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day 9/10

21 Jul

“If you obey My laws and regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.” {Leviticus 18:5}

What comes to mind when you think of LIFE?

I think of vibrant green leaves,

new babies crying that new baby cry,

laughter and activity,

deep, fresh breaths of air.

Good things.

Then why, oh, why do I hesitate to obey the commands of God??

He says that His laws bring life. And I know it to be true. But I have a forgetful heart. And when the road is long and the night is dark I want what’s easy.

So I settle for the imitation life of the world, instead of the real life from the Word.

It’s like eating a “burger” from McDonald’s instead of a nice juicy hamburger fresh off the grill. There really is no comparison, but the fast food is quick and easy and keeps me going for the moment. Nevermind that the junk it’s made of outweighs the nourishment that I receive.

But I’m tired of eating junk. I want real food. I want to nourish my soul with the Life from heaven.

“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” {John 4:34}

day 6/7

17 Jul

Passage: Ex. 15:19-28:43/29:1-40:38

If God doesn’t go with me, I’d better not move.

“Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”

Moses knew the secret to Israel’s success was the presence and guidance of God. They were totally and completely lost {literally} without Him. But more than that, Moses knew that God was the One that set them apart from every other nation. God was their King, their Counselor, their Defender and their Provider. If God did not go with them, they might as well lay down and die.

I wish I was as smart as Moses.

Too many times to count, I find myself saying to God, “It’s okay, I’ve got this under control. You just stay here while I take care of some business. I’ll be right back!”

And disaster strikes,

and my strength is not enough,

and I humbly return to admit defeat.

Because without the presence of God in my life,

I am one. big. failure.

But God, in His infinite mercy and compassion, looks at me and says, “I love you, I know you and I want to go with you on this journey. I can give you everything that you need, if you’ll trust Me to lead you.

Lord, please forgive me for being too proud at times to admit that I need Your presence in my life. Help me to see my need for You in everything I do. You are my Life, and living doesn’t work if You aren’t with me. Amen.

day 5

16 Jul

Passage: Exodus 1:1-15:18 

My sin {and the consequences of it} affect the lives of others.

“All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die.” {Exodus 11:5}

Because of the sin of one man, every family in Egypt lost their firstborn son.

Because

of

sin.

Now, my sins may not have that extreme of an effect on anyone. But they do impact others. Often in ways that I’m not even aware of. How far-reaching are the effects of my selfishness, laziness, envy and gossip?  What about the sins that I commit by not sharing that encouraging word I’m supposed to give, or neglecting to pray for someone who the Lord lays on my heart. I can get so wrapped up in myself that I forget that my words and actions impact the lives of others as well.

So my prayer today is this…

Father, please make me aware of the impact that my sin has on others. May it cause me to be more mindful of my words and actions, always striving to obey You in all things…for the good of myself and those around me. Amen

day 4

14 Jul

Passage: Gen. 40:12-50:26 

The Lord uses bad circumstances for our good.

“…And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you!…” {Gen. 45:4b-8a}

Who would have thought that being sold {by your own brothers} as a slave to foreigners, being wrongly accused of sexual harassment, and being thrown into jail for two years, could ever come to any good? Not me!

But Joseph knew better.

He knew that every day of his life was ordered by God. And that every situation that he found himself in was part of God’s plan to accomplish His purposes…for Joseph’s good and the good of his family.

How many times do I dig my heels in when things aren’t going my way? I protest and whine and complain. I question God’s decision-making skills or worse yet, demand pray that things turn in my favor.

But He knows what is best for me. And sometimes what is best is a hard road. But the result is always blessing.

Lord, You are the One who knows me better than I know myself. Thank you for the difficult times, when I don’t understand what You’re doing. I know that You will never leave me or forsake me and that all Your works are done for my good. Please help me to {joyfully} surrender to Your will instead of clinging to my own illusions of comfort and happiness. Like Joseph, give me eyes to see that You are sovereign over everything that happens to me. Amen

day 3

13 Jul

Passage: Gen. 28:20-40:11 

The Lord takes care of His own.

Over and over I have read about how the Lord preserved, protected and provided for His people. But it wasn’t just the people of long ago that received His favor. I see proof of it in my life as well. He has {literally} preserved my life. He is my Defender against the plans of satan to kill, steal and destroy. And He is my Provider, giving generously and without obligation.

My Awesome Father, thank you for the loving-kindness and compassion you shower on those who are your own! Thank You for every good gift that You give and {mostly} from saving my soul from death. I am forever in Your debt. Amen

day 2

12 Jul

Passage: Gen. 17:1-28:19 

 God uses ordinary people to do His supernatural work.

Abraham, Issac, Jacob…all imperfect, ordinary men. Yet the Lord chose them to carry out His perfect plan. In spite of their weakness and faults the Lord called them friends. He spoke to them and blessed them. He protected them and provided for them. He raised them up to fulfill the purposes that they could not fulfill themselves.

He is the same today. He uses me and you.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

{2 Corinthians 12:9}

Despite my stubbornness sinfulness, He delights to include me in the work that He is doing. It is His joy to take my pitiful effort and turn it into something glorious.  Simply amazing.

Lord, I am constantly humbled by how you use me in spite of myself. Please help me to lift You up, so that everyone around me will be drawn to You. Please use my weakness for your glory. Amen

day 1

11 Jul

Today starts my journey of reading the entire bible in 90 days.

Craziness, yes. Challenging, you betcha! But I’m jumping in and not looking back!

Today’s passage: Gen. 1:1-16:16

I have to say that {so far} I really like this way of reading the bible. Reading large chunks at a time make it much more cohesive. For me, the threads of sin and salvation are easier to see. In fact, the thing that keeps jumping out at me is, that sin always has consequences. From Adam to Abram, making the choice to do what is wrong is never rewarded. As a professor of mine used to say, “Sin complicates things.” From the minor {having to work the ground} to the major {death!}, it’s just not worth it!

Lord, please remind me each and every day that choosing to sin is a choice that will only end in pain. Help me to keep my eyes on You and choose the life and freedom that You give. Amen