Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Unsearchable

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Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
  Romans 11:33

ἀνεξεραύνητος

anexeraunētos

not searched out, i.e. (by implication) inscrutable:—unsearchable

ἀνεξιχνίαστος

anexichniastos

not tracked out, i.e. (by implication) untraceable:—past finding out; unsearchable.

that cannot be comprehended

past finding out

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These two Greek words almost look alike, mean almost the same thing with just slight changes.

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Versions of the Bible use different words to lay this meaning out before us:

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!  NLT

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  NKJV

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  NIV

Oh, the depth of the riches

both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable His judgments

and untraceable His ways!  HCSB

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!  NASB

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!  NET

Impossible, untraceable, beyond our ability to trace or to find out, unfathomable…the greatness of God, His Omnipotence, His Omniscience, His Omnipresence…He is far more than we can possibly understand at this time.

Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast You save, O LORD.  Psalm 36:6

Your way was through the sea,
Your path through the great waters;
yet Your footprints were unseen.  Psalm 77:19

God, You are more than my mind can wrap around yet my heart feels Your love and Your care for me.  I know You are with me and hear my prayer.  You are unsearchable but I am learning more and more about You.  I am in love with You and praise You for Who You are.  I thank You with my whole heart for saving me through Your Son’s sacrifice and His love for me, for many such as I.  He was resurrected from the grave and told His disciples that He will return for them, for me.  One day, we will be together and You will still be more than I could have imagined here on this earth.  Will I be able to fathom You even then, Abba Father?  Your mercy, Your grace, Your greatness, Your faithfulness, Your power and Your might?  Jesus said that we may not understand but one day we will.  I look forward to that day, Abba Father.  I lift this prayer in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  John 13:7

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Photo:  Heartlight.org @ http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/526.html

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Children Are a Heritage From the Lord

backtoschool2School starts around here on Monday, August 24th.  Signs along the streets near schools or over the highways remind us that children are back in school, to drive safely.  Flashing lights warn us to slow down to 20 miles per hour because we are in a school zone.  Children are crossing streets under a school guard’s care.  The signs and signals warn us of the caution we should be taking as we near schools in our neighborhoods…young lives are at risk.

But does anything warn us of the ways of the world entering into the minds of our children whether at school, in front of the television or the internet, in the park, or even in the home?

“I believe that at birth, all children bear the stamp of their Creator.  Their purity and innocence is a great gift.  Once it has been lost, it cannot be replaced.  All the more, it must be guarded as a treasure which no one has a right to destroy.”   ** Johann Christoph Arnold, p. 133

“If we are going to protect innocence in a child, we need to cleanse our own hearts of pollution.  Our response upon encountering a child must be nothing less than reverence.  Perhaps because the word sounds old-fashioned, its true meaning has been blurred.  Reverence is more than just love.  It includes an appreciation for the qualities children possess (and which we ourselves have lost), a readiness to rediscover their value, and the humility to learn from them.  Reverence is also an attitude of deep respect….”  ** Johann Christoph Arnold,  p. 133-134

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”  Matthew 18:1-6

Children are beautiful creations and we need to protect them.  We need to teach them God’s values and what is important to Him.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10-11

“For whatever else might define childhood, one thing is constant: it is the gathering place of life’s first and most indelible memories — the unalterable frame for all the experiences that accompany us through life.  And thus, in the end, the task of bringing up children is not only a question of effective parenting, and even less one of educational insights, theories, or ideals.  It is, first and foremost, a matter of the love we give them, which has power to awaken more of the same, even years down the road.”  ** Johann Christoph Arnold,  p. 161

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Psalm 127:1-3

Let us pray for our children and their teachers.  I am not a parent, but I taught and now I tutor.  I want to be the image of Christ in their little lives, as well as to their parents.  I want to do the right thing for and with these children.

Father God, our children are returning to school.  I pray for their safety, their protection by your legions of angels.  I pray for a loving, respectful teacher to guide them in the matters of learning.  I pray that the parents, grandparents, foster parents, be an example of Your Son to these children.  They need You more than anything this world can offer.  They need Your salvation as they raise these young ones.  May they each and every one come to know Your Son as Lord and Savior.  Father, please give the parents the wisdom to raise their children in Your Name, by Your Word.  Teach them what they need in order to raise their children.  Open their eyes to You, Lord.  By this, they can truly raise their children in the Name of Jesus.  Oh, how I want that because I want that for the innocent ones.  Children are precious in Your sight.  Save them from this evil world, Father.  I thank You that You have a plan for them and love them dearly.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

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.  Jeremiah 29:11

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** Arnold, Johann Christoph, Their Name is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, 2014, Plough Publishing House, New York
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P.S.  This book is excellent and will be doing a book review on it soon on my “The Reader and The Book” blog.

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Devotionals · God's Word

Jesus — Propitiation for My Sins

God, You have blessed me with Your Word, Your Truth.  You teach me as I walk with You and learn Your ways.  You are showing me that by my sins, Your wrath is real.  Yet, by my sins, Your love and mercy and grace are strong and beautiful.  You sent Your Son for me.  You love me so.

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

But one testified in a certain place, saying:
“What is man that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man that You take care of him?

You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And set him over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.   Hebrews 2:5-9
hebrews2Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God

Jesus, our Salvation

Jesus, our All

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  Hebrews 2:17

ἱλάσκομαι

hilaskomai

to conciliate

to atone for (sin)

be propitious:—be merciful, make reconciliation for

propitiation (n) prō-pi-shē-ā-shǝn–

the act of appeasing the wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person

atonement or atoning sacrifice

Jesus…

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Jesus…

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  Romans 3:23-26

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Jesus…

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10

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…’Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live…

from “In Christ Alone”

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Father, You could be so angry, so wrathful towards me.  I am a sinner.  But You see through me and know that I need a Savior.  I need Salvation.  You are Just.  You came to me through Your beautiful Gift, Your Son, Jesus, Who delivered me from my sins.  Through repentance and belief, I have been set free.  You are Merciful.  You have granted so much to me which I take for granted sometimes.  I am sorry, Father, for I forget all too often of the many gifts which I am allowed.  Yet, I do not forget that I can fly free from the shackles of sin because of Jesus, Your Son, Your Son’s death on the Cross for me, for others such as I.  Your Grace and Your Truth have been showered over me.  I am ever so grateful, Father.  “Here in the death of Christ I live….”  I live.  Thank You for this precious Gift. 

In Your Son’s Holy Name, I pray.  Amen. 

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Graphic/Photo:  http://pictures.agodman.com/spiritual-quotes/hebrews-29-but-we-see-jesus-crowned-with-glory-and-honor/

Graphic:  http://lifegatefellowship.com/wp/?m=201309

“In Christ Alone” by KOCH, DONALD A. / CRAIG, ANDREW SHAWN; Published by Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Caregiving · Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Two Years Ago

Dear Mama,

It has been two years on January 30th that you passed away and are with the LORD.  No matter how much I have moved along into tutoring three young children in reading and math, continue to blog, and have more time with my dear Kenneth, I STILL MISS YOU!  Can’t help it!

Mama @ Del Mar

You were a beautiful woman, inside and out.  You were fun and vivacious, smart and talented, headstrong and rather outspoken.  You lived close to me for the last fifteen years of your life.  You also lived with me in the late eighties when you came to Washington, D.C. while I was teaching first and kindergarten in the inner city.  You loved to come to school with me once a week and work with some of the children.  They called you Grandma and, of course, you thought that was the best.  The children looked forward to your regular visits.  And, of course, you loved D.C. for that was our last duty station before Daddy died.  You and Daddy were in that city when you found out that you were pregnant with me.  And you just loved the history and art that our nation’s capital offers.

 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”  Exodus 20:12

After being gone from this life for two years now, the tough times — when you were ill, or fell, needing surgery and hospitalization, or when the dementia rattled your mind so terribly — those all seem to be fading in my mind and in my heart.  I recall more of our sweet moments than I do those hard ones, although those do still surface.  Just not so often or so harshly.

Mama (yes, I called you Mom from my early teenage years until the last couple of years of your life when you became “Mama” to me; seems to be the name I call you most often now too)… your love for me, and for all of your family, feels like your heart is wrapped around mine now.  You said some sweet and loving things to me at the end of your life that I cherish.  I just wrote about journaling and caregiving for Soli Deo Gloria Connections.  It is often through those journals that the exact words you said to me are pulled out and into my heart.  I am grateful that I took the time to write, often sitting at the side of your bed as you slept.

Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.  Proverbs 23:22

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Oh, Mama, you loved your baseball and the Chicago Cubs where you were born and raised.  You even came to enjoy the small town games of our minor league team for it was baseball and that is what you loved.   Mama, you even got me to these games.  You loved having this daughter (who really was not a baseball fan) to join you at the games!  (Actually, you can see that I was, truly was, having a good time!)

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In your last years, you had lost a lot of that vim and vigor, yet your heart still loved.  You loved the staff where you lived.  You loved many of those around you.  Most of all, you loved your three girls and our husbands, and your grandson.  Oh, Mama, you would love Parker Lily, your great granddaughter.  She is a dear child.  She would love you too.  You would love Zephyr’s beautiful wife, Kiki.  She is a good mother, Zeph a good daddy.  Nancy loves Kiki so much and is so happy for Zeph.  Kiki and Zeph dress Parker Lily like you would have dressed her…cute, classy, and beautifully.  Oh, I am so sorry you never met Kiki nor Parker Lily.  But you knew about your dear great granddaughter.  With the blown-up photos on your wall, you would touch little infant Parker’s, talking to her, calling her by name.

You also came to know the LORD for which I am ever grateful.  Mama, you are with Him and loving Him in all His Holiness.  I praise Him.

Mama, I needed to talk to you today.  To write this letter to you.  It barely covers any of my memories, but the most important thing I want to say is that I LOVE YOU!!!!!!   So much.

Your ~ linda lou

Thank You, LORD, for giving me this mother.  You have blessed me beyond my comprehension for I was loved by both of my parents.  I have missed my father for 54 years now, but even after all those years, the missing never stops.  The love I still feel from him has not stopped either.  You have given me life and family.  You have blessed me with knowing that Mama is with You.  O LORD, thank You.  Thank You.  I am forever grateful for Your laborers who were ready and went into Your harvest.  May I continue to walk the path that You have made for me with remembrance of my parents, honoring them.  I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.   

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

31 Days of God-Woven Moments – October 30

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For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:1-3

 

In the verses above, “being knit together” means:

συμβιβάζω

symbibazō

to unite together into one whole, compacted together

knit together: in affection

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There are other means of “knit together” in the Bible, but for these verses, the meaning is as above.  The church at Laodicea needed to bond as one in love to gain the heights that were hoped for this church.  As we seek the LORD, we, too, must bond together as the body of Christ to share the love of Christ with the world.  They cannot see this love but through the Word of God and through the children of God.  We are the image of Christ on this earth and must stand together as one before those watching us.  And they are watching us for we are a different, a peculiar people.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 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 2:13-14

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: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  1 Peter 2:9-10

Oh, that we will seek Christ for He is All we ever need in this world.  Christ is the Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords.  He hung upon the Cross for each one of us, taking our sins to that Cross, that we would be set free from all that weighs us down.  Jesus is our salvation for He rained down God’s saving grace upon us.  May He reign in our hearts from now to eternity.  Oh, God, I pray this be so in each and every one of Your creations before the end of this world as we know it.  May we, as Your people, Your peculiar people, Your special people, stand in and amongst the world around us and be the witness that You have called us to be.  May we be united as one knit together for Your purposes in love.  May those watching see Christ in each one of us.  We will rejoice and sit with Jesus at the throne of grace in Heaven forevermore.  I pray in the Saving Name of Jesus.  Amen.  
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To catch up on the previous days of this 31 day challenge, you can find them listed here.

Photo: http://fluffandfuzz.weebly.com/

Devotionals · Pondering

Reach

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This week’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is REACH

GO

Reach

Climb

Touch

Sense

Enveloped

Forever @ Home

Loved

Embraced

Forgiven

New

Never needing to

Oh, that I would just remember that with every step I take while here on this earth.

STOP

 

Every Thursday a one-word prompt will be announced here on my blog at 10pm EST (and continuing through Friday).

Those who’d like to participate in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up @ katemotaung.com

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

 

Photo by Evan Butterfield: Will the Circle be Unbroken; Natural geometry in Meadow Lake, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois @   http://www.flickr.com/photos/emb/239223358/

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

When It’s Dark…

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How often do things of this world, of this life, of an individual’s life bring us to despair?  to discouragement?  to fear?  to anxiousness?  How often?

Just in the past 6 weeks, I have personally known about 3 suicides, told to me by two precious women who are close to my heart.  They have been touched by suicide as I was 23 years ago.  It is such a difficult trauma.  Thoughts of…could we have done something, anything to have prevented this tragedy?  Guilt and wondering about what we did or did not do run through the mind.  As my mother once put it after a cousin took her life, leaving a husband and three children, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  So often, that is the case.  Not always, but more often than not.

In praying for these women and their families, plus the families of the dead, I find my mind thinking about all of this all over again since I personally experienced being the one to find a special friend dead.  The many passing years have helped me to be able to speak and pray with comfort to these women.  Yet, the true reason I can pray and share hope and comfort is that my God has given me salvation through His Son.  He is my hope and love and my anchor.  God has wrapped me in His arms of security.  The Holy Spirit lives in me and gently comforts and gives me the perfect words I need when I am listening and desiring to hear with my ears and my heart.  At the time of the suicide 23 years ago, I did not know Christ as my Savior and LORD, but in less than two years, I had, indeed, accepted the One and Only Jesus into my heart and life.  Because of Jesus, I am able to speak words of comfort, hope, and life to those here who cared about someone who chose to take his or her own life.   May we find our peace through the Holy One.

God created us ~

So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27

God has a plan for us ~

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.  Jeremiah 29:11

God wants us to have life ~

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

God sent His Son to take our sin upon Himself and to save us ~

He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:12-13

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13

Accepting Christ gives us a new life ~

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Walking with the LORD takes one step of faith after another ~

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.  Romans 10:17

Seeking the LORD when we feel that there is no hope takes that faith.  God is ever near ~

Our soul waits for the Lord;

he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him,

because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

even as we hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22

Christ promises to give us rest from any and all struggles ~

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

We have the assurance of eternal life from God Who gave His Son through death on the Cross for our sins ~

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.  John 5:24

Father, I lift up those who are walking through or are mired in the tragedy of suicide this very moment.  I pray that Your Holy Spirit comfort them.  Please rain down Your peace upon them.  Oh, LORD, I also pray that those who do not know You as the God of all, who do not know Jesus as their LORD and Savior, that Your salvation would soon, LORD, soon, reign in their hearts.  Oh, Father God, our hope is in You.  You love each one of Your precious creations and are waiting for us to open the door to our heart to let You in.  I pray.  To anyone who reads this, who is thinking about suicide, I pray that you seek your Creator for He is the God of all comfort and peace and hope.  Father, wrap them in Your mighty loving arms.  Send a warrior, an angel, a calm spirit to pray with them, to speak with them.  Give them hope, LORD.  I pray in the Powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

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Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Are you not He, O LORD our God?
We set our hope on You,
for You do all these things.  Jeremiah 14:22

 

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God's Word · Pondering

Peace Came

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the “peace offering” to God made before the priests, according to the law, is often mentioned.  It had to be done just right physically as well as with a right heart or it would have been done for nothing.  How often do we do things out of repetition without even thinking about how we are REALLY doing them?  Praying words without our heart attached?  Going to church diligently without that right heart?  Reading the Bible without spending time with God?

“When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.  It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire.  If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from his people.  Leviticus 19:5-8

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Matthew Henry states in his commentary on Leviticus 19: “Though the sacrifice was offered according to the law, if it was not eaten according to the law, it was not accepted. Though ministers do their part, what the better if people do not theirs? There is work to be done after our spiritual sacrifices, in a due improvement of them; and, if this be neglected, all is in vain.”  

In Leviticus 19:5, the words “peace offering” is שֶׁלֶם – shelem, which means offered by giving thanks and praising God, a sacrifice for alliance or friendship, a voluntary sacrifice of thanks.  At the end of that one verse is the phrase, “so that you may be accepted.”  In Hebrew, the word is רָצוֹן – ratsown meaning pleasure, delight (pleasing to God), favor, goodwill, acceptance.  

The New Testament also uses the word “peace” which is one of God’s many gifts to us through His Son.  In Luke, Zacharias speaks with his newly unbridled tongue once his own son is born, but he speaks about the coming Messiah that Mary is carrying:

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,  to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:76-79

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This “peace” in verse 79 is εἰρήνη – eirēnē  in Greek, meaning…of the Messiah’s peace, the way that leads to peace (salvation), the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ thus fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatsoever sort that is, the blessed state of devout and upright men after death.

Matthew Henry, once again, says, “Salvation…is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last. It is not only a light to our eyes, but a light to our feet; it guides us into the way of making our peace with God, of keeping up a comfortable communion; that way of peace which as sinners we have wandered from and have not known, nor could ever have known of ourselves.”

Jesus is our Peace, our Prince of Peace.  By the One, the Holy One of Israel, we have the Way to salvation and that Way is peace.  We, by God’s Grace, have His Word and the way to “see” clearly the path that is before us.  We must still have our hearts right as God wants us to come to the Cross with open hands and an open heart.  He wants us to lay our sins, our burdens, at the foot of that Cross.  It is then that His peace can rain upon us and reign in our hearts.

Oh, Gracious Heavenly Father, I do come before You this eve and know that my peace offerings, nor any other kind of offerings, are never enough if my heart is not set upon You with a right attitude and openness before You.  May I begin each day with a prayer to You for this kind of heart.  I have trusted Your Son for my salvation and know where I am to go and be upon the death of this body.  Oh, I am forever grateful, LORD.  May the years of this life left be wholly Yours and on Your path for my life.  May I walk rightly with this beating heart at peace in You.  In the Name of Your Son, the Prince of Peace, I pray.  Amen.  
Peace: http://ilovetypography.com

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Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

In Your Time

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LORD, as Your Word says in Ecclesiastes 3:1,
 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:…  Every purpose, Father, is in Your hands.  As my life is being reshaped by Your hands, the hands of my Potter, I am Your clay to be molded into that which You have called me, have made me.  I am Yours.  Joyously, I am Yours.  

I was thinking about Hannah today when you gifted her a child.  She had vowed to give her son to You, LORD, for all the days of his life if You would only give her a son.  You heard and answered her prayer; Samuel was born.  Hannah kept her promise, giving her precious child back to You.  Hannah and Elkanah dedicated Samuel to You and then she prayed words that truly were of her heart.  I lift my heart to You, Abba Father; Your Word – 1 Samuel 2 and Ecclesiastes 3 – from my heart to Yours …   

There is no one holy like You, LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like You, my God. 

The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength.  

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

You, LORD, kill and make alive; You bring down to Sheol and raise up. 

A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal;

You make poor and rich; You bring low, and You also exalt. You raise the poor from the dust, lift the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; 

A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

For the pillars of the earth are Yours, LORD, and You set the world on them.  

You keep the feet of Your godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:…

LORD, as Hannah began her prayer, I respond in her beautiful way… 

My heart exults in You, my LORD;  … Because I rejoice in Your salvation.  

For You bless me and adorn me in Your Presence, in Your Love, in Your very Name.  You have made everything beautiful in its time.  Also You have put eternity in my heart, except that no one can find out the work that You do from beginning to end.  

I know that whatever You do, It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it.
You do it, that men should fear before You.

Abba, set me on Your potter’s wheel.  Mold me and make me into Your daughter of obedience, into Your child of lovingkindness, into a life filled with hope and a future.  I know I have the Living Waters and the Bread of Life in me for I have asked for forgiveness and know that Your Son was resurrected from the dead.  You gave Your Son for me and I am ever so grateful.  Oh, Father, I love You so.  The words, “I don’t want to disappoint You” are on the tip of my tongue.  I also know that I must constantly seek Your face and be on my face before You.  I am teachable yet.  Hopefully for always.  As Hannah gave Samuel to You for all of his life, I give me for the rest of my life.  Thank You for loving me, LORD.  I pray in Your Son’s Holy Name.  Amen.


Photo:  Jay Raney

Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Samuel 2:2, 4,  Ecclesiates 3:3b, 1 Samuel 2:6, Ecclesiastes 3:2-3a, 1 Samuel 2:7-8a, Ecclesiastes 3:6, 1 Samuel 2:8b-9, Ecclesiastes 3:1, 1 Samuel 2:1, Ecclesiates 3:11, 14

Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

For This Reason…

“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.  “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;  for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”    Revelation 7:15-17 NASB

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Who are “they”?

“Reason” for what?

Why are they before the throne of God?

Why do they serve Him day and night?

What does it mean that He will spread His tabernacle over them?

How can they no longer have hunger or thirst?

 Why does the Lamb need to shepherd them?

Care for them?

Give them water?

And God will wipe away their tears?

So much to comprehend…


After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 
and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”  Revelation 7:9-14 NASB

The saints, God’s children, worship their God Who offers salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  They worship the LORD and the Lamb with joy and exaltation.  They have so very much to be grateful for as do I.  Worshiping with humility, in reverence, with praises to the glory, the wisdom, the power, the might, the honor of God…all wraps around the attributes and character of our God.  With thanksgiving, I fall before Him as “they” do.  Hallelujah!

He dwelt among us.  This same word in John 1:14, “dwelt” is the same word in Greek, σκηνόω, skēnoō, that also is “will spread His tabernacle”, meaning “that they may dwell in safety and security under its cover and protection”.  (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)  I feel so very comforted knowing that God dwells in me, over me, around me, through me.  So very blessed.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

The saints have been through tribulation, sorrow, pain, death, want, hunger, thirst, but nothing has separated them from the love of God.  No, nothing!

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39 NASB

Refreshment and security are theirs (ours) in heaven.  We shall have a tender Father and the Good Shepherd for always and forever.  Hallelujah and Amen.

May I humble myself that my heart turns to You, my Creator, and be attuned to the beauty and perfection that You are, my Father.  May I praise You with an heart that is growing to know You more and more each moment.  May my praises be filled with joy and happiness as I look forward to this day of meeting You face-to-face.  One day, LORD, I will be the perfected child You have told me about in Your Word.  Amen.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  
To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.   1 Peter 5:10-11 NASB

Amen.

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Source of some of my thoughts on this passage:  “Matthew Henry Commentary on Revelation 7”