Tag: read

Apr 8 Back to You

american-flag-1272115_640Father, like the Israelites, we have put You to the test.  Even as Believers, we have rebelled against You.  We pick and choose how we obey You, discounting some things claiming they were written for another time.  Or that the meaning was different so long ago.

We have placed greater importance on other things, like sports, fame, money, youth, rather than on worshipping You, the One True God, the Most High, who is deserving of all of our praise.

Do not reject us O God.  Do not abandon us.  But show us the error of our ways. Teach us to walk rightly again and make wise decisions that honor You.

Use these stressful times we live in to turn us back to a closer relationship with You.  Help me give You the place in my life that You deserve.

Remind me in this time of being at home, to make time to read Your word so it can guide and encourage me.  Help me set aside time to actually pray, for myself, my family, my neighbors, my church, my state, my country and the world.  And to listen for Your response to my prayers.

Train my ear to hear Your voice so I receive Your direction, Your wisdom, Your love, Your peace.  Open my eyes to see the real and tangible blessings You have placed in my life.

Turn our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our lives back to You.  Amen

Psalm 78:56-64

Apr 7 Your Strength, Your Courage

“Be strong and courageous.”  Lend me Your strength when I am weak.  Let me draw on Your power to accomplish all that You direct me to do.

Father, how do I appropriate Your strength and Your courage for myself?

wordsarmsoutstretchedskyThese are some things that have helped me:

1 – Read Your Word

Even sitting at my computer, I have made a little flip book of 4×6 cards, each with an encouraging scripture.  And I carry one in my bag wherever I go.  It lightens my load to flip through them occasionally or just have one open for me to see.  I have typed in my name so they’re like personal messages from You to me.

“Do not fear Laura, for I am with you; do not be afraid for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

2 – Be obedient to Your Word

For instance – Today’s Proverb says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in those who tell the truth.”  So I need to speak honestly and tell the truth.  To be obedient to Your commands.

If You call me to a place of danger, if I am there by Your invitation, it is the safest place on earth I can be.  There is protection in simply being where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing.

3 – Remembering Your faithfulness in the past

Father, so many times You have protected me and helped me through hardships.  Recalling those times from the past helps me trust You more now, and be strong in the face of trouble.

I only journal sporadically, but once made a time line of how You had impacted my life at crucial points.

With my aging memory, it helps to see those times written down.  They confirm Your faithfulness to me.

4 – Watch for courage in others

You have put people in my life who are living examples of how to get through difficulties.

I can watch and learn what encourages and strengthens them.  Some are in the midst of troubles right now.  Some have already come through a hard time.

5 – Trust that You are WITH me!

You promise Your presence: The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So when I am feeling weak I will remember that You are with me, and all the times You protected me and brought me through hardship in the past.  I will look to Your Word and do what it says, and to the people around me who are examples of courage and strength.

Thank You for Your abundant and everlasting provision!  I will draw on that.  Amen

Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Proverbs 12:22

Oct 31 Don’t drift away

Father, Paul reminds the Hebrews of something I need to remember too:  “We must pay more attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

lake-mcdonald-948765_640 “What we have heard” is the Bible.

Here’s one way to picture it:

Your Word is a dock, and I am a small boat. 

If I tie my rope to the dock, I will not drift, or be carried away by currents or by storms.  

To “pay attention”  I need to recognize where I can tie up, and then to “not drift away” I must actually tie there.  So I need to understand, and act on Your Word.

To understand I need to read slowly, carefully to see the characters, the action, the meaning; and also not take Your Word out of context. I need to see what the author is saying and to whom.

Next, I must act on what it says to me by asking questions as I read Your Word; such as: 

Is this giving me an example of what to do?  Of what not to do? 

Is it a warning to heed? 

Is it teaching me something about You I need to know?  Or About myself? 

Do my motives, attitudes, or relationships need changing?

rope-1305658_640Lord, help me pay better attention to Your Word.   

Show me how to apply it to my life. 

Teach me how to follow through on what You tell me. Amen

Hebrews 2:1-4

Oct 19 God Speaks!

person-woman-smartphone-callingFather, You invite me to Call to You and You will tell me great and unsearchable things I do not know.  Lord, I do call on You.  For there is so much I do not know!

Father, help me understand more of Your Word.

I have studied long and hard to answer the questions:  What does scripture say?  What does it mean?  What does it mean to me?  I have

looked up definitions of words used in the original Hebrew and Greek

made lists of key words, comparisons and contrasts, people, places, events

examined cross-references to see where words, phrases and concepts are used elsewhere in scripture

read about cultural, political, geographical, and literary contexts to get a better sense of background

read the same passage in different translations

looked for and assessed where symbolism is used in addition to the literal meaning

These studies have brought me much understanding and clarity, and changed the way I look at, value, and am amazed by Your precious Word.

Other times I have simply read Your Word, and feel as if You are speaking just to me, so clearly, and so intimately.  Father, keep speaking!  Use it all to make clear Your love for me, Your purpose for me, Your plan for my life.  Let me see where You are working, and how I can join in with You.

I feel close to You when I get in touch with Your creation.  When I see the colors of the leaves change, I marvel at the beauty, and how You make seasons for me that each have an attraction that I love.

When I see the mountains, I envision Your grandeur and strength.

As I watch the ocean, I am awed by You immenseness.  And by the absolute endless nature of one wave after another.  It is mesmerizing, comforting.

Your power is often unseen, but strong and mighty.  All I experience, seen and unseen teaches me more about You.  Continue to speak to me through Your marvelous creation.

And yet I don’t’ understand

how to use the gifts and talents and traits You have placed in me to glorify You

how to overcome the obstacles of my flesh and the world and the evil one

how to keep my temper and not let irritability get the better of me

how to be loving and compassionate when annoyed and frustrated

how to live every day to honor You in the midst of today’s challenges and struggles

Father, teach me, show me, help me.  I call to You.  As You answer me, reveal more and more great and unsearchable things.  Amen

Jeremiah 33:3

July 29 Be Transformed

Father, I see this list of admonitions of how to live a godly life, and it shows how much room I have for improvement.  The truth is, I can’t even do one of them without You!  It is only in experiencing Your grace that I can be gracious to others.

door-672999_640

Forgive me Father, when I “think of myself more highly than I ought.”  With the advertising slogans of today it’s easy to become focused on self, and what I “deserve” to have.  It puffs me up, making it hard to “honor one another above yourselves.”   I find myself feeling proud and entitled.

Lord, turn me around when this happens.  Help me see my behavior through Your eyes.  Remind me to “share with Your people who are in need” and “practice hospitality.”  Show me how to “live in harmony with others”, and “as much as I can, to be at peace with them.”

That may mean giving up what I perceive as some of my “rights” and saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” when I am in the wrong.  I realize that I hate being wrong; and even worse, I hate to admit it.  How can I change the way I am, Lord?

It has to come from You.  But I can do my part.  You challenge me, no, You command me: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The pattern of this world is selfishness, egotism, greed, if you want it – get it, or if it feels good – do it.  And I need to be more than a non-conformer.  I need to be a Transformer!

How?

I can be transformed by spending time with You in prayer.  Hearing from You can redirect my focus, rewrite my priorities.

I can have my worldview reshaped by reading Your Word.  The Bible tells me how to gain Your perspective and consider eternity rather than just my immediate concerns.

The way I think affects the way I act.  So if I think on things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy – I will act accordingly.

Thank You Father for showing me the way.  For inspiring me to achieve.  For helping me accomplish.  I desire to be all You created me to be, and to receive all that You have for me.

Today, help me see one thing I can change and help me do it.  Amen

Romans12:1-21; Philippians 4:8

April 8 Back to You

american-flag-1272115_640

Father, like the Israelites, we have put You to the test.  Even as Believers, we have rebelled against You.  We pick and choose how we obey You, discounting some things claiming they were written for another time.  Or that the meaning was different so long ago.

We have placed greater importance on other things, like sports, fame, money, youth, rather than on worshipping the One True God, the Most High, who is deserving of all of our praise.

Do not reject us O God.  Do not abandon us.  But show us the error of our ways. Teach us to walk rightly again and make wise decisions that honor You.

Use these stressful times of crisis in our lives to turn us back to a closer relationship with You.  Help me give You the place in my life that You deserve.

Remind me in this time of being at home, to make time to read Your word so it can guide and encourage me.  Help me set aside time to actually pray, for myself, my family, my neighbors, my church, my state, my country and the world.  And to listen for Your response to my prayers.

Train my ear to hear Your voice so I receive Your direction, Your wisdom, Your love, Your peace.  Open my eyes to see the real and tangible blessings You have placed in my life in my life.

Turn our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our lives back to You.  Amen

Psalm 78:56-64

April 7 Your strength, Your courage

“Be strong and courageous.”  Father, how do I appropriate Your strength for myself?

The days are full of stress and fear; and I feel weak and overwhelmed.

wordsarmsoutstretchedskyI want to draw on Your power and help others find their strength in You also.

These are some things that have helped me:

1 – Read Your Word

Even sitting at my computer, I have made a little flip book of 4×6 cards, each with an encouraging scripture.  And I carry one in my bag wherever I go.  It lightens my load to flip through them occasionally or just have one open for me to see.  I have typed in my name so they’re like personal messages from You to me.

“Do not fear Laura, for I am with you; do not be afraid for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

2 – Be obedient to Your Word

Today’s Proverb says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in those who tell the truth.”  So I need to speak honestly and tell the truth.  To be obedient to Your commands.

If You call me to a place of danger, if I am there by Your invitation, it is the safest place on earth I can be.  There is protection in simply being where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing.

3 – Remembering Your faithfulness in the past

Father, so many times You have protected me and helped me through hardships.  Recalling those times from the past helps me trust You more now, and be strong in the face of trouble.

I only journal sporadically, but once made a time line of how You had impacted my life at crucial points.

With my aging memory, it helps to see those times written down.  They confirm Your faithfulness to me.

4 – Watch for courage in others

You have put people in my life who are living examples of how to get through difficulties.

I can watch and learn what encourages and strengthens them.  Some are in the midst of troubles right now.  Some have already come through a hard time.

 5 – Trust that You are WITH me!

You promise Your presence: “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

So when I am feeling weak I will remember that You are with me, and all the times You protected me and brought me through hardship in the past.  I will look to Your Word, and to the people around me who are examples of courage and strength.

Thank You for Your abundant and everlasting provision!  I will draw on that.  Amen

Deuteronomy 31:1-8; Proverbs 12:22

Nov 22 Teach me Application

What an amazing Psalm is the 119th Psalm!  It is the longest Psalm.  It has more verses than 14 Old Testament books and 17 New Testament books.

hand on BibleWithin it is found the verse that lies in the very center of Scripture – halfway between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.

This Psalm was constructed with twenty-two stanzas, each beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew Alephbet.  And within each stanza, each of the eight verses begin with the letter of the stanza.

In almost every verse, there is a word that describes Your teaching: Word, law, commands, statues, decrees, precepts.  And almost each one teaches how to handle Your Word or be led and taught by it.

It is said that King David used this Psalm to teach his young son, Solomon the Alephbet.  It represented all the letters, but also illustrated spiritual truth of how to live a godly life.  So as I read it, Father, I also pray these verses as a guide for living according to Your Word.

“I will obey Your Word.  Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law…do not hide Your commands from me.”  Help me see beyond the Words to the meaning You have for these Words in my life.  Show me marvelous things that deepen my devotion to You 

 “…Teach me Your decrees.  Let me understand the teaching of Your precepts; then I will meditate on Your wonders…strengthen me according to Your Word.” 

Father, beyond word studies and context references, reveal deeper meanings to me through Your Holy Spirit.   Show me how to be sensitive to the timing and teaching You use to increase my awareness and discernment so I can apply it to the circumstances of my life.

Understanding Your Word brings me strength!  What an awesome gift!

Father, I choose Your truth and obedience to Your laws.  “I set my heart on Your laws.  I hold fast to Your statutes.“  “Be gracious to me… and do not let me be put to shame.”

I would rather You take my life than allow me to dishonor You.  I am Your servant.  You are my Master.   It is only by Your mercy and Your Word that I have life.  Amen

Psalm 119:17-32

Apr 7 Your strength, Your courage

Several times today the words “Be strong and courageous” appear.  O Lord, make me strong and courageous!  Lend me Your strength when I am weak.  Let me draw on Your power to accomplish all that You direct me to do.

How do I appropriate Your strength?

wordsarmsoutstretchedskyReading Your Word is a good start.  It is encouraging just to read Your words that sit by my computer today – “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

I have made a little flip book of 4×6 cards with encouraging scriptures.  It lightens my load to flip through them occasionally, or just having them sit out, open to a verse.   They are like personal messages from You to me.

It also helps to know I am being obedient to what Your Word says to do.

There is protection in simply being where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing.  Even if You are calling me to a place of danger, if I am there by Your invitation, it is the safest place on earth I can be.

Father, so many times You have protected me and helped me through hardships.  Recalling those times from the past helps me trust You more now, and be strong in the face of trouble.  I only journal sporadically, but once made a time line of how You had impacted my life at crucial points.

With my aging memory, it helps to see those times written down.  They confirm Your faithfulness to me.

And You have put people in my life who I can observe being courageous with their own challenges.  Some are in the midst of them right now.  Some have already come through a hard time.  I can watch and learn what encourages them.

They are living examples of how to get through difficulties.  Some have even leaned on me.  And when I need to, I can lean on them.

So You give me Your Word.  You protect me wherever You call me to be.  You Help me remember Your faithfulness in the past.  You put helping relationships in my life.

And most importantly, You promise Your presence:  “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Thank You for Your abundant and everlasting provision.  Amen

Deuteronomy 31:1-23

 

 

Dec 9 Blessed is he who reads and hears and heeds

trumpeter-921677_1280Father, I believe “the Day of the Lord is coming.  It is close at hand…” You gave Daniel  dreams about the end times.  You showed Ezekiel, and now Joel and John.  All these prophets heard from You at different times, yet the message was the same.  The time has come to “Blow the trumpet…sound the alarm…”

I do not pretend to know the day or time, but I know that each day that goes by is one day closer.  It will be the end of everything known: the earth, the sun, moon and stars.  But there is still time.

You desire that all people will ”return to You with all [their] heart.”   Amazing things will happen.  There will be spiritual signs, “wonders in the heavens” and many will be saved – everyone who calls on You.  And there will be a new day, with blessings for Your people.  And You will avenge.

John writes that You will bless everyone who “reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it…”  In John’s Revelation, he saw with great detail: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

And John was also given the interpretation of the meaning of what he saw.   And all this was to be passed on to the seven churches so believers would know what was and what is and what is to come.

Proverbs tells me that “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”   And this IS revelation!

Father, let me read and hear and heed what You share here and in the whole of Your Word!  Do not let me “cast off restraint” and walk in the way of the world.  But let me sound the alarm to call people’s attention to Your wisdom, Your Word, and the blessing You want to give to all:  salvation and eternal life with You!

The alternative is still eternal life, but separated from You.  Vengeance is Yours.  And You will avenge when the end comes.  You are allowing time so all may come to You.  And You have sent Your Word so all can know.  I pray that all will “hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”  Amen

Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Proverbs 29:18

Dec 9 Blessed is he who reads and hears and heeds

trumpeter-921677_1280Father, I believe “the Day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand…”. You gave Daniel dreams about the end times. You showed Ezekiel, and now Joel and John. All these prophets heard from You at different times, yet the message was the same. The time has come to “Blow the trumpet…sound the alarm…”.

I do not pretend to know the day or time, but I know that each day that goes by, is one day closer. It will be the end of everything known: the earth, the sun, moon and stars. But there is still time. You desire that all people will ”return to You with all [their] heart”.   Amazing things will happen. There will be spiritual signs, “wonders in the heavens” and many will be saved – everyone who calls on You. And there will be a new day, with blessings for Your people. And You will avenge.

John writes that You will bless everyone who “reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it…” In John’s Revelation, he not only saw with great detail: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” but was also given the interpretation of the meaning of what he saw. And all this was to be passed on to the seven churches so believers would know what was and what is and what is to come.

Proverbs tells me that “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction”.   And right here, You are giving a revelation!   Father, let me read and hear and heed what You have given here and in the whole of Your Word! Do not let me “cast off restraint” and walk in the way of the world. But let me sound the alarm to call people’s attention to Your wisdom, Your Word, and the blessing You want to give to all: salvation and eternal life with You! For the alternative is still eternal life, but separated from You. Vengeance is Yours. And You will avenge when the end comes. You are allowing time so all may come to You. And You have sent Your Word so all can know. I pray that all will “hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Amen

Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Proverbs 29:18

Apr 21 Obey Your Word, Walk in Your Presence

ljqedqamani-ben-white

In today’s scripture, You give two passages that tell me how to be blessed. I acknowledge and desire to follow those instructions.

Lord, help me “be very strong; to be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. I will not associate with those who do not follow You by invoking the names of their gods or swear by them. I will not serve them or bow down to them. I will hold fast to You.”

Lord, I can only be careful to obey Your Word if I know Your Word. So I will read it and study to understand it. I will pray and ask for understanding when I am confused or in doubt. I will not ever call upon the names of other gods, because there is no other God but You. There is none like You. There is no other name under heaven by which I am saved. Your power alone created the universe. I will worship You alone, and seek Your direction and wisdom for my life.

The next passage tells me “blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence”.   Father, I give glory to Your name only, because of who You are and what You have done. You are Most Holy God. You are all-powerful and all-knowing. You created the heavens and the earth. You created man and set him in this place to have fellowship with You. When he broke that fellowship by sinning, You made a way of reconciling man to You: through Your blood on the cross. And because I accept that gift I can walk in the light of Your presence once again.

The light of Your presence is where truth is revealed, nothing is hidden, nothing is feared. Your presence dispels darkness. To be present with You is to talk with You and listen to You – Your responses in prayer, in Your Word and through the Holy Spirit. It is to rest in You, fearing nothing.

So I rejoice in Your name. I trust in Your righteousness. You are my protection, my King, the Holy One. And I am blessed. Amen

Joshua 22:21-23:8; Psalm 89:14-18