Time well spent…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Psalm 119 Mem vs 97-104

Oh how I love your law!

It is my meditation all the day.

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,

for it is ever with me.

 I have more understanding than all my teachers,

 for your testimonies are my meditation.

 I understand more than the aged,

 for I keep your precepts.

 I hold back my feet from every evil way,

in order to keep your word.

 I do not turn aside from your rules,

for you have taught me.

 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through your precepts I get understanding;

 therefore I hate every false way.

 

Wiser than my teachers!  The aged!  Thanks to the word of God and his precepts.  Greater understanding due to meditation on the Word.  Are we puzzled, confused, unable to make clear decisions?  We then need to go to the Word of God and not only read but meditate.  Memorize and reflect upon it, giving time and allowing the Holy Spirit to give the understanding and wisdom David speaks of here.  We get to know our friends by spending time with them.  We get to know God by spending time with Him.

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Time runs out…

Ezekiel 12:21-28

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’?  Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.  For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  “Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=12&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Who questions God Almighty?  Only the foolish ones, only the unbelievers would tread in these dangerous waters.  One capable of creation, one capable of bringing something into existence with the spoken word is one for whom we would have respect and regard.  A flippant people say this

: “…The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’…” 

“…the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ …” 

And we hear similar conversations today.  The warnings are still valid.

The Lord hears and removes his stay of execution. In his mercy and long-suffering he has extended the time for repentance. He says the voice of the people will change.  Events will change their saying to:

“…The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision….”

He responds with affirmation that he is Lord and we will know it.

“… I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed;…” and “…I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”…”

And so we do well to take note and live accordingly.  We are covered in the blood of Jesus and need have no fear, but the message of that salvation must needs be put forth for what he says he will do he will do.  We act in love when we share the message of salvation.  Jesus paid the price for us on the cross but it is up to us to receive it.  Take heed:

“… “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,” says the Lord GOD.’ …”

Just a word that these posts are the reflections and words that come to me during the early morning hours in my personal time with the Lord.  They are what I receive and apply to my walk with the Lord. They are shared in the hope and belief that they may help encourage and inspire others as well.  This is a search for the very nature and being of God.  What emerges is the image of one who is powerful and does not sway with the wind as mankind does.  There is constancy here, reliability here and there is fearsome judgment from which we have a way of escape.  The  gift of salvation from the curse of sin through Jesus Christ is freeing in all areas of life.  The one who created, loved and continues to love.  So should we.

Going Deep

Going deep.  Jesus gave us the example to follow.  We’ve all heard that.  The truth is, he was God, and he was showing us the former things.  What it was like before sin.  He was without sin, yet willing to be born into sin.  He suffered yet it did not destroy him for he was as the first of creation.  He was showing us this experience, our present, our life on terra firma is only a beginning, we have all of eternity before us.  When this ends, we continue into the next chapter because we believe.  When we believe, we live differently, speak and act differently, and are eager to share our ‘find.’  This find does not have a pleasant reaction from an evil world.  And so we invite the same suffering that Jesus experienced, and like him it will not destroy us.  We are on an eternal journey that is much more than just ‘now.’

Continue in prayer…

Luke 6:12-16

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.  And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:  Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,  and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

 Jesus prayed.  He spent time in prayer.  In this passage it says all night.  Then he did the calling of the twelve to be apostles.  He set a pattern, a model for us.  Before making or carrying out a plan, spend time in prayer.  Specifically praying to God.

…he continued in prayer to God… Not a short, “Hi, how are you, will you…. Thank you, good- bye.”  Continued in prayer indicates spending time there.  How much time do we give to God?  How much time do we want Him to give to us?  Now, how much time will you spend in prayer?  We want Him more than a howdy do.  Humility recognizes who He is in relation to who we are.  If we go before an official, we can expect to spend time pleading our case, explaining our position, defining our proposal… Hmmm, are we not going before a much greater power?  How much time do we give Him?

 Then carry out the details of the task.  When praying, where is your focus?  If we want God involved in our affairs we will involve ourselves in Him.  We were created to commune with Him.  We want His touch, His blessings on what we attempt.  We gain that when we look to Him, not ourselves, when we spend time with Him, when our focus is directed to Him.  How do we get to know someone?  We spend time with them.

 When we pray, do we ask for His direction?  Do we ask for His blessings upon what we do?  Is this selfish?  Whose work do we do?  His.  Who gets the glory? He does.  Who is obedient? We are.  We stand in need of His blessings because we do not do our work, but His.  We are the obedient disciples.  We do His bidding, get our strength from Him.  Pray therefore, pray much, pray for Him to guide us.  We are told specifically to pray and when we do, we are told what He will do.  If we pray, He will hear.  If we turn from our ways, which are evil, He will heal.  2 Chronicles 7:14  – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 We humble ourselves recognizing who gives direction and who gives strength.  We pray to bring about right focus.  We receive and then turn from our ways which are evil, to His ways which are good.  Now He is involved; He says He will hear us, will forgive us, will heal our land.  Now it is His work, we are His laborers.  We are obedient…

 

The new, the old and time…

Luke 5:33-39

 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”  And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

 Analogy with a wedding feast is given, the statement compares the joy at the start of the relationship which is replaced by sorrow with the coming of separation.  The parable that follows seems with an initial reading to stray from this; but with reflection it  addresses the appropriateness of mixing up any two of a kind that do not share the same attributes.  Do we express signs of sorrow when in the midst of rejoicing?  This passage calls for further study of the purpose and meaning behind fasting and prayer.  That understanding would clarify the appropriateness of their use. 

 It would seem, also, that anything new gets better with time.  We find that to be true especially with respect to relationships that stand the test of time.  The initial flush of joy grows in maturity to something of lasting satisfaction.  Our relationship with the Lord begins with the initial flush of joy and through tests and time, deepens into a relationship that supports and satisfies the soul and heart of our being.  Do we mix the old way of living with the new?  Not so, that is when there is conflict within the center of our being.  As we spend time with the Lord through the Word and in prayer, we learn of Him and that learning provides us with the ability to withstand the conflicts and  in Him, rise above them. And in this manner the new ‘wine’ becomes ‘old wine’.    A life that we call good.