The Message of God

A friend invited me out tomorrow. I was going to decline out of fear. This is a busy weekend with the Nursing Home Service. I started making excuses.

1. I don’t have time to relax.

2 Chronicles 36:21, “This is exactly the message of God that Jeremiah had preached: the desolate land put to an extended Sabbath rest, a seventy year Sabbath rest making up for all the unkept Sabbaths.” The Message

2. It’s going to be over 90°.

2 Kings 25:24, “…Trust Me, everything is going to be all right.” The Message

3. Ragweed has bloomed.

Jeremiah 39:12, “Look out for him. Make sure nothing bad happens to him. Give him anything he wants.” The Message

4. There’s a haze from the wildfires.

Jeremiah 39:18, “…You’ll walk out of there safe and sound because you trusted Me. God’s Decree.” The Message

I got out an extra-fine Sharpie pen and wrote on my palm:

  • 2 Ch. 36:21, Extended rest.
  • 2 Ki. 25:24, Trust Me.
  • Jer. 39:12, Nothing bad will happen. You’ll get anything you want.
  • Jer. 39:18, Safe and sound.

I’m taking those promises with me. Faith over fear.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

#bible

Setting Things Right

Decorate, declutter, zone. I do something small – like cleaning the gilded frame on Grandma’s mirror. Sometimes, I move something or paint it.

The biggest improvements are from decluttering. Yesterday, I took the first step decluttering my candle collection.

I started this collection before Y2K. (Computers showed the date as 19 _ _. You could only fill in the last two numbers. Would it crash on 1-1-2000?)

They feared food would not be delivered, gas unavailable. I bought a month’s supply of food and collected candles. I figured we would live in our basement – by candlelight – eating canned meals.

Nothing happened. We had “can night” once a week for months.

I store my candles by size. Each month I had to get out all the boxes to get the color I wanted to use. I decided to box them up by color. (It surprised me to find: tangerine, plum, orchid, lavender, mint, salmon, peach, and a box of teal candles. I don’t decorate with those colors!)

They covered my dining room table and I threw away exactly 3 candles – without wicks. Why am I hanging on to them? Fear of disaster? The fear I can’t replace them? Overwhelmed, I decided to have David go through them with me later.

I went upstairs to work in my zone – the bathroom. I systematically work my way through the house deep cleaning. I opened the door to the medicine cabinet and a tube of lipstick rolled out.

I don’t wear lipstick!

I got out my makeup bags – yes, 2 of them – and the loose makeup. I dumped it out and set aside recent purchases. (I think I bought one of these eyeshadow pallets during Y2K!) This stuff is toxic. Why am I keeping it? I threw 90% of it away.

“There will come a time in your life…where the people…and the mentalities they represent will not be an adequate support system for where God is taking you. …as you’re growing into your inheritance, you’re growing out of your past. And when you start outgrowing it, you’ve got to shed some stuff. You’ve got to shed some ways of thinking.” “Maybe You’re Just Outgrowing It,” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

* * * * * * *

Romans 12:1-2, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. (2) Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 10:9-10, “…You’re not ‘doing’ anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting Him to do it for you. That’s salvation. (10) With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: ‘God has set everything right between Him and me!’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 10:3, “They don’t seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God’s business…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 10:6, “But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story…” The Message

* * * * * *

Romans 10:8, “…It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 12:5, “So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” The Message

We want to develop the gifts God has given us. Sometimes we have to let go of toxic things to accomplish that.

Romans 11:29, “God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded.” The Message

* * * * * *

“Thankfully, God never gives what is deserved, but instead, God graciously, passionately offers gifts, our bodies, our time, our very lives. God does not give rights but imparts responsibilities – response-abilities – inviting us to respond to His gifts.” “One Thousand Gifts” Ann Voskamp

Responsible – response-able – able to respond to all things. Flexible. If our friends are irresponsible or toxic we need to seek new ones.

“…be the kind of person that says, ‘I’m gonna be there with you.’ …Oprah says, “Anybody will ride with you in the limousine. What I need is somebody to ride with me when the limousine breaks down, and we gotta take the bus.’ I’m looking for some bus friends! I’m looking for some people who will be by my side when I don’t have anything to give. …” “How to Find Real Friends,” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

Setting things right from Romans 12:6-21.

  1. Preach just God’s Message.
  2. Help, don’t take over.
  3. Stick to your teaching.
  4. Give encouraging guidance; don’t get bossy.
  5. Don’t manipulate when you are in charge.
  6. Keep your eyes open and quickly aid people in distress.
  7. Don’t get irritated or depressed when working with the disadvantaged.
  8. Don’t fake love.
  9. Run from evil.
  10. Cling to good.
  11. Be a good, loving friend.
  12. Practice playing second fiddle.
  13. Keep yourselves fueled and aflame.
  14. Be alert servants.
  15. Be cheerfully expectant.
  16. Don’t quit in hard times.
  17. Pray hard.
  18. Help needy Christians.
  19. Be inventive in your hospitality.
  20. Bless your enemies.
  21. Laugh when your friends are happy.
  22. Cry when they are down.
  23. Get along with each other.
  24. Don’t be stuck up.
  25. Make friends with nobodies.
  26. Don’t be the great somebody.
  27. Don’t hit back.
  28. Discover beauty in everyone.
  29. Try to get along with everybody.
  30. Don’t insist on getting even.
  31. Feed your hungry enemy.
  32. Give water to your thirsty enemy.
  33. Don’t let evil get the best of you.
  34. Overcome evil by doing good.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Keep a Firm Grip

May 26, 2018

We attended another graduation party this afternoon. The pictures tell the story of the honoree from birth to the present. They think, “I’m finished!”

Nope. Now they enter SHK – the “School of Hard Knocks.” You can’t skip out on this school. It comes to you. The number one thing it tries is to knock your faith right out of you!

Hebrews 2:1, “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.” The Message

Intelligence, education, common sense, or your job title will not keep you safe in SHK. You need the “Armor of God,” (Ephesians 6:10-18), daily Bible reading and prayer. Satan is sneaky. He works his way into your life to keep God out.

Acts 13:6-8, 10, “…a Jewish wizard who had worked himself into the confidence of the governor, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man not easily taken in by charlatans. …(7) He was as crooked as a corkscrew. (8) …he stirred up a ruckus, trying to divert the governor from becoming a believer. …(10) …inventing schemes to cheat people out of God.” The Message

You don’t go through SHK alone. God leads you. If you follow Him, He knocks out the enemies for you.

Acts 13:19, “…having wiped out seven enemies who stood in the way…” The Message

A favorite tool of Satan is compromise – and distraction. Adding something to your faith in Jesus.

“In the letter, it is Jesus-and-angels, or Jesus-and-Moses, or Jesus-and-priesthood. In our time it is more likely to be Jesus-and-politics, or Jesus-and-education, or even Jesus-and-Budha. This letter deletes the hyphens, the add ons. The focus becomes clear and sharp again: God’s action in Jesus.” The Message Introduction to Hebrews

* * * * * * *

Hebrews 1:14, “Isn’t it obvious that all angels are sent to help out with those lined up to receive salvation?” The Message

In time, they will find the work God planned for them. The work will change them. When Saul stopped preaching to the Jews, he changed his name. From that time on he was known by his Roman name, Paul.

“Paul (Saul’s Roman name) now focused his strategy on Gentile evangelism. His sermons, as recorded in Acts, indicate the way the Good News was presented to the Gentiles (13:16-41) and to a sophisticated audience (17:22-31), emphasizing the activity of the Holy Spirit and the power of Jesus’ resurrection.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Congratulations graduates!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Hard But Important

When we are hurt, things change. We can pretend it didn’t happen but then we don’t heal. We can learn from how Jesus handled Judas’ betrayal.

Matthew 26:21, “During the meal, He said, ‘I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.’ ” The Message

Jesus didn’t play games.

Matthew 26:25, “Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, ‘It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?’ Jesus said, ‘Don’t play games with me, Judas.’ ” The Message

He didn’t pretend everything was okay.

Matthew 26:50, “Jesus said, ‘Friend, why this charade.’ ” The Message

Jesus never stopped loving Judas. He acknowledged that their relationship changed. It would never be the way it was before.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Never Hide Your Feelings from God

“Isn’t it ironic that we spend so much time and energy trying to figure out how to get to where God wants us to go, when all we have to do is simply say, ‘Here I am’? It’s God’s job to get us where He wants us to go; our job is to make ourselves available.” “All In” by Mark Batterson

When David gives me “that look,” he doesn’t care if my hair is frizzy. He doesn’t mind the extra pounds. I don’t even need to put on makeup or jewelry. He loves me. He wants to spend time with me. All I need is to be…

Available!

God loves me more than David. Why do I feel like I need to be perfect before approaching Him? I’ll never be perfect on my own.

But I believe in Jesus Christ! When God looks at me, He sees Jesus in me. Jesus is perfect!

I have no fear sharing everything with David. He’s seen it all! Every emotion and reaction I’ve ever had. Still, he loves me.

Psalms 34:5, “…Never hide your feelings from God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 34:4, “God met me more than halfway, He freed me from my anxious fears.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 34:12, 13, “God, you did everything You promised, and I’m thanking You with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.” The Message

God loves you that much, too!

©2009-2018 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

A Harvest from Seeds

When I woke this morning, I went online to listen to a sermon I missed when I was out-of-town. Pastor Monte Knudsen preached about marriage.

He said we plant seeds in three ways:

  1. Our words.
  2. Sexual desire.
  3. Money.

The seeds we plant will bring a harvest, either good or bad.

Balak understood the power of words. He hired Balaam to curse Israel. He understood the power of money. He kept increasing the amount he offered to Balaam.

When both of those failed against the children of Israel, he used the third – sexual desire. Balak encouraged the women to seduce the Israelite men. Once they did, the men started to follow the Midianite gods.

What was the harvest of those seeds? A plague went through the camp, killing 24,000 people, see Numbers 25:9.

The most powerful seeds we plant are the words we say. We need to speak the words of God. We also need to keep our sexual desires under control.

Numbers 25:6, “Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the assembly of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tent of meeting.” Modern English Version

Why were the people weeping before the door of the tent of meeting? Their loved ones were sick and dying because of the plague.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

I Planted Seeds and Was Rewarded Immediately

I really wanted a nap. I could justify it because of the Nursing Home Service today which will delay and shorten my Sunday snooze. But there were 3 projects on my list and I still needed to practice for both services.

It didn’t help when David woke up from a 20-minute catnap and cheerfully said,

“I’m going to paint the house!”

(He painted the east side of the house and added a coat to the east side of the shed.)

I started by practicing and the music pushed the drowsiness away. I moved on to painting the boards that I use to raise the keyboard pedals. (Derek said they looked “Ghetto,” whatever that means.) I primed them yesterday but had to wait until David brought home paint after work this morning. I painted the bottom sides and stole Derek’s fan to help them dry more quickly.

Then I got out my biggest planter and filled it with the rest of the soil I have on hand. Earlier this week, I wrapped 4 kinds of seeds in a paper towel and put them in a Rubbermaid container. My daughter-in-law laughed when I admitted the seeds were from 2011. Vindication came when I opened the container and showed her the seeds had sprouted!

I got out small signs and wrote the name of the four plants on them. I put the signs in the pot and planted the seeds. After watering the pot, I put the planter behind the sheer curtain in the living room, just like I wrote about in an earlier post.

1 Corinthians 15:37, 38, “When you sow, you do not sow the body that shall be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. Then God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural.” The Message

That left one nasty task – ants in the cupboard. The traps I set out last month must have been too old. My sugar, honey, and marshmallows are hiding in the refrigerator. I emptied the cupboard, washed it with Windex, (the ammonia will cover the trail from the first ant), and shut the door. I hoped the ammonia would asphyxiate any ants that snuck in. Then I set out new traps.

I decided to take a break to read before starting supper. David came in from painting and said,

“How about Taco Johns for supper?”

God blessed me for working when I really wanted to nap. I believe that was my reward for obeying God and planting those seeds!

Proverbs 6:6, “Look to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” Modern English Version

I was not a sluggard! I finished all of my projects, painting the last coat on the boards at 9:00 p.m. I did consider the ant’s ways – not one went after my vegetable bin! They surrounded the sugar, honey, and I even found one on the peanut butter!

I decided to stop feeling guilty when I ate dessert. I will just be wise and not eat it in excess!

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Logjam

“When professional loggers discover a logjam, they climb a large tree . . . and find . . . the “key log” creating the jam. . . . The point is you don’t necessarily need to change all your thinking – just the few items that keep you from having the right approach to life. . . . How do you feel about yourself? When do you feel the most negative about yourself? What causes you the greatest problems when dealing with others? Insecurity? Resentment? Inferiority? What negative thoughts constantly control your mind? Psalms 119:59, “I thought about my ways” and Proverbs 23:7, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he”. 

“The Difference Maker” John C. Maxwell

I took the time to answer those questions and find the “Key Log” in my “Logjam.” I wrote down 5 actions I could do to release my “Key Log.” Then I read the cross-references in the few verses I studied today in Psalms and found this verse.

Psalms 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways . . .” Modern English Version

God revealed answers to the questions and gave me a plan to implement. He is the best Counselor because He knows everything.

Isaiah 40:14, “With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding?” Modern English Version

No one!

God is the source of all counsel, instruction, justice, knowledge, and understanding!

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Keep

I have a red-letter edition of the Modern English Version of the Bible. The sayings of Jesus are printed in red, but I don’t read just the red paragraphs, I read every word.

John 15:20, “. . . If they kept my words, they will keep yours also.” Modern English Version

We accept the words of Jesus’ apostles because they all come from the same source, God the Father.

John 15:15, “. . .everything that I have heard from My Father have I made known to you.” Modern English Version

 

Titus 1:2, 3, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began, and has in due time revealed His word through preaching, with which I was entrusted according to the command of God our Savior.” Modern English Version

Dear Father God,

Thank You for Your word. You spoke through Moses and the prophets in the Old Testament and Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. Each word has power. Reveal the hidden truths to us.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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December, 2016 “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide Chapters

• 1 – Deuteronomy 17-20
• 2 – Deuteronomy 21-23
• 3 – Deuteronomy 24-27
• 4 – Deuteronomy 28
• 5 – Deuteronomy 29-31
• 6 – Deuteronomy 32, 33; Psalms 90; Deuteronomy 34
• 7 – Joshua 1-4
• 8 – Joshua 5-7
• 9 – Joshua 8, 9
• 10 – Joshua 10-12
• 11 – Joshua 13-15
• 12 – Joshua 16-19
• 13 – Joshua 20-22
• 14 – Joshua 23, 24; Judges 1
• 15 – Judges 2-4
• 16 – Judges 5, 6
• 17 – Judges 7, 8
• 18 – Judges 9, 10
• 19 – Judges 11-13
• 20 – Judges 14-16
• 21 – Judges 17-19
• 22 – Judges 20, 21
• 23 – Ruth 1-4
• 24 – Luke 1
• 25 – Luke 2; Matthew 1
• 26 – Matthew 2; John 1
• 27 – Luke 3; Matthew 3; Mark 1
• 28 – Matthew 4; Luke 4; John 2
• 29 – John 3, 4
• 30 – Mark 2; Luke 5
• 31 – Mark 3; John 5

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