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Isaiah 48:12-50:11

Today’s passage includes the third and final verse that spoke to me mightily when I first read through the Bible. Verses 14 through 16 spoke to me through the pain of abandonment. Although a lot of years had past since my childhood the feelings that being abandon caused still lay beneath the surface and caused me to create very superficial relationships. As suicidal thoughts raced through my head and all the destructive behaviors stemming from the mindset of those desperate thoughts,I came upon this passage and collapsed in a torrent of tears knowing that God loved me even when I didn’t love myself, even though I doubted my family loved me or even wanted me.

I love the way these three verses read in the Amplified or the King James Version:

But Zion [Jerusalem, her people as seen in captivity] said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:14-16 AMP)

I can’t say that rational thought took over when I read this but there was a warm burning deep within my very core that let me know that God was speaking these words directly to me.

This passage, Psalm 27:4 and Galatians 3:28 began a process of setting me free and renewing my mind but also propelled me to read God’s Word for myself. I now know from my experiences with these three passages that God will send His Holy Spirit to not only speak to me through His Word but bring understanding in due season.

Ephesians 4:17-32

We must be active in putting away our sin and worldy behavior. Yes we pray for strength and empowerment through the Holy Spirit but essentially we must put away the behavior that is of the world.

A lot of times we try to lay there charges that Paul writes about on unbelievers. We demand in subtle ways that they clean up their act, but they can’t because they are sinners and are only doing what sinners do. Paul’s letters, this letter was written to Christians. It is Christians that Paul is telling to stop stealing; it is believers Paul is telling to stop cursing and using coarse language. Believers are being admonished to put away bitterness, rage, anger harsh words, slander and malicious behavior.

Paul tells us to put these things away, which must mean we have to ability to do what he is asking. We cannot use the excuse, “I just can’t help myself,” or pass the buck and thus the responsibility and consequence of bad behavior by saying, “He/She/They made me do it.”

Psalm 69:1-18

When I read this Psalm, I could not help but think about all the people caught in the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Katrina or the Tsunami. Although many died in South East Asia and some died in the Gulf Coast, many had their cries attended to by God and found themselves plucked from the mire and the floodwaters up to their neck.

Proverbs 24:5-6

5 wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge is more powerful than a strong man. 6 So don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many counselors.

Nothing is every secured by brute force. The history of Israel fighting against her enemies attests to that. To be wise one must have wisdom, and perfect wisdom is the Wisdom of God. Nothing can defeat God’s Wisdom and that Wisdom is Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

God talks about the Gentiles' (ours) old selves (before Christ) as a different person from the Gentiles who have accepted and trust Christ. This means he probably expects us to live our lives completely different from before because our previous lives were without God.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will empower us to live out today’s Ephesians passages all for Jesus.
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Whenever I read passages similar to today's passage in Ephesians, I'm reminded of how much I still hold on to my old self and lack what I should be doing as a new self. So I pray that God will renew in me the Holy Spirit and a better attitude. There's a lot I need to get rid of in my life, but the Bible reminds me that I'm not supposed to do it alone! I'm glad that God offers us the Holy Spirit and unity in Jesus.

When I read the passage today in Ephesians, the verse that stood out to me was "'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give devil a foothold." To me this verse was kind of confusing and my interpretation of this verse is that first of all, we must not act out in anger because it will do no good or benefit to anyone or yourself. Secondly, we should try to solve our problems and confront the people we need to confront, instead of letting it just marinate inside you, which gives devil a "foothold" or a root to do more evil.

The passage from Ephesians talks about how we, as Christians, should live our lives. It instructs us to be kind, compassionate, truthful, holy, and righteous. The verses that spoke to me the most was verses 25-32. It tells us several times that we should get rid of our falsehood, malice, or unwholesome talk. Instead, we should speak truthfully and build others up according to their needs, because we are all one body. If we do not stop doing sinful things and start being kind and building each other up, then how will we all grow in Christ?

Ephesians talks about how the Gentiles walk is characterized by the futility of there mind. In the end, their thinking is futile because their understanding is darkened. The ignorance and lack of understanding is a heart problem, which shows the foolish denial of God.

“In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold" I feel like this verse is very applicable

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

This verse relates to a class everyone needs to take at my school. The class is called SELF and it teaches us about stress, future life, etc. Today our topic today was about gossip and the negative version of gossip is basically "unwholesome talk."

I know that I can't overcome myself, My old self. Only thru the Holy Spirit that indwells who can steer me clear of trouble and impart his wisdom. Let God's Word be our daily bread to quench the hunger of worldly desires.

In Isaiah today, the Lord reiterated His plan and purpose for the Israelites. In the same way, He has the exact plan for each one of us as well. Are we willing to let a Him take charge though?

“throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness--righteous, holy, and true.” This passage reminded me to live my life with righteousness and to let go of my old self. I know that I have not completely thrown away my old, evil self so I hope that I will change my attitude and thoughts and “display a new nature” which is “created in God’s likeness.”

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