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Started by churchlady, December 02, 2008, 12:43:04 am

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churchlady

ITKCA, that was beautiful!  I'm so glad you have joined with us on this thread.  Your heart for the Lord is obvious.
De Oppresso Liber

churchlady

January 01, 2009, 12:30:43 pm #61 Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 06:16:22 pm by churchlady
Scripture

Genesis 1:1  "In the beginning........................"


Observation

Well, we've finally finished the book of Revelation (ha ha).  Now we start at the beginning...Genesis.  As the people of the world make New Year's Resolutions, I want to encourage anyone here who may still be hit and miss in their Bible reading to take this opportunity to make a fresh start, a new beginning...........one that pays dividends like you wouldn't believe.

The Word of God is alive! (my "word is Spirit and it is life").  Even when you are reading it and think you are getting nothing from it, the life of God is getting down in your heart, where one day you will find yourself in a situation, and the Holy Spirit will reach down in that treasure box of your heart and pull up just what you need.

I hope all of us will make a quality decision to fill our treasure box full this year, so we can be strong and know our God.  Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth WILL speak this year (that's a given).  And the bible tells us to "guard our heart for out of it are the issues of life."  Let's equip ourselves to speak life, not death.

Don't let the amount of scriptures each day discourage you.  I read until the Holy Spirit draws my attention to something and I may spend the whole time on one verse or small passage.  If I don't have further time to complete all of the rest, I start the next day on the scriptures for that day and don't worry about what I didn't get read yesterday.  The idea is to read the Word of God everyday with the Holy Spirit as your guide, not to bind yourself to some rigid plan.

Even if you don't post your thoughts on this thread, if you read it you will be influenced by those who do, to keep reading each day.  It's a win win situation.
   
Application

Prayer

Father, I pray for Your people here at hisgraceoasis that 2009 will be a year of receiving great revelation as we give ourselves to renewing our minds with Your Word.  You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Lord.  There is no other.  Your Word is living, and transforms our thoughts, our speech, and our actions.  May we give ourselves in 2009, to putting FIRST the seeking of Your Kingdom (through Your Word and Spirit), in all our decisions and all our plans, inorder to have a walk that is worthy of You.   Amen.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:

Thursday  Jan. 1    Genesis (chapters) 1-2   Luke  (chapter) 1
Friday    Jan. 2    Genesus (chapters) 3-5   Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3    Genesis  (chapters) 6-8   Luke 3 
De Oppresso Liber

flaglady

I notice this thread gets a tidy amount of views, Sharon. So people must be reading even if they're not joining in.



Scripture
Luke 2
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
51 but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.


Observation
We see by this a demonstration of not being too hasty to interpret God's word. Sometimes people are too eager to share what they receive - or think they have received - from God. They can't wait to get down the front of the church and spill it all.

But sometimes it's not appropriate. The word might be for later or it might not be for sharing at all. It might be a personal word. But they are precious words, none-the-less. We should hold them 'in our hearts'.


Action
Not being a very well read Christian, it always perplexes me when people say that to discern the truth or vailidity of a word, we should check that it aligns with God's Word. It's been my experience that you can cherry pick about anything to cover anything in the Bible. But time will certainly be the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps that's why Mary kept these things in her heart.



Prayer
It's amazing to us, Father God, that You speak to us individually as well as collectively. That you CAN and WILL speak to us. You are the mighty God, Alpha and Omega, the Living God. Yet You choose to regard us almost as equals. Amazing! Thank You for Your mercy and grace.

IKTCA

This devotional was inspired by the post above - Mary kept all things in her heart. I thank Miss C much.

..... (Simeon's prayer) you are letting your servant depart in peace .....
.....  for my eyes have seen your salvation ..... (Luke 2:29-30)

Simeon only saw Jesus wrapped in a blanket, but he left the earth in peace.
Mary didn't quite understand the prophecies and events, but was not troubled. She kept all in her heart, trusting God would reveal all at the right time.
My soul witnessed the cross and resurrection of Jesus, which neither Simeon nor Mary (then) witnessed. But I am still not in peace because I don't see God's will is done on earth, not even in his own church.

Simeon and Mary saw less but trusted the Lord.
I saw much more but still don't trust the Lord. I see my unbelief clearly with my own eyes for the first time. I confess I believed none of the promises.

Father,
I am a man of little faith.
Your grace was great and allowed me to witness the cross and the resurrection of Jesus. But my doubt is is still with me.
Since I didn't believe your words and Jesus', silence me in your wrath.
But if you remember your promise, be merciful and create faith in me.

Surely I am coming quickly.

Lord,
Bless my soul one more time, and let me see your coming. Then I shall have peace.
Amen.


Rupert

Pete

Even though I don't do these this often, I read them all, and I wanted to post and tell you all how much your posts have blessed me in this thread.  Keep 'em coming!

"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

flaglady

Fantastic, Pete! I love doing them - it gets me reading the Scriptures again and more, gets me thinking about what I have read. Can't be bad!




Scripture
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.


Observation
How many of us can, with confidence, say this? That we have found favour with the Lord?

By our own strength, not a single one. But happily, that is not the end of it. By God's mercy and grace, we, unlike Noah, are not judged according to what we DO but what Jesus DID! Isn't that something?


Action
The other day, there was a news item about a woman who had given her brother half her liver because his had failed and he was near death. The press made much of this heroic gesture and quite rightly. The liver is one organ that cannot easily be cut into as it is very difficult to stop it bleeding. It was an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal undertaking for her. How many of us would have been willing to do such a thing, I wonder? I know I would like to THINK I would but when it came to the crunch, knowing what I do, I wonder? It's the ultimate, supreme sacrifice.  How much greater to do that for someone you have never actually even met! And more, for people who are rejecting, even hating what you are doing, what you stand for.

It's like ~ just imagine you are in a condemed cell, awaiting execution and one day, a stranger comes, unlocks the cell and tells us to go home for he has come to take your place! Unthinkable, yes? But friends - it happened. It really did!


Prayer
Lord Jesus, I cannot ever find words enough to thank You for what You did on the cross. My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude and wonder. Bless and praise Your holy Name for ever and ever. Amen.

IKTCA

(Scripture) Genesis 6-8  Noah, the flood, all evil wiped out, new beginning

I hear unbelievers lamenting, "If God exists, how come such an evil is done?"
The world is truly wicked. But it didn't start that way. Noah and 3 sons started fresh after God wiped out all evil.
The evil deeds done today are the creation of the mankind. Men are to blame themselves.

Jonah was a righteous man. To him, Nineveh deserved destruction. Indeed, she did.
The disciples saw the town, that rejected Jesus, deserving destruction by fire. Indeed, she did.
But the Father and the Son, who are thousand times more righteous than Jonah, didn't destroy the towns.

I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. (John 12:47)

The towns escaped destruction not because they didn't deserve destrution.

I am living not because I haven't done the deeds deserving destruction.  I am living only because the Father endured my wickedness and let Jesus plant a seed in me, the seed that will sprout one day and lead me to salvation.

Father,
Let me have a glimpse of your heart.
All souls you desire to save, even though they are wicked in every thought.
Even the beginning of your mercy I cannot comprehend.
O then, Father, where is the end of your mercy?

Lord Jesus,
Let me have a sliver of your heart.
Then I shall understand Father's mercy.
Amen.

Rupert

flaglady

Scripture
Galations 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up.


Observation
I use a daily devotional and this was today's reading. The commentary read on: Perseverance means stopping not because you are tired but because the task it done. Diplomat Robert Strauss quipped "Success is like wrestling a 1,000lb gorilla;. You don't quit when you're tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired!" When you're fresh, excited and energetic you work at a task with vigour. Only when you become weary do you need perseverance. Fatigue and discouragement are not reasons to quit, they are reasons to draw closer to God, rely on our character and keep going. We underestimate what it takes to succeed. When we haven't counted the cost we approach challenges with mere interest. What's required is total committment! To quote Happy Feet, the saying goes "Triumph is a 'try' followed by an 'oomph'!"


Action
Now I have a sister who, in her lifetime has turned her hand to many skills, too many to list them here. They included tailoring and cooking. Had she been a man, she'd have been a tailor or a chef at the top of the profession. She often comments how everything promoted these days - gadgets for cooking, artwork, sewing and anything else you can thing of, is prefaced by the phrase "It's so easy". In these days of prepacked, pre-prepared meals, clothes and stuff, no-one expects to have to put any effort into anything anymore. They expect to be able to turn out haut cuisine and haut couture with no skills and less effort.

How then can we expect people to accept that being a Christian requires committment, devotion and sacrifice?


Prayer
Lord, forgive us our weakness in times of trial, forgive us our weakness in any times. It is often so much easier to turn on the tv and watch a movie than to get out our bible and draw closer to You. The world is a mesmerising cacophany of sound and sight. Forgive us when we lose You in the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. Forgive our human weakness and help us persevere for Your sake.

churchlady

Here are the rest of this week's scriptures:

Thursday  Jan. 1    Genesis (chapters) 1-2   Luke  (chapter) 1
Friday    Jan. 2    Genesus (chapters) 3-5   Luke 2
Saturday  Jan. 3    Genesis  (chapters) 6-8   Luke 3

Sunday  Jan. 4    Genesis 9-11;  Luke 4
Monday  Jan. 5    Genesis 12-14;  Luke 5
Tuesday  Jan. 6   Genesis 15-17;  Luke 6
Wednesday Jan. 7  Gen. 18,19;   Psalm 3;  Luke 7
Thursday   Jan. 8  Gen. 20-22;  Luke 8
Friday   Jan. 9   Gen.23,24;   Luke 9
Saturday Jan. 10   Gen. 25,26;   Psalm 6;  Luke 10
Sunday  Jan. 11   Gen.  27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
De Oppresso Liber

flaglady

January 07, 2009, 11:14:24 am #69 Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 11:25:01 am by flaglady
Scripture
Genesis 1
9. And God saw that it was good (3rd day)
25. And God saw that it was good (6th day)
31. And God saw all that He had made, and it was VERY good (6th day)


Observation
Ever watched an artist at work? Or a painter/decorator or even a plasterer? Every so often during their work they take a step back to regard what they've done and if it's good, they'll nod to themselves in a kind of manner that indicates they are satisfied. I can just imagine God doing that as He created universe, the earth and then all of creation upon the earth. I think it's a wonderfully humanizing picture of God.

Pete has been posting about his children's birthdays, first Nate, now Melody. Just like our Father in heaven did, he stepped back and regarded what he had created and has said to himself that 'it is VERY good'! Parents tend to do this and it's a beauty to behold. How much more when we behold in the scriptures that "God saw all that He had made and it was VERY good"! Daddy, You are wonderful, loving father.


Action
In everyone's life, there is something they do that gives them great satisfaction, whether it be a job or a hobby, something where we have a tendency to step back and regard what we have done. Creativity is a wonderful thing be it a physical thing or something like music or performance arts. It enriches our life and the lives of others. We feel delight and joy at a job done well. God delights in our creativity as well so let's not forget to thank HIM for our talents.


Prayer
Father God, I thank you for the skills and talents You have placed in me - art, writing, nursing, knowledge of things that I can use to help others (thinking of BoneSmart), computer 'skills', imagination, love of Your nature and Your creatures - all these I praise my Creator for. Without them I wouldn't be the 'me' that You created. YOUR skills are beyond description. All that You have created defies description. I just know that any praise and worship I can give you in return is miniscule by comparison to what You have given me. Blessed be Your Holy Name.

Hallelujah!

flaglady

Oh  my! I've been working on that post for hours (had a nap in the middle!). Must have been a prophetic thing!

IKTCA

If I find in Sodom 50 righteous within the city,
then I will spare all the place for their sake.      (Genesis 18:26)

Later, upon Abraham's request, the angel dropped the number to 10. The big town of Sodom could have been saved from destruction by just 10 righteous. "Surely, this nation has 1000 righteous and the Lord will save this nation from destruction because of them," I said to myself.

What if we fall short by 500? What if 50 short? Or even 10 short and the nation cannot be saved?

I was reading this passage during lunch break. A strange thought arose in my mind. I was reading the passage as the Lord's invitation to be one of the several that fall short of the required. It would be a great honor to hold up the nation with prayers.

Immediately, I dismissed the thought. If I said I would straighten myself and become upright before the Lord, even the trees in my neighborhood would laugh. T

Then I remembered a passage from Isaiah:

You will not be ashamed.

Lord,
It is too great a call for someone like me to envy.
There must be many desiring the assignment. Call them and dismiss me.
Amen.

PS: I still don't have peace.

flaglady

Most excellent, Rupert!

IKTCA

January 08, 2009, 12:54:58 am #73 Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 01:18:01 pm by IKTCA
I cannot post a devotional this time because I could not complete my thought process. Instead, I have a question.

(the angel said to Lot)
Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.  (Genesis 19:22)

What is a righteous man to God?
Lot tied the hands of God, to the point of God saying, "I cannot do anything because of you."
I thought and prayed about this and it's now past midnight. I am still without an answer.
What is a righteous man to God?

Father,
What is a righteous man to you?
[HIGHLIGHT=#c00000]

[HIGHLIGHT=#ffffff]Friends,
Please, let me hear from you. [/HIGHLIGHT]
[/HIGHLIGHT]

Sarah

Quote from: IKTCA on January 08, 2009, 12:54:58 am
I cannot post a devotional this time because I could not complete my thought process. Instead, I have a question.

(the angel said to Lot)
Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.  (Genesis 19:22)

What is a righteous man to God?
Lot tied the hands of God, to the point of God saying, "I cannot do anything because of you."
I thought and prayed about this and it's now past midnight. I am still without an answer.
What is a righteous man to God?

Father,
What is a righteous man to you?
[HIGHLIGHT=#c00000]

[HIGHLIGHT=#ffffff]Friends,
Please, let me hear from you. [/HIGHLIGHT]
[/HIGHLIGHT]





When I read this chapter of scripture it seems to me that Lot was saying he wanted to be somewhere before God destroyed the cities.  for some reason, which I can't explain, Lot wanted to go to the city and not the mountains.  I just get that thew angels were given instructions to get Lot and his family to safety before destroying S & G.  I may not have been reading your question right. 
Embraced by the loving arms of the Father....

flaglady

Rupert, I think you need to read the entire story ............

________________________________________________________________________

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning."

"No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square." But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."

He (the angel) said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar. )

By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
_________________________________________________________________________


As I read it, it was the angel he had this interchange with and who 'could not do anything' until Lot and his family were safe. And what made him righteous in the angel's (?God's) eyes was that he was prepared to go out on a limb to protect the strangers under his roof.

That's as far as my thinking gets me.

IKTCA

Thank you for the long reply. I wanted to feel God's heart that went out for Lot. I know a man trying to feel God's heart is too much to ask.

IKTCA

Thus Esau despised his birthright.   Genesis 25:34

I used to despise Esau for considering his birthright as nothing. But I am finding a similarity between him and me.

Esau
Rght to be blessed by his father, whose Father is God.
A red soup

Me (a Christian)
Right given to me at rebirth. Right to have fellowship with Lord Jesus.
Fleshly pleasure and earthly gain

If I knowingly fall into fleshly pleasure and earthly gain, it's because I despise Christian birthright and despise fellowship with Jesus. I am finding myself not an inch better than Esau for the first time.

Father,
I used to despise Esau. But I see me in him. I have been the one to be despised.
Give me the resoluteness of heart to cherish and guard my birthright.
Amen.

churchlady

Hi everyone! My computer has been acting badly all last week and tonight, so I am borrowing my husband's to post the next scripture references.

This Week's Scriptures:

Sunday     Jan. 11   Gen. 27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
Monday     Jan. 12  Gen. 29,30;  Luke 12
Tuesday    Jan. 13  Gen. 31-33;  Luke 13
Wednesday  Jan. 14  Gen. 34-36;  Luke 14
Thursday    Jan. 15  Gen. 37,38; Psalms 7;  Luke 15
Friday      Jan. 16  Gen. 39-41;  Luke 16
Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday      Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18
De Oppresso Liber

churchlady

 

Scripture
Gen. 29,30  Luke 12

Observation

My observation today is that the Lord looks after the powerless and those of low station in life, who are trusting in Him.

In Gen. 29, my heart goes out to Leah, because surely she knows, on her wedding day, that Jacob is being deceived by his soon to be father-in-law, into thinking that he is marrying Rachel, her sister, who is described as "beautiful of form and appearance" (while it says that Leah has weak eyes). 

What young woman wants to start off married life with those strikes against her, much less knowing she was not wanted as his wife, to begin with.  But the women of that time had little power over their lives.

However, the scriptures indicate that Leah put her trust in God, and looked to Him in her troubles, and God looked out for her

In Chapter 29: 31 it says, "When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren."  In a day when married women received their status and approval for bearing many children, especially boys, Leah was lifted up to a place of blessing by God's specific touch upon her life in this area. 

It was only after Leah had birthed 6 sons and a daughter (and two other sons through her maid) that it says in chapter 30, verse 22 that "Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.  And she conceived and bore a son, and said, 'God has taken away my reproach." 

Application and  Prayer

God, You see the circumstances of our lives and You care.  Even when we have little or no power to lift ourselves up to a better place in life, or to improve our station, You are able and willing.  You delight to show Yourself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in You.  Thank You for Your goodness and mercy, Lord.    Amen.




This Week's Scriptures:

Sunday   Jan. 11   Gen. 27,28;  Psalm 4;  Luke 11
Monday   Jan. 12  Gen. 29,30;  Luke 12
Tuesday    Jan. 13  Gen. 31-33;  Luke 13
Wednesday  Jan. 14  Gen. 34-36;  Luke 14
Thursday    Jan. 15  Gen. 37,38; Psalms 7;  Luke 15
Friday    Jan. 16  Gen. 39-41;  Luke 16
Saturday    Jan. 17  Gen. 42,43;  Psalms 5;  Luke17
Sunday    Jan. 18  Gen. 44-46;  Luke 18


De Oppresso Liber