Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, Day 244 - Colossians 4

Click here to go to Colossians 4

Not sure how I messed up the calendar, but I did.. I'll get it fixed probably the beginning of next week since the end of this week and the weekend are crazy busy... SORRY!

As Paul closes this letter he gives a direction about prayer that I haven't noticed before:
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

Alert mind... 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, Day 243 - Colossians 3

Click here to go to Colossians 3

Another amazing chapter with lots of good stuff in it, the thing that is jumping out at me today:

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, Day 242 - Colossians 2

Click here to go to Colossian 2

11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.[c] 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, Day 241 - Colossians 1

Click here to go to Colossians 1

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

God's Good news bears fruit everywhere. God's Word changes lives. 

Another reminder of the importance of God's Word and sharing it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, Day 240 - Philippians 4

Click here to go to Philippians 4

So much good stuff in this book, yes, I know I've said that before, but I think today these two verses jump out at me:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Tell God your need + Thank Him for what He's done = PEACE

Very nice!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, Day 239 - Proverbs 22

Click here to go to Proverbs 22

Verses 24 and 25 jumped out at me. It's so true!

Don’t befriend angry people
    or associate with hot-tempered people,
25 or you will learn to be like them
    and endanger your soul.

Lots of good verses in here. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, Day 238 - Psalm 101

Click here to go to Psalm 101

What a great Psalm! I love how the first verse reads in The Voice:
I will sing of God's unsparing love and justice; o You, O Eternal One, I will sing praises.

I also love the stand that the author (probably David) takes toward those who comment evil. Gives me a lot to think about.


Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, Day 237 - Philippians 3

Click here to go to Philippians 3

Philippians is such a great book! This chapter has one of my favorite passages: 

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)

I love what The Voice did with this passage:

12) I'm not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me - and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won't let me go. 13) Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there's one thing I am doing: I'm leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. 14) I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line,to win the prize, and hear God's call to resurrection life found exclusively  in Jesus the Anointed.

So good so encouraging!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23, Day 236 - Philippians 2

Click here to go to Philippians 2

There is so much in this chapter and it's hard for me to even know where to start, so I'll just share:

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

 With the work load coming the next two weeks for me I need to remember this one.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 21, Day 235 - Philippians 1

Click here to go to Philippians 1

Paul opens this letters with words of encouragement and a prayer for the believers in Philippi. Another amazing passage.

The thing that jumped out at me was verse 27:  Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

What does it mean to live as a citizen of heaven? I've always thought about heaven as a place where we will worship God all the time. hmmm... maybe a reminder that we should remember to worship God while we're on earth, day in and day out... not just on Sunday (or Saturday) at church.

Lots of good stuff coming in this book.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, Day 234 - Ephesians 6

Click here to go to Ephesians 6

This chapter is so rich, as the entire book. But my favorite part is the armor of God in verses 14 - 17. A friend of mine would talk about putting on the armor of God each morning as a prayer she would start with the feet and work her way up something like:

Put on the shoes of peace, that you walk in peace.
The belt of truth - that not only would one speak truth, but would hear truth.
The breastplate of righteousness to protect your heart.
The helmet of salvation to protect your mind.
The shield of faith, to face all that is thrown at you.
Finally, the only offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit the Word of God.

There's plenty more good stuff in this chapter.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, Day 233 - Ephesians 5

Click here to go to Ephesians 5

Have you ever thought about how little kids imitate their parents?  It's like what Paul is talking about here? We're to imitate our Father. Paul gives us things to watch out for but I find verse 10 very interesting: Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

I like the way The Voice translates it: Make it your aim to learn what pleases our Lord.

Lots of good stuff in Ephesians. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, Day 232 - Psalm 100

Click here to go to Psalm 100

This is a very special Psalm to me. It was the foundation scripture for my Philosophy of Ministry paper I wrote before I graduated from seminary.

One the cool things about this Psalm is it tells us what to do:
  • Shout with Joy
  • Worship with Gladness
  • Come before Him
  • Singing with Joy
  • Acknowledge the Lord is God
WHY? (most translations have a for at this point)
He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Then we get more instructions:

  • Enter His gates with thanksgiving
  • Enter His courts with praise
  • Give thanks
  • Praise His name
For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18, Day 231 - Proverbs 21

Click here to go to Proverbs 21

People may be right in their own eyes,
    but the Lord examines their heart.

13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor
    will be ignored in their own time of need.

23 Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
    and you will stay out of trouble.

30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan
    can stand against the Lord.

Lots of good verses one that I find a little confusing:

14 A secret gift calms anger;
    a bribe under the table pacifies fury.

I've always thought of bribes as a bad thing... need to think about this one... a lot...

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, Day 230 - Ephesians 4

Click here to go to Ephesians 4

So much good stuff in this chapter, I love the focus on unity, then Paul talks about the gifts that we've been given to use. 

And Paul finishes the chapter encouraging us to live as "Children of Light."

He ends the chapter the chapter reminding us "...  be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

Sometimes that's really hard to do, forgiving people, but Christ forgave us so much...


Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, Day 229 - Ephesians 3

Not sure why this didn't post... sorry!

Click here to read Ephesians 3

God's eternal plan that was carried out  through Jesus we can boldly and confidently into the presence of God. That just had to rock the Jews. After all, for thousands of years only the High Priest was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies the presence of God. And now, not only is Paul saying that Jews can boldly and confidently go into God's presence but so could the Gentiles!

What a wonderful promise!

And another wonderful prayer:

Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock that their lives are founded so that together with all of Your people they will have the power to understand the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may your fullness flood through their entire beings.

Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things,  things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen. (Verse 16-21 The Voice)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, Day 228 - Ephesians 2

Click here to access Ephesians 2

Verse 10: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

This is just an amazing verse, for we are God's masterpiece...

But unlike masterpieces that sit in a museum to be looked at we are created to do the good things He planned for us... long ago...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, Day 227 - Ephesians 1

Click here to go to Ephesians 1

I love Ephesians and especially chapter 1. As we look at some of the things Paul writes it's so exciting:

  • May God give you grace and peace
  • Praise to God who has given every spiritual blessings
  • The God that created the universe loves us and chose us
  • He decided to adopt us!!!
  • He is rich in kindness
  • He purchased our freedom
From there Paul goes on to tell how he prays for the people in Ephesus. What a wonderful prayer!


Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, Day 226 - Galatians 6

Click here to go to Galatians 6

15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

The big topic in Paul's day was the issue of circumcision. Many of the leaders in churches wanted to hold on to that law, yet Paul reminds them it's not that important, what is important is that they had been transformed into a new creation. It's the same today in many churches that hold on to tradition. When it's a life that is transformed into a new creation. Thank you for God's peace and mercy!!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, Day 225 - Psalm 97

Click here to go to Psalm 97

The Lord is king!
    Let the earth rejoice!
    Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
Dark clouds surround him.
    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire spreads ahead of him
    and burns up all his foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world.
    The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
    every nation sees his glory.

Such a beautiful picture of our God and how nature responds to Him. The only one that confuses me is the "Dark clouds..." Not sure the significance of that phrase. But still such a beautiful, powerful imagery. 

Blessings on this Sunday!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11, Day 224 - Proverbs 20

Click here to go to Proverbs 20

Several of these verses jump out at me. Here's a few of my favorites:

12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
    both are gifts from the Lord.

15 Wise words are more valuable
    than much gold and many rubies.

13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
    Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! (OOPS!)

24 The Lord directs our steps,
    so why try to understand everything along the way?

Lots of good stuff!

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, Day 223 - Galatians 5

Click here to go to Galatians 5

Ah the balance between living in freedom not under rules and regulations and abusing that freedom.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

But I think Paul does give us some keys to do that in verse 16:  So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

I find it interesting how different versions translate verses 22 and 23. NLT: 
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

The more literal NASB translates these amazing verses:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The Voice gives us:
22) The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness,  23) gentleness and self-control. You won't find any law opposed to fruit like this.

Are you experiencing the fruit of the spirit in your life? Me? I'm in a better place than I was several months ago, but there is always room to grow, especially in peace and self-control. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9, Day 222 - Galatians 4

Click here to go to Galatians 4

Verses 21 - 31 really got me thinking tonight. I'm sure I've read it but again taking one chapter at a time has really helped more of God's Word sink in. Enough rambling...

I don't think the idea of Hagar and Sarah illustrating God's covenants before. Hagar represented the law given at Sinai and Sarah the heavenly Jerusalem. The more I thought about it the more it makes sense. Hagar was Abraham's attempt to fulfill God's promise for a son. The law was all about the rules, doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things.

Sarah gave birth to Isaac in her old age, only God can do that. Our salvation came through another thing that only God can do, Jesus coming, living, dying, and rising again! Another reminder, we can't slip into "good deeds only" Christianity. Promise!! We are children of Promise!!!

God is Good!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, Day 221 - Galatians 3

Click here to go to Galatians 3

As I read the opening paragraph I think about how similar we are today. We start out really excited as a new Christian, but over time some of us get into a rut, where we start living under law. Maybe not the law as Moses gave it to the Israelites, but we start doing things because it's the expectation, not out of love for Christ. It's so good to be reminded of that, it's all about relationship with Jesus that is fresh and alive every day.

I don't remember verses 23-25 ever jumping out at me like it did today:
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. 
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

I never thought of the law as 'protective custody' but it is an interesting concept. So of course I wanted to see how The Voice put the verse:
23) Before faith came on the scene, the law did its best to keep us in line, restraining us until the faith that was to come was fully revealed. 
24) So then, the law was like a tutor assigned to train us and point us to the Anointed, so we will be acquitted of all wrong and made right by faith.
25) But now that true faith has come, we have no need for a tutor. 

An interesting way to look at the relationship between the law and faith in Jesus.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, Day 220 - Galatians 2

Click here to go to Galatians 2

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Thank you Jesus!

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, Day 219 - Galatians 1

Click here to go to Galatians 1

I love how Paul opens his letters:
3) May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4) Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5) All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

Of course, so far Paul's letters haven't been "you guys are doing so good!" they've been turning away from the Gospel.

Makes me wonder what Paul would write to the churches in America today?

Blessings All

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 5, Day 218 - Psalm 96

Click here to go to Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord!

This Psalm is so exciting and encouraging. It reminds us to sing and why we should sing!

11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
    Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
13 before the Lord, for he is coming!
    He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations with his truth.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4, Day 217 - Psalm 95

Click here to go to Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
    Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
    Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God,
    a great King above all gods.

We are called to an action and then given the reason, not because of anything God has given us, just because He is a GREAT God!


Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3, Day 216 - 2 Corinthians 13

Click here to go to 2 Corinthians 13

Paul again challenges the church in Corinth to clean up their act before he gets there. God is so gracious, He gives us His Word to teach us, to help us "clean up our act." And when we don't listen, He often sends us a "Paul" to encourage us some more!

Even though he gives them some strong words I love how he ends the letter:
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet each other with Christian love. 13 All of God’s people here send you their greetings.
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

So good! 


Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, Day 215 - 2 Corinthians 12

Click here to go to 2 Corinthians 12

"...My power works best in weakness..." That is such a great truth! There are so many times times when I feel so inferior in situations, but when I trust God to be my strength things go so much better. It's when I try to do it myself when I get in trouble!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1, Day 214 - 2 Corinthians 11

Click here to go to 2 Corinthians 11

Yesterday one of the comments that was made about it seems like at times Paul is more writing in a journal and trying to figure it out. That caused me to stop and think and my conclusion is ya, that's true. After all, Paul was a man, he did have a tremendous encounter with God, but he wasn't Jesus.

Then I read today's passage and what are Paul's first words:
I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me.(1)

I believe with my whole heart that Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write what he did and we have much to learn from him, but ya sometimes he seems to be "thinking out loud."  Oh to think out load the way Paul did.

Paul went through a lot because of his witness for Jesus, he paid the price and remained faithful through it all. Oh to have that kind of faith.