picture that with me) so great is His love…now, I think, we like to stop there. We like to stop with His love. So great is His love. And it is great. It is magnificent. And there are A LOT of verses about His love. Last night, Chuck Swindoll was talking about the reality of hell. Can I just be honest with you and tell you how badly, in the quiet of my house, I wanted to turn off the preacher and turn on worship music? It’s uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking about it. However, if we are going to think about His great love, we also have to think about sharing that great love with those that need to hear it most desperately?

So great is His love for those who respect and fear Him…

7 The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 AMP

So, reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord, starting with an awe of Him, going back to the song that started this whole journey of mercy for me.

I will kneel in the dust, at the foot of the cross, where mercy paid for me.http://www.songlyrics.com/matt-redman/mercy-lyrics/

That’s the start, that’s the beginning, the best part of this knowledge of the Lord that He loves. And the blessings just flow, my friends, we give Him this reverent fear. That’s where we need to be, covered in His dust. Covered in His mercy.

As you begin this day, His compassion, His mercy covers you. Now, who can you show compassion to this day? Who can see the grace and love of the Lord Jesus this day?

Pray on..pray on.

 

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

A new day


Good morning, friend,

Snow-covered field Photo by Jimfbleak

Seek (inquire for and require) good and not evil that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate the evil and love the good and establish justice in the [court of the city’s] gate. It may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph [the northern kingdom]. Amos 5:14-15AMP

Sometimes, I wish I could get a landscape view of my life while I’m in the midst of all the stress. That I could just stop, put a pause button on the chaos, confusion, fighting, whatever, step back and take a breath and wonder, what am I after now? As I struggle with a child, separate this squabble or that testy remark , help another with this problem, review  his Awana sections, or have a child speak back to me in frustration…at that moment, that is the moment for me, what I do in that moment, I believe, can bring honor to the Lord or well, not. This is my mission field. These four lives, these are my field. Do I get a do over button? Nope. Is there grace? Yes.

I have found in my readings these past few days that it isn’t so much about doing better, being better, looking better. No, that’s not it. We are looking to a heavenly goal. Making our Father God in Heaven proud. Keeping our minds focused on the gift of grace. Preparing our minds for action. How do I do this in the middle of stressful situations? I go back to what I know to be true.

I am thankful. I am thankful today for God’s continuing grace that brought me through the day. It was not a perfect day, yet we accomplished our goals.

I am thankful for the gift of clean drawers in my kitchen. Not sure how long it will last, but I sure do appreciate opening a drawer and finding what I need.

I am thankful for heat. As we launch into day three of being in the house, I’m very grateful to be warm.

We stay thankful. No matter what.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is [a]coming soon]. Philippians 4 AMP

We remain focused, prepared for action.

A Call to Holy Living ] ·So [Therefore; For this reason] ·prepare your minds for service [prepare your minds for action; or, be alert; L gird the loins of your mind]and ·have self-control [be disciplined]. ·All your hope should be for [Focus all your hope on] the gift of grace that will be ·yours [brought/given to you] ·when Jesus Christ is shown to you [L at the revelation of Jesus Christ].1 Peter 1:13EXB

We live in the light.

Living in the Light ] You are God’s children whom he loves, so ·try to be like [imitate] him. ·Live a life of love [Walk in love] just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a ·sweet-smelling [fragrant] offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2EXB

And I don’t know about you, but I sing. My family is a bunch of singers. We may sing off-key, but we love to sing and we love to listen to music. The song that I shared with you yesterday rang through our house several times. Silly songs. Songs that bring joy and laughter and reminders of the One who is in control and who loves us.

The most powerful lesson I am learning is the beautiful gift of forgiveness. Listening to the DAB last night (1/7/2014), Brian Hardin was speaking of how forgiveness on our part isn’t a choice, it’s a requirement. We fight the act of forgiving others. We hold back, we could never forgive this or that. Yet, what we fail to see, what we fail to realize as we hope to keep the one who hurt us in chains with bitterness and anger, the one who is in chains is, well, us. Gulp.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6 NKJV

That may sound harsh. Yet, freedom awaits us when forgiveness flows. The Father knows this lesson all to well. How do I teach that to my boys who hurt one another so often? How do I help them understand the gift of friendship and brotherhood? Yes, well, I am still learning these lessons as their mother so it is a flowing lesson, isn’t it?

So, many things to ponder this day, as I begin anew. Start again. Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Links


Good morning, beloved,

I’ve been wandering around the web this morning, finding some fabulous resources for Passion Week. First must be the Biblegateway graph. :)

Holy Week Timeline

Next, ESV has given us, using Google Earth, a step by step pictorial look at Jesus’ last week.

 

Passion Week

Here is a DETAILED look at this week, all the Bible verses are included in this day-by-day account. Scroll to the bottom of the blog to start with Palm Sunday.

Holy Week-Justin Taylor

How about a beautiful look at this week with Blue Letter Bible‘s video?

The Passion of Our Lord

Do you have young children? This 65 page Easter resource is free!

Easter Resurrection Pack

A book from John Piper?

Love To The Uttermost

Hope these help you. They have been a blessing to me this week. Time to begin new day!

243. Thankful for loaves and fishes kind a week with food.

244. Thankful for peace in our house..

245. Thankful for being in the midst of this week.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

 

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Time


Bronte Sunrise Photo by popejon2 from Paddington, Australia

And everything You hold in Your hand
Still You make time for me
I can’t understand
Praise You God of Earth and sky
How beautiful is Your unfailing love
Unfailing love (Chris Tomlin, Unfailing Love)

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me (Passion, One Thing Remains)

Love brought Jesus here. Love brought Jesus to this week, intensity unmeasured. These two songs have played on my Pandora. Sometimes I just need to remember, my love isn’t like the Lord’s. I love with issues. Right?! We put our designs, our thoughts, our past on God’s love for us and for others. These songs remind me, I don’t understand how deep His love is for us. What does Paul say in Ephesians 3?

I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father15 from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches] to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly[L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love].18 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand[comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.

Be filled! I stare at the list of what happened on each day in the Passion week on the Blue Letter Bible. They’ve made a concise list of the events, teachings that occurred. I count 17 different things. 17! Seventeen. Ten and seven. (Here’s a link) If you knew you only had a amount of days left, what would you want whom you love to know and remember? Jesus passionately gives and teaches in His last week. On the other hand,  I wonder He  must have treated every day as a gift .  John 21: 25 There are many other things Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not be big enough for all the books that would be written. I sit in wonder at that statement. I love books. I fill my house with them. We spend much time at the library. I love, love, love the treasure of books and John is telling us, yes, we couldn’t write it all down.

Keyingham Cemetery Photo by Paul Glazzard

It seems though, the gospel writers sure tried to give their readers a very clear picture of Jesus’ last words! I think of the disciples walking with Jesus, I think it was a blessing they didn’t understand the events as they unfolded this week. They followed. They listened. They nodded. Then like dawn falling on a new morning, after He died, all of the pieces fit together beautifully. Matthew 27:54 When the ·army officer [centurion] and ·the soldiers [L those with him] guarding Jesus saw this earthquake and everything else that happened, they were ·very frightened [filled with awe] and said, “He really was the Son of God!”

Today, I want to work on time wasters in my life. Things that detract from God’s mission for my life. This has weighed heavily on my mind. Treating my life more as a precious gift, and not being assured of my tomorrow. Teaching my kids to value quiet, to value time spent away from all things plugged in, to enjoy rest, to enjoy the beauty of a book. This number seventeen that burns in my head. Jesus treated His life, His time on this earth as precious time to communicate all things of God. I have a choice to bring this day under the glory of God.

Sitting on my computer, researching all things, pinning on my boards of Pinterest, checking a friend’s status on Facebook about her child learning to use the toilet aptly…really? Are these the fillers I need in my life? I think it’s time to get out my 25 Point Manifesto. You see, part of my problem is our schedule has had to change. So now I need to review without losing all the ground I fought so hard for with my children and me for the routines. I flop, I flip, I flop when I am outside of my routines. My work. My calling.

Spring break when there is no spring in sight does not bring the rest. Knowing, however, that I accomplished my routines and lived with the glory of God in my sight. Yes, that is a good day.

So my thankfuls :

3 gifts almost gone (Ann Voskamp):

240. My children…how fast time flies

241. Ruby and Arlene

242. Chocolate (why is it when I eat a piece it’s gone before I know it??)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Enough


A Panoramic View of Florence from Bellosguardo Painting by Thomas Patch (1725 – 1782)

Good morning, beloved!

13 I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with ·much [L all] joy and peace ·while you trust[because you trust; through your faith] in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15 EXB

I’m going to admit to you, dear reader, that today I need these verses. I need to cling to the God of hope today. I cannot make myself hope and have joy and peace. These promises are found in faith in Him and Him alone. So let’s look at some cross references for these verses from the Blue Letter Bible.

I pray that the God who gives hope…

May ·the patience and encouragement that come from God [Lthe God of patience and encouragement] ·allow you to live in harmony with each other the way Christ Jesus wants [or grant you the same attitude with each other that Christ Jesus had]. Romans 15 EXB

16 The Lord ·will roar like a lion from Jerusalem [L roars from Zion];
his loud voice will thunder from ·that city [L Jerusalem],
and the ·sky [heavens] and the earth will shake.
But the Lord will be a ·safe place [refuge] for his people,
a ·strong place of safety [stronghold] for the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel. Joel 3 EXB

1 From Paul, an ·apostle [messenger] of Christ Jesus, by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope. 1 Timothy 1 EXB

will fill you with ·much [L all] joy and peace ·while you trust[because you trust; through your faith] in him.

 Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. ·Trust [Believe] in God, and ·trust [believe] in me[or You trust/believe in God, trust/believe also in me]. John 14:1 EXB

27 “I leave you peace [C the Greek word for “peace” reflects the Hebrew shalom, a typical Hebrew farewell; but Jesus’ peace, in the sense of wholeness, is also a characteristic of the messianic kingdom]; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14 EXB

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through his grace gave us eternal ·comfort [encouragement] and a good hope, 17 ·encourage [comfort] you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2 EXB

Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And ·patience [endurance] produces[tested and proven] character, and [tested and proven] character produces hope. And this hope will never ·disappoint us [let us down; or put us to shame; dishonor us; C honor and shame were among the most important values in first century culture], because God has ·poured out his love to fill our hearts [or flooded our hearts with his love]. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. Romans 5 EXB

And God can ·give you more blessings than you need [L overflow/abound all grace to you]. Then ·you will always have plenty of everything [L in all things at all times you will have all you need]— ·enough to give to [abounding/overflowing in] every good work. 2 Corinthians 9 EXB

He is sufficient. He is more than enough.

So today, friends, as you face your day, remember, He is enough. He is worth living for, He is still more awesome than we can even imagine.  As trials come today, as encouragement comes..whatever you face today, face it knowing that He is more than enough.

My thankfuls:

220. My church family checking up on me, praying for me and loving me and my family.

221. For children who want to spend time with one another and with us.

222. Thankful for my Dad willing to do whatever he can to help.

Prayers for your Pastor and his wife:

Day 18 Pray that your pastor and his wife will be people of prayer and worship, and that they will lead by example—teaching the congregation how to walk in a close relationship with the Father. (1 Thess. 5:17; Acts 1:14a; Matt. 4:10; Mark 1:35; Luke 22:46) Revive Our Hearts

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Old Testament, Thankfuls | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shepherd


A seascape after sunset. Just north of Cabo da Roca, Portugal by Rnbc

Good morning, beloved,

I woke up earlier than usual today. I woke up to the song again.  And I found the version to share with you!

Then Biblegateway’s verses of the day made me smile ( I think God likes it very much when we give thanks, what do you think?)

Psalm 136: O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. 26 O give thanks to the God of heaven, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

Crepuscular rays, and their reflection. The image was taken in Golden Gate Park,San Francisco at Mallard Lake. by Brocken Inaglory

Did you notice a theme in the three verses? Mercy and loving-kindness.  I want to tell you something. If you look, you will see these two attributes all over your life. You have to train your eye to be looking, but you can find it and so can I.  Here are my next three, and by the way, I’m loving those who shared with me yesterday. What an encouragement!

4. I’m thankful for friends and family who read this blog and comment and love me to read to the end.

 

5. I’m thankful for coffee to sip while I study His Word in the quiet.

6. I’m thankful for the pain because in the pain, I understand His suffering just a bit and I love Him all the more for all the pain and agony He endured on our behalf.

How about you? What are you thankful for today? Write it down. Have your kids write it down. Ask your spouse. Let’s look at another name of God from the Blue Letter Bible.

The Lord My Shepherd

(yeh-ho-vaw’ raw-aw’)
Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd) is used in Psalm 23.

Variant spellings: Jehovah Rohi; Jehovah Ro’eh

TWOT Reference: 2185, 2186

Strong’s Reference:7462

Jehovah-Raah in the Septuagint:kurios poimainei me…the Lord shepherds me

Meaning and Derivation:Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rô’eh from which Raah derived, means “shepherd” in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15). An extend translation of this word, rea’, is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Raah…it can be translated as “The Lord my Friend.”

Further references of the name Jehovah-Raah in the Old Testament:Gen 48:15Gen 49:24Psa 23:1Psa 80:1

(yeh-ho-vaw’ raw-aw’)
The Lord My Shepherd
Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd) is used in Psalm 23.

Variant spellings: Jehovah Rohi; Jehovah Ro’eh

TWOT Reference: 2185, 2186

Strong’s Reference:7462

Jehovah-Raah in the Septuagint:kurios poimainei me…the Lord shepherds me

Meaning and Derivation:Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rô’eh from which Raah derived, means “shepherd” in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15). An extend translation of this word, rea’, is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined…Jehovah Raah…it can be translated as “The Lord my Friend.”

Further references of the name Jehovah-Raah in the Old Testament:Gen 48:15Gen 49:24Psa 23:1Psa 80:1

Here are those verses that point to our LORD as the Shepherd:

Genesis 48: 15 Then [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said, God [Himself], before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac lived and walked habitually, God [Himself], Who has [been my Shepherd and has led and] fed me from the time I came into being until this day…

We can say the same. He leads us. He feeds us. He has been our Shepherd for the time I came into being and you too!

Genesis 49: 24 But his bow remained strong and steady and rested in the Strength that does not fail him, for the arms of his hands were made strong and active by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel…

Rested in the Strength that does not fail Him. Oh, my, thank You Lord for being my Strength. Thank you that we can rest and know You will never fail. God who makes us strong and active. Mighty God, Shepherd, Rock…

Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

I bet that is familiar to you.  When I think back on all the times I have stressed about finances, about feeding my family, about this worry or that, I cannot forget the exorbitant number of times that the Lord has provided, cared for, guided, shielded my family. Too many times to count..

Shepherd by JdeFrodo

 

This Christmas season, I was considering for my Bible study with my kids reviewing the story of Christmas as usual when as I was praying about it, the Lord, I’m sure of it, prompted me to consider another way. We are going to spend the month of December searching the Old Testament for prophecies about Jesus. I’m very, very excited.

Psalm 80: Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You Who lead Joseph like a flock; You Who sit enthroned upon the cherubim [of the ark of the covenant], shine forth.

Lead us, Lord. Draw us close to You this day. Father, Shepherd, lead us as we go about our day. Prompt us, and may we hear Your voice calling us to do Your good work this day. May people see Your light shine forth in us. May we be a blessing for life to those whom we come into contact with this day.  We praise You and thank You for being our Shepherd, always.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Music, Pictures from commons..., Psalms | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Arching fountain of a Pahoehoe approximately 10 m high issuing from the western end of the 0740 vents, a series of spatter cones 170 m long, south of Pu‘u Kahaualea. Episodes 2 and 3 were characterized by spatter and cinder cones, such as Pu‘u Halulu, which was 60 m high by episode 3. by J.D. Griggs

Good morning, beloved,

Counting my blessings…this song popped into my head this morning. I cannot find a good version to share with you so, here are the lyrics:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count my blessings. My heart is heavy this morning. All the whispers of the evil one are haunting me. I am tired of being in pain today. So as I look to another day, the Lord has prompted me to count my blessings. He has not lifted the issues I am having, yet a wise friend counseled me yesterday to be quiet and be still. Oh, that is so hard for me! I have pushed and pushed myself these last few days because I just want to be better and I am paying for my over-exuberance.

So, here I am. Blech. So this song keeps going through my mind! Count my blessings and so I shall. I feel very prompted by the Lord to share three each day I blog. Then there will be a record of my thankfulness and my praise. I need the accountability when I keep looking into the pain and present instead of turning my eyes to Jesus, looking full in His wonderful face and the things of this world will go strangely dim, in the light of His glorious grace.

1. I am thankful for my two kids making pancakes this morning. I know that the kitchen may look like the effects of a tsunami but I remain grateful for their effort.

2. I am thankful for my husband having a job.

3. I am thankful for how the sun rising touches the branches and lights up the shadows. I am thankful for beautiful sunrises.

Want to join me? I am determined. Start with number one. Lets see how far I can go. I am very thankful for Ann Voskamp‘s book and her emails that help me to remember the beautiful.

I also am going to include a portion of a Blue Letter Bible study tool on the Names of God. Here is today’s.

Jehovah Nissi

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Jehovah-Nissi occurs only once in Exd 17:15.

Variant spellings: Jehovah Nisi; Jehovahnissi

TWOT Reference: None

Strong’s Reference:3071

Jehovah Nissi in the Septuagint:kurios kataphugê mou…the Lord is my refuge

Meaning and Derivation:Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known”…this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissi derived, means “banner” in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel’s banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.

Further references of the name Jehovah Nissi in the Old Testament:Exd 17:15

1 Chronicles 16: Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.

So I am going to ask the Spirit of God to pour fresh over my household this morning. To lift my hands in grateful praise for all He has done and all He will do! Join me, turn on the music, write three things you are thankful for today..maybe share them with me? I could sure use the encouragement. God bless you today. Pray on. Pray.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

His Name, His praise


The Three Country Bridge at night in Huningue (France) and Weil am Rhein (Germany) next to the Tripoint near Basel (Switzerland).by Taxiarchos228

Good morning, friends,

I am home! It is good to be around my family once again. I come home still hurting, still dizzy and without answers, but I made the decision that I must learn how to cope. So I shall in the strength only the Lord can give me. I am thrilled to go to church this morning and be among my church family. We went to the grocery store as a family yesterday and had fun. I just kept grabbing my kids to hug them and love them. They were so cute with their conversations and happiness that Mom was coming home. As we drove home, we listened to one of our favorite books. It was just so good to be together. Joshua and D made us beautiful fire and we ate our dinner staring at the fire.

I went to bed early and had a boy join me. We listened to a podcast of a kids show in the dark. He would wake me every time I would drift off. :) It was good, good, good to be with my boy.

Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations. Psalm 100 AMP

 

As I talked with Joshua yesterday, this may be my cup. God may be giving me a new chapter filled with physical pain but huge blessings with family and friends. This is when I must remember that…

…Lord is God…I must know it deep in my soul. Recognize His breath in my life. He made me. He made you.

…We are His own. I love my family, my friends but I love even more knowing I am the Father’s kid.

…So we wake up, we walk into our day, we give thanks. We praise Him. We affectionately praise His name.

When I think about praising His name, this makes me think about many of His names that mean so much to me. :)

From the Blue Letter Bible,

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.” Psa 148:13

In the Old Testament times, a name was not only identification, but an identity as well. Many times a special meaning was attached to the name. Names had, among other purposes, an explanatory purpose (e.g., Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is the target of Abigail’s explanation to David: “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” – 1Sa 25:25). Throughout Scripture God reveals Himself to us through His names. When we study these names that He reveals to us in the Bible, we will better understand who God really is. The meanings behind God’s names reveal the central personality and nature of the One who bears them.

Who is God to you?

Is He your Most High God, All sufficient One, Master, Lord of Peace, the Lord Who Will Provide? Is He your Father? We must be careful not to make God into an “it” or a “thing” to which we pray. He is our Jehovah Raah, the Lord our Shepherd. God knows us by our name, shouldn’t we know Him by His?

Hallowed be Your name?

To hallow a thing is to make it holy or to set it apart to be exalted as being worthy of absolute devotion. To hallow the name of God is to regard Him with complete devotion and loving admiration. God’s name is of the utmost importance (Neh 9:5); therefore we ought reserve it a position of grave significance in our minds and hearts. We should never take His name lightly (Exd 20:7Lev 22:32), but always rejoice in it and think deeply upon its true meaning.

Please take some time and look at this list on the link I gave you. Well, I’ll give it again. (The Names of God in the Old Testament)

What name means the most to you right now? Print it out. Dwell on the verses. Remind yourself again and again of the truth of God’s Word and the knowledge that God, our God is GOOD! His loving-kindness are FOREVER! He is faithful and true always.

Find a church this morning, beloved. Praise the One who has always existed and will always exist. Devote yourselves to the knowledge of His word. Pray on. Pray on.

The sea at Indre Fure, in the Stad peninsula. Selje municipality, Norway. by Frode Inge Helland

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

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