Verses for Weeks 7-9

It seems that I am working in 3’s when it comes to posting weekly verses.  I have been rather busy.

Week 7

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
  And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Making the decision to serve the Lord is a whole-hearted action.  It can’t be a part-time thing.  Neither can it be only part of the body, such as the hands serve God but not the mind.  The marvelously, wonderful thing about being a sacrifice for God is that it is not death, but life.  Presenting yourself to God to be used by Him opens for yourself, because He is a loving God, so many blessings.  When you serve God with all your heart, you do prove that His will “is good and acceptable and perfect.”  That does not mean pain-free and no sorrow, but “good and acceptable and perfect.”

Week 8

 But Jesus called for them, saying,
“Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luke 18:16

This particular week put me in close contact with some of our school children because six of them were staying with us for a few days.  What a blessing it would be if they and others would come to Christ for salvation.

Week 9

But seeing the wind, he became frightened,
and beginning to sink, he [Peter] cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him,
and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:30-31

A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not be disheartened or crushed . . .
Isaiah 42:3-4a

How wonderful to know that as a Christian I can stretch out my hand, in a manner of speaking, and Jesus is right there to help.  He is ready to help, not to put down and mash.  He is willing to nurture a weak faith, an insecure person; so that person may become a strong “tree planted by rivers of waters” (Psalm 1:3).  He will not extinguish a small light just because it is not a big one.  He will help that faith to grow; He will help that testimony to strengthen and be more clearly Christ-like.  He can do this because “He will not be disheartened or crushed.”

 

 

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Set Before the Lord

“Set before the Lord” is a phrase that I am seeing repeated in Exodus in the chapters dealing with the instructions for the tabernacle.

Is my life or are my activities set before the Lord?  Or do I do things just for myself?

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,
acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Why is it important to “set” things before the Lord?

They shall know that I am the Lord their God. . .
Exodus 29:46

There is no more wonderful task than to help people know God.

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Verses for Weeks 4-6

Week 4:

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory
and the victory and the majesty,
indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;
Yours is the dominion, O Lord,
and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all,
and in Your hand is power and might;
and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12

These verses were a reminder that the victory is the Lord’s.  I don’t have to worry about whether He will be able to break through the devil’s influence or opposition.  The victory is the Lord’s.  It is also good to thank the Lord for what He will do, even though it doesn’t look like He is victorious at the moment.

Week 5:

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you will perfect it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

We can have confidence that work that is done in Jesus’ name, primarily using His Word, will continue.  God will keep working; He doesn’t stop.  When our prayers are requesting God to work in a person’s life, He will answer those prayers.  We just need to be patient.  He doesn’t usually answer according to our time plan.  He also has His own perfect way of working which doesn’t always look like my idea.

I think of this verse in regard to students.  I don’t know how long I will be able to work with them, but I can have confidence that God can keep working.  My part is to keep praying.

Week 6:

Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
Joel 2:25

A life lived for God will reap rewards.  To dedicate oneself to God means that there will be loss, real loss and imagined loss.  What God gives in exchange is greater than what the “locust” have gotten.  To serve God is worth the seeming losses because what is to come is greater.

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Verses for the Weeks 1-3

After reading this post, decided to try my own 52 Week Challenge.  I decided to post the verses that were meaningful to me in the past week.

Week 1

 More than that,
I count all things to be loss
in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,

and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ
Philippians 3:8

Week 2

 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself,
unless it is something He sees the Father doing;
for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing;
and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
John 5:19-20

The thought that stayed with me concerning this verse was that if Jesus didn’t do “what He wanted to do,” how much more important it is that I who am prone to sin be careful not to do what I want to do just because I want to do it.  It is very important that I read and study God’s Word so that I can be guided to do what is right.

Week 3

We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and
teaching every man with all wisdom,
so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Colossians 1:28

A worthy goal for teachers – teach with godly wisdom with the goal of guiding students to be complete in Christ.

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The Saviour Can Be Found

you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21b

Four groups of people received messages about Jesus’ birth.  The shepherds received a special message and searched for the Saviour.

 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
Luke 2:8-17

The wise men had special understanding of the stars and the Scripture and recognized that something unusual was happening.  They searched and found the King.  When they found Him, they realized that He wasn’t an ordinary king, but He was the King of Kings.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,  “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet . . .
 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.   When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:1-5, 9-11

The people who didn’t find the Saviour were the ones who didn’t go.  Herod received a special, personal message.  He recognized that this person was the Messiah the promised Redeemer.  He didn’t go with the wise men.  Instead he turned against the Messiah.  When he did search for the Messiah, he did it with evil intent.

Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.    Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
 “A voice was heard in Ramah,

Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”
Matthew 2:16-18

  The priests knew all about the Saviour, but chose not to believe that He really was the Saviour.  They seemed to be more content to stay with their religion not realizing that religion alone cannot save.  Their hearts were not God’s.  That means that they had not allowed God to be in control of their lives.  They followed His Word but not God.

 Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near with their words

And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”
Isaiah 29:13-14

We are each presented with a message at Christmas.  Jesus came. His name designates His life purpose:  “Save His people from their sins.”

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Romans 10:8-10

Will you receive the salvation that Jesus the Saviour offers?

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The Saviour Is Permanent

you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21b

People have tried many different ways to get salvation.  They have tried saying certain words and doing nice things.  They have tried behaviour reforms and pilgrimages.  There are probably other things that people have tried.  God’s response is . . .

“I will declare your righteousness and your deeds,
But they will not profit you.
“When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you.
But the wind will carry all of them up,
And a breath will take them away.
But
he who takes refuge in Me will inherit the land

And will possess My holy mountain.”
Isaiah 57:12-13

Nothing that we can do will last; it is temporary.  When we depend on Jesus, permanent salvation is given to us.  Because God is eternal, our salvation is permanent.

For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 57:15

“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”
Isaiah 51:7-8

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed,
and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;
to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18

Depend on Jesus the one who can give permanent salvation – eternal life.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

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The Saviour Gives Hope

you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21b

Sin distorts our thinking so we don’t think God heard or answered our prayer.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
Isaiah 59:2

Sin causes confusion and many dangerous situations.

No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly.
They trust in confusion and speak lies;
They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. . .
Their feet run to evil,

And they hasten to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
Devastation and destruction are in their highways.
They do not know the way of peace,
And there is no justice in their tracks;
They have made their paths crooked,
Whoever treads on them does not know peace.
Isaiah 59:4, 7-8

Sin causes things to look increasingly hopeless.

Therefore justice is far from us,
And righteousness does not overtake us;
We hope for light, but behold, darkness,
For brightness, but we walk in gloom.
We grope along the wall like blind men,
We grope like those who have no eyes;
We stumble at midday as in the twilight,
Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. . . .
For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And we know our iniquities:
Transgressing and denying the Lord,
And turning away from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
Isaiah 59:9-10, 12-13

God brings hope.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear. . .
. . . Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
Isaiah 59:1 and 16b

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who according to His great mercy
has caused us to be born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 1:3

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