Read

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Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.  Revelation 1:3

ἀναγινώσκω

anaginōskō

  •  to distinguish between, to recognize, to know accurately, to acknowledge…hence…
    • to read

As a school teacher, children’s librarian, and now a private tutor for primary school-aged children, I teach reading among a few other subjects.  Reading is my favorite because once a child grasps the ability to read, to sound out words, to put words into sentences and paragraphs, they begin to see those black marks on pages with a new perspective.  It is such a pleasure to watch and is a joyous moment for these little ones.

Reading is made up of learning phonics, memorizing sight words, or reading all by sight rather than phonetically.  It also is realizing that some/many words in the English language just do not make sense because they break the “rules.”  I called them ‘outlaw words’ when I taught school; actually, I still do.  The schools around here call them ‘rule breakers’…same thing.  With a paper jail placed up on the bulletin board of the classroom, those words are put in jail and whenever a child has a hard time sounding a word out, I tell them that it is an ‘outlaw word.’  They immediately look to the jail and know the word.  Funny how those little tricks work!  Reading also includes comprehension, grammar, and so much more.

In the verse above, ‘to read’ goes deeper than learning to read.  As we read God’s Word, spending time in His Word to us requires a relationship with the One Who wrote these words.  We may hear far more than a simple reading might divulge.  We may receive insight and knowledge of just what God means, what He is wanting to say to us, what God expects of us.  There is so much buried in this beautiful Treasure.  The Bible is a jewel that we have been given to read, to dive into, delve, explore, search, dwell upon, mull over, reflect upon.

There is so much to learn in God’s Word.

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,….  Ephesian 3:4

LORD, I love Your Word.  I can read it, but I pray that I will understand just what You intend for me to learn.  I want to grow and gain in wisdom, in integrity, in genuineness, and in love as I listen to You through Your Word and through the Holy Spirit.  May words that seem foreign to me not be outlaw words for You make them clear to me.  As I read Your Word, I ask Your Holy Spirit to guide and direct me so that the words coming from me are sincere and loving toward all I encounter.  I want to reflect Jesus to others, and that will come by knowing You, LORD.  

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

I pray in the solid Name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Do You Want to Go Away As Well?

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So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me.  This is the Bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died.  Whoever feeds on this Bread will live forever.”  Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as He taught at Capernaum.

When many of His disciples heard it, they said,  “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”   But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?  It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray Him.) And He said,“This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  John 6:53-67

ὑπάγω

 hypagō

to lead (oneself) under, i.e. withdraw or retire (as if sinking out of sight), literally or figuratively:—depart, get hence, go (a-)way

 

Do I want to go away as well?  Jesus asks me too.  His teachings are hard.  They are sometimes things I don’t understand, maybe don’t want to.  Yet I do believe.  From the definition of this Greek word, I have the choice to walk away, to sink out of sight.  Those five words…to sink out of sight…seem to be what Peter did as shown in God’s Word.  He denied Jesus three times as Jesus prophesied and, each time, he sank a little further away from his Jesus. I do not want to walk away from my LORD.  I do not want to deny Him.  I do not want to sink out of sight, depart, withdraw.  Dependency upon Jesus is life…my life, my devotion, my dedication, and my obedience to the One Who died for me, took away my sins.  No, I don’t want to go away as others have, as others do, as I once did too.

I read these verses and am pierced by such a question. Yes, it is so easily possible to run far and wide with the others. Facing my Savior’s death is facing my own. Yet denying Jesus, turning away, causes me to lose the beauty of the Cross, to lose the ability to kneel before Him willingly, to miss the empty tomb, to not have the burning in my heart as I walk with Him, to lose the joy that comes with trials and piercing questions. Oh, I don’t want to go away from my Jesus.

Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, 
and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.”  John 6:68-69

Oh, no! L
ORD, I do not want to go away. I am Yours. Your flesh is my true food, my nourishment. Your blood is my true drink, the quencher of my thirst. I am counting the cost by this question and choose to walk with You to the Cross. I was given the word “commit” this year and am committed to You. I am pierced by Your question, but more so by Your death … ’twas for me. I am touched deeply by walking with You and knowing that some turned away from You. I do not want to be double-minded, LORD. Peter understood Your question, yet he said he loves You three times, but had denied You three times as You went to the Cross. You died for him too. Oh, I am sorry when I left You, LORD. I have asked and received Your forgiveness. May I humble myself and seek Your Holy Face, Father. May my whole being be contrite towards You. I love You. I follow You; I abide with You. You are my strength that I may go with You to the Cross, that one meant for me. In my daily journey, You provide the cross for me to carry. I am carrying it with me as I pray. You provide the joy that I can count as I face the trials in this world. Thank You, LORD Jesus. You are my One and Only Savior. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.  Psalm 51:17

All these things My hand has made,

and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at My Word.  Isaiah 66:2

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Photo:  Walking Away in Mist @ http://davidkanigan.com/ https://davidkanigan.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/walking-away-in-mist.jpg

 

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More Than Enough

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No matter what version of the Bible you are reading, the word “commit” and “committed” appear over and over again.

“You shall not commit adultery.”  Exodus 20:14

And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.  Deuteronomy 19:20

Almost every time, the word is in regard to committing a sin, warnings about committing a sin, or the consequences of committing a sin.

So this is my 2016 word.

Commit

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I do not want to commit any sin against God.  I am also human and, most likely, will commit some thing(s) against Him.  I am sorry before I even do such as I do not want that for myself nor to do such against the God I love with all of my heart.

When I chose “commit” as my word, I included those meanings listed above, but, actually, I am focusing on committing my life, my walk, my heart, my all to God, desiring His orchestration of me…all of me!

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him, and He will act.  Psalm 37:5

I do not want to be half-hearted and need extra proof from Jesus to commit my life, my days, my moments to Him.

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip?   Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?  The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father Who dwells in Me does His works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.  John 14:8-11

I believe, LORD.  Please help my unbelief. 

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

and perform your vows to the Most High,

and call upon Me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”  Psalm 50:14-15

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me;

to one who orders his way rightly.

I will show the salvation of God!”  Psalm 50:23

In thanksgiving, I commit myself to You because of all the You have done for me.  I praise You, Abba Father, for in Your sacrifice of Your Son, I am now saved from death, having eternal life with You.  I give You all the glory because You are All…ALL!  Teach me to walk in Your ways and Your way alone.  I am so in love with You.  I am committed to You because You are truly Enough.  Uphold me when I stumble; lift me when I fall.  Your arms are strong enough and wide enough for me.   Your touch is tender enough for me.  Your love is true enough for me.  You are enough, Father.  Enough.  In the Name that is Enough, I pray.  Amen.  

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Silence

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For God alone my soul waits in silence;…  Psalm 62:1a

Silence
Still
Quiet

Falling Snow

Mourning Doves’ cooing

Hush
Peace

Recalling my mother’s delight

Stillness, silence allows thoughts to surface
to flow
love felt
peace envelop
joy encircle

The gifts of life have a chance to permeate
to exude

Silence often begins with seeing and hearing the world around me

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  Revelation 8:1

Quietude
Stillness
Wordless
Peacefulness
Tranquility
Feeling the tenderness of His Love upon my heart
Words of His Word soak in, 
drawing meaning of what He means

His silence teaches me that I am to be silent

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

The LORD’s silence is not of this world.  
The world demands noise, talk, loudness, busy-ness, 
too much going IN 
with nothing of substance able to go OUT
too much world going IN
not enough of Him going IN
and nothing of Him going OUT

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; … Ecclesiastes 3:7b

Time, moments with Him in silence … 
necessary … in relationship.
Go with Him to pray
Be with Him to learn
Look at Him to reflect
Quietly, still, in silence
and I slow down whether the world around me does or not.

But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.  Habakkuk 2:20

Father God, Your beauty surrounds me in the stillness, in the white.  The gentle touch, as of an angel’s wing, glides across my face, reminding me that You are here.  Father, I sense Your love in the silence, Your peace in the stillness.  How I love the breath of air in the silent, in this cold air.  It gives me hope, calm.  My breath is Your breath for You first breathed in me to give me life.  You first loved me to teach me love.  You are my first Love.  In this quiet, I sense You and know that You are near.  I draw near to You for Your Presence is so real, so lovely this day.  Your touch tenderly caresses my face, yet is silent.  Oh, how I love You, my LORD.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

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Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/winter-nature-season-trees-sky-20248/   by Larisa-K/Russia