Classical Writers · Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

The Mover

From The Valley of Vision…

O SUPREME MOVING CAUSE, 

May I always be subordinate to thee, be dependent upon thee, be found in the path where thou dost walk, and where thy Spirit moves, take heed of estrangement from thee, of becoming insensible to thy love. 

Thou dost not move men like stones, but dost endue them with life, not to enable them to move without thee, but in submission to thee, the first mover. O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings, between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness, between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit. Who made me to differ, but thee? for I was no more ready to receive Christ than were others; I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me, or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.

O that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner! such high advancement be for an unfruitful person! such joys for so vile a rebel! 

Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation into the mould of purchase and freedom; Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell, But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven. I know that my sufferings are the result of my sinning, but in heaven both shall cease; Grant me to attain this haven and be done with sailing, and may the gales of thy mercy blow me safely into harbour. Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself, wean me from sin, mortify me to this world, and make me ready for my departure hence. Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this stormy sea.

In the Holy Name of Jesus…Amen

Valley of Vision quote @ Banner of Truth

“The Valley of Vision” A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions” Edited by Arthur Bennett, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

The Heart

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23

Jesus is God. Jesus is Immanuel. Jesus is with us.

He knew then and still knows now and forevermore. He knows all. ALL!

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” Matthew 21:1-3

He fulfilled prophecies. This prophecy has a probable date in the 480s B.C. by Zechariah. Over 500 years prior to Jesus saying this to His Apostles.

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
Matthew 21:4-5

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9

Jesus knows and is ALL!

When Immanuel came to be with us, He was all human, all God. He had a heart, a physical heart like us.

The heart of Jesus beat and pumped; it beat like ours and pumped blood throughout His body to keep the physicalness of Jesus alive…as ours does.

The heart of Jesus was far more compassionate than most as He encompassed the world as it came into His view, whether physically or through His knowledge of the world around Him.

The beautiful heart of Jesus was (and is) the heart of God. This human came to earth and our God came too. His heart was so big that He came to shed His blood for us, for our sins.

This beautiful heart came in a baby. His name, Jesus, Immanuel, Emmanuel, God with us. I can hardly fathom this incredible act of God. Sinners and so in need of a Savior. So in need of a Lord. For one such as I. For those such as you.

This baby…this child…came with a heart like mine yet so not like mine.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

I, too, am pondering so very much this Christmas season as I center around the Heart of God.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:26-28

I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. Revelations 21:3

Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to this earth. You knew everything before You created anything. You know all today. I cannot fathom this child so rich with Your Love and so full of Your desire to call us to Yourself even before He was born. I am overwhelmed, Lord, with these thoughts of this child coming as You to be with us. You with us. You, right here with me. Oh, thank You, Lord. Thank You for drawing me to You and calling me to repentance, to call on the Name of Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I am humbled, Lord; humbled as Mary was at the birth of Her King, her Child, Her Lord. Her Child, my Savior, my God Who came to live with me. My heart is Your heart, O God. I am overcome with a sweet aroma of You, my Lord. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Graphic of heartbeat, cross, heart: Revive Nations

The physical heart inside human body graphic: @ URMC Rochester

Ezekiel 36:26 photo/graphics @ I Live For Jesus

Psalm 51:10 @ My Freshly Brewed Life

Pondering

Listen – #FMF

Five Minute Friday @ Kate Motaung’s

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Word to write on for five minutes is listen.

GO ::

I listen with both ears most of the time.  I listen with both ears and my heart most of the time.  I listen with only one ear attuned to the speaker some of the time while the other ear is shut off or tuned into a distraction.  And then there are times when I have no ears on, no heart open, and I hear zero.

I am one of those people who needs direct contact and/or no distractions in order to hear what is being said.  I want to listen and hear it all.  I want to be able to grasp the whole thing, gaining understanding, even wisdom.  I cannot have other people talking at the same time or I lose it all.  I need quiet.  I need only one person speaking at a time.

God has asked me to listen and obey.  I want God to speak to me when He calls for He is telling me something I need to know from Him.  He may be speaking to me when I have asked for direction.  The world around me must be quiet.  More importantly, I must be still on the inside.

:: STOP

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Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Sojourner

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“You shall not oppress a sojourner.  You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.  Exodus 23:9

גָּר

ger

properly, a guest; by implication, a foreigner:—alien, sojourner, stranger

a person living out of his own country

foreign shepherds, nomadic tribes wandering about in the land

I have been a wanderer much of my life.  I was born into a Navy family, Daddy being a Navy doctor and officer.  We changed duty stations about every two to four years, but he died early in life.  By the age of thirteen, I was no longer a traveler via the United States Navy.

But my mother loved to travel.  She packed us onto a train one Christmas to spend the holiday with her family in Chicago.  When we moved away from the Washington, D.C. area after Daddy died, she took about six weeks to go from the nation’s capitol to San Diego, California.  We stopped to visit friends and family and to see just about every sight she could find along the route.  Many Fridays after school, she would tell us kids, “Pack a suitcase because we are going to ….”  (wherever she had decided to go for the weekend) and we did!

Even in college, I was blessed with one whole semester aboard World Campus Afloat (now called Semester at Sea), traveling from port to port – South America, Africa, and Europe.  What an experience, gaining 14 college credit hours!

I became an adult and that wanderlust was still there.  I settled down for wee bits of time, but found new jobs, moved to where I would want to be or transferred and then I would find a teaching job (or something new).  Mom had told me, before college, that I would always be able to find a teaching job if I would go to college to become a teacher.  I did and found her wisdom was almost always true!

I have sojourned hither and yon.  I was a stranger or a guest most everywhere I went, at least for a time.

The LORD watches over the sojourners;
He upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.  Psalm 146:9

Then one day, 23+ years ago, I came to know Christ Jesus.  I found that my heart had a home.  My heart belonged to Him and I would travel this earth as a sojourner, a pilgrim, yet had a real Home in Heaven.  I may wander more on this earth, in this life.  As long as I stay close to Jesus, I will not feel as an alien.  I am by His side and know my true Home.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.   Genesis 12:1

Abram left his home and sojourned in many countries among many peoples.

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.  From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east.  And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the Name of the LORD.  Genesis 12:7-8

Abram built altars in remembrance of all that God was doing for him and his descendants, for the covenants He made with Abram, for guidance as God took them from place to place.

“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went.  Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.” Jeremiah 31:21

What kind of road markers, guideposts am I leaving to remind me of what God has done in my life?

  • my salvation – God blessed me with forgiveness and a new life in Christ.  I built a written altar in my journal along with the date of this momentous event.  I praise God for my salvation.
  • marriage to Kenneth, the husband God gave to me – I have a written altar of this beautiful date, a marriage license as well as the life he and I have built together.  We try to live as an altar unto God.
  • blessed me with parents who loved me; allowed me to care for my mother in her last fifteen years – another written guidepost, one which I have been blessed to share through Being Woven as well; my journal of many days throughout those years filled with the sweet memories of Mama.  The hard times are written there and are important too.
  • sisters who are caring and loving toward me – Thank You, LORD.  – my road mark is the love we share now, along with the memories through words and pictures, road markers in my mind and heart of when we were children together.
  • and many, many more!

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not Thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with Thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.  Psalm 39:12

Father God, Thank You for dwelling with me as I journey through this world.  Each day is new as I listen for Your voice.  Thank You for directing me from one place to the next.  I pray that I am aware of Your nearness, LORD.  Thank You for comforting me, for guiding me, for loving me.  Build my strength each day, Father, so that I may walk in obedience and humbly.  Thank You for Your Presence in my life.  I love You so.  I am a sojourner.  Yes, I was born in the country in which I live, but anywhere on this earth is not my true home.  With You, in Heaven, …my real and only Home.  Thank You LORD.  I pray in the Name of Your Son Jesus.  Amen.

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Photo and quote:  https://mybible.com/ and https://billygraham.org/

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

The Way of Holiness – Isaiah 35

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God speaks to us through His Word.  I continue to ponder this highway that I am on.  I feel His nearness, His love for me, His joy as I learn from Him.  I walk the road with God.

Isaiah 35:1-10:

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 

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.  John 15:16

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. …. So there was much joy in that city.  Acts 8:5, 8

I desire to abide in You, my LORD, being obedient and submissive to You.  I want to be a fruit bearer, honoring You with joy and song.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”  Luke 22:32

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  1 Thessalonians 5:14

May I serve You, my LORD, with boldness and strength, acceptably, with reverence and awe.

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.  For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

“…to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.’  Acts 26:18

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  Psalm 46:4

Oh, LORD, You are my All in all.  You are the One Who turns me from darkness to light, from blind to seeing, from deaf to hearing.  You set me apart for Yourself.  I am so very grateful.  May the springs flow through me as I walk in this world…that I would be Your witness, Your light, Your salt.

8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it.  It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. ….”  Jeremiah 6:16a

This highway stands before me.  I ask for the ancient paths and walk upon them for this is the good way.  I know I shall find rest there.  Thank You, LORD.

10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Revelation 7:17

I praise You, LORD.  I sing and rejoice for I know You.  You are my Guide.  You are the Way of Holiness.  Hallelujah!  and Amen!

 
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Photo 1:  Patricio Hurtado from Chile:  https://pixabay.com/en/hills-flowering-desert-flowers-960126/  CCO Public Domain (from Pixabay)

Photo 2:  Stas Kulesh, a Russian travel photographer living in Auckland, New Zealand.  https://hd.unsplash.com/photo-1451817045432-8c40f15299f9; https://unsplash.com/@kulesh; licensed under Creative Commons Zero
Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

A Highway

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And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.  Isaiah 35:8

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Isaiah 40:3

Father God, I want to walk in Your ways, the highway of holiness.  You are Holiness that I seek and desire.  You are Love and Righteousness.  You are Holiness.  You make me whole.  When I walk on this highway, I walk toward You.  I so want to be wholly Yours, and walk the remainder of this life on earth in holiness. 

But my people have forgotten Me;
they make offerings to false gods;
they made them stumble in their ways,
in the ancient roads,
and to walk into side roads,
not the highway,  making their land a horror,
a thing to be hissed at forever.
Everyone who passes by it is horrified
and shakes his head.  Jeremiah 18:15-16

I do not want to wander from this highway yet I am human.  I have; I do; I will.  I have made and will make mistakes and I do error.  Yet, LORD, I do not want to.  You have forgiven me of my many past wrong steps.  I seek Your face, asking forgiveness for these paths I walk down when they are not Yours.  Thank You for loving me back into Your arms, my Precious Father. 

“Set up road markers for yourself;
make yourself guideposts;
consider well the highway,
the road by which you went.
Return, O virgin Israel,
return to these your cities.”  Jeremiah 31:21

I read Your Word, Father, as It is truly filled with the road markers that You have set before me.  I may wander off the highway, yet I want to be able to find You and Your way no matter what happens, no matter which way I turn.  I seek You and am learning to be quiet so that I may hear Your still and small voice, for I want to know You in the beauty of Who You are.  You are my God.  In the dark of night when the highway is black and there is no moonlight, I want to know that I am on Your path for me, for my life.   

But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  2 Peter 3:13-14

With anticipation, with joy, and with expectancy, I continue taking step after step.  Today, I desire to stay in this very moment with You, my LORD.  Tomorrow, I want to walk beside You on Your road for me. 

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  Romans 6:17-18

God, You have transformed my heart, beginning with my conversion to be Your daughter in Christ Jesus.  I walk as closely to You as I can.  I hope to stay near You from this moment on.  When I stray, LORD, please draw me near.  I sense Your strength as I am drawn under the shadow of Your wing, into the cleft of the rock.  I want to grow in love and righteousness, live according to Your Word, and be pleasing to You now and for always.  In the Powerful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’  Jeremiah 7:23

Amen and Amen. 

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Photo 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7895628@N03/2807135427; “Endless Road” via http://photopin.com;  licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Photo 2:  Stas Kulesh, a Russian travel photographer living in Auckland, New Zealand.  https://hd.unsplash.com/photo-1451817045432-8c40f15299f9; https://unsplash.com/@kulesh; licensed under Creative Commons Zero

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Heart Reflection

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As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
Proverbs 27:19 ESV

Have you looked down into still water only to see yourself looking back?  A physical appearance is what we see.  Water or a mirror show us at least a vague mirror image of the one doing the looking.

As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.  NLT

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.  NIV

As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man NKJV

Who can see a reflection of the heart?  The heart is inside and does not reflect anything outward.  The heart does plenty on the inside like beating regularly, keeping the blood flowing through our bodies, carrying nutrients hither and yon, keeping us alive.  When a doctor runs an ECG (EKG) on one’s heart, a graph of it beating can be seen with the eye.  When the doctor places a stethoscope on the heart area, he/she can hear the beat.

Illustration of heart with heartbeat, electrocardiogram,

Unless a cardiologist or other doctor is listening to or opening up the chest cavity to care for an actual physical heart problem, I tend to feel that my heart and I are on our own most of the time.  I may reflect a piece of my heart by telling someone I love them.  I also may share what “is on my heart” with another.

These ways are not the only ways my heart is reflected.  Words and actions can reveal what my true heart nature is like.  I may try to conceal, rather than reveal, this heart nature, my true nature.  But God can see my heart for He knows me well.  He created me, knowing my nature.  He knows the thoughts in my mind and the nature of my heart.  I cannot hide from God.  No matter what travels in and through my heart, and should I try to conceal such from showing up in my expressions, in words from my mouth, or in my actions, they are still inside my heart.  God tests my heart to grow me, to move me in and through these hidden, torturous plagues of the heart.

O LORD of hosts, Who tests the righteous,
Who sees the heart and the mind,
let me see Your vengeance upon them,
for to You have I committed my cause.
Jeremiah 20:12

…but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God Who tests our hearts.  1 Thessalonians 2:4

What ensnares me from having my heart be in that very place that I want it to be so I can stand so close to my God?  Do I hold envy there? or fears? or anger? or jealousy? or what?  What keeps my heart from reflecting the heart that God made?

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  James 1:23-24

I want nothing to block my heart, nothing to be hidden there.  I do not want any one to stumble because of me.  Yet, perfect I am not, except in Christ…some day in Eternity.  I desire God’s tests so that I will be more and more able to reflect the image of Christ Jesus from the inside-out and the outside-in.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:18

Father, You know my heart.  I so desire to reflect Jesus in all I am and all I do for I am Your daughter.  Forgive me when I try to conceal things that I know are not of You.  Guide me so that there is less and less of those things hidden in my heart.  I want my focus to be on You, LORD, and not on me.  May my heart reflect the love and beauty that is You.  Walk near to me as I walk near to You, O LORD.  Mold my heart and make me more and more into Your perfect vessel.  I am Yours and will do all that You ask and require of me, LORD.  Thank You for hearing my prayer tonight.  With adoration, thanksgiving, and praise, I pray in the Name of Jesus.  I love You, Father.  Amen. 

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Photo credits:

Woman at water:   Fenanov via Foter.com / CC BY

Heartbeat:  http://www.mannaplus.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Heart-beat1.jpg

Hot Air Balloon Heart: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/fc/9b/d6/fc9bd6772ba3e1646c638a94a88bdfe4.jpg

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Peculiar Treasure

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In my younger and middle aged days, I ALWAYS wanted to fit in, not stand out.  I wanted to be wanted.  Have you ever felt this way?  I did things that I should not have done so that I would fit in.  I laughed at dumb jokes so I would not stand out as the odd girl out.  I said things to make myself, seemingly, a part of the crowd.  In reality, I would go home and detest myself for acting those ways because it was NOT who I really was.  I had this shadow following me around for years saying, “But you said….But you did this….But you did that….” and I would be living with these lies for years.

As I have grown older and have grown closer to Christ, I have come to realize that I am unique, different than anyone else on this earth.  I am me!  God created me and I am like no one else.  He wanted one me and now I am thankful to Him for His mercy and grace in forgiving my lies that I have told about myself and believed about myself.  I AM THE ONLY, THE ONE AND ONLY ME!!  : )  I do not have to fit into the world.  Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”  John 17:16 

Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2

I am beginning to feel like the woman who wrote, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.”  Maybe I shall not wear purple, but I shall dress from the inside-out, allowing God to remind me of just who I am.  I am now in my late sixties and have finally come to accept this beautiful fact and truth that is ME!

Thank You, my Sweet Father.  I am this odd girl out.  I am a peculiar treasure to You.  I am Yours.  I am the only me and I accept this me for she is who I am.  And, LORD, when I forget this truth, please remind me that I am unique because this is how You made me.  I am loved as I am.  I have been given gifts from You that are unique to me.  Forgive me when I forget; forgive me when I try to fit in to this world.  I thank You for loving me, Father.   

Meanings of the word peculiar today:

  • strange, odd, unusual, bizarre, weird, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, out of the ordinary;
  • exceptional, extraordinary, remarkable; puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling;
  • suspicious, eerie, uncanny, unnatural

There are three sets of meanings here.

In God’s Word, there are also three different meanings, ever-so-slightly different yet the same.

Hebrew

סְגֻלָּה

cĕgullah

feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to shut up; wealth (as closely shut up):—jewel, peculiar (treasure), proper good, special, private property; often used as the people of Israel

Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  Exodus 19:5-6

For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure.  Psalm 135:4

And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Malachi 3:17

 

Greek

Two slightly different words:

περιούσιος

periousios

that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions: a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession

being beyond usual, i.e. special (one’s own):—peculiar

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works Titus 2:14

περιποίησις

peripoiēsis

acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension, preservation:—obtain(-ing), peculiar, purchased, possession, saving

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.  Ephesians 1:14

Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ2 Thessalonians 2:14

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:….  1 Peter 2:9

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May I look inside of me, Father, and see the beautiful heart You have given me.  May I know deep down that Your creation is a treasure to You.  Oh, that I am a jewel to the God of all creation.  Oh, Father, how amazed I am at this gem of wisdom.  I am Your jewel, Your precious treasure.  I am peculiar because I am beyond the usual.  BEYOND THE USUAL!!!  OH, how wonderful that sounds to this child of Yours who has tried to fit in for so much of her life.  I love You, LORD.  You are so beautiful to me.  Thank You for guiding me to this realization.  I feel like sunshine.  I am smiling for this truth is so very special for and to me, LORD.  I feel like a light in this world because I am Yours.  May I sparkle as a real jewel that has been buried in the earth and suddenly brought to daylight.  I know…I KNOW I am Your peculiar treasure.  In gratitude, I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Hallelujah and Amen.  

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Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Integrity

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תֹּם

tom

H8537

From root word etymology תָּמַם (H8552)

completeness; figuratively, prosperity; usually (morally) innocence:—full, integrity, perfect(-ion), simplicity, upright(-ly, -ness), at a venture, at random

But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate.  Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”    1 Kings 22:34

Now Abimelech had not approached her.  So he said, “Lord, will You kill an innocent people?  Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.”  Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against Me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.  Genesis 20:4-6

Integrity can mean a number of things, but I am focusing on walking with simplicity of mind and heart, with no mischief or ill design, nor evil thought.  One stands in innocence before the LORD because one is innocent.  One carries purity of mind and heart wherever one goes.

In 1 Kings 22:34 (above), the word “random” is a word for “in innocence” in the Hebrew.  The interpretation would be that he drew his bow innocently, not intending to hit the king of Israel.

God looks at my heart and knows the intent.  Am I guilty or am I innocent in what I do?  Are my actions those of Christ?  Do I look like Jesus to one who has never met Him? – Once they have met Him through testimony or the Bible, would I represent the Savior or not?  Do I walk worthy of the LORD?  Is my path straight as God has laid it out for me?  Do I cause others to stumble?  Are the words I speak those of integrity?  Am I truthful in what I say?  Does my mouth open with gossip or untruths flying out?  Or do I speak with honesty and trustworthiness?

I pray that I walk with integrity of the heart, mind, and soul.  I desire to walk uprightly, worthy of God.  But…I am human and fail.  I am not perfect in this earthly body, yet I strive to walk in purity as best as I am able.  This is only slightly possible if and when I am walking with the LORD.  I must stay close to Him for I know not what He calls me to be and do unless I am.  Thus, I may be able to walk in His ways and be more of the upstanding person He desires of me.

BibleVerse-Integrity

Vindicate me, LORD, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted in the LORD without wavering.  Psalm 26:1

Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?  Job 4:6

LORD, I desire with my heart and mind and soul to walk in Your ways.  I desire to be a citizen of Heaven who represents You here in this world.  I hope that I am able with Your nearness, Your love, Your guidance.  I want to walk uprightly, in integrity, Father.  I pray for Your forgiveness when I fail You.  Guide me back to the path which is straight.  Guide me to Your heart when I stray.  I pray that integrity becomes more and more of who I am in You, LORD.  As I learn reverence for You with each day, I gain confidence.  Thank You. Father God.  As integrity becomes embedded in my very nature more and more, I gain hope.  Again, thank You, my LORD.  I feel so blessed because You are my God, and Jesus You are my LORD and Savior.  Hallelujah!  I pray in the Powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen.  

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1 Chronicles 29:17 -Donna Liljegren 2012 – https://brynwoodneedleworks.blogspot.com/2012/07/sunday-scripture_22.html

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Threshing Floor

 

Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.
Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.

גֹּרֶן

goren

from an unused root meaning to smooth; a threshing-floor (as made even); by analogy, any open area:—a barn-, corn-, threshing- floor, a threshing-, void- place before the gates of a city

Freshly harvested grain was thrown into a large pile in the very center of the floor.  It was then hand raked onto the area of the floor where the oxen would walk around and around, breaking the husks away from the actual grain. This area was called the threshing floor.  It was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks, the tares (weeds, false grain) from the wheat.  Afterwards, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air (winnowing) so that the wind would blow the unwanted chaff away, leaving the kernels.

The threshing floors were also important places and were often used as landmarks.  Men and royalty often sat in the gates of a city, often on or near a threshing floor.

And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.  1 King 22:10

The words, threshing floor, is one word in the King James version of the Bible.  In looking up the Hebrew, we find the same word, goren, is for both threshing and for floor.  Thus, translating the Hebrew into English gives us threshingfloor as one word.  Other versions of the Bible separate the two words but translate them individually from the one word, goren.

Joseph, with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers, halted for seven days at the threshing floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob.

When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.  Genesis 50:10

Travelers might welcome a threshing floor to stop for the night as the hard, level spot would be preferable to surrounding stony fields for tents.

David bought a threshing floor to build an altar to the LORD.

1 Then satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. … 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. …  18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite.  …  20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat.  He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price.  I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. … 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.   1 Chronicles 21:1, 7, 18, 20, 24-26, 28

Have we felt that something is worth more to us when it is bought and paid for by our earnings?  Do we take things for granted when they are given to us for nothing?  Is more value placed upon that which we buy, whether by money, labor, or things traded?

This same piece of property was to be where God’s Temple was to be built by Solomon.

1 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” …  7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars.  You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood before Me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies.  For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name.  He shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’  11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as He has spoken concerning you.   1 Chronicles 22:1, 7-11

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  2 Chronicles 3:1

Mount Moriah is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac, to God.

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

Threshing floors were places of judgment:

Rejoice not, O Israel!  Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.  You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors.  Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them.  Hosea 9:1-2

But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand His plan,
    that He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor Micah 4:12

Threshing floors were places of blessings as well.  Sheave offerings were laid there to the Lord.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.  Joel 2:24-26

Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.  But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”  And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”  Ruth 3:3-5  So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel!  Ruth 4:13-14

 

Jesus bought me by His blood.  I am forgiven and paid for by the High Priest with His life.  I am to be winnowed, ridding me of the chaff.


His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
Matthew 3:12

Have I felt that something is worth more to me when it is bought and paid for by the sacrifice of my LORD?  Is more value placed upon that which has been purchased for me by the sacrifices of Jesus?  Is the gift of forgiveness of the debt I cannot pay and for which I owe such that I am so humbled?

 

LORD Jesus, I thank You for the love You have for me, for redeeming me.  You have blessed me beyond anything I could imagine.  I know that a day will come for my judgment.  I also know of Your forgiveness of this child.  I want to continue to be winnowed for I desire to become more pure for You with each day.  I want the chaff to be blown away, then burned.  I want only the kernels to be left so that I may make You a loaf of bread.  I know You are the Bread of Life, yet I want to give You this gift from my heart.  How can I really thank You, Jesus?  You have done so very much for me.  I am humbled with gratitude.  Thresh me on Your threshing floor, my LORD.  Separate the weeds and husk from the very grain of me.  Winnow me to purity, to wholeness, LORD, for I want to be wholly Yours.  In Your beautiful Name, I pray.  Amen.   

 

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