Subscribe to receive each blog post via email:

Bookmark and Share

July 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Books for the Journey:

« May 6th One Year Bible Readings | Main | May 8th One Year Bible Readings »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hannah's faith blows me away. To be able to hand over her dream child for someone else to raise and only see Samuel once a year--that is faith in action. She realizes that he doesn't "belong" to her anyway. In fact none of our children belong to us--they all belong to God. We are only their caretakers.

I think we had some serious
discussion over this last time: Christ showing his compassion and love for the man that was unable to walk, healing him on the day of the Sabbath to the great consternation of the Jews. Christ has shown us that love and compassion is beyond the law. Indeed, LOVE IS THE LAW!!!

1 Samuel 1:1-2:21

Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, "May the LORD raise up for you descendants from this woman to replace the one that she dedicated to the LORD." Then they would go to their home. So the LORD graciously attended to Hannah, and she was able to conceive and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up at the LORD's sanctuary. (1 Samuel 2:20-21 NET.)


The above passage blows my mind and I recognize that these are the Words of Christ coming to pass before the Words of Christ were spoken to His disciples,

And anyone and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for My name's sake will receive many [even a hundred] times more and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29 AMP)

Hannah received a five hundred fold return. She gave one son to the Lord, and received three sons and two daughters. Her act of faith, and it was a great act of faith because she had no idea that she would be able to have other children, in bringing her son to the Temple when he was probably three years old, and leaving him there to be raised by a priests, who may have done a inadequate job raising his own, wrought her great blessings. Trusting God is scary and exciting; painful, giving up what our heart desires, and exhilarating as we reap a harvest of unimaginable bounty.

'So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.' John 5:16-18 NIV

It strikes me (again) how radical Jesus appeared to the religious authorities of his time. In John's account we've already had the clearing of the merchants from the temple courtyard.

Do our religious authorities reflect a distorted image of the Kingdom of God? How radical should we be in following Jesus? My wife says I am too radical. Is that possible?

I guess the clue is in the following paragraph of John:

"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does." John 5 19:20 NIV

Hearing God - seeing and knowing what the Father is doing and joining in doing it with Him according to His purpose.

And if that is radical, so be it.

I just want to say how grateful I am for this website. It has been my faithful companion this year. Around Thanksgiving last year, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. Last month we filed. we have two small children - 1.5 and 3 and I worry mostly about them, but this website has been my comforter and rock. I was determined in December that no matter what else happened this year regarding my family, that my Bible reading would be the one stable thing in my life and it has been. Thanks for keeping up the website!

I have a genuine Question, I really want the answer to, please anyone respond here or to me personally.
from the blog:
"and I start to seek from other sources what I should only be seeking from God. I have come to realize more than ever lately that if I am feeling a strong emotion or need, I need to really reflect on that emotion or need and ask myself if God can satisfy or quench or dispel that emotion or need. The answer is always an unfailing and beautiful YES. There is no other person, place or being that will always be there for us – that will always be our Rock – that is perfectly consistent – besides God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit."

My Q:
I fully agree that God can fulfill every need we have, emotional, physical, spiritual, etc.
So, why was Hannah so desperate for a baby? Why isnt God enough? Why are so many Christians desperate for marriage or children? Is it cause they are not allowing God to fulfill that need? I see so many of my friends, relatives, soooo desperate for a partner, they arent ok alone, many settle for ppl they shouldnt. I too have been really wanting/needing someone for most my life, but God has said no or wait and i'm allowing God to fulfill that need. I'm probly not going get married ever, which i have accepted. I know God gave us marriage and wants us to procreate and has a great purpose for marriage, children. But why isnt God enough for so many ppl it seems? I'm not being facetious or putting marriage/family down at all! I know Adam was lonely so He gave him woman...tho why wasnt God enough for Adam? i really just am curious! Any input is appreciated!

My Pastor went over this recently. Hannah's husband saw her weeping and said "And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" My Pastor was joking about this being a typical man's response, like: you got me babe! what more could you want! haha!

Why did God close her womb? My pastor was explaining this, God was saying no, to get Hannah in the correct spiritual position. Hannah wanted a child, but wasnt granted one until she was desperate enough to be in the place God wanted, God wanted her to offer her son to the Lord so He could raise a king for the ppl. Hannah found favor with God so He said "wait" to her cries for a child until she was at the place: Your will be done. I will give this child to You, for Your glory.
Once Hannah was in the correct position, her request was fulfilled. God wanted to use her to provide the ppl a king.
Just like with us, God may withhold from us a blessing/a request, until we are finally where He wants us! A place that the delivered request will bring Him glory!

"In John, the pool with the stirred waters, it was something that triggered ppl's faith. Like the women hemorrhaging for 12 yrs...she just knew by touching Jesus; robe, she'd be healed.
The blog explained well God's compassion n grace, tho the man didnt ask to be healed . Another thing to point out, the man's condition seems to have come from a sinful lifestyle; hence, Jesus' response to him: "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Who knows why this man was afflicted, couldve been brought on by his actions. we today may suffer from a sinful action or simply be "innocent" but its the result of living in a fallen world.

Here's more proof for some of our religious friends that dont believe Jesus and God are one:
"that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
Jesus is infallibly equating Himself with God here!

I did struggle with anger, i hated it! God has dealt with me in this and i'm sooo different now. Anger is very hurtful to ppl around us, its not cool, its not admirable like sum of my coworkers n worldly friends seem to think, like they tell me stories how someone was messing with them. so then they got up in the person's face and told them off, cussed them out, knocked them out, etc. all that, i hear a lot and i just think inside myself, how foolish! A real man (or woman) will have restraint n walk away! how terrible anger is! ANGRY people need help, God's help, prayer, perhaps counseling. especially ppl with children!!! DONT TAKE MISPLACED ANGER OUT ON INNOCENT CHILDREN! They have nooo idea how bad children are affected!
We are to be angry for the right reasons, but yet not sin, and not have out of control anger.

Like i said in my earlier post, i think many many many ppl, the majority.. are looking for someone/something to fulfill them, fix them. Possessions cant, a love interest cant, ppl cant, only the Lord Himself living in us fully, can.

Praise God for His unconditional love and infinate mercies! God has done so much in my life, not just recently, but through out my life! I came to know God first when I was about 10 years old, how excited I was to learn that He loved us so much, He sent His only son to die that we could be forgiven our sins and become joint heirs with Him in Heaven! I cried to think that someone died for me and I had never met Him, but I knew then, I wanted to be just like Him. My parents didn't allow me to go back to church after that day when I had come home to tell them how Jesus died for all of us and we were forgiven. My parents were alcoholics then and didn't want to know they were sinning let alone were alcoholics! God has brought me through the valley of the shadow of death, healed me of many things I never asked Him to heal me of, some of which were breast cancer, colitus, serious illnesses, and restored me to sanity! I have been delived from drugs and alcohol nearly 36 years now and have never relapsed or had a desire to use them again, Praise God. He has taught me that when I draw close to Him, He draws close to me and that has taught me to trust in Him. I had two living children. When they were babies, I took them to the alter of our church and dedicated them to the Lord. I told God I thanked Him for giving me such beautiful gifts, but I wanted to recognize and acknowledge that they belonged to Him. I trusted Him with their care, including when my first born daughter died 3 years ago of an accidental drug overdose. Yes I have mourned her death, but I have moreso rejoiced in her living with God! He brought such comfort and joy to me that day I learned she died and it is still there. I can still feel His loving arms wrapped around me and the song He gave me in my heart. There is none like the living God, I AM! Yes, God has done more than just forgiven my sins, healed my body and mind, He has done so much more, He has given me life everlasting and I will worship Him all the days of my life. It is my desire to bring glory and honor to His name in all that I am, all that I think, do or say. I want to be so into God, that if any man does desire me, He has to go so deeply into God to find me! My entire family became Christians in 1968!

Dottie, what a testimony ...
Thanks for sharing!

Anger ... sigh ... one of the reasons I went to the alter yesterday evening during the service. Somehow I get irritated very quickly, something I pray for constantly, asking the Lord to change that unhealthy flaw within me. I have come to learn how to get control of myself when it comes to irritation and anger. But whenever I'm a little distracted, the enemy will try and get the flaws back into me. But since last week - when God revealed something big and beautiful to me - I feel a big change within myself. This revelation made me grow and I feel it in my character. I hope - and believe - that I can control my irritation and anger better from now on. It's not that I would yell at people or something like that, but to be angry from the inside is as bad as throwing it all out. Like I said: I believe I made a huge change since last week!

Jenny, (Long and just my thoughts).

The last first - "why wasnt God enough for Adam?"

I think this is because we are made in the image of God, and because we are - there are certain inbred characteristics or qualities in mankind that reflect the Creator.

One is "relationships". The Trinity had a perfect relationship before the creation - perfect love, communication, and fellowship. Mankind has a desire for this - non-believers and believers - because being made in his image it is innate in us. Whether it be through marriage or other people. The Trinity's relationship was in spirit - man's need for relationship is with other humans. God could have made another man, but his purpose in creating Eve was not only for procreating the species, but to show how intimate the relationship was to be with the God. When man and woman are together as one - it is the same as being one with Christ.

[Note: Need for social relationship is necessary for mankind. I believe that is why so many people get suicidal when they isolate themselves in depression, and why solitary confinement drives many a prisoner insane (if they are not already).]
======================================================
Ruth
Did not complain and accepted God's power and decisions. She went with Naomi knowing that chances of marriage and children were slim to none. Friendship with Naomi and belief and trust in God were enough for Ruth. Ruth never complained, nor turned bitter over the hand dealt to her early on in the Book of Ruth.

Hannah

Hannah is listed first before the other wife in the readings. Some scholars think she was the first wife, and because she was barren, by Jewish custom, her husband could have a second relationship - to ensure the coninuance of the line of Elkanah.

Note Hannah did not complain about the other wife (note that even Sara complained), even though she was abused and picked on by the woman. It hurt Hanna because having children was very important in Jewish culture (even if only one). The prevailing thought in those times was God must have something against her.

Regardless, Hannah never complained - nor ratted out the other wife. Hannah had bitterness, but she handled it in the right way - laying it at God's feet. Even her prayers were silent - so that the High Priest would not know the "problem with her". Even when he accused her wrongly - Hannah gave the high Priest respect.

Hannah was a Godly woman who struggled with her feelings when trampled on by Peninnah. But her reactions were in perfect keeping with how God wants us to handle these situations.

I think God was enough for Hannah.

Given her prayer in chapter two - Hannah knew and acknowledged God's power and sovereignty. By asking for just one son - Hannah may have been saying - 'it is ok Lord - I accept your decision regarding my life - but if you give me this one son - maybe it will shut that woman up'. She did not ask for many children and a family - just a sign that she was not barren. The child would be given over to the Lord.

In the end God rewarded Hannah for the way she handled her distress, kept her vow, her sincere worship of God, and that she trusted in Him. She was granted five other children.
======================================================
Why do people today need relationships?

For the same reason as outlined in "Adam" section. It is innate in us. But like Ruth - we should find fulfillment in non-sexual - non-marriage relationships. Then we trust in God and pray for Him to provide us with a "partner" (Like you do). Then we "wait" for his Will to be done. It may not happen, and then we have to acknowledge the sovereignty and decision of God. (Paul in Corinthians says being single isn't so bad.)

The key is if you are in fellowship with God, in prayer, in His Word, and are around an assembly (Church) of true Christians - your life can be full and exciting. That is where many people miss the boat - if Christians they are trying to find that person on their own. If non-Christians - they don't have relationship with God at all. Both of these would explain why the divorce rate is over 50% for Christians and non-Christians. When you go it alone you have a fifty-fifty shot of getting it right. If you wait for God to provide that person - chances are it will be for a lifetime.

Anger

One of the great signs at the moment of my "salvation" was three things were taken from me.
- a Crippling mental illness
- profanity
- anger

I have not said a curse word in three years. Before I was a prolific almost every other word curser and blasphemer.

It was particualarly bad when I got angry. My anger was the purple face, vein popping, spittle flying out of my mouth rage directed at other people. I have not been angry in three years. Perhaps at times perturbed at stoplights and lousy drivers - but never angry :)

I have been blessed at that time and since by God removing negative lifelong habits and charactersitics of my nature. It is THE reason I never doubt God or my Salvation, and KNOW that he is working in my life, and that I am one with Christ and am a possessor of the Holy Spirit in me.

I still struggle at times with the flesh - but I have never doubted since that night three years ago when I came to my knees and believed in Him and Received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. God has shown Himself to me over and over since that time, and I know Jesus is the only way to Salvation, His Word is inerrant, and that I am a child of God - co-heir to heaven.

The question is: If you are a believer - do you know - really know those last things mentioned?????

1st Sam 2

Eli's Wicked Sons contrasted with Samuel.

"Eli's sons were wicked men;

The Hebrew is actually "sons of Belial" literally to be without worth or value. Later Belial in Jewish writings would be considered a "right hand man to Satan" if not Satan himself.

The sons of Eli were wicked, AND

"they had no regard for the Lord." this is not a good thing and foreshadows a future problem.

"Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD."

Samuel did not know the Lord yet - but he was growing up in His presence.

Eli may not have been a good father, but the implication here is thorugh his prayer for Hannah and his raising of Samuel - that he was an ok High Priest. Whatever he was doing with Samuel - it was different than how he raised his boys??????
======================================================

[email protected]

I am not soliciting emails, but type pad (according to Mike) has changed their format - no loner allowing email addresses in the signature.

So once a day - I will put my email in a post so if someone wants to ask a question or correct me:) they can do it directly - in case they do not feel like posting it on the blog. I have always had it in my signature in the past - so I see no reason to not have it somewhere on a daily post at this time.

John 5:1-15

The pool of Bethesda was found 20 years ago on an archaelogical dig.

Jesus healed one man out of many. The man was not searching Jesus out - but he was helpless, and could do nothing to heal himself.

Not knowing Jesus when asked if he wanted to get well - I think he took an opportunity to try and get help.

I think unspoken here is - 'you believe in the pool and its stirring - but you should believe in me. Get up - take up your bed - and walk.'

Be healed, you do not need the bed here any longer, and walk - don't depend on others any longer.

Not knowing it was Jesus the man still had an incomplete faith. The moment he was asked about his healing - he told them - not me, but the other man who healed me told me to do this thing.

The next part is critical. Jesus again sought the man out - His work was not done. Jesus says, "See, you are well again." NIV But the Greek says you are made "whole" - he has been physically healed and his sins have been forgiven - healed inside and out.

We are not ever given the exhaustive list of things said - just what is important to the gospel. Jesus may have explained more, or the man upon hearing it was Jesus knew of His teachings. I think it is at that point that the man believed and was saved.

Perhaps his naming of Jesus at the end to the temple priests was a badge of honor identifying the former cripple as a believer in Christ????
======================================================
The reason this miracle greater than the last.

Jesus changed illness to health of a long term injury.

Jesus chose (before others came to Him) and God's grace was magnified by the fact that originally the man had no faith.

It was done before a larger crowd.

[Note: The word for illness of boy in last chapter and invalid in John 5 is the same in Greek. The common thread being helpless, feeble, powerless.]

From the wine stewards, to the boy, to the invalid - all are helpless to change their situation. It is the same for us in spiritual death. We are helpless without the healing power of Christ.

John 5:16-23

Life Through the Son

I get perturbed when non-believers of any ilk say Christ did not say He was God.

I used to say the same thing, but at least I would admit I had never read the Bible.

I can go along with John 1 being Nathaniel declaring Jesus is the Son of God, and John saying it earlier in the chapter. I can understand when Jesus declares himself as the Messiah to the Samaritan women - Messiah was thought by Jews to be the "appointed" man of God who would lead Israel to all the blessings promised by God.

But in verse 17 Jesus says "mou Pater" - My Father. "Pater" is the same word used for Father in the Lord's prayer. It is pretty clear cut that Jesus is deity. In the later verses - Jesus puts himself on equal footing with God.

One thing I have started doing, is not only pointing out the Verses where Jesus proclaims deity, but I tell people to look at how the people at the time reacted to what he said.

vs. 18 is an example of this and is absoluteluy correctly translated.

Does someone today have the insight to deny Christ's deity that the people of 2,000 years ago did not have?

One may choose not to believe Christ's deity, but it is because they do not believe in the text, not because it was never said or implied throughout this Gospel.

The comments to this entry are closed.