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« January 4th One Year Bible Readings | Main | January 6th One Year Bible Readings »

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MIke--I am a morning person. Even when I want to sleep in my body’s alarm clock begins ringing at 5am.

I do my reading time is in the morning. I have a second read through the bible program that I usually use first. Then I read a chapter in Proverb, and finaly a come to the BLOG.

What I post, whether A.M or P.M, usually comes out of my Devotion/quit time. When I read the Word in the morning, there seems to always be a verse, a passage or passages that dwell in my mind all day, which I then mediate on. I am a journaler and what I journal usually winds up here, or at least part of my thoughts get posted here.

Genesis 11-13:4

The whole earth had a common language and a common vocabulary. When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." (They had brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.) Then they said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth."
(Genesis 11:1-4 NET.)

Mike’s words about building a name for oneself has really hit home and has caused me to think about broken relationships held up to the light of the story of the tower of Babel. Could shattered relationships really be the product of trying to build a name for oneself? Are our us-four-and-no-more groups really be about lifting up ourselves to get a name? Did God come down and scatter the relationships because we were going in a direction we were not suppose to be going, up and not out?

On January 1st my first post began with a quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes,

Wisdom or money can get you almost anything, but it's important to know that only wisdom can save your life. Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life. (Ecclesiastes 7:12-14)

My focus was on the statement, Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Funny how what comes out of our mouths, in this case, what is typed out on the keyboard, comes back to hold us accountable, ouch!

Mike—looking at the Map you inserted in today’s comments I couldn’t help but observe that Haran, where Abram and the gang hung-out for ten years until dad died, seems like a spike in the journey that lead away from Canaan. It is like a spike on an EKG reading heralding a warning of danger to come.

I’ve often wondered each time I’ve read through this story what would have happened if Haran had never been a stopping point in this journey. If Abram had arrived in Canaan, the land God would promise to his descendents, but not him, would they have had enough grain/hay and what ever else grows, to stave off the effects of the famine? If Abram had trusted God, in spite of the famine, so that God would prove to him that He would meet all their needs, how would the rest of the story turn out.

Abram seemed to be conflicted by two fears pulling inside of him like a perverted game of tug-of-war. Unable or unwilling to trust God in the midst of the famine, fear of starving to death drove him to a country that presented him with another fear, fear of death from the hands of Pharaoh. One fear drove him smack into the other. Fear is a rough taskmaster and allowing it to drive one’s decisions and choices oft times leads to bad choices and regrets.

Fear drove Abram to “pimp” his wife to feed himself and his household. He offered up his wife as a sacrifice to save his own life. Can today’s families find themselves doing the same thing? Are we offering up our husbands, wives, children on the alter of a idolatrous god of fear? We may even find ourselves pimping the gospel, offering up half-truth, like Abram, about our situations to avoid or stave off the death of our finances, the death of relationships, family and friends while we construct an alter of justification for doing our deeds: comprise and sin. Finally, if Abram hadn’t gone down to Egypt, would we be reading about Hagar, Sari’s Egyptian hand maiden and the boy Ishmael in the chapters to come, and, the fall-out from that relationship, would we still be reaping the effects today?

I wonder about these things because I think about the consequences of my actions and or inactions of following God whole-heartedly. Thank God that He redeems, restores and reconciles us back to Him. Yet walking in His perfect will is so much easier than walking in His Permissive will. All unnecessary bumps are removed when we obey.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Ramona,
Thank you for your daily comments/teachings, as I am finding your insights helpful. But I'd like to take issue with your comments in two regards:
1. The two paragraphs about Abram. For example, "If Abram had trusted God ...". Abram did trust/follow God (Gen 12:1-5) and God made His covenant with Abram (verses 2 & 3 therein). I believe Abram's two decisions were not 'fear', but rather his sense of what God wanted him to do. God did not rebuke Abram, he continued to bless him and moreso, as 12:3 says: "all the families of the earth will be blessed through you."
2. "...walking in His perfect will is so much easier than walking in His Permissive will."
I find that knowing God's will for me is not easy. It's incredibly difficult.

I will continue to appreciate your daily comments. Thank you.

Godspeed,
Jeff

Mike,
I am also a morning person, and am enjoying my first-thing-in-the-morning cup of coffee along with my One Year Bible readings. This is an ideal time for me since I am now retired and have this nice, quiet time to devote to the Bible.
I'm also following your suggestion of reading the Psalm in prayer each morning, and that is a blessing to me.

Sarah,
You posted earlier this week that you arise about 5am to get ready for work and are not sure when you might be able to fit in your daily Bible reading. Is it possible that you could begin your day by praying the daily Psalm reading? Then do the other readings at a later time of day or evening?

Godspeed,
Jeff

Great posts above Jeff and Ramona, both. I have read the beatitudes so many times, today I had to you tube the beatitudes to watch it spoken from an actor who plays Jesus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbJ4vnMNg

This helps me remember the context it was spoken in which still very much applies today. I love the beatitudes, and it is so meaningful that I am not sure just reading it does it justice. Only living it does, even though so complicated in today's world.

To answer the questions, take time in the morning to read. I agree with Mike, that it does start the day off with appreciation and what really matters most. I find that at the end of the day, after chaos, I almost become hardened again by society and survival, it becomes difficult for me to stop and really soak in what God is speaking to me. It sets me in perspective before I begin the day.

Jeff,
Thanks for your suggestion. I think it's a very good step that I can try. I spend about 1.5 hours daily listening to the audio and read Mike's blog for the past 5 days so far. I don't think I could wake up at 3:30am doing it. However, begin my day by praying the daily Psalm reading sounds a great start of the day.

Joe,
I totally agree with what you said, "at the end of the day, after chaos, I almost become hardened again by society and survival, it becomes difficult for me to stop and really soak in what God is speaking to me." I just finish the reading and the blog today now. I cheer myself that I made it again today, but on the other hand, I'm exhausted. Hopefully, Jeff's suggestion on praying the daily Psalm in the morning would help me keep doing it after work everyday.

Dear God,
Thanks for helping me make the right choice to spend the time with you while my family are watching TV... Please keep strengthening me throughout the year. Thank you Lord!

I listen to sermon podcasts from across the country during my morning commute. Makes the time pass but more importantly gets me in an uplifted mood and gives me nuggets of "faith talk" to share with my coworkers.

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