Monday, March 31, 2014

John 4 -- Samaritan Woman and Living Water

Jacob's Well 1839
Jacob's Well by David Roberts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
HIS WORDS


So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

MY WORDS 

So He came to the city of Samaria called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph and also where Jacob's well is. Jesus was weary from His journey and was sitting by the well at noon. Then, a woman from Samaria came to to draw water from the well, and Jesus said, "Would you give me a drink of water?" (His disciples had gone to the village to get food for lunch.) The Samaritan woman taken aback and asked, "How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (Jews at that time had no contact with Samaritans.)

Jesus answer and said, "If you knew God's great generosity and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I wold give you fresh, living water." 

The woman said, "Sir, you don't even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is very deep. So how are you going to get this so called 'living water'? Are you better than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?"


Jesus said "Everyone who drinks this water will eventually get thirsty again, but anyone who drinks the water I give will NEVER thirst again. The water I give will be become of spring of water flowing and bubbling continually within for eternal life. 


The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 

He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 

The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." 

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not get thirsty and will never have to come back this long distance to this well again!" 

He said, "Go call your husband and then come back."

"I have no husband," she said.

"That is true that you said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five, and the man you are living with now is not even your husband. You have spoken a true statement."

"Sir, I see and understand that you are a prophet [and not just a Jewish Rabbi]. Then tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain [Mount Gerizim - Samaritan place of divinely ordered worship], whereas Jews say it is on the temple mount in Jerusalem.

"Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans do not know what you are worshiping. We do know what we are worshiping because, after all, salvation comes from among the Jews.  A time is coming -- it has, in fact, come -- when what you are called [Samaritan or Jew] or where you worship will not matter, but genuine worshipers will worship the Father, engaging their spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is looking out for: those who are genuine and just themselves before him in their worship." 

"God is a spiritual Being and not confined to a specific location (like the Temple Mount or Mount Gerizim) and those who worship Him must worship Him in keeping with God's nature; which is spirit; and truth (and that Truth has come)."

The woman said, "I do not know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming, who is called Christ. When He comes, we will get the whole story" (Samaritans rejected the Pentateuch so they knew little about Him and thought He was mainly a teacher).

Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you right now AM ("He" is added for understanding but it refers to I AM in Exodus 3:14).


I WILL 

Pray people from our Sunday afternoon gathering will operate from the GIFT (thinking of Sarah Gayle's talk on joy) of living water that is already inside of them! 

Philippians 1:3-11 -- Prayer for the Philippians

HIS WORDS

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

MY WORDS

I thank my God whenever I remember you, always offering a prayer of joy in my every prayer for every one of you, considering your sympathetic cooperation and contribution and partnership in advancing the gospel from the first day you heard it until now. For I am convinced and sure that He who began a good work in you will continue doing that good work until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

It is totally appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because you have me in your heart and I have you in my heart as partakers and sharers with me, of grace [God's unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), This is true when I am in prison and when I am out proclaiming and defending the good news (Gospel). 

God has seen how I long for and pursue you all with love, in the tender mercy of Christ!

And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in insight gain by deep, penetrating knowledge, going down to the foundation and experiential knowledge that leads to the ability to discriminate morally (between good and bad) so that you may learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and they you may be free from spot or blemish to such a degree as to bear examination in the full splendor of the sun (love that Zodhiates definition!) and not stumbling (or causing others to stumble) until the day Jesus returns. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christs (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God so that His glory will be manifested and recognized. 

I WILL

Pray this for one of the guys in our ministry that I can tell is really struggling. Lord, manifest Your glory through him today. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Joshua 7:6-12 -- Falling On Your Face and Asking Questions

HIS WORDS


Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! “O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? “For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?” So the Lord said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. “Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

MY WORDS

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD along with all the elders of Israel until evening. They put dirt on their heads, and Joshua said, "My goodness, LORD! Why did you even bring this people across the Jordan? Was it so we would be victims of the Amorites and be wiped out? Why didn't we just stay and settle on the east side of the Jordan? Lord, What can I say since Israel has been run off by its enemies? When the Canaanites and all the others living in this area hear about this, they'll all gang up on us and annihilate! What is that going to do for Your reputation? 

God said to Joshua, "Get up. Why are you on your face? Israel has sinned they have disobeyed My covenant which I commanded them. They have taken plunder that is forbidden; they have stolen and then covered it up by hiding it away in their own stuff. The People of Israel cannot even look their enemies in the eye; they are plunder themselves! I cannot continue with you if you do not get rid of these cursed things. 

I WILL


Separate the precious from the worthless in my listening prayer time today. You told me some specific things to do. Then some things were discovered yesterday that made me realize that I am holding on to some "forbidden plunder" in my heart. Somethings are just forbidden for me to do and go down, and I am perilously close to going down GOOD roads that are not BETTER roads for me to go down. I need to just LISTEN and OBEY - - No more and no less! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jonah 2:7 - Remember the Lord

HIS WORDS

“While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.

MY WORDS

When my soul was crushing me, I intentionally remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to You, into Your hold temple. 

I WILL

Yesterday was sort of "soul crushing" morning, but I did remember the LORD while listening and obeying (also had Kim pray), and the cloud lifted by the afternoon. 

Remember You this morning by having a "quiet time" of listening. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

13. Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale

I read this in May 2012, but I read it again as our Kingdom Community will read it every couple of years. What an encouraging read. I highly recommend this. The context is Africa, but it is applicable anywhere. 

Here is my review from two years ago:

http://carolhomeschool2.blogspot.com/2012/05/52-in-52-week-22-miraculous-movements.html

Jonah 2:1-2 -- Cry for Help, and He Hears

Jacopo Tintoretto - Jonah Leaves the Whale's Belly - WGA22543
Tintoretto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Jonah Leaves the Whales Belly 
HIS WORDS


Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, “I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice."

MY WORDS

Then Jonah prayed to the only LORD, his God from the belly of the fish, and Jonah said, "I called out of my distress [trouble, anguish, extreme discomfort, affliction] to the LORD, and He answered me. I cried, 'Help!' from the belly of the grave, and You heard my voice."

I WILL


It is amazing how these verse always seem to line up with what is happening in my life. I already followed through on my "I WILL" before even finishing this. I started with these verse realizing I was sort of in the depths of despair myself! I woke up REALLY discouraged. I have not gotten a lot of encouragement from people lately. Hebrews 10:24,25 says we are "stimulate one another to love and good deeds," but our present group of people has more "refiners" than "encouragers." So I prayed for encouragement, wrote my bestie about my discouragement to ask for prayer, encouraged some others, and God heard my cry! He encouraged me in my distress, and then an answer to pray regarding yesterday's "I WILL" came along! 

You do hear GOD! YAY! 

Out of the belly of the whale and spit out on the shore. :) I am ready to face the Ninevites (world) now!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Job 30:20-23 -- Crying to Him for Help

Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bibel in Bildern 1860 132
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Job's Afflliction
HIS WORDS


“I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me. You have become cruel to me; With the might of Your hand You persecute me. You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; and You dissolve me in a storm. For I know that You will bring me to death And to the house of meeting for all living."

MY WORDS

"I ask fervently for help from You, but You do not answer me; I stand up and You only look at me with indifference. You have become harsh and cruel to me; you only keep me alive to persecute me with Your mighty power. You lift me up to the wind so that I can ride on it in the tempest. For I know that You will bring me to death and to the house of meeting for all living."

I WILL


Job was in a terrible place. I do not have this concept of You, but I have never been as miserable as Job, and I have never been as miserable as the widow who just called me to ask me to pay for her cable bill.  She is constantly in financial trouble. "The cable is not for me but for my children, Carol." Food and shelter are necessities, but a cable TV is not. 

It is funny because I was just praying for her earlier this morning wondering why I had not heard from her, and God brought the thought that she needs to learn money management skills. So, He has already spoken about how I can obey:

I WILL NOT pay her cable bill.
I WILL offer to set her up with some financial management tools that will help her meet her obligations every month. I will call Kathy to see if they have a class going, and George said we could help with that. 

By the way, while I was on the phone with George, she called to say that the cable bill was taken care of. 

Update of Follow Through: I just got a call from a man who leads the Dave Ramsey Financial Freedom Class who is willing to sit down with her two times a month and work through her budget problems! YAY God! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jeremiah 29:7 -- Seek God for the City


From: http://waymakers.org/pray/seek-god/
HIS WORDS


‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’

MY WORDS

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel to all the exiles whom He sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon through Jeremiah the prophet: 

"Seek with care the peace and tranquility (Shalom) of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD for its well-being; for in its peace and welfare you will have peace and welfare."

I WILL

Continue to pray through the great app "Seek God for the City 2014" developed by my former Bangkok teammate, Steve Hawthorne. This is the passage that God gave George when we left Southeast Asia in 1999, thinking we would raise our children there. It was a devastating blow, and we joke that we are in "Captivity in Corvallis" not knowing that it would be 15 years! We are here until God opens the door back, and we continue to pray for and are involved through volunteering in the peace and well-being of this city! We have chosen to "bloom where we have been planted."

I prayed as I prayer walked from Ash Wednesday to Easter using this app last year, and it was so good! 

Here is today's emphasis:




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

12. Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell


Another fascinating read from Malcolm Gladwell. I unintentionally listened to the abridged version (3+ hours versus 8+ hours). He talks about how epidemics and trends start, and how they have three different kinds of people: connectors (one of my top 5 Strengthsfinder traits), mavens (I am partially this also), and salespeople. He talks about the spread of disease, the re-emergence of Hush Puppies as a fashion trend, Sesame Street, and other things. It was really good! Highly recommend!

11. God Guides by Mary Geegh

Every person of faith needs to read this little book. (Or if you are not a person of faith, it will convince you to be one!) If you do not already have a faith that listens and obeys, this will challenge you do so. God makes everything very simple. It will be life-changing for some and a good reminder for others who may need to remember that we just need to do what God tells us to do. "Anyone can have the victory if he 'listens' and obeys" (p. 1). 

She advocates a daily "quiet time" where we are still and listen to what God has for us, write it down, and then do it. It is so simple that you might think it is a no-brainer, but I guarantee that most do not do this. I love how she spreads this to everyone she meets! She does not tell people what they should do, but she lets God tell them. And I say a hearty, "Amen!" to that! This is a gem. 

You can get it at Amazon or at www.god-guides.com to benefit this woman's lasting ministry in India. 

10. In Search of Guidance (Hearing God) by Dallas Willard

This book has been retitled *Hearing God*
Like all of Dallas Willard's books, this took me forever to read because it is so deep; but I think it is my favorite of the trilogy; the others being The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines

God still speaks to us, people. Just sayin'! I love this little gem. I had a scary day, and I read part of the chapter called "The Still Small Voice," and I listened. It was phenomenal. 

Be warned that Willard can sometimes get very heady. If you already believe that God speaks to us today, you do not need to read most of Chapter 4 "Our Communicating Cosmos" in which Willard tries to prove it in his "Ph.D. in philosophy sort of way" that God really does speak. He says, "If you are one who has no difficulty along these lines [believing God speaks to us today], perhaps you should count your blessings and proceed immediately to chapter 5" (p. 77). I wish I had skipped it for the rest of this chapter really bogged me down; but it is a good insight into Willard's brilliance. I am just not that smart.

You will love reading chapter 5: "The Still Small Voice and Its Rivals." 
But the biblical Christian is not just one who holds certain beliefs about the Bible. Rather he or she is one who leads that kind of life shown forth in the Bible; one of personal, intelligent interaction with God. Anything less than this makes a mockery of the priesthood of the believer. (p.121)
There is so much more that I could quote, but I will refrain. Great read. Loved it.

Also, it is a perfect book to read alongside God Guides by Mary Geegh! I will review that next since I finished them within a few days of one another. :) 

James 5:16-18 -- The Effective Prayer of a Righteous Person

HIS WORDS

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain.


MY WORDS

Make it a regular thing to confess your sins to each and other and to pray for each other so that we can all live whole and healed. The prayer of a person who lives right with God is something powerful and with wonderful results. Elijah was a righteous man, but a human one, like us, who prayed with all his heart that it would not rain, and it did not rain for 3 1/2 years! Then he prayed again, and it rained after that long drought.

I WILL

Pray for ___________ ; that this person would be fully healed physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

James 5:14-15 -- Prayer for Sickness

HIS WORDS


Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 

MY WORDS

If anyone among you is sick, he or she must call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of Jesus, our Master. This believing prayer will heal the one who is sick, and Jesus will put that person on his or her feet; and if that person has committed sins, they will be forgiven. Then that person will be healed inside and out. 

I WILL


Call on church leaders to pray over me if this back problem persists after George prays over me (since he is a church leader). So interesting that I had no problems for two week, and now I am practically set back to how I felt in November! This lower back things has not happened in a LONG time! I was getting so used to no pain. :(

Monday, March 24, 2014

James 1:4-7 -- Asking without Doubting

HIS WORDS

 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.

MY WORDS

But let the process of faith testing go on until you have become a people of mature character with the right sort of independence. But if any of you do not have wisdom, ask God for it for He loves to give it generously and does not do it in a codescending way. Ask and He will gove it! But do not waver when you ask but ask full of faith. The person who doubts when he asks is like the sea that tosses around when a storm comes. That man will not receive anything since he cannot make up his mind about what he believes.

I WILL

Not forget to have my daily listening times to receive direction from Him. Smooth sailing ahead. God Guides is such a great reminder.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hebrews 13:20-21 -- Benediction of Peace

HIS WORDS

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through dthe blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

MY WORDS

Now may our God who is the Author and Giver of peace and brought our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, up from the dead by the blood that sealed and ratified the everlasting covenant (Isaiah 55:3), strengthen and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; accomplishing what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah) to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

I WILL

Pray this as I prepare our present Jesus Community for the EAP of SHAPE! Praying that they go out and fulfill what He made them to be.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hebrews 13:18 -19 -- Pray for Us

HIS WORDS

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.

MYWORDS

Please keep praying for us. We have no doubts about what we are doing.  We really want to live well before God. Pray we can get together soon too.

I WILL


. . . write a letter to those who lift us up. It has been a while. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hebrews 4:14-16 -- Bold Access Through the Sympathetic High Priest

HIS WORDS


Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

MY STUDY

What is the "therefore" there for? 

The writer of Hebrews has just been talking about the Sabbath rest (the spiritual rest we find when we come to Christ and take His gentle and easy yoke upon us, Matthew 11:28-30). Even though God has promised believers rest, some may not enter it because of unbelief. That is why we need to be diligent to enter it (Heb. 4:3) through belief and walking yoked to Jesus (Col. 2:6). We must be diligent because God's Word is heart-searching and eye is all-seeing (Heb 4:13).

The therefore is there because everything has been provided for us. He is exhorting the Hebrews to not go back to Judaism but to enter the rest provided and to the GREAT HIGH PRIEST who provides it. He has already done all the work for you to be right with God. So we are to be diligent to enter the rest already provided and hold fast to our confession of faith. 

MY WORDS

Since Jesus as the Great High Priest has already allowed access to God through His death, resurrection, and ascension, let us continue to live out our belief in Him. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to understand or sympathize with our weaknesses, but He was right here on earth facing the same temptations as us, but He did not sin. Let's go fearlessly and confidently and boldly to the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners, that we may receive mercy for our failures and find grace to help in our times of need.

I WILL

In listening to God last night and asking Him what His assignment for me was, He said, "REST." He told me that when He tells me nothing to act on, He is indicating that I need to fully enter that rest and that is the rhythm He is teaching me of ABIDE-RIDE-WALK (PERSEVERE)-REST. It is a season of rest for a while Lord, isn't it? Waking up this morning and did the background study to these verse, He kept whispering, "Rest." 

I have a break starting as soon as the last person of 17 people leaves my house after dinner. I have been anxious about this as I do not think I have split peas for soup (dumb, I know), George is not available to help me with the preparations for people invading my house from 1 - 9 pm today, and I am ready for my vacation that starts tomorrow by a family trip to Ashland (and I have no energy to think about the fact that we only have the smaller car to drive all that distance with four people ranging in size from 6'2" - 6'8 1/2" and a husband who doesn't always think ahead about these things - Lord, it is even worse now that he is gone all week, and I am left to do most things here now), and I am determined to have a rest for the whole week. 

And to the verse, my weakness is resting. My weakness is obeying You when You tell me to rest and someone emails, phones, texts, or Facebooks me with a request for I get many each day (because I am realizing more and more that I am truly a CONNECTOR as the Strengthsfinder test indicates). Coupled with my other strengths of LEARNER, EMPATHY, ACHIEVER, and RELATOR but being an INTROVERT, I can get tired. I love my life. I love, love, love that I am moving and functioning in my gifting, talents, and strengths; but I am tired and am obeying Your calling me to rest for a season.

 I WILL boldly come to Your throne and ask You to meet every need presented before me and obey You by entering a restful period. You already opened the door for me to have the second half of Spring Break free (because God told Debbie not to come), and I need to not work during that time.  Technology makes it much easier for people to access me so I need to turn that off during the break (but still be available to my family). 

Jesus help and protect my time of rest. I need You to do that for me. I am weak. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Genesis 18:23-32 -- Abraham Intercedes

HIS WORDS

(regarding the LORD’s intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah)

Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”

And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”

MY STUDY

Charles Spurgeon said: 
“If they [lost sinners] will not hear you speak, they cannot prevent your praying. Do they jest at your exhortations? They cannot disturb you at your prayers. Are they far away so that you cannot reach them? Your prayers can reach them. Have they declared that they will never listen to you again, nor see your face? Never mind, God has a voice which they must hear. Speak to Him, and He will make them feel. Though they now treat you despitefully, rendering evil for your good, follow them with your prayers. Never let them perish for lack of your supplications” (Metropolitan Pulpit, vol. 18, pp. 263–264).[1]

I am so concerned about an immature and independent believer who thinks all those in authority do not know as much or are lukewarm (that person does not put us in that category though). God has directed me to “Let it Go” and let Him “do the fighting . . . while I keep silent” (Exodus 14:14) and just INTERCEDE. This study is providentially timed (as they always are).  While this immature believer will certainly not be destroyed as those in Sodom and Gomorrah, I believe that person will experience our good Father’s discipline, and I hate to see people go through pain, but that has been the vehicle in which God has used to humble my own pride so I know He does it out of love. I realized this story is God destroying because of His righteous justice, but the story has application for my current situation. LET IT GO!

MY WORDS

Abraham drew near to God and said, “Are You going to take out the righteous along with the wicked? Let’s say there are 50 righteous there; will You destroy the city and not spare it for the sake of the 50 righteous there? I just cannot see You treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it for You! Wouldn’t the Judge of all the earth deal justly?


So the LORD said, “If I find 50 righteous people in Sodom, I will spare it because of them.
Then Abraham said, “I am taking a risk here in asking You because I am just an ordinary guy made from dirt, but would you save it if the righteous missed the 50 by five people? Would You still destroy it?

God did the math and said, “I will not destroy it if there are 45 people.”

Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only found 40?”

He said, “Oh Lord, do not be angry, but I am going to ask; what if there are 30 found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it if there are 30.”

And he said, “Now God, I am going out on limb by speaking to You in this way; suppose there are 20 found there?

And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of those 20.”

Abraham said, “Oh Lord, do not be angry, and I will speak just one last time, suppose 10 are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of those 10.”

I WILL

Cut _______ loose from my “realm of influence” even though that person functions in the false identity as “________ the Controller” and needs healing and mentoring in order to not minister out of brokenness but minister with God’s identity name. 

Like Abraham, I will let that person go but that person will continue to be in my “realm of intercession”! “Far be it for me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23)




[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1991). Be Obedient. “Be” Commentary Series (76). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ezra 10:1 - Prayer and Confession

HIS WORDS

Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.

MY WORDS

Ezra wept face down in front of the Temple of God. As he was praying and confessing, a huge number of men, women, and children from Israel gathered with him; for the people wept with broken hearts. 

I WILL

Today has been a weeping day for me. I need to carry that grief into prayer before Him. I will do that right now. 

Ephesians 6:18 - Alert to the Spirit

HIS WORDS

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (NASB95)

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (The Message)

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). (AMPLIFIED)

MY WORDS

Because of the spiritual battle that rages, pray all the time in the Spirit with every form of prayer available to you. Keep your eyes open and intentionally watch for opportunities to intercede for all God’s people.

I WILL


Continue to pray for Jenna and open my eyes to pray for those the Spirit brings to mind. LO = Listen and Obey!

Ephesians 3:20,21 - Far Beyond All We Could Ever Ask

HIS WORDS

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (NASB)

God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! (The Message)

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] – To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

MY WORDS

Now to this glorious God Who, because of the action of the power of His Spirit, deeply and gently working within us, is able to do way beyond what we could ever hope, think, dream, or dare to ask or think – To Him be glory among all His people and in Christ Jesus to all future generations for forever and ever. Amen.

I WILL


I already prayed Ephesians 3:14-21 for my friend, Jenna, whose estranged husband has been through multiple surgeries since a motorcycle accident last week. Praying she knows and believes deeply the power of God’s unconditional love and that He will do beyond anything she can imagine. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ephesians 3:14-19- Prayer for Fullness

HIS WORDS

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

MY STUDY 

What is "for this reason" referring back to? 

It goes back to Ephesians 3:1. "Because ye have such a standing in God's Church" [ALFORD quoted in Commentary Critical and Explanatory] as Gentiles.

Who are the families in heaven and earth?

All the families of the earth come from God. Therefore, as Creator, he is the Father of all, "but as Saviour, He is only Father of those who believe" (John 3:7) (Bible Exposition Commentary, V2, p.31).

How is one strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man?

Wiersbe says that all the prayers in the prison epistles (Phil 1:9-11; Col 1:9-12) "deal with the spiritual condition of the inner man, and not the material needs of the body . . . Paul knew that if the inner man is what he out to be, the outer man will be taken care of in due time. . . the inner person . . . is where the greatest needs are. (V 2, p 31).

This is my "abide and ride" mentality I have been talking about. It is the book of Acts in the modern day. Jesus promised that they would received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8). I totally agree with the anonymous quote that "If God took the Holy Spirit out of this world, most of what we Christians are doing would go right on -- and nobody would know the difference!"  SO TRUE!

That is why I want to abide - create the space for God to speak into me and empower me. Listen to His Holy Spirit because if they Spirit tells me to do something, He will give me the power to obey. 

It is all about all of me is controlled by the King! Yielding to the Spirit in everything. It is such an exciting way to live. 

What does it mean to "dwell"? 

Kenneth Wuest says, "to settle down and feel at home." Holy Spirit come settle down and have some tea. You are welcome here. Paul prays for a deepening fellowship with Jesus. 

What is "rooted" and "grounded"?

Spiritual roots deep down into the soils of GOD LOVE! It was not until I realized the life-changing power of grace that I really understood this more fully. 



Grounded is our foundation of the building. The deeper the foundation the taller the building. 

The breadth and length and height and depth of what?

All the fullness of God. 


Is that "knowledge" the same one as in 2 Peter? The "experiential one" as opposed to the head one?

It is GNŌSIS - knowledge of spiritual truth as opposed to EPIGNŌSIS which is the exact, full, experiential knowledge. 

What is the process behind being filled up to all the fullness of God? 
. . . in this prayer, the emphasis is on enablement. It is not so much a matter of knowing as being—laying our hands on what God has for us and by faith making it a vital part of our lives. Paul is saying, “I want you to get your hands on your wealth, realize how vast it is, and start to use it.”

These four requests are more like four parts to a telescope. One request leads into the next one, and so on. He prays that the inner man might have spiritual strength, which will, in turn, lead to a deeper experience with Christ. This deeper experience will enable them to “apprehend” (get hold of) God’s great love, which will result in their being “filled unto all the fullness of God.” So, then, Paul is praying for strength, depth, apprehension, and fullness.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Eph 3:14–21). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. 

MY WORDS

My response to the glorious plan by which we are build together into one church (whether Jew or Gentile) is to get down on my knees before the wonderful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth gets His name because He created them.  In that prayerful posture, I ask the He would give you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power inside of you, (power made possible by the Holy Spirit indwelling your innermost being and personality) leading to Christ settling down and feeling at home in your hearts through your trust in Him, and that you having deep roots (like a plant) and a deep foundation (like a tall building) may be able to firmly grasp with all God's devoted people the full dimensions of the fullness of God and to know the love of Christ which is beyond human understanding, that you may be filled up to overflowing with the full measure of God. 


I WILL


Pray this for ________ who seems to have a head knowledge and is so faithful but something in the heart is missing. Filled that person up to the full measure of Yourself!  Pray this for my live in loved ones. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ecclesiastes 5:2 -- Quick to Hear, Slow to Speak

HIS WORDS

Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. (NASB)

Don't shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think.
Don't be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear.
God's in charge, not you -- the less you speak, the better. (Message)

Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. (Amplified)

MY WORDS

Don't be so quick with your words and hasty in heart to rattle on to the Lord. Slow down, enter into His presence, and listen to what he tells you. He is the God of heaven, therefore you should listen to Him more than You speak. 

I WILL 

Have a listening time to the Lord right now before I go rattling off to Him and to other people. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daniel 9:3-23 -- Listen and Obey

HIS WORDS


So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said:

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You." 

"To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem." 

"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truthTherefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice." 

"And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked. O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary."

“O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion." 

“O Lord, hear! 
O Lord, forgive! 
O Lord, listen and take action! 
For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, 
because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 

He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision."

MY WORDS

Because this is such a long passage, I am just soaking in and defining some things instead of rewriting the whole thing in my own words.  

By studying Scripture, Daniel knew that the 70 year captivity was coming to a close, so he came to God in confession and petition, with fasting. 

By the way, the next year, God answered Daniel's prayer because Cyrus issued a decree that permitted the Jews to return to their land, take the temple treasures, rebuild the temple, and restore worship.

While this is a great model of confession and petition, with fasting, I kept seeing the words, "Listen and obey" something my friend and I have been terming the "LO" lately. 

I WILL


God keeps on telling me to just "listen and obey in the day-to-day." This goes along with what I am reading in In Search of Guidance (Hearing God): Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard and God Guides by Mary Geegh. 

I will continue to have a daily "listening time" with pen and paper in hand (unless God speaks to me in the shower like he sometimes does, but I will get out and write so I will not forget) writing down and acting upon what He tells me to do. I will also continue reading these great books. God has me on such a learning journey since the fall,  being struck by the obedience of people like Noah, Abraham, and Moses who did "all that the Lord commanded them to do" even when it seemed strange. Dallas Willard contends that God speaks just as he did to them, and Mary Geegh has example after example of listening and obeying that resulted in wonderful things.


Life with the Lord is so good. 


Also, please pray for the estranged husband of a friend of mine who was in a serious motorcycle accident yesterday. She is by his side. Pray God speaks to him in as he has come out of surgery and is in for more later on today. Pray for my friend, Jenna, and her two kids too. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Daniel 6:10 - Daniel Kneels to God

From: http://deepwellswithglennmyers.blogspot.com/2013/01/practices-of-prayer-in-early-church.html
HIS WORDS

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God as he had been doing previously. 

MY WORDS

Now when Daniel knew that King Darius had signed the decree stating that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except the King, shall be cast in the lion's den, he went into his house that had a roof chamber with windows open toward Jerusalem; and he continued to kneel three times a day, praying and giving thanks to God as he had always done. 

I WILL 

Periodically kneel, listen, and pray before You throughout today, Lord! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colossians 4:12 - Laboring Earnestly


HIS WORDS

Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

MY WORDS

Epaphras, who is from your church, a wholehearted servant of Jesus Christ, sends his greetings to you. He is always wrestling earnestly in prayer for you, that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature in spiritual growth, fully convinced and assured in everything willed by God. 

I WILL

Listen to God on my walk back from the auto repair shop and labor earnestly in prayer for the people He tells me to lift up to Him.

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...