Tag Archives: scripture

Joy Amidst All Odds

Scripture

To read the full context go to 1 Samuel 11. It’s 15 verses long.

God is faithful! He also brings great joy, even in the midst of great battles & violence. Also, I can see a portion of the Gospel in this scripture. How, you ask? Let me try and break it down for you.

The old testament has similarities to the Gospel message. It’s a reference to Jesus coming to save us. Also, we were told that Jesus will be our Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:1‭-‬7, the hope of the coming of the Messiah [the promised and expected deliverer].

Matthew 2:1-2 says this about Jesus: Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” These wise men could’ve only known of a coming Messiah because they had old testament knowledge.

In today’s scripture, the people were full of joy because they were being saved and they were being given a king. King Saul.

What is God speaking to you in this scripture? How can we apply this to our lives today?

Here are my thoughts:

  • Don’t despair. We have been given a king, Jesus. He is our Saviour.
  • Be joyful because Jesus is our Eternal and Everlasting Father.
  • Trust God. He’s in control. He would never lie to us.
  • Be obedient to God. His word is full of truth, promises, and blessings.

Dear Father God, Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Saviour and King. I pray that those reading this blog will be blessed and will seek You fully. Thank You in advance for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Vow

Scripture To read the full text of this scripture go to Judges 11:29-40

A vow is of vital importance. That’s one main reason why vows are also used in a wedding ceremony. God’s word holds vows to a high standard.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says this:
“When you make a vow to the Lord your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the Lord your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin. However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow. But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the Lord your God.

Jephthah was no different. He kept his vow. His one and only child, his daughter, accepted and was ok with the vow her father made. She made only one request and he granted her that request. He waited for her return home before he fulfilled the vow he made to God.

My friend, Andrea, and a bible reading group member, made an astute observation and insight on this scripture reading. She said, “I think God wanted us to understand what it was like to sacrifice one’s only child through this story. Jephthah’s daughter was his only child and a virgin. She was also willing to die. It’s kind of a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.”

God will work out His plan in our lives’ with or without us being on board. Jephthah’s daughter was on board. What a great child. Jesus was also on board. He was willing to give His life for the salvation of all people of all time. Not everyone will accept that free gift. But, that is also part of God’s plan. How has accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation affected your life?

How does this apply to our lives today? How do we apply it to our lives today?

Here’s what I believe:

  1. We must take God seriously.
    • He’s not just some fairytale that we tell stories from.
    • He’s real; He’s alive and so is His word.
      • Each time we read His word they must feel like they’re jumping off the pages at us and speaking directly to us. What we read one time and gain insight from may not be the same the next time. He may be telling us something else the next time. That’s how dynamic His word (The Holy Bible) is.
  2. We must be about the Father’s business.
    • We must be so in tune with the Father that we don’t even realize or know anything else about everyone and everything that is going on around us. He’ll meet our needs. Trust Him!
    • Here’s a quoted story as an example:
      A lady went to her Pastor and said: “Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.” The Pastor responded, “But why?” The lady said “Ah! I saw a woman gossiping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.” 
      The Pastor replied, “OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterward, leave the church if you desire.” The lady thought: too easy! She walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When she finished she told the Pastor she was ready to leave. 
      The Pastor said, “Before you leave I want to ask you one more question. When you were walking around the church, did you see anyone gossiping?” The lady replied “No.” “Did you see any hypocrites?” The lady said “No.” “Anyone looking at their phone?” “No.” “You know why?” “No.” 
      “You were focused on the glass, to make sure you didn’t stumble and spill any water. It’s the same with our life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t have time to see the mistakes of others. We will reach out a helping hand to them and concentrate on our own walk with the Lord.”
  3. What else can you come up with? I look forward to hearing from you.

Dear Jesus, thank You for this great insight. Thank You for the gift of salvation. Thank You for Your grace. I lift up all those who read this post and pray for their needs to be met; no matter what they are. You’re the Almighty, Who can make anything happen. I pray that those who read this devotion with fully surrender to You and fully seek You. Thank You in advance for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Testing Israel, by God!

Scripture

You know, there are huge similarities to all of us today regarding today’s scripture. Look at the way America (the world for that matter) is now. It’s a disgrace to the name of Yahweh! Just awful! Yahweh will make it right! Jesus is returning… And man, what strife people will be in then! God is more than enough!

What should we do? How do we apply this to our life? Here are my thoughts:

  • I, personally, need to be obedient to Yahweh.
  • I, personally, need to stop being selfish.
  • I, personally, need to share the Gospel.
    • Plants seeds.
    • Pray over those seeds.
    • Leave it with God. He’s got it under control.
  • I, personally, need to trust God in His plan.
    • His word says He has a plan for me and you. It’s not my job to take the wheel and steer wherever I please. That’s destructive. (Been there; done that! I learned my lesson.)
  • His goal was to carry out his plan, when the right time came, that all things in heaven and on earth would be joined together in Christ as the head. In Christ, we were chosen to be God’s people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. Ephesians 1:10-11
  • I, personally, need to be on my knees in prayer seeking to make right what I might have done wrong and making myself right with Yahweh in all I say and do. It’s a great goal for everyone.

Dear Yahweh, I come, prostrate before you. I seek You. Please show me, use me, and make right what I can help with. I pray the readers of this blog post will do the same. Cleanse all filth from every crack and crevice of my wretchedness so I may be worthy of Your name and to say Your name. Thank YOU for saving me through Jesus shed blood and body, in Your name. Thank YOU that He took on my sin, and of all others as well. You are amazing and wonderful, Yahweh. Thank You, in advance, for hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus’ holy precious name, amen.

Knowing the Will of God!

Scripture
“If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE Lord YOUR GOD, Deuteronomy 28:58; If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and we do not accept God’s teaching. 1 John 1:8‭-‬10

If ever we say we don’t know the will of God… It’s because we ignore His word. His word is alive and vibrant. It’s within the pages of His Holy Word; The Holy Bible.

Obeying God blesses us. By obeying Him the blessings will come and stay with us.

We mustn’t be in denial that we’re a sinful people. We can accept that and then confess our sins so that He will forgive us and cleanse us. Otherwise, we are in essence saying God is a liar. It’s impossible for God to lie. So, we’re the ones in the wrong, not God.

We must stop being in denial of the Truth of God and start submitting to Him and obeying Him. We must surrender our selfish, self-centeredness to Him. We must stop limiting Him in our lives. It’s easy. Just do it! (My [Kimberly’s] favorite quote by Nike, the shoe company!)

There are no excuses. We must wake up to ourselves and realize that we’re holding God back in our lives. We also must realize that we’re unable to save ourselves. There’s nothing we can do to save ourselves. God doesn’t need our help.

Be blessed by the BEST, God!

Dear Adonai, Abba Yah, I pray for forgiveness of sins I don’t even realize I’m committing as well as the readers of this devo blog. Also, blatant sins that we know we’re doing and are just being complacent of them and ignoring the truth of the matter and being defiant toward You. Show us the way, the truth, to You. Thank You in advance, Abba Yah, for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do What Pleases God!

Scripture:

What exactly does be careful mean? The dictionary says this:
making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap, or harm; cautious. And this:
done with or showing thought and attention.

Then there’s the part about obeying. It’s important that we submit to God’s authority. Going against Him leads to danger and mishaps in our lives. Which we see in the definition of careful; we want to avoid potential danger or mishaps. The whole thing is a “no duh” to me. I don’t know about others. What do you think this scripture means about being careful and obeying God?

In the last part of the verse, it informs us that we would be pleasing God when we do what is good and right.

I rather like to please God. Don’t you? It would make things in life move along better.

To be pleasing to God I must be in His word. I must apply His word to my life. I must work at being righteous and be like Christ. What would you do?

Dear Father God, make it known, without question, what I need to be doing to please You. I also pray the readers of this blog to be blessed and to be pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Elizabeth Gives Birth to John the Baptist

John the Baptist is Born image
A few months later, after Mary went back to Nazareth, Elizabeth gave birth to the son she had always hoped for. She named him ‘John’. Luke 1:57-66

Everyone was very happy and excited for her.

She did quite well for an elderly woman giving birth.

There was a discussion among family about the baby’s name and what it would be. They decided his name would be after his father, Zechariah. However, Elizabeth quickly corrected them. She was adamant, his name is “John”. Afterall, this is what Gabriel the angel gave instruction to.

Zechariah now able to speak. This baby would one day be a prophet of the Most High, he said, preparing the way for the Messiah.

This picture is the last we see of Elizabeth. By the examples of the time, she was already old, and she might not have lived to see John grow to adulthood.

So, the main takeaway from this story is that being patient and waiting on the Lord brings great blessings.

How are you doing in your waiting time? Share and bless others with your experience.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

Mary Meets Elizabeth imageWhile Elizabeth was pregnant with the future John the Baptist, she gave refuge to her young cousin Mary of Nazareth who, pregnant with Jesus and single, might have been escaping from the anger of her relatives.

Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, about a hundred miles away in Judea, might’ve been a dire effort by her family to save her from this destiny [in a Middle Eastern rural community at the time, this kind of situation could simply result in an honor killing of the young girl by her fiancé’s family], to get her out of the way until a resolution had been worked out. Leaving Galilee and traveling south, Mary punctually arrived at Elizabeth’s house in Judea after a trip of about three or four days.

When they met, each recognized that they and their children would be an incredible part of God’s plan for mankind.

Luke 1:39-45 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hills of Judea. She came to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman, and he has blessed the baby to which you will give birth. Why has this good thing happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Well, in this story, at first glance, we just think two women relatives were meeting and the younger one might’ve been visiting to help the older one through the childbirth.

It’s likely that Luke was making diagonal references to the Old Testament stories of Hannah and Sarah.

You may not see it in your life, but God is using you and your life for a bigger plan than you realize. A magnificent and awesome plan. In the grand scheme of it all, our lives are like a massive grand puzzle that God is putting in place using all the pieces of life.

Don’t allow all of the life’s pieces to bring you down. That’s what satan wants. He wants us to be in strife so he can slip in and manipulate us with his sneaky ways keeping us oppressed and depressed.

How does this look in your life? What are you doing with your life puzzle pieces to honor and glorify God? Comment and let’s interact. Bless others with your testimony. Be blessed by what God is doing in other’s lives.

Next & final post coming up: Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist.

Elizabeth – Who is she?

Who was Elizabeth?

What was her story?

Elizabeth is Eli-sheba. It means ‘God’s promise’, or ‘my God is generous’.

Her trust in God paid off.

Elizabeth becomes pregnant, Luke 1:5-25. Click scripture and read about Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was an righteious woman married to Zechariah, a member of the Jerusalem priesthood. She was past childbearing age, her husband was elderly, and she had given up hope for having any children. But Elizabeth’s life took an unanticipated turn. She became pregnant, to the surprise of everyone.

Luke 1:13-14 The angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you will name him John. He will be your pride and joy, and many people will be glad that he was born.

Luke 1:24-25 Later, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and didn’t go out in public for five months. She said, “The Lord has done this for me now. He has removed my public disgrace.”

Trusting and obeying Yahweh will bless you.

Next up in tomorrow’s post: Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.

What blessings have you been given because you trust and obey Yahweh? Comment and let’s interact. Bless others with your testimony.

Eve Received the Divine Prophecy of the Cross

eve-serpent-eden image

Eve Was the First to Receive the Divine Prophecy of the Cross

Eve was the first sinner and saw the fruit of her sin as she stood at the world’s first grave and buried her dead son. After confessing her sin she heard the Lord say to that serpent, the devil, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15). With this first promise of the Redeemer, there started the wicked path of life ending at the cross where Jesus Christ, born of a woman, presented a satisfying victory over sin and Satan.

Through a woman, God’s just universe was ruined and became “a world of sinners lost, and ruined by the fall.” Now, through a woman, a perfect salvation has been given for a sinful people. Through Eve’s sin, death came into the world, but at the cross, both sin and death were defeated, through “dying, death He murdered.” When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He meant that the serpent’s head, symbolizing power and authority, had been bruised. He defeated all satanic principalities and powers that Eve’s sin brought into the world, and put them under His feet.

Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

As we leave our reflection upon the world’s first woman, first wife, first sinner, first mother, and first mourner, there are one or two lessons to be gleaned from Eve’s story. For instance,

  • “many daughters of Eve have learned that the serpent is never more dangerous than when he claims to be the sincere supporter interested in nothing but her progress and happiness.”

What a shrewd, wicked impostor Satan is. How naive so many are – of his tricks! Besides,

  • any temptation is a common occurrence, and each of us should learn from the first person on earth to be tempted, its way of reaching and continuous actions, and protect ourselves from a fall through the benefit of Jesus Christ’s own victory over the enemy.

There is no sin in being tempted. We only sin when we give way to temptation. Refusing to give way to the attraction of sin, our Garden of Eden awaits perfect.

  • At the heart of Eve’s wretched story, however, is the good lesson that a woman has the power of burden or blessing over a man’s life. If she falls, man falls with her.

Paul said, “in Adam, we die- in Christ, we are made alive.”

In asking loyalty to Christ, Paul relates Eve to represent the quickness that one is wicked (see 1 Timothy 2:12-14).

So, there you have it. The Biblical account of Eve.

How can you relate to Eve’s story? Comment, let’s interact.

Next week: we’ll be talking about, Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.

Ruth: Loyal Daughter-in-Law

Today’s devotion will focus on Ruth.

Listen to this segment: “Ruth: Loyal Daughter-in-Law (2nd of 10 in the Women of the Bible series)” on Anchor.

What’s the Book of Ruth about?

Ruth means ‘lovely friend’.

People often think the Book of Ruth is just a pretty love story. It’s not. It’s an outcry account against some of the severe laws passed in Israel at the time – the ‘purity laws’ of Ezra and Nehemiah.ruth image

These laws banned Jewish men from marrying non-Jewish women and commanded Jewish men to divorce their non-Jewish wives.

Many people disagreed. They said a woman’s worth was in her actions, not her blood-line. Boaz agreed. He knew Ruth was from Moab, not Israel, but he loved her and married her anyhow.

It’s awesome he did: she was loyal, hard-working, and generous – and gave him a great-grandson who was Israel’s hero, King David.

Ruth’s story

Even though there was protesting against the laws; the text of the Book of Ruth is, still, one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible.

  • It’s about loyalty: to God, to family, to each other.
  • Ruth wasn’t the sort of heroine you’d expect: Ruth is a foreigner, not even an Israelite – which meant a lot at that time.

Notwithstanding of this, Ruth survived and thrived. It’s just as well she did because it was vital for the future of Israel. Ruth’s great-grandson will be David, king of Israel, founder of a royal dynasty.

The story of Ruth has four parts

  1. Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem – the grief of losing someone you love.
    Naomi and Ruth suffered terrible misfortune: the men in their family, including both their husbands, died. Deserted in Moab, the older woman Naomi decided to return to her home in Bethlehem. Ruth, though a Moabite herself, chose to go with her. She vowed her loyalty to Naomi and they set out on the long journey, arriving in time for the barley harvest.
  2. Ruth meets Boaz – a love story.
    Soon after, Ruth met Boaz, a rich land-owner, and relative of Naomi. It seems to have been love at first sight for him, and he commanded that Ruth be well attended to when she worked in his fields. The older woman Naomi saw immediately what had happened, and encouraged Ruth to continue working in Boaz’s fields.
  3. Ruth proposes marriage to Boaz.
    Cleverly, Naomi notified the young woman how to catch her man. Ruth addressed Boaz during the night, on the threshing floor, and the text crookedly hints that there may have been some intimate mischief. The next morning, Ruth recommended that they marry, reminding Boaz of his responsibility to her as her nearest male family. Boaz promised to do all he could.
  4. Ruth and Boaz marry – a happy ending.
    Naomi’s plan worked. Boaz demonstrated good on his word, and he and Ruth were married. She had a son called Obed, and Naomi cared for the child, who would grow up to be the grandfather of King David.

What are the chief points of Ruth’s story?

  • Friendship: Ruth was poor and a foreigner, but she listened to the counsel of an older, wiser woman. In turn, Naomi was honored by Ruth’s steadfast loyalty. The message? Courage and ability triumph over hardship.
  • Family: The story of Ruth honors the family and the way it continues through many generations. Ruth, a childless widow at the beginning of the story, became the great-grandmother of Israel’s great king, David.
  • God’s plan: The story of Naomi’s family and the way it remained is a common theme. Even Ruth, a foreigner from the detested Moabites, could move God’s plan towards accomplishment.

Ruth has special importance for Christians: Matthew’s gospel lists four women who were ancestors of Jesus (Matthew 1:2-17). Ruth is one of them.

Life Lessons from Ruth

  • Ruth’s promise to Naomi is one of the most beautiful declarations of commitment in Scripture (Ruth 1:16-17).
  • Her obedience to Yahweh God brought rich rewards (4:10-17).

Do you have rich rewards from your obedience to Yahweh God? If not, why? If so, praise His Holy Name. Share with us.

Why be obedient to Yahweh? What’s the importance of it?

Comment and let’s interact. Or, if you prefer, send me feedback in the contact form below: