Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

God reminded me at the UT football game that I can't look at things as they are. Can't evaluate what I see with my own eyes. I must look to HIM who is UNSEEN. Matt 6:6 says pray to Him Who is unseen. 2 Cor 4:18 Fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. I learned a precious truth at that game (it's in the next post) that I can't make decisions by what I see.

There are so many verses that jumped off the pages as we read the chronological Bible this week. But here are a few that linger with me in my melancholy mood this morning.

DO I KNOW THAT MY GOD IS COMMITTED TO MY DEEPEST JOY... Esther 8:17 Know that God grants seasons of favor for His people in order to extend His Kingdom not for our personal benefit. God is not committed to my comfort but HE is committed to my deepest joy. Esther "loved not her life" and gave herself to fasting and prayer "to break the powers that be." Invited to touch the "scepter" and, this day, we are invited to touch the "hem."



AM I EXCHANGING MY GLORY FOR STUFF?
Psalm 106:20 so lingered with me---they exchanged their glory for worthless stuff. Made me think how we exchange the glory of God in our lives every day for other passions. What rules our heart this day? And verse 21 says, they forgot the God who saved them, the One Who did great things for them. But even in that, God took notice of their distress, our distress, when He heard our cries. Whatever tears have rolled down your cheek this week, they are noticed. Out of His Great Love, He relents. It's not about us doing all the right things to get HIM to move and make something happen. It's all about staying connected to HIM and exchanging our lives for eternal things.

DO YOU KNOW GOD'S HAND IS ON YOUR LIFE?
Ezra spoke several times about the gracious hand of his God on them all 7:27 and 8:18 and 8:31. I don’t know what it is about hearing that God’s Hand is on me, but it so touches me in deep places to know it is. So what did Ezra say when he realized God’s Hand was on him??? I will proclaim a fast (8:21) so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. In verse 22, Ezra said he was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect them from their enemies.” So in v. 23, it says: we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. God is stirring in my heart a desire to go to Him for protection and help in all my needs. I have a huge need in my life today and with tears rolling down my cheeks, I won’t call anyone this morning—I’ll leave it on His lap. Let God help me, not man.


WILL YOU SEND YOUR WORD TO HEAL US, O GOD?
Psalm 107:14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom, and broke away their chains. When Christ invaded my life a few decades ago, I was in such darkness and Light came through. A couple years ago, I was in such deep gloom and again God broke away the chains. I love verse 20, He sent forth his word and healed us! And one word he sent me at that time was Psalm 107: 28-30 through Patty. She never knew how her words sunk deep into my soul. Tonight, when I read them in this reading, God’s Presence was so real. He sent His Word again tonight to say that when I cried out to him in my trouble, He brought me out of distress. He stilled my storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.


WHAT DO I DO WITH THE WORD OF GOD?
What lingers with me from reading Psalm 119: Verse 11 I have hidden your word in my heart and verse 18, I will not neglect your word. Verse 49 "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope." I hold such hope in my heart this morning even in the midst of what I face.

DO I VIEW SUFFERING AND PAIN as MY ENEMY or FRIEND?
Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your Word.

WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Nehemiah 2:5 - the King asked Nehemiah: "What do you want?" I want to rebuild the city. What passion rules our heart this day? Do we want to rebuild the lives of our friends and lovers who have piled up messes? Nehemiah says in 1:4 that when he heard what had happened to the people, he sat down and wept and mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven to let His ear be attentive. Like Esther, Nehemiah believed his words could make a difference and change God's mind. He even confessed the people's sin and his own sin. What do we want this day? Just listen to your prayers. Confess what's off track. The God of Heaven is listening.

God, would you let your ears be attentive and eyes open to hear what my friends say this very day and act in their behalf.

6 comments:

annie's eyes 9/22/2008  

The king asked Nehemiah, What do you want? and Nehemiah prayed before he spoke. Where am I offtrack? I have prayed and prayed over this one this weekend, as something huge has come to light and it is totally not who I desire to be in HIm. First, I confess. Then I grieve the loss. Then I praise the freedom of forgiveness.--not there yet, but know He is where I find that peace. I receive your prayer for God to act on our behalf as I also pray the same for you. Love and much blessing, Bev, in your goings and comings. May He alone sustain. Love, Annette

Michelle V 9/22/2008  

I was also touched by the verse you mentioned in Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your word. Sometimes life is painful but in those times we are drawn closer to Him.

Blessings
Michelle

Mary Lou 9/22/2008  

If it wasn't for affliction/trials I would not be as close to Him as I am nor would my faith have grown, nor would I have known that I could trust my faith in Him. I am thankful for the afflictions/trials and praise Him for allowing them in my life. He has fixed me where I really don't have any one to call first.....I am forced to call on Him before I call "man". It is so tempting and so desiring to have a voice that responds back to us. I know exactly where you are coming from. I have prayed for the situation involving your daughter's time in college, that is all I will say of that. Praying that is working out.

Shonda 9/22/2008  

Bev,
Psalm 119:71 stood out to me too. I am now grateful for the afflictions and hard times I faced as I am closer to the Lord. I try to keep things in a spiritual perspective, but doesnt always work as pain hurts. But HE is able and by HIS grace. Just love your heart and to read what spoke to you. I learn so much. Much love to you!

BTW-thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Nehemiah's persistence on accomplishing God's call encouraged me to press on with what the Lord has for me.

Engrafted by His Grace-
Shonda

Laura 9/22/2008  

Knowing God's hand is in my life and that He is committed to my deepest joy has been a challenge lately. I KNOW this in my head, but am having trouble feeling it in my heart. Thanks for reminding me, Bev.
keeping my eyes fixed on the unseen...

Ang baylis 9/23/2008  

Hi, Bev! I learn so much from you all who do the Cover to Cover. You encourage me to read when I don't want to. I get so tempted to quit every single week, but I can't. Thank you seems so weak. I really want to THANK YOU for hosting this. You have blessed me so much. I want to tell you that I admire you so much for going straight to God this week instead of man. You are such a wise woman. Thank you for reminding me that when the tears rolled down my face, that His hand is on it. I'm glad I had no other choice but go to God, especially this week! He stilled my storm to a whisper... such beautiful Words! I love you, Bev! Thanks for your obedience and for being my friend!
Angie xoxo

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.

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