Saturday, May 17, 2008

Judges 1-3

Judges 1-3
As I read this I was asking myself...why didn't they drive out the people? Did they get lazy, did they give up, what's the deal???
Judges 2:10 Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn't know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel.
How could that happen? With everything so visible that he did for could they not make his name known for even one generation? I found the answer to both questions.....
Judges 2:20-23 And God's anger blazed against Israel. He said, "Because these people have thrown out my covenant that I commanded their parents and haven't listened to me, I'm not driving out one more person from the nations that Joshua left behind when he died. I'll use them to test Israel and see whether they stay on God's road and walk down it as their parents did." That's why God let those nations remain. He didn't drive them out or let Joshua get rid of them.
It all boils down to listening to God. His word is right here....the Israelites had his word first hand. So, why is it so difficult to listen AND keep listening?
We read in Judges 3 that the people of Israel were in servitude for years because they did evil in God's sight. He gave them freedom....but the went back to slavery-MORE THAN ONCE!!!
So...what can we learn from this? We can look at it 2 a lesson...DON'T do as the Israelites did. When God gives us freedom-as he has through Jesus-don't fall back in to servitude to the ruler of this world...don't fall back in to slavery to flesh. Enjoy the freedom that Christ died to give us and listen to the Word.
The other way to look at this is to see that we don't have to beat ourselves up for our shortcomings because these people saw God work first hand and still fell away. We don't always get to see God work in these same ways if they saw and still lost it-why do we think we will fare any better? However, we are capable-only through the Holy Spirit- of faring better than the Israelites because of Jesus.
Lord, you have done great and mighty things for us. Let us not forget to praise you and make your name known. Your word says that if we won't praise you the rocks will....Lord let me never forget to praise you. Guide me to do your will and make your name known so that there is not a generation that grows up and doesn't know of what you've done for us. Let me continually listen to and obey your voice. Let me pass any test you may lay before me...that I might stay on your road Lord. Thank you Jesus for the freedom that you give.

keep it simple

In Mark 6, Jesus sends the 12 out in pairs. He tells them "You are the equipment...Keep it simple." This message version spoke to me in ways that the NIV didn't make clear.

First of the pair part. I read in the NIV two by two....but it didn't sink in that it meant they were working in pairs. So, why do I have a hard time working with another when Jesus gives this example that He wants us to work together? I guess just because he said it doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

I also resist when he has told me to do something because I think "I'm not ready for that, I'm not prepared, I don't have this or that..." But he says I am the equipment. I don't need anything fancy. I just have to allow him to work through me. Keep it simple....that's as simple as it can be. Stop fighting and let Jesus do the work through me. So, even though it took me ages to make this page to share my thoughts....and sometimes it's days after he has revealed something to me before I sit down to write about it...I shouldn't fight. I should just do what he says when he says!

Lord, please help me to keep it simple. Remind me that you are all I need....I am the have equipped me for every good work you have planned for me. Let me not run out of fear or because I feel unprepared. Let me rest in you as you work through me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

promised land

I just read Joshua 23 in the Message. Several things stood out to me....but this one got me:
11-13 "Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. Because if you wander off and start taking up with these remaining nations still among you (intermarry, say, and have other dealings with them), know for certain that God, your God, will not get rid of these nations for you. They'll be nothing but trouble to you—horsewhips on your backs and sand in your eyes—until you're the ones who will be driven out of this good land that God, your God, has given you.
I've read many things that try to help show how the people of Israel receiving their promise can relate to us today. This passage stood out to me as we still face the same temptations and trials today as we inherit our promised land. It sounds easy...Love God, your God...but why is it so difficult to keep from wandering off?
There have been times when God would call me to a new level, but I would still be trying to associate with the 'nations among us'. Just as this verse says, the nations become nothing but trouble...and then God won't even drive them out! We can't serve God fully and still be involved in the sin of this world. It will cause us to be driven out of our promised land. Our peace and freedom and joy will be gone due to associating with the sins of this world.
Yet, if we rest in Him, in our promised land, and don't associate with the nations among us...he will drive them out! He will make those temptations less tempting! It will be easier and easier to serve him with joy as we trust Him to drive the nations out before us. He is so faithful to do that!
14 Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing's left undone—not so much as a word.
God is so faithful to his promises. When we realize that we will do what Joshua 24: 14 commands: You, worship God!

Lord, thank you for your Word. Help me to love you more each day. Keep me from wandering off. Give me a deeper desire to worship you, as you are so worthy Father! In Jesus Name AMEN!

Monday, May 12, 2008

reading struggle

I have been slacking on my reading because I have struggled through the part of Joshua that seems boring to me...the division of the land. And then I read the 'think about it' question in the Message study Bible: .....may not be exciting to you, but how would you feel if you had been wandering in the wilderness for forty years? Does God's gift of the land increase your belief that he is faithful to his promises?
Well, yes it does! Now that I see it in that light, reading what I thought was boring is really showing me that God is faithful to His promises.
Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right. Joshua 21:45

Lord thank you for your faithfulness to me! Thank you for revealing in your word that you are faithful. Thank you for teaching me your promises as I trust in you.

Bath Time

Often as I see my husband bathe my toddler, I wish that I had that luxury. There are nights I am just so tired after caring for my family and working that it seems I have nothing left to take care of me.
Shortly after having one of these thoughts, God reminded me that He cares for me in this way. He washes me in the blood of Jesus and all my sins are forgiven! He bathes me in His mercy and kindness each day. He loves me and takes better care of me than I could ever think of providing for my child.
Psalm 51
Ezekiel 16:9-14
I Corinthians 6:11
Ephesians 5:26
Titus 3:5
Lord, thank you for the care that you provide me. Thank you Jesus for washing me...white as snow! Just as the water drains from the tub, never to be seen again, so my sin sent down the drain! Thank you Lord that you care for me more than I can for my child-that you sing over me! Thank you for washing me and sanctifying me through the work of the Holy Spirit. Let me cooperate with you and not fight it like a toddler might. I love you Lord and I want you to wash me so I can be who you created me to be. In Jesus name~ Amen

crazy about pigs

As I read Mark 5 in the Message tonight, I wondered why the people got upset. Jesus had just cast out demons from a man and sent them into a herd of pigs. The man was no longer possessed, it was a miracle! As the mob of demons entered the pigs, they all ran off a cliff and died. At first the crowd was awed, and then they were upset-over the pigs. It made me wonder....why were they upset, and how does this apply to I ever react this way?
I think I have, and you may have also. We see God do something miraculous that we have longed for....He comes through for us and we see His faithfulness. And then....we realize we don't like the way He did it! We are awed at first, but then we become upset because it's not how we wanted it to happen.

Lord, forgive me for trying to put you in a box and tell you how I want you to show yourself faithful. Lord, you ARE faithful. Who am I to try to tell you how to show your goodness to me. Help me to remember that your ways are higher than my ways, as your thoughts are higher than mine. I may not understand what you are doing if I 'lose pigs' in my life...thank you for reminding me that you have a plan. Teach me each day to trust you more. In Jesus name-AMEN
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