Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5-12

Monday - Genesis 9
Tuesday - Judges 5
Wednesday- Psalm 34
Thursday- Isaiah 38
Friday- Micah 7
Saturday- Acts 1
Sunday- 1 Thess 4


Prairie Chick said...

Genesis 9:7

Because God made humans in his image reflecting God's very nature. You're here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the earth, live bountifully!"

What does it mean to have the nature of God. A creational, sustaining, relational, supernatural spiritual being. To have been given the nature of God and the mind of Christ are two things that always seem just out of my grasp for comprehension.

Prairie Chick said...

Judges 5. I don't know how many times I have read this chapter in my life. Many times. Never with the eyes I had for it this morning! So last week when we read the chapter introducing Deborah and the background for this battle Shailey and I had just started reading this novel called Hittite Warrior which is her scheduled history reader to enhance her ancient middle eastern history... we just finished the book last night and now to read this chapter today (I had to go back and read chapter 4 again because it just brought everything on the page to life for me in a way I can't even begin to describe) just gave me goosebumps. The book just took me inside the lives of all these names and gave dimensions to their lives. I would never have remembered Heber just from reading the biblical account even though it does state his betrayal, but Jael is the one who stands out. But what that meant as to what their married life looked like, all the little details, you just never think of that. Kind of like reading Redeeming Love and realizing what Hosea's life was like, or The Red Tent. What a good reminder that these are snapshots of real lives with intricate life stories and to take the time to think about the details behind the story.

this morning the verses that stood out to me were 5:15-18

But in Reuben's divisions there was much second-guessing.
Why all those campfire discussions?
Diverted and distracted,
Reuben's divisions couldn't make up their minds.
Gilead played it safe across the Jordan,
and Dan, why did he go off sailing?
Asher kept his distance on the seacoast,
safe and secure in his harbors.
But Zebulun risked life and limb, defied death,
as did Naphtali on the battle heights."

Just getting this picture into what made all these people tick. They all missed out and were not part of God's work for one reason or another. second guessing, diversions, distractions, inability to be decicive, playing it safe, caught up in own interests, keeping your distance, not wanting to give up comforts or security.

Wow. The majority of the Israelites were included in that list and for those reasons. It was a huge minority that were actually receptive, responsive and willing to lay it all on the line for what God was doing through His people, to take up weapons, step out of their comfort zone and take RISKS for the kingdom. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOP! I want to be counted in their numbers!!!

Joan said...

Thanks so much PC for sharing your insights into this chapter and every chapter. When I say to God "show me something in this chapter" you are often the tool that he uses.

Prairie Chick said...

That's cool, Joan. He did the same thing for me on Sunday, I had no sooner finished praying that I would have ears to hear when whammo.... I heard. If we seek, we will find. Sometimes through our own digging, sometimes through the unearthing of the one next to us :)

Prairie Chick said...

psalm 34:10 sometimes the way the Message words things I'm just like... "wha??? really??" and I go and do a word study on the verse and I'm like, "huh. look at that." I am enjoying it. It really gives me a wake up call and helps me to see the scripture in a new light. A light that can really speak to my own culture. Today it was verse 10;

"Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God."

I think in our culture people are caught up in the prowl for what will bring "fullness" or fulfillment. Things that will make us feel we are good at something, we fit in, we are loved and belong.

What we don't see is that in chasing after fulfillment we wear ourselves out, and very often don't make time for the only thing that can fill us. If we don't make time to chase down truth in God's word and connection through focused prayer, we will be cracked cisterns, always thirsty and never being quenched, because the other "things' are not living water... didn't Isaiah compare them to sewage?

Denise said...

Psalm 34
This was so exactly what I needed to read today. For the last week it has felt like my life has been flying out of control. I feel overwhelmed with work, my house is in total chaos, I feel crummy and grumpy towards my family. I was about to go to bed and I thought no, what I really need is God. And then here this Psalm is all about God paying attention to those who call on him! He hears us calling out to Him and acts on behalf of those who love him!

“At first we may question David’s statement because we seem to lack many good things. This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want. Instead, this is David’s praise for God’s goodness – all those who call upon God in their need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Remember, God knows what we need, and our deepest needs are spiritual. Even though many Christians face unbearable poverty and hardship, they still have enough spiritual nourishment to live for God. David was saying that if you have God, you have all you really need. God is enough.

If you feel you don’t have everything you need, ask: (1) Is this really a need? (2) Is this really good for me? (3) Is this the best time for met to have what I desire? Even if you answer yes to all three questions, God may allow you to go without to help you grow more dependent on him. He may want you to learn that you need HIM more than having your immediate desire met.”

“God promises great blessings to his people, but many of these blessings require active participation. He will set us free from our fears, guard and defend us, show us goodness, supply our needs, listen when we call to him, and redeem us, but we must do our part. We can appropriate his blessings when we trust him; cry out to him; take refuge in him; fear him; refrain from lying; turn from evil, do good, and search for peace; are broken-hearted; and serve him.”

Prairie Chick said...

>>no, what I really need is God.<<

love it. and love the thoughts you shared. I have also been contemplating lately how our society causes us to so easily become caught up in a tumbleweed lifestyle, racing here and there to do things that are supposed to "fulfill" us in one way or another, at the cost of What Matters Most and time to reflect on and invest and be saturated in the Only Thing that can truly fulfill. My ponderings yesterday brought to mind Jeremiah 2:13

"My people have done two evils:
They have turned away from me,
the spring of living water.
And they have dug their own wells,
which are broken wells that cannot hold water."

This might be bold, and I might step on some toes (not here, I think but out in the wider world) but when I hear people say they don't have "time" to spend half an hour in studying the bible I get a little mad inside. We have time for everything that we "make" time for. If we don't HAVE time, we need to MAKE time and that means something else has got to give.

Like Beth Moore has been saying in my ladies bible study, spiritual growth and intimacy with God doesn't happen by accident. It's a result of discipline and focus. If we have enough discipline to brush our teeth on a daily basis, we have what it takes to quiet ourselves and listen to him for even 10 minutes on a daily basis. It's that simple.

Not preaching at you, my friend, because I know you already *get* this and have shared it yourself, just ruminating on my own thoughts of late.

The other thing that I thought yesterday, when I got home from the city and had to turn around and leave for small group 15 minutes later, I desperately wanted to just SIT DOWN with my husband for those 15 minutes. Not try to "catch up with him" while I put groceries away and prattled off instructions to my kids. I asked him if he would rather I sit down with him for those 15 minutes or if he would rather I put the groceries away before I left. He chose me. Sitting down together, with my leg looped over his and just quietly "connecting" eye to eye, heart to heart just filled me up and rejuvenated me. I stopped, I focused, I connected, I was blessed. It would not have been the same just "multi-tasking".

I have come to see that it is the same with my time with God. Yes, I can pray on the go. Yes, I can meditate on this, that or the other truth on the go. And they are necessary practices in the process of living our lives. But they are not enough. They are nothing like those "be still and "know" Me moments. Those Stop. Sit down. Look at me. Show me you want to be with me as much as I want to be with you moments. They are ways to show both my husband and my God that nothing is important enough to keep me from carving out quality time for them.

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 38. This chapter always makes me ruminate on whether I really want to want what I want, or whether I want what God wants. Hezekiah wanted his life to be lengthened. He wasn't happy about being "called away". And yet, when God relented and extended his life, he ended up losing his fervor for God and muddling things up pretty royally in those additional years he was given. I want to want God's will more than my own. I want to have that kind of trust that just is like a child's without the childish fits and tantrums that pout for what "I want". And I want to be the kind of person that wants to be with God more than anything, more than extended life apart from Him.

Denise said...
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Denise said...

Your comments on my "no, I need God" post brought tears to my eyes. I love that your husband 'chose you' and you spent those special 15 minutes together. And you are SO right about taking those few minutes with God in quiet contemplation and connection. That is exactly what I have been struggling to do lately (and WHY is it a struggle?). We need to carve out those moments and MAKE time!

Your other comment had me laughing: "without the childish fits and tantrums that pout for what "I want"." I have also been struggling with this lately, feeling sorry for myself that I have so little time for 'me'. I want to feel good about serving my family but do not want to feel taken for granted. Something to pray about - finding/teaching/learning about balance and respect.

Denise said...

Isaiah 38:19
“Hezekiah spoke of the significance of passing the joy of the Lord from generation to generation. The heritage of our faith has come to us because of faithful men and women who have carried God’s message to us across the centuries. Do you share with your children or other young people the excitement of your relationship with God?”

This is something I REEEEEEALLY need to work on!!!!! I am just not sure how to go about doing this (sadly).

Prairie Chick said...

Nise, your first post and your second post go hand in hand. You are at the point where you are recognizing that taking time for experiencing the joy and connection with the Lord HAS to be a priority. When it becomes that, you will start to build up a reserve of joy and faith and passion from your times with Him and the second (passing that on to your kids) will be the next step. We can't teach our kids what a thriving relationship with Christ looks like if we don't have one ourselves. The first step in passing our faith on to our kids is investing in our faith! And I would go so far (because I know I can, you are always so receptive to my sharing honestly, I love your humble heart) to urge you to take the next step and not just commit to "fit the bible" into your day, but to do what you said and "carve out a time". A sacred time. A sooner rather than later time. Just like we don't leave exercising until 10:00 pm, because we know the more we put things off the more chance there is of stuff crowding in there and pushing it right off our plate.

My friend, I love to see how God is wooing you and how you are so responsive and desirous to grow in intimacy and commitment to Him. It brings joy to my heart and you are near and dear to my heart.

Denise said...

Brings a tear to my eye PC! Thank you so much!!!! I DO need to carve out that special time because here I sit exhausted not giving my best :(

Denise said...

Micah 7: 1-4
“Micah could not find an honest person anywhere in the land. Even today, fair-mindedness (uprightness, honesty, integrity) is difficult to find. Society rationalizes sin, and even believers sometimes compromise Christian principles in order to do what they want. It is easy to convince ourselves that we deserve a few breaks, especially when “everyone else” is doing it. But the standards for honesty come from God, not society. We are to be honest because God is truth, and we are to be like him.”

“Micah understood that if the people would be patient and obedient while they were being punished, God would forgive them and show his goodness again. Punishment does not mean rejection. The people were being punished in order to bring them back to God, not to send them away from him. When you face trials because of your sin, do not be angry with God or afraid that he has rejected you. Instead, turn away from your sin, turn to God, and continue to be patient and obedient.”

Prairie Chick said...

acts 1. the praying for guidance and then drawing straws always kind of brings me up short. It makes me think that they knew that either of those men were "suitable", and there was no one perfect man for the job and the other man wrong, so it was just a matter of tossing a coin. Sometimes I am prone to get my knickers tied up in such a tight knot over stuff that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Seek God, set yourself on a course that recognizes his sovereignty and then move forward trusting that when you acknowledge Him as Lord, the little details will come together one way or the other. That is what sovereignty is God accomplishing His purposes in us and in the world, in spite of ourselves. I love the concept of sovereignty.

Denise said...

Acts 1
Mine says,
“The apostles had to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. They outlined specific criteria for making the choice. After finalists were chosen , the apostles prayed, asking God to guide the selection process. This gives us a good example of how to proceed when we are making important decisions. Set up criteria consistent with the Bible, examine the alternatives, and pray for wisdom and guidance to reach a wise decision.”

Prairie Chick said...

oops, I accidentally read 1 Thess 4 last week. Here are my thoughts;

"...we ask you- *urge* is more like it- that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance." v1


"God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful, as beautiful on the inside as the outside." v7

I love that. It really shows the difference between discipline and legalism. God calls us to order our lives so that they can be balanced and beautiful inside and out. If I am going to have external order, I need to have internal order. If I am going to have internal order, I need to have my priorities in order. If my priorities are in order time with God will be a priority, it's not a legalism anymore than brushing my teeth or eating a meal is legalism. It is essential for my health and life. The spiritual dance. I love that visual.

Denise said...

1 Thess 4: 3
“It is God’s will for you to be holy, but how can you go about doing that? The Bible teaches that holiness is not a state of being that you must manufacture on your own with hard work and good deeds and constant fear of failure. Instead, being made holy occurs in the process of living the Christian life. If you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf, then you are considered holy and complete in God’s eyes. Yet you must continue to learn and grow during your time on earth. The Holy Spirit works in you, conforming you to the image of Christ.”