October 6 “Stung by jellyfish” & LINKUP

Nemo & Dorie swimming through jellyfish

God says He’ll complete the work He has begun in us (Phil. 1.6), but we often suffer unnecessarily in the process. Like Nemo and Dorie in the movie Finding Nemo, we ignore God’s instructions and end up “swimming through schools of jellyfish.” Like the fishy pair, we survive, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain!

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 63 & 64
Psalm 115.14-18
Proverbs 26.27
Philippians 1.1-30

Well, we have completed reading the book of Ephesians and tomorrow we’ll finish the book of Isaiah. Just three more months and we’ll be through the entire Bible.

On to today’s reading …

 

Isaiah 63 & 64:

Filthy rags

Chapter 64 contains the following passage:

4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

This passage speaks of the greatness of our God and our universal need for salvation. We are like an “unclean thing.” All our righteousness, all our good deeds, all our attempts at trying to save ourselves or earn God’s approval are like filthy rags (I understand the actual wording lends itself to mean “menstrual rags”). We are unclean by nature, sinners from the womb.

cross, lightBut God …

Do you realize that the Bible is all one big “but God”? But God who is rich in mercy, who knows what we are, chose to die in our place!

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5.21).

That’s reason to shout!

 

Psalm 115.14-18:

To die is gain, but only in God’s timing Continue reading

February 3 “Handling difficult people & parenting difficult children”

Little girl and puppy

How do you handle difficult people? Do you respond with sinful anger and frustration or do you respond as Moses did? What about parenting difficult children?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 17 & 18
Psalm 18:28-36
Proverbs 6:16-19
Matthew 22:1-22

Exodus 17 & 18:

Handling difficult people

What a group these Israelites were! Again they turn on Moses. Even though they were being led by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, instead of turning to God in prayer, they blame Moses for their thirst. His response is to go straight to God and again God meets their need supernaturally.

What do you do when faced with difficult people? Continue reading