Safety or Danger

I learned about Mark Wahlberg’s daily schedule last night and began rethinking my own, so I read my chapters for today before bed and “slept on it” instead of reading it first thing. I took an intentional step last night to better prepare me for the day ahead — just like establishing and implementing a plan for exercise (both physical and spiritual) will better prepare me for the days ahead.

Associated Reading:

  • Genesis 6
  • Psalm 6
  • Joshua 6

As I read Genesis 6, Psalm 6, and Joshua 6 last night, I found Noah finding safety from the world in his task of building the Ark, and David finding mercy in a time of trouble through prayer, and Rahab finding safety when Jericho fell because of her choosing to help the people of Israel — and this was a stark contrast to the depravity of mankind to be destroyed in the flood, the enemies who will turn back ashamed and horrified at what they have done to David, and the city of Jericho and everything in it utterly destroyed as a tribute to the Lord.

There was a clear contrast in each reading between what led these intentionally into safety, while others continued on unmodified towards their own destruction. And there is the same for us today.

Benjamin Franklin put this wisdom into easily accessible and non- religious words when he said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” And we also have some great quotable that we can pull from scripture about planning, about being intentional, and for aligning our purpose with God’s will:

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

We are choosing today to intentionally receive this word into our minds to be written upon our hearts. We ask our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who prays on our behalf at the right hand of God the Father, that our purpose and plan would established one step at a time in His will and His purpose. In that, we find safety not damger, and mercy not shame, and deliverance not destruction. We are no better than Noah the drunk, David the adulterous murderer, or Rahab the prostitute in our own sinfulness, so we rely upon the mercies, grace and blessings of the Lord just as they have. And just as they are no longer called drunk, murderer, and whore neither are we. By His blood and through the faith we have been granted, we are children of God. Safe in our Heavenly Father’s arms. Amen.

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 1 Questions

Chapter 1 – Purpose

1) Whose proverbs are these? (Verse 1)

2) What is their purpose? (Verse 2)

3) What do the wise do with instruction, wisdom, discipline and correction? (Verses 3, 5, 7a, 33)

4 ) How does a fool react to instruction, wisdom, discipline, and correction? (Verses 7b, 16, 22, 25, 29-32)

Cross References

What does Deuteronomy 6:5 as quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27 tell us about our purpose?

How do Jesus Christ’s statements in John 14:15 And John 14:21 reinforce and agree with in the new testament — what Proverbs chapter 1 had already established about our purpose and the purpose of God’s instruction, wisdom, ducklings and correction?

[Mia,  Daddy & Friends] “Don’t Be Afraid”

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:8‭-‬20 NLT

http://bible.com/116/luk.2.8-20.NLT

The call is going out, the trumpet is sounding

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there  were very many in the open valley; and indeed they  were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God , You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord ! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord .” ’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there  was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God : “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God : “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord , when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord , have spoken it and performed it, ” says the Lord .’ ”
Ezekiel 37:1-14 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/ezk.37.1-14.NKJV

You are called to wake up, sleeping Christian. You are called to rise and walk upright in the strength of His Holy Spirit, of Christ who lives in you. Prepare yourself,  for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to  the  poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to  the  captives And recovery of sight to  the  blind, To  set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord .”
Luke 4:18-19 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/luk.4.18-19.NKJV

You have been called, not to sit stationary and unchanged, not hidden amongst the shadows of this world – but to bring the light of Hope, Faith, and Love into a lost, diseased,  sinful, dying world.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/mat.28.18-20.NKJV

You are called both to be a disciple and to make disciples. You are called to be a student of the Word of God,  seeking His face,  His way,  His truth,  His life come alive in you,  today and forevermore.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Revelation 12:10-12 NKJV
http://bible.com/114/rev.12.10-12.NKJV

it is the Blood of the Lamb that frees you, the power of His Holy Spirit that empowers you, so that your living testimony can shine the light of His grace and glory into this dark world,  and so that your picking up your cross and bearing the burdens of others will be an undeniable manifestation of Christ alive and at work,  still today feeding His Sheep and leading them through the trials of this world into the peace of eternal life in Christ.

Let our lives be a living testament that Christ lives and moves and serves His faithful today, the same as it ever was.

Purpose?

image

Regardless of your beliefs or your feelings about religion, we can all admit that we have been drawn to the questions of “what’s the meaning of life”, “how did everything come into existence”, and “is there anyone else out there”.

We can see through the history of mankind that these very questions have had men and women from different nations and backgrounds struggling to explain and understand these higher things,  these questions that surpass our measuring and examination. And it has resulted in all kinds of differing and partial understanding of those things spiritual that transcend this physical world.

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Acts of the Apostles 17:27-31 NLT
http://bible.com/116/act.17.27-31.NLT

Continue reading “Purpose?”

You are valuable

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Luke 12:7 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.12.7.NLT

You are valuable to God.

Just think about that for a moment.  The creator of all things, the God of the universe values you and has created you for a purpose. The universe is not filled with examples of chaos and randomness, but it is designed with a beautiful order and complexity,  with each component playing it’s part in the greater whole. If we examine with a microscope,  we find a world of particles and order and logical design where every part has a purpose and where they work together in unity.

Even the world around us,  and not just the Word of God points us to the undeniable conclusion that there is a design,  a plan,  an order for everything. And we should understand that in that plan,  we have a purpose,  we have a value to the creator. In fact, He loves us enough to make us self aware,  capable of thought,  capable of choice,  capable of deciding whether or not to praise and honor Him. Isn’t that amazing that we as humans are able to reflect upon ourselves and upon the greater things of life and are not beings wired only for the simple purposes of living,  reproducing,  and dying? Isn’t it wonderful that these physical bodies hold something oh so much more valuable?

When a loved one takes their last breath, it is not their physical body that we value. It is not their physical presence of their body that we miss,  but the ability to interact with that soul,  that life,  that thing of value that was carried around in their earth bound vessel. Yes,  we know the part that God values,  because we can see the value ourselves. We can know the difference between the valuable eternal soul and the perishable physical body.

So we schools know where those things truly valuable exist,  and they are not in this physical body or in the things that tickle and please it – but in the things that are pleasing to our soul,  the things that nourish our eternal spiritual nature,  not our temporary, carnal,  flesh nature.

So why do we find ourselves worrying more over the things of this physical world – what we will eat,  what we will wear, where we will sleep?  When we should know that these things are temporary and not nearly as important as those things eternal. Why do we let ourselves become distracted by our senses of touch,  taste,  smell, hearing and seeing in the physical – and forget that we have a more important spiritual component of our lives that allows for a connection to the one true God that is far more important.

If you have not yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit annointing upon your life,  I encourage you to ask, seek, and knock at the gate in prayer until your eye is opened to see and your ears are restored to hearing the voice of your Lord and Savior,  the Good Shepherd, the Word of God, Jesus Christ who sits in the authority of God the Father Almighty,  and who lives in those of us who are Chosen as Sons and Daughters of God.

You see,  you have a value that far surpasses your title, or your possessions,  or your wealth,  or your beauty, or your knowledge,  or your strength – for all of those things will pass away and your body will be c returned to the ground to root and decay upon your death. And if all you have done during your brief time in this physical body is to feed the desires of your flesh,  to fulfill the urges and fancies of this temporary physical body – what good will that serve your eternal soul?

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Matthew 16:26 NLT
http://bible.com/116/mat.16.26.NLT

So I encourage you to understand what is valuable and eternal,  friend. Know your value, know your purpose. Learn to love God and love each other. Choose to walk with Him today.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Acts 26:16 ESV
But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

John 15:16 ESV
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.

Matthew 28:19 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Ephesians 1:11 ESV
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Let this be our testimony –

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.
Job 23:10-12 NLT
http://bible.com/116/job.23.10-12.NLT