Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joshua 5:13-15

13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”

At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.

In those days, it was easier to see God at work and to hear His message. God sent angels down to relay the messages and people were awe struck in wonder at what they saw. Today God whispers to me gently in the quiet of our time together and when I know that it is God speaking, I too stand in awe that I am deemed worthy.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

1 Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. 2 So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. 3 But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.

What would life be without suffering? Would we even know how to enjoy the good things if that was all we were given? My hard times are nothing compared to what others are going through right now, but I appreciate those times because they help me to enjoy the good gifts of my Father in heaven even more.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

My life can feel like a roller coaster at times. I ride through the low times and climb up out of them with excitement for the high times ahead. I forget that the high times always come before the crazy ride back to the low times. No matter where I am on this ride of life, God is there with me and we can enjoy the ride together.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ecclesiastes 2:9-11

9 So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

Reading these verses reminds me of Jesus' words, "Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:20) There is no real point in trying to work hard for things that are temporary in a life that will not last. Instead I will strive to make a difference for the kingdom of God which is eternal.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ecclesiastes 1:2-10

2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

Life is cyclical. There are times of joy, peace and rest. There are times of darkness, pain and trial. It is good to know that my Father in heaven has lived this life and been through it all. Jesus has set the example for us to follow all the way home.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Malachi 3:1-5

1 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. 4 Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.

5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

God wants the best out of me and it is only by His refinement that I can be made pure. He is starting a good work in me now in preparation for the future in heaven. God have your way in my life. Cleans me of whatever does not reflect Your glory.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nahum 2:11-13

11 Where now is that great Nineveh,
    that den filled with young lions?
It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs—
    walked freely and without fear.
12 The lion tore up meat for his cubs
    and strangled prey for his mate.
 He filled his den with prey,
    his caverns with his plunder.
13 “I am your enemy!”
    says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
 “Your chariots will soon go up in smoke.
    Your young men will be killed in battle.
 Never again will you plunder conquered nations.
    The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.”

Back in these days, God was actively judging the people of this region for what they did. He presented them with a way of life and a sacrificial system to please Him which allowed them to live in His favor. Since then He provided a new way - Jesus. This alternative sacrifice has put God's judgement on hold to give people time to accept this wonderful gift of life. There is a time coming when God will stop giving further chances for salvation then He will judge the world once and for all.