Friday, March 26, 2010

Day85 A sure footing in life

Psalm 37:31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

Isn't it interesting that God will be active in the life of the righteous more than the wicked.

When God refers to the wicked he is not actively working for their ruination, they do it to themselves. It is a natural consequence of not following God's laws.

And God still provides rain and sunshine to both, but maybe He also gives a "heads up" to those with their heads up and focused on HIM!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 81 The fight that was left to the children - some legacy!

The spies came back with the good fruit from Canaan.
They reported that they fulfilled their mission.
Their mission was Number 13v 18-20
"See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in?
Is it good or bad?
What kind of towns do they live in?
Are they unwalled or fortified?
How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor?
Are there trees in it or not?
Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land." (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

Moses asked about the people, agriculture - quality of the land,industry of the towns and its defences. and come home with an example of the produce. They done a pretty good job in executing the executive order it took them 40 days.- but they carried their attitude of pessimism with them.
Previously in Numbers 11:4 "The rabble with them began to crave other food" V10 "Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled". The rabble infiltrated the thoughts and attitudes of the whole nation (v21 six hundred thousand men on foot) so that every family was affected. Then we have just read about Aaron and Miriam grumbling against Moses.

The twelve who went out only two had anything positive to say about their abilities. Their attitude disabled their abilities to take the land.

And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

Exaggeration of perception on their size led to exaggeration of the opposition's also. The Israelites seen themselves as grasshoppers "and we looked the same to them". Apparently they could now read minds! When we get like them and become overwhelmed a renewing of the mind needs to take place not guessing at what is in other people's minds.

40 days exploration led to inaccurate assessment of Gods ability, which led to 40 years of walking in circles and the next generation still having to fight the battle their forefathers should have won.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 42 Two people who turned their backs on Jesus

Matt 26 & 27 Peter and Judas
Peter denies knowing Jesus and when the rooster crowed thrice, "he went outside and wept bitterly". The reality of denying Jesus hit him between the eyes and pierced his heart. He felt dejected as he rejected Jesus. His was a spur of the moment, not knowing what to think - under pressure type rejection the night when Jesus is arrested.

Judas, his was a more thought out plan. He began plotting before the passover meal, just after the woman with the alabaster box broke the perfume on Jesus's feet. The disciples were indignant and Judas takes the emotion of the disciples and goes to the chief priests to conspire against Jesus, for a price of course. Was his thought process spurred on by the popular opinion of Jesus and he found a way to capitalize on this and get some money as well? We will never know.

Matt 27 3-5 "When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "

Judas had a very narrow view of what the Jews would do with Jesus. What did he expect to happen? Unfortunately, he couldn't retract his betrayal. The chief priests used his sense of remorse to remove their complicity and responsibility in all that was to happen to Jesus. His exaggerated sense of responsibility led him to hang himself - hopeless with no way out. The chief priests played a shrewd game with Judas. As Pilate later washed his hands of the blood of Jesus, here the chief priests do exactly the same using Judas's greed as their way out.

"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility." How many of us have heard and believed a similar lie? We do something that is questionable, something we are not proud of and those who encouraged us in the wrong path - point the finger and there we are, Guilty as charged, and we condemn ourselves to hopelessness for a life time.

Peter found that Jesus was forgiving and merciful, Judas was not that fortunate and ended his hope of a resurrection to life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29 Burdens

Matt 20 :12 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

the people who have work have a productive burden - and hope with $$ at the end of their day.
the people who wait wanting work have the bigger burden and no hope or wages at the end of their day

The guys who worked only an hour were made equal to the guys who carried the burden of work all day. I would say that in the period of not having work, their burden was greater.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28 Do we get eternal life or enter it?

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

The man obviously didn't know what he was asking?
Jesus split the conversation into two 1, Goodness and 2. entering eternal life.
There is nothing we can do that is good.
God is the only one who is good, "all our righteousness are as filthy rags" Isaiah reminds us.

There is no "getting" of eternal life, it is "entered". Now that's profound. Plenty to think about.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 25 Whatever ...happens in our week

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Paul adds the last word, "Finally" but really its the beginning of everything..

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22 Being offended

"Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

Matt 15:10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into your mouth does not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, that is what defiles you."

Its interesting that what they heard offended them, not what Jesus said.

How many times do we hear people being offended because they were told the truth?

Big distinction!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21 The shopping trip that ended in slavery.

Gen 41:51-57 Here are two aspects of prosperity recorded in the names of Joseph's sons.

Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said,"It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." The second son he named Ephraim and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

When life goes well, we feel great and no burden is too great to bear. That is level one. The next step is to "produce" something, knowing that ones endeavours are making progress gives us hope for a better outcome and keeps us going.

Joseph also knew that 7 years of famine was around the corner, but he didn't focus on that in his family life. He enjoyed the children and seen them as the hope through his hardships in his past. Famines generally don't last forever, his life was still fruitful in the face of famine.

Joseph done all he could to prepare for the famine, interpreting the dreams - the sign of the times- connecting with those in authority to implement a plan, execute and administer the plan.

The famine had serious ongoing consequences for the common people, eventually they were indebted to the government and sold themselves into slavery for survival...

Be careful what we buy into may possess us tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

day 20 Basketfuls of left overs.

Matt 14. Feeding the 5 thousand

I wonder where they got the baskets from? the story gives the impression that people followed Jesus without much thought for food shelter etc. would people naturally have baskets with them on a whim?
I found it odd.

Jesus didn't have time to mourn the loss of his cousin, John the Baptist. John's disciples were in need of a shepherd and now naturally turned to follow Jesus. In Jesus bereavement, he has compassion on the people and feeds them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gen 34 seizing what's not our ours

The rape of Dinah and the offer to the Israelites to live among the hivites tribe were of a similar nature. To possess what is not rightfully yours. Hamor sold the elders on the idea of circumcision...I can't imagine what they were thinking. The attraction of gaining their livestock Hamor's son they "coveted their neighbours goods" That was a commandment in the making!

22 But the men will agree to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. 23 Won't their livestock, their property and all their other animals become ours? So let us agree to their terms, and they will settle among us."

They paid the price with their lives as circumcision turns to slaughter.

day 17 Kingdom knowledge Matt 12 & 13

"The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

You can't hear the voice of heaven with your ears or see with your eyes.
You hear and see with your heart!

For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Isaiah 11:2-4
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -

3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Heaven has to be our heartbeat before we see and hear the spiritual.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 11 Compassion on the lost

Matt 9:14ff When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Cassy is a young woman from church beginning her ministry today in YWAM in Cambodia to girls and women caught up in the slave trade for prostitution. We tend to forget that slavery is still a real force in the world today.

May the word of life, nourish her soul and the souls she ministers to.
May they receive the living water that Jesus offers them today. Amen

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 10 son of a servant, a nation also

I will make the son of the servant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."

This gives us a background into middle eastern politics

Proverbs 30:21 "Under three things the earth trembles,under four it cannot bear up:
22& 23 a servant who becomes king,..... and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.

When a servant nation tries to usurp the nation that was originally intended to live and lead in a certain geographical place - there will be trouble.

Sarah did more than meddle in the affairs (pun intended!) of her family, she meddled in international affairs for thousands of years after.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 9 Building Foundations

Jesus has told us that information alone will not make the difference we are seeking.
Transformation takes the promises of God, practice and - - perspiration!

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Albert Eistein

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8 Self Value/ Self Worth

Matt 6:25-27Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Are you not much more valuable than they?
Self esteem is how you appraise your self worth. We hear about low self esteem and all the issues that arise from that.

When we worry, we generally muse over something we have little control. I came across this saying that “Worry is like a rocking chair--it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.”
We can choose to believe that we are of worth to God and build our confidence on that. Remember, No body else's opinion of us is our business!

Your Heavenly Father is nearer to you than you think today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 7 Love your enemies

I heard a humorous story once about a troubled man going to his pastor about his wife. He asked the pastor what he should do with her. The pastor told him the scriptures say he should "love his wife" and see what happens, the man wasn't happy with that."I don't think I can do that, do you have another scripture I can use? " The pastor said "Sure, scripture also says to "love your neighbour" can you do that? "That's not going to work either", the man replied. "Have you got another one?" "Oh yes", said the pastor, with a twinkle in his eye "Love your enemies" !!

Matt 5:43-48
I often wonder at what Jesus means by these teachings, turn the other cheek, praying for those who persecute you etc. This morning when I read this passage, I believe the key is "what are you doing more than others?"
Jesus tells us that the Father ..."causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous'.
He can be generous and impartial on how he lets people enjoy His creation "His sun" to shine.
We can show we are part of the Father's family by emulating His character and goodness to others deserving or not.

The powerful aspect is doing the "something" that is unexpected, Kindness does have a way of speaking to the heart of the matter where shouting, ranting and raving just closes the door to communication.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 6 When Salt becomes Sand

Salt is a cleansing agent, when we loose that effect on those around us we are no more use than sand - an agent of irritation!

Day 6 The be- attitudes

I also like these ones
Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in!
Blessed are the balanced for they shall out live the rest!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4 Temptations Matt 4:1-22

What are we hungry for? Meaning, what will be used to tempt you.
That is why "contentment with godliness is great gain'!

The devil tried to get Jesus focus on himself and his needs, Jesus was fasting and he was hungry The devil challenges Jesus to "majic" up some bread based on his relationship with the Father.
Jesus's reply focused on the needs of the people not on his need of food.'People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'

v5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
The devil takes Jesus to Church! Now that is not what we would expect.The devil quotes scripture at Jesus and wants him to test it. see Psalm 91:11,12
Again Jesus will not be cornered into thinking about himself and looks to the character of God."Do not put the Lord your God to the test". Isn't it interesting that Jesus tells Satan that the Lord is still his God. The devil remains subject to God whether he likes it or not.

v8 "The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor" Jesus was going to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was the devil showing Jesus a shortcut, a way to side step the cross?
Jesus reply was "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

The devil gets us to focus on ourselves, demand what God can or should do for us because scripture says so, and provides a means to side step the will of God in our lives.

Jesus ends the conversation with "Away from me, Satan!

We also are instructed to "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you". James 4:7

Have a great day

We can also expect that the devil will leave you and then heaven's resources come to your aid.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3 Emotions rule if we don't rule over them.

I wonder what triggered Cain, sure he was sullen and downcast at his offering being rejected by God, who wouldn't be?

God probes deeper into Cain and sees that his being downcast will give birth to death of another. The warning is that it desires to lay hold on him, "but you must rule over it" is the warning. He has the capacity to overcome it before it consumes him. I am reminded of two prayers in Psalms.

Psalm 19:13
"Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression".

Psalm 119: 133
"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me".

I must admit, I could be a little cheerier today, I do have alot to be grateful for and I appreciate my family and all the aspects of life that are going well. but I am a little disgruntled today. I have tried to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but I got a sore back - that didn't work! one way or another I must "rule over" this state of being or the "Shalom" of the house will begin to break down.

Maybe all that's needed is a 20 min. nap and wake up renewed! A new attitude.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2 Adam and Eve: A new reality

A new reality, knowing good and evil; a new relationship, from being one with each other, when Adam calls his suitable helper "woman" to being named Eve - the mother of all living.

There is a major shift in their relationship caused by deception which led to difficulty in childbirth, and now we have a disparity in the relationship between men and women for all time.
They no longer treat each other as equal in the natural course of life.

Gen2:16 To the woman he said,
"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

2:17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return."

2:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove them out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Difficulty, disease and distrust was their new reality.

It can only get better from that!