Jan 8

Genesis 16-17
Psalm 8
Matthew 10


LauraS said...

I thought I'd share an excerpt from an article Robert Ebert wrote about losing the ability to eat drink or speak due to surgeries for throat cancer. It is faith like this that gives me hope.

For nights I would wake up already focused on that small but heavy glass mug with the ice sliding from it, and the first sip of root beer. I took that sip over and over. The ice slid down across my fingers again and again. But never again.

One day in the hospital my brother-in-law Johnny Hammel and his wife Eunice came to visit. They are two of my favorite people. They're Jehovah's Witnesses, and know I'm not. I mention that because they interpreted my story in terms of their faith. I described my fantasies about root beer. I could smell it, taste it, feel it. I desired it. I said I'd remembered so clearly that day with my father for the first time in 60 years.

"You never thought about it before?" Johnny asked.

"Not once."

"Could be, when the Lord took away your drinking, he gave you back that memory."

You can read the whole article here:


Melissa said...

"As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

After all Sarai had done... her lack of faith and patience resulted in her giving in to societal pressures (social customs demanded that barren wives were to have children through their servants for the sake of carrying on the family name)which, in turn, resulted in her encouraging Abram to have an affair, then blame him for it, and finally abuse her pregnant servant to the point in which her servant had to flee... God still chooses to BLESS her! And bless her ABUNDANTLY!

Even though we make poor decisions, struggle with faith through certain situations, fall off the straight and narrow path and be blatantly disobedient to God at times... we are never at the point of no return.

Just like Sarai, we don't deserve God's grace and mercy, but He gives it abundantly in spite of our poor decisions. We are never "too far gone" to have God step in with an incredible blessing in our lives. Even when we fall short, God still keeps His promises.

That is pretty encouraging to me. :)

Carolyn said...

Gen 16 stood out to me...as my patience is tested everyday (especially with 2 young children to look after). We must be patient and trust God--trying to fix problems ourselves only results in more problems.
And running away from problems isn't the answer...God told Hagar to return to Sarai. We must face our problems and accept God's promise of help--again, trying our patience!

Anonymous said...

Hi all.

Id love to join in. It is one of my goals this year to be more in love with and KNOW God's word. For the last month and a half or so God keeps reminding me of passages about the importance of growing in my knowledge of Him and how much it will inspire my Love for Him. I'm excited to be part.


June said...

Today's reading from Genesis was one that spoke to me. Here Sarah and Abraham are so desperate for something they want, that rather than keep praying to God, they take it into their own hands and bring Hagar into it. When she gets pregnant Hagar gets prideful, and Sarah gets hurt and angry. When Hagar runs away God stops her and sends her back, as if to say that they've made their own mess and need to deal with it now.

Despite this whole debacle God is forgiving enough to know that these are good people, despite their mistakes and lapse in faith he knows he can still trust them with his work.

This shows that we need to keep faith in God, taking such monumental things into our own hands, and thinking we somehow have the ability to give ourselves what we think God can't, is prideful and foolish.
This gives me hope that even when I mess up, if I can turn to God with a truly repentant heart that I too can be forgiven.

Laura said...

Whenever I start feeling like I am swimming upstream in this world, I love reading the words of Jesus. It comforts me to know that he understood this would be the case.

"All men will hate you because of me."

"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves."

.. and my favorite from this passage:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

God tells us many times that in this world we WILL have trouble. It will not be easy. Our lives will not be sunshine and rainbows, but lives in which we need a sword. Not just any sword, but the sword of God! He will arm us with even the words to say: "at that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

KillerB said...

Just sharing one of DP's awesome ideas that she shared with me. As she reads, she has created a chart so that she can keep track of everything she's learning.

For each passage, she lists the subject, any major themes, and any verses that stuck out to her as she read. (Isn't that smart?!)

A sample:

Genesis 1-2
Subject: Creation/Adam & Eve
Major Themes: Power in God's Word
Verses: "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy."

I'm going to follow her example myself, and thought others in this group might like to try something like this as well to help them keep track of everything they're reading.

THANK YOU for the wonderful idea, DP!!

molly june. said...

i loved the part in matt 10 where Jesus sends out the discples as sheep in the midst of wolves. he instructed them to go to the lost sheep of israel..heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons..

freely you received, freely give! this hit me the most. it's time to get off my rump & get out there!

in vs 16 he says to be shrewd as serpants & innocent as doves (romans 16:19 expains it as being wise in what is good & innocent in what is evil.)

mmmhmmmm :) good stuff.

it's amazing how much more in tune my heart is with people when i'm reading the bible. honestly, last year, i was cranky & bugged by people. this year, i just want to run to my neighbor & tell them how much JESUS LOVES THEM (while i squeeze the poop out of them!) my heart feels so shiny & new!

Katy Hill said...

I saw this lovely blog through Molly's blog, Im so excited to read through the Bible this year! Not sure if this is where Im supposed to introduce myself, but Im Katy! Howdy!

Today as I was reading in Genisis about Abraham and Sarah, what stood out to me most was when God changed their names from Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. God was establishing a new covenant between him and Abraham, and he was fullfilling promises with Sarah. It was like he was making them new! It reminded me of how, when I made Jesus Lord and Savior of my life, he created me new. "...to put on the new self, created after teh likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" Ephesians 4:24 I love how the Lord is never done with us, he is always changing us and making us new!
We are of so much value to our God, and I was reminded of that today in Psalm 8:34 "When I look at your heavens the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him."

The creator of the universe, the God who created the stars and galaxies, is mindful of me! He thinks about me! That is far beyond my understanding, but I am so glad for it! I am so thankful that God loves me so much! My value does not come from the world or what anyone else thinks, it comes from my father in heaven, and to him I am precious!

I was completely blessed with todays reading!

Katy said...

it's been such a blessing even in the past 2 days to read these comments and to think over and over again "OH WOW! I never thought of that way!" It's so amazing to see how God can use other people to teach you more and to open your eyes to a different perspective.

The beginning of Matthew 10 reminds me of my trip to Africa this past May. I read this scripture before going and thought a good bit about how God calls us to do very difficult things sometimes... but we must do it. Even though I wanted to go to Africa, it was not easy and God calls us to "Freely you have received, freely give". We need to give back what God has given us by being like the disciples and going out to the lost sheep and telling of God's message. Not an easy task....

Jordan said...

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword, For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a mans enemies will be the members of his own household." and also "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

These verses just blew me away and helps me better understand Jesus and what we're really called to.

bethany said...

Matthew 10:
"Do not worry about how to speak or what to say; what you are to say will be given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking, the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you."
This is such a relief to me. How many times do I enter an unfamiliar situation and worry about what to say? I just started a new job, and it seems like I say 12 stupid things per day, because I'm trying to prove my worth. It's exhausting. I need to remember to relax and rest on God's promise here that He will always give me the words I need when I surrennder my own agenda to His.

"If they called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more of the members of his household?"
I am held accountable by this verse. I'm not sure exactly who and what Beelzebub is, but I know it's a reference to evil, so calling the master "Beelzebub" is definitely an insult.
Jesus was talking about how we are not higher than our superiors (parents, bosses, teachers, pastors), and if we criticize them, then we are in fact putting ourselves under that same judgment. It's so true.