On the last visit I made to my hometown, I visited the Iron Industry Museum. My father and grandfather made their living through this industry. The state of MI and Ford Motor Company were supported for many years through these rich iron ore deposits in the Upper Peninsula.
The words on each exhibit along with the pictures, effectively told the story. Whether the words painted the picture or the picture was worth 1,000 words, I enjoyed the value of communicating this history through word pictures.
In this Psalm, I see an Old Testament word picture or poem. The words were historically recited by the people of Israel on the way to Jerusalem each year (for their three mandatory feast observations).
Rather than trusting man-made idols visible on “the hills” around Jerusalem, the Psalmist called out the truth of God (YHWH) as the creator of heaven and earth.
Even today, we should remember it is not what WE create out of iron or steel that makes us prosper but what God has created in us- a hope and a future.
The Lord “kept” the children of Israel and will “keep” us. What does He keep us from? We are kept from ALL harm when we trust Him.
The harm may include deadly physical elements of heat and sun exposure or nighttime predators. It could also be a spiritual degradation found in today’s culture to remove a life from the earth before their time (aka abortion).
Our coming and going will be kept by God when our eyes look to Him.- Teresa #keeplifesacred
Psalm 121 (ESV) *
A Song of Ascents.
121 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
While visiting my mom in MN this week, I grew fond of the elliptical machine for my daily workout. You can see it in the photo on the far left.
Eight years ago, I participated in a program called “Medical Weight Management”. I used their food and sat under the guidance of their dietitians. My weight loss was supervised by a medical doctor. The best thing that I learned throughout the program was to remain committed. We all transitioned from a 1200 cal/day diet to eating the individual number of calories that were allowed (as calculated by a resting metabolic weight test).
The graph that inspired me most in the first 6 months of the program was the steady weight loss as seen on each participants chart. Usually at week 12-15 (or so) many people noted a plateau or even a 5 pound weight gain, while doing the program correctly.
This is the point in the program, where a few people dropped out. They decided that they can do this on their own (less money) because obviously “it’s not working for me”. One such graph was displayed of a member who was on the verge of quitting but then stayed (remained in the program). This particular person dropped another 30 pounds, in addition to the 20 lost prior to their plateau.
What if they just gave up and quit when the graph went up instead of down? Would they have ever seen the joyful ending of hanging in there. They would have failed to get what they were hoping for and had committed to. They would not have remained long enough to see the desired result.
We don’t always see the end of the graph from where we are now standing. That doesn’t mean that a bump in the road will turn us away from our desired destination.
Sure, it’s discouraging, but what’s worse than struggling? I would have to say quitting on yourself is worse than struggling. Wouldn’t you rather continue on and abide in the investment made? #urworthit
In the passage below, John the apostle captures Jesus’ important message to his closest disciples. Jesus knew that there was suffering ahead for all of them. He encourages them to abide in the relationship that had changed their lives and would change the world.
The Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Why? Because He loved the world…he saw us as worthwhile.
Like the early disciples,the fruit that results from God’s love in us (as His sons and daughters) comes from abiding in Christ Jesus. Without Him, we are nothing and with Him we are “home”. Have you ever wanted to belong somewhere safe and beautiful -accepted as you are?
Have I asked the Father in Jesus’ name for the thing I desire most?-Teresa #fullnessofJoy #abide
John 15:1-17 (ESV)*
I Am the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a]for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
I heard a simple, yet touching story of a wife praying this earnest prayer for her husband (named James). “Mercy, Lord, for James” (repeated over and over). Then, he happened to walk in the door one day after work and heard her in prayer and it touched him. It changed him.
There may be times in our own lives when we must pray for ourself. I said it this week, “mercy, Lord, for Teresa”. It touched me, it changed me.
In fact, there’s is a song by John Michael Talbot that never ceases to makes me happy. The key phrase is, “and I ask you- all of my brothers and sisters…to pray for me”. We Shall Stand Forgiven
Being brought low may be the first step of our salvation. “Death” to self may come in a variety of ways: overwhelming circumstances, difficult people or too many balls flying from every direction (some that we should not even attempt to catch).
He inclines His ear to us. How wonderful to know that His Salvation is on the way. By lifting up the cup of salvation, we are praising the One who poured out His life so we could know God as our loving Father. #theLordJesusChrist
Walking before the Lord in the land of the living means we continue to honor Him with our lives. Even when it’s challenging, He shows up and carries us on His shoulders.
I love you, Lord, for without you, I am nothing. – Teresa #thanksgiving
Psalm 116: 1-19 (ESV) *
116 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. 2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. 6 The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. 7 Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; 9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when[a] I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”; 11 I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. 16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!Read full chapter
Psalm 116:10 Or believed, indeed; Septuagint believed, therefore
David’s love and loyalty to King Saul was returned with hate and lies.
Jesus’ ministry, filled with loving miracles to those in need ,“appeared to end” with the religious people of the day determining to crucify Him.
Lies and accusations are not far from attacking those who work in opposition to the “father of lies”.
Following David’s example and Jesus’ example, we can also give ourselves to prayer.
In so doing, we may gain wisdom, beauty and grace to help when accusations fly.
The description of Christ, as the suffering servant (in Isaiah), portrayed him as a bruised reed. Unbreakable!
There are times when we must flex and bend but remember that the grace of God in our lives means that we are also unbreakable.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, we think of those who serve sacrificially. I think of my hero in the faith, Mother Teresa. The story of her life (dramatized in 2014) was very impactful to me. Called “The Letters”, this movie evidenced the struggle and depth of her work.
Yet, she persevered. We must also take time to do the small things that others overlook as distasteful or not valuable.
Even if the very ones you love and serve produce lies and accusations (like King Saul did to David)- give yourself to prayer.
God is faithful to finish His work in us and in the world. – Teresa #remember #KingDavid #KingJesus #wearechildrenofGod #ransomedforHisglory
Psalm 109:1-5 (ESV)*
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
109 Be not silent, O God of my praise! 2 For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. 3 They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. 4 In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.[a] 5 So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
In spite of our information-based society, I am amazed at the perceptiveness of the younger generations.
In the passage below, young Ruth perceived that her mother-in-law was worth following after. She followed Naomi from Moab all the way home to Bethlehem. Ruth clung to her and refused to be separated, claiming that she would not leave her and that Naomi’s God would by her God.
When Naomi rejoiced at the good fortune of Ruth finding a safe place to work in Boaz’s fields, she slowly forgot her bitterness of grief and loss, restoring her hope in the LORD.
Boaz was one of their redeemers. Following a beautiful tradition of saving the widows and remnant of God’s people, the kinsman-redeemer ensured a promised heir for their fellow Israelite.
Ruth trusted Naomi’s tradition implicitly and followed her instructions on how to approach the man who could protect their future and hope.
Today, young people have to make a choice as Ruth did. They must decide between Moab (their homeland), which teaches the theology of atheism in the schools, and Bethlehem (the house of bread), which relies on the Savior’s coming to change our hearts forever.
When we have the courage to ask our Savior to spread His wings over us, then we are redeemed. This means “to buy back”. Boaz bought back Naomi’s family line (although her husband and sons had died). He gave provision and protection to her family. Most of all he provided an heir through Ruth that would carry on Naomi’s family name.
We are redeemed when Jesus becomes our Savior. He not only provides eternal life and protects us from death (separation from God) but he bought us back for a purpose -to be part of the family business. #loveoneanother
The intimacy of this passage is not lost on us. We can perceive God’s personal invitation to mankind. He has touched us ever so lightly with profound effect. -Teresa #metamorphosis
Ruth 2:19-3:13 (ESV)*
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22 And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.” 23 So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
3 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” 5 And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her.7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings[c] over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
Ruth 2:7 Compare Septuagint, Vulgate; the meaning of the Hebrew phrase is uncertain
Ruth 2:17 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters
Ruth 3:9 Compare 2:12; the word for wings can also mean corners of a garment
…repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…Luke 24:47
On the road to Emmaus, Cleopas and his companion were taken by surprise. Their LORD walked with them for seven miles and after all their conversation, they did not recognize his resurrected body.
During the breaking of bread, Jesus opened their eyes and it all became clear. It became evident to them that throughout the scriptures it was prophesied. Jesus had come to their specific time and place to suffer, to die, to be resurrected and to ascend into heaven before their very eyes. #waitforthepromise
While spending time at the lake today, my son and I put together an alpine sunshade. The breeze was beautiful, making the lightweight material respond with soft fluttering. At one point, I positioned my phone to capture a picture of a mist “rainbow” and realized that God was shining down on us. #promiserealized
Although many times our eyes get distracted by frustrating events of our day, discouraged by the ways of our world, He can capture our attention like none other. #light #life
Not only do His words shed light on confusion but they bring life to our hearts. #didnotourheartsburnwithinus
Perfect timing means someday all nations will have had an opportunity to respond with repentance in order to receive His amazing forgiveness. Lord, we trust your promises. Help us to live in your light. -Teresa #witnessprotection=God’spromiseuponyou #HolySpiritpower
Luke 24:13-53English Standard Version *
On the Road to Emmaus
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning,23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther,29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,[b]43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for[c] the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.Read full chapter
Luke 24:13 Greek sixty stadia; a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters
Luke 24:42 Some manuscripts add and some honeycomb
When Joshua died, he left a legacy of leadership, which carried on to the nation of Israel through those he had known and worked with.
How often do we meet someone whose life is so rock solid that after being around them we are changed for our entire lifetime?
Joshua influenced the children of Jacob (Israel) to continue following God (YHWH). They set up a stone at Shechem to remind them what their mouths professed (to only follow God).
Those who did not want to follow God’s way were free to leave. #freewill The nation remained as one in their commitment to God as long as Joshua’s legacy was alive.
While I live, I want to also take a stand to live as a person of the book (God’s word). Since I have been touched by the “word” of God (Jesus Christ the Lord), I have the desire to emulate Him throughout my lifetime.
This week in particular, I am moved by the power of God as I reminisce about the life and death of a co-worker who came to Christ on her deathbed.
Her conversion happened on 4/21 and every year I pray for her daughter and grandchildren to also know this security of the Savior’s love for them.
Our inheritance may seem a long way off but remember that the legacy we live out for others to see may be the most influential part of eternity. -Teresa #kindnessislouderthanwords
John 1:1-14 (NET)
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. 6 A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children 13 – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God. 14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.
Joshua 24:25-33 ESV)
25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem.
26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
Joshua’s Death and Burial
29 After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old.30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.
31 Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.
32As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money.[c] It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of Phinehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim.Read full chapter
Jesus was blessing the people with healings and teachings that were amazing. The Pharisees, however, could not see the “God” component but instead asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come.
Why couldn’t they observe it? What kept it hidden from them? Was it their unwillingness to believe? Hardening of the heart can be a fatal medical condition but even more so a fatal spiritual condition.
We watched the intense true story last night, On a Wing and a Prayer. It made me ask, “to what extent will God pursue us until we truly believe His purpose for our lives?”
Although God’s discipline seems harsh in the moment we must keep in mind that He disciplines us for our good. By exercising our faith in the Savior, we will be ready for the revelation of the Son of Man. How then should we live? #God’spurpose
Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see Jesus.
When I focus on self’s accomplishment (aka -for me it is-meeting goals) my eyes are blinded to God’s merciful discipline (aka allowing me to pursue His values- maybe even taking better care of myself). #detour
I can see those things in my journey that I perceived as defeat were actually His discipline, allowing me time to be devoted to God’s purpose. It is not so much a ‘holier than thou’ mentality but moreso a ‘posture of surrender’.
His purpose then re-appears like a majestic mountain, always there and never changing. I failed to see it was there when shrouded by the fog of society’s illusions and my ambition. #beauty
By losing our life, we actually keep it. In other words trust that God’s word (the Bible) is true. When a seed is planted in the ground it dies, the new plant grows and spreads because the seed was willing to give up itself.- Teresa #alltoJesusIsurrender #Noah’sarkwasbuiltinfaith
Luke 17:20-37 (ESV)
The Coming of the Kingdom
20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”[c]
22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.[d]25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”[e]37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse[f] is, there the vultures[g] will gather.”Read full chapter
I had an honest question this morning…”Do you think about God more now, since we are older (and wiser)?”
My sage conversation partner replied thoughtfully and I was stunned to realize how much time is spent thinking about, praising and sharing our problems with….the LORD.
If it represents how ready we are for His return, then that’s a good thing (see the passage below). However, I suddenly thought…we are like a weathered old Eucalyptus tree. The young saplings would not have the capacity to take on the storms of life, if they were not surrounded by the others.
So although the real estate in our mind remains about the same regarding how much time is taken up by our great God (passionate for Him), we should now have more of an impact. This may be the difference of how we think of others. Certainly our influence has spread to children, grandchildren, parents and even those who fellowship with us from different parts of the world.
As an old tree, it may not be as flexible or able to change its shape but the tap root has gone deep and the lateral roots have intertwined with the other trees for more stability. We can be part of the root system surrounding the young grove of new believers. #Jesus-revolution #ChuckSmith
Being ready involves a sold-out mindset but also requires taking action steps toward preparing for our Lord’s coming. I want to always be ready and encourage others to receive Him.- Teresa #whetheryoungoroldkeepyourmindonHim #revival
Luke 12:35-59English Standard Version
You Must Be Ready
35 “Stay dressed for action[a] and keep your lamps, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants[b] whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he[c] would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant[d] whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
During my birthday get-away, we enjoyed relaxation laced with love and vitality, new understanding and amazing discoveries.
Part of relaxing for me is healthy habits, following the routine frees my mind to discover new insights. In this Psalm, the writer is faced with struggling to understand and came to a full comprehension only after he repented of his short-sightedness during his “time away” at the sanctuary of the Lord.
Our society can fool us into thinking arrogance and riches are the way to “make it”. The way to truly arrive is a paradox however. A mixture of trusting God’s provision (not our own) and keeping our eyes on Him as refuge (not on arrogant puffs of men, strutting around and spouting off).
An important insight is that whatever has held me hostage in the past no longer has power over me. (Unless I allow it to)…for example, self-doubt has been a recurring nemesis. Instead, God-confidence would grant me victory (aka seeing myself as the Father sees me).
In order to draw on God as the strength of my heart, He must be my portion forever. A portion or inheritance in the ancient Hebrew culture had everything to do with land and provision.
The portion for believers under the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31) is our spiritual inheritance through the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. God adopts us as sons and daughters into His glorious family and the kingdom of light and life, the moment we believe in His Son.
Certainly earthly land and provision are important and we work hard toward that end. More significant, however, is how we arrive into our spiritual abode. If it’s through His refuge and protection, then we are truly blessed. If it’s through wily coyote schemes full of arrogance and deception, then we are headed to sure destruction.
Finally, to separate the earthly from the heavenly is impossible. For how we live our earthly lives directly translates into our heavenly calling (to trust Him and His ways). #evenwhenpainful
Can one who builds a house carry on without the proper materials? Similarly, can we who desire a heavenly home build with only (man made) useless hay and stubble? No, we need the foundation to last and for that- drawing close to God will be our rock (solid and sure).
When I saw all the well cared for dogs in the town this week, I understood the good hearts of the people near our vacation place. When God sees our choice of caring for those around us, He proudly identifies that our hearts are His. – Teresa #God’sglory #reachingheaven #onmyknees #loveyourenemies #prayforthosewhodespitefullyuseyou
Psalm 73:1-28 (ESV) (bold added for emphasis)
A Psalm of Asaph
73 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.[a] 11 And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21 When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
Psalm 73:10 Probable reading; Hebrew the waters of a full cup are drained by them