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The saw is not better than the one using it. ~God

Good morning, today I read Psalm 43, Proverbs 17, Isaiah 9, 10, and Luke 9.

In Isaiah I read about how things will change for Israel. It says there will be no more gloom for the land that suffered. Verses 6-7 in chapter 9 talk about a child being born to us, given by God as a son. He will responsible in leading the people, his name will be Wonderful, Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace. He will rule as king over David’s kingdom. The end of verse 7 says, “The LORD All-Powerful will do this because of his strong love for his people.” This is really cool, a prophesy of Jesus coming 🙂

Then the reading goes back to the captivity of Israel. It says evil is like a small fire, and the people are like fuel for the fire. God is angry and he will let the land be burned. It talks about how Assyria is being used by God “to fight against a nation that is separated from God.” (10:6) Verse 7 is God speaking and he says, “But Assyria’s king doesn’t understand that I am using him; he doesn’t know he is a tool for me.” The Assyrian king brags how he defeats Israel but doesn’t realize his punishment is coming soon. He was a tool in God’s hand, nothing was by his own power, and verse 15 explains it sorta. It says, “An ax is not better than the person who swings it. A saw is not better than the one who uses it. A stick cannot control the person who picks it up. A club cannot pick up the person!” God says after his anger against Israel stops then he will turn his anger to destroying Assyria. Interesting. I wonder if this is because the king is taking all the credit?

 

Rejecting evil and choosing what is good.

Today I read Isaiah 6, 7, 8, Psalm 42, Proverbs 16, and Luke 8.

It is really cool because I read some things in Isaiah that Jesus quoted today in Luke! In Luke 8:10 it says, “Then the Lord said, “Go and tell this to the people: ‘You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not learn.’” Which is Isaiah 6:9! So awesome 🙂

I also read something interesting in Isaiah. 7:14-15 says, “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be pregnant. She will have a son, and she will name him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating milk curds and honey when he learns to reject what is evil and to choose what is good.” 

The thing that caught my eye is that Jesus will learn to reject what is evil and choose what is good. Hebrews 1:18 says, “And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself suffered and was tempted.” and Hebrews 4:15, “For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.” And one last verse, Hebrews 2:10, “God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory, so he made the One who leads people to salvation perfect through suffering.” 

So Jesus was born with all the struggles we face, and like Hebrews 4:15 says, “but he did not sin.” He is God and is man, but all of his ‘Godness’ was gone while he was here on earth so he could live a human life and experience temptation and suffering. And I thought my life was tough.

Thank you LORD for becoming one of us and experiencing what we experience in our fallen sinful lives. But you learned to reject evil and choose what is good. Thank you for leading the way, being an example, and giving us your spirit so that we can also reject evil and choose what is good. Forgive me when I fail to choose your way, and help me become stronger in knowing what is good.

Jesus was all action, no talk.

Today I read Isaiah 3-5, Psalm 41, Proverbs 15, and Luke 7.

In Luke I read about Jesus. He healed an army officer’s servant but the story is not about the sick person. It is about the army officer. Jesus was on his way to this man’s house to heal the servant but was stopped by people sent by the officer. He tells Jesus that he does not need to come but only to say the word because he, too, is a man of authority and what he tells others to do they do. He also mentions that he is not worthy for Jesus to come into his house. Jesus is amazed and comments about this man’s faith. We aren’t told any more about what Jesus does or says to heal the sick man, only that the man was healed. Jesus also sees a funeral and brings the dead boy back to life. Jesus saw the mother, a widow, and this was her only son, and he had compassion for her and told her not to cry. He tells the boy to get up and gives him to his mother.

Jesus talks about how the Pharisees say he has a demon because he eats and drinks too much, they said John had a demon because he didn’t eat and drink. Jesus concludes this by saying wisdom is proved to be right by what it does. Jesus was healing folks left and right, bringing dead folks back to life. Was what Jesus was doing wise? Yes. Did he talk about doing it or just do it? He just did it.

Scum

Good morning, today I read Proverbs 13, 14, Isaiah 1, 2, Hosea 11-14, Psalm 40, and Luke 6. I read a lot today because I totally spaced reading yesterday. So weird.

The book of Hosea continued to talk about unfaithful Israel. 11:5 says, ““The Israelites will become captives again, as they were in Egypt, and Assyria will become their king, because they refuse to turn back to God.” Is that message clear or what? The book ends with Israel returning to God, and God forgiving them, and promising to restore them as a nation once again. The beginning of Isaiah is about how Israel is like an unfaithful child that has turned against its father. There is a verse that mentions silver, it is 1:22, it says, “Jerusalem, you have become like the scum left when silver is purified; you are like wine mixed with water.” So Israel isn’t worth much right now, and God is giving them this message through Isaiah.

I noticed a few verses that caught my eye. One is Isaiah 2:22, “You should stop trusting in people to save you, because people are only human; they aren’t able to help you.” The other is Hosea 11:9, it says, “I won’t punish you in my anger, and I won’t destroy Israel again. I am God and not a human; I am the Holy One, and I am among you. I will not come against you in anger.” The emphasis that people are only human and God is not a human was interesting to me 🙂

“You say to do it, so I will.” ~Peter

Hello! Today I read Hosea 8-10, Proverbs 12, Luke 5, and Psalm 39.

Psalm 39 is from David, and he is angry and speaks through his anger. To me it is a strange prayer and David wavers from one thing to another while he is talking with God. Again it shows his close personal relationship with God.

In Luke, I read about how Jesus first met a few of his future disciples. He got into Peter’s boat and spoke to the crowds from it. Peter had been fishing all night without any luck, so I imagine he was tired and done for the day. After Jesus finished with the crowd he tells Peter to go out and drop his nets. I like what Peter says in 5:5, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.” And he does. What is cool about this is he does what Jesus says even when it doesn’t make sense to him. (This reminds me of the Proverbs that tell us to lean not on our own understanding but follow God’s ways. We can’t see the big picture.) Even cooler is the fact that he isn’t a follower yet. Maybe this was a test of his character? Anyway, he ends up catching so much fish he calls his other boat to come to him and both boats get filled up with fish! All the men are amazed, but Peter bows down before Jesus and says in verse 8, “Go away from me, Lord, I am a sinful man!” Jesus recognizes that they are a bit afraid of what happened, he tells them not to be afraid and tells them to join him. It says they left everything and followed Jesus. So that means they left 2 boats full of fish, after fishing all night and getting nothing. The miracle they witnessed touched them so deeply they changed their entire thinking from working as fishermen, to following this master fisherman. That is a really big deal. It is so easy to read over it and not realize the impact here.

And we know what happens in the future with Peter. He goes from telling Jesus to get away from him because he is a sinful man to becoming one of the key players in spreading the word about Jesus.

Baptism of John, baptism of Jesus.

Good morning! Today I read Hosea 5-7, Proverbs 11, Psalm 38, and Luke 3-4.

In Luke I read about John and his baptisms. It says crowds came to be baptized and he chastised them saying in 4:8, “Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives. Don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father.’ I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks.” So this tells me these people were coming to be baptized and figured since they were Israelites they could be baptized. But John was telling them they need to change their lives and only then could they come and be baptized as a symbol of how they have changed. Baptism now, the baptism of Jesus, is a symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And we do it to show we have made that decision to follow Jesus with a changed life. So baptism has always been a symbol, not a way of salvation, even when John was doing it.

In Hosea, I read yesterday how Israel is like an adulterous wife of God. Today I am reading about how the people of Israel will be punished. I know this is not funny, but I wanted to mention a verse that makes me laugh out loud. It is 7:8, it says, ““Israel mixes with other nations; he is like a pancake cooked only on one side.” Did you chuckle? I have a page full of verses that tickle my funny bone. God is loving, he is just, he holds us accountable, and I’m sure he enjoys a good laugh too. 

Mary was a thinker.

Good day! I read Amos, Hosea 1-4, Proverbs 9, 10, Luke 1, 2, and Psalm 36, 37.

In Luke I noticed some things about Mary today. It is how she pondered stuff, and it is mentioned a lot in Luke. 1:29 says she wondered what the greeting might mean, in 2:19 she treasured the things the shepherds said and continued to think about them. In 2:33 she and Joseph were amazed at what Simeon said, and in 2:51 Mary kept in mind all that happened when Jesus said he was in his Father’s house when they couldn’t find him. Pretty cool how these verses show, to me anyway, that Mary replayed these things over and over again in her mind. Can you imagine being the mother of Jesus? That is a huge roll to fill! Way to go Mary.

In Psalm today I noticed some mentioning of the land. I love these verse that do this. It’s just so curious. Here they are, all from Psalm 27:

:9 Evil people will be sent away, but those who trust the Lord will inherit the land.

:11 People who are not proud will inherit the land and will enjoy complete peace.

:22 Those whom the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be sent away.

:29 Good people will inherit the land and will live in it forever.

:34 Wait for the Lord’s help and follow him. He will honor you and give you the land, and you will see the wicked sent away.

Then in Proverbs today, 10:30 said, “Good people will always be safe, but evil people will not remain in the land.”

The land is where I want to go! Good people will be there and the wicked will be sent away. Whoa. 🙂

Don’t be ignored by Wisdom.

Hello! Today I read Mark 12-16, Jonah, Proverbs 3-8, and Psalm 35.

The things that caught my eye today were about wisdom. Wisdom is talked about as if she were a woman, and it is very interesting the things she says. In Proverbs 8:18 she says, “Riches and honor are mine to give. So are wealth and lasting success.” She says something similar in 8:21, “I give wealth to those who love me, filling their houses with treasures.” 

Again and again I read how we are to search for wisdom. It says we will find it if we search for it. It also says we are to listen to it and do what it says. If we ignore it then when we cry out for it it will ignore us. That is very scary. But if we do search for her and find her, and we listen, and we apply her teachings to our lives then she promises some great things for us while we are living here on earth. Riches, honor, wealth, lasting success, a house full of treasures. I would say these are some great consequences to obeying wisdom. I must emphasize here that this wisdom is God’s wisdom. His wisdom guides us in the way we should think, speak, and act. It is so easy to ignore it and choose to do things our own way, but the scriptures plainly say if we ignore wisdom then when we search for it we won’t find it. And when we call to her she will not answer. Yikes.

The end of Psalm 35:27 says, “…Praise the greatness of the Lord, who loves to see his servants do well.” This is so awesome because God wants us to succeed. He wants us to search for wisdom, find it, use it, and have the blessings that are promised because of it. He loves to see his servants do well. Just like any parent with their child. 

Thank you LORD :)!!!

Forgiveness is like awesome wifi.

Today I read 2 Kings 24, 25, and Psalm 31, 32. So I am behind again in the reading plan. I will catch up this week. We had a visitor for a bit this week so I didn’t read, I usually fall behind on the weekend. I’m thinking I should read ahead during the week so the weekends are included in the week, and make time to do my reading when visitors are here.

In Kings I read about the fall of Judah, just like the fall of Israel. First Egypt was attacking and taking things, then Babylon came in and took the people prisoner. They left poor people in the land to take care of vineyards and fields. But later the man who was their leader was killed so the remaining people fled to Egypt.

Interesting to read how this was God’s plan against the people of Judah since the time when Manasseh was king of them. 24:3 says, “The LORD commanded this to happen to the people of Judah, to remove them from his presence, because of all the sins of Manasseh. He had killed many innocent people and had filled Jerusalem with their blood. And the LORD would not forgive these sins.” Whoa, the end of verse 4 is just… whoa.

Some interesting things to me are when the kings of these foreign nations make some changes to the country they are attacking. Quite a few times I read how they kidnap the king, take them away to their country, but they reappoint someone else and rename them to fill the position of the person they kidnapped. Weird. And then this, the end of chapter 25 talks about the king of Judah named Jehoiachin. He was held as prisoner in Babylon for 37 years. Then a new king of Babylon came into power and he took Jehoiachin out of prison, gave him an allowance, and gave him a seat of honor higher than the kings in Babylon. But we don’t know why. Weird again!

I read Psalm 32 today. This is an awesome Psalm and I say you should go read it. It starts out with happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whom the LORD does not consider guilty. It is a Psalm of David and he talks about how he was weak when he kept stuff to himself and then he confessed his sins to God and God forgave his guilt. Interesting what we read earlier in 2 Kings 24:4, how God would not forgive the sins of the nation of Judah. Here David is confessing his sin and God is forgiving him. We know that sin has consequences and we can read about the consequences from David’s sin, but we also know he lived a life where God was most important, even when he messed up. And God forgave him, so David was clean but still caused consequences down the line because of his sin. So with a nation of people is this different, meaning an entire nation can be affected by an evil king? And would a nation’s collective sin cause consequences for those people who are living like David did, with God as most important? So when the nation faced the consequences so did the ‘good’ people? The nation of Judah’s sin was not forgiven by God and he removed the people from his presence, maybe there weren’t any more people left that were putting God first? I am not sure, and it makes me really think about where I am living now, yikes. However, I think the key here is when God said he removed them from his presence. The relationship with God was affected. The nation was removed from God’s favorite place on earth and from where he dwelt in the Temple. But an individual person’s relationship with God can stay intact no matter where their nation is.

Being forgiven takes our relationship with God to a new level. Unforgiven sin builds a wall and the communication with God gets damaged. Believing in Jesus as our savior begins our eternal life and starts our relationship with God. Keeping that relationship connection unaltered and growing stronger takes place when we confessing sin and live to please God. David had this awesome connnection and I am thankful we can read about his life, mistakes, consequences, and successes.

 

Guilty.

Today I read Mark 10, Psalm 30, and Proverbs 2.

I read about wisdom in Proverbs. Yesterday in Proverbs I read about how wisdom calls out to people and when they ignore her (wisdom is referred to as a woman) then when they get into trouble and call out to her she won’t answer. Chapter 2 says wisdom only comes from the LORD. He stores it up for those who are honest, 2:10 says, “Wisdom will come into your mind, and knowledge will be pleasing to you.” The chapter also talks about those who are evil and wicked. They enjoy doing wrong, their words are bad, and they are dishonest. In Mark 10 I read when folks asked Jesus about divorce and here in Proverbs 2:16-17 it says that wisdom will “It will save you from the unfaithful wife who tries to lead you into adultery with pleasing words. 17 She leaves the husband she married when she was young.” It says her house is on the way to death and those who take the path are all dead. Jesus says in Mark 10:5-9 as an answer to the question of divorce, “Jesus said, “Moses wrote that command for you because you were stubborn. But when God made the world, ‘he made them male and female.’  ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife,  and the two will become one body.’ So there are not two, but one. God has joined the two together, so no one should separate them.” A footnote in my bible says that verse 7 isn’t included in some Greek copies, not sure why, but anyway I thought I would put that in. 

So a brief summary real quick. Proverbs talks about the unfaithful woman, Jesus talks about the man who leaves his wife. Either way, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other, or leaves them it is not wisdom. So how many people this day and age have been divorced? A lot, including me. Jesus has the get out of jail free card that says a person can divorce their spouse if they have cheated on the other, but then he also says if you have thought about cheating, or even looked at someone with those kind of thoughts in your mind then you have done it. So, are any of us free from this? I believe we are all considered guilty of it. How are we clean from it? Only through Jesus’ sacrifice. I also read today about when the disciples ask Jesus, Mark 10:26,”Then who can be saved.” And Jesus responds, 10:27, “For people this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” So again, we cannot do anything to be saved, only what God has done through Jesus. If we believe this, we are saved. This is so liberating, especially reading the end of Proverbs 2. It says those who are honest will live in the land, and those who are innocent will remain in it. I take this land to be the final land of rest when we are in the presence of God. How can we become innocent? Only by what God has done through Jesus. Proverbs continues to say the wicked will be removed, and the unfaithful will be thrown out.

It is impossible for us to be innocent by our own power. I am so thankful that I have been made innocent by Jesus. Thank you LORD.