The word I will describe my first reading with shall be: Establishment. Not only am I beginning a reading plan today but I am reading some amazing starts to some amazing books. Genesis, Ezra, Matthew, and Acts.
God is establishing Earth, His will for rebuilding His temple, His descending to Earth, and His church. Four parts to God's intricate plans for His children are described in each of these chapters. I feel like I am embarking on a grand adventure into a world more beautiful than imaginable...the mind of God.
LORD, please fill me with the food of Your word as I "open the pages" and meditate today on these verses. I love you. Amen.
Gen 3 - God is so loving to His creation even after rebellion and sin...
Ezra 3 - 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
Could not discern - "The mixture of sorrow and joy here, is a representation of this world. In heaven all are singing and none sighing; in hell all are wailing, and none rejoicing: but here on earth we can scarce discern the shouts of joy from the noise of the weeping, let us learn to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Meantime let us ourselves rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not.(ref 1Corinth. 7:30)" - Wesley's Explanatory Notes
May I, when I am sad remember Heaven.
May I, when I have joy remember Hell.
So tears may not be something that can drown me
So laughter won't convince me all is well.
For though my soul is saved and looking forward
To sweet eternal bliss forevermore
My sorrow for the lost and unrepentant
Will keep me doing battle in this war.
Matthew 3:7-10 - Let me just say that John the Baptist was one scary guy and I wouldn't want him yelling at me! I would take him seriously since he pretty much lived on nothing but sanctuary with the LORD. When a man like that says to repent, I would repent. He is very much like a loud prophet who won't be ignored. Can't wait to meet the guy.
Matthew 3:13-17 - The Baptism of Jesus. When we are baptized it is a public recognition that we have chosen repentance and salvation. Jesus was revealing Himself through His baptism as the Son of God and our salvation. Not only is it a celebration but the angels and principalities see it and take note, take heed.
Acts 3 - The lame man leaps! This, I believe, is part of Jesus' prayer "...Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven..." In Heaven this man would leap! We have power from Heaven through Christ who lives God's Heavenly will through us. When we believe, we become reflections of the REAL life and TRUE reality that exists in Heaven. Born again, I live in Heaven yet I am here. That's so like The Matrix (I mean The Matrix is such a picture of that) :)
Acts 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
"...through faith in His name..." The LORD has yet to reveal the mystery of the power of His name to me. It's not some magic word that if we say it enough will work. It's so much more than that and in this mindset and my culture I have a hard time with power being in a name. Like Juliet, "What's in a name?"
DAY 5 Acts 5 - Ananias & SapphiraEzra 5 - King Darius receives a letter about the rebuilding of the templeGenesis 5 - Begats, Geneology of Adam and those up till Noah (Enoch walked with God...)Matthew 5 - The Beatitudes & Similitudes; Sermon on the Mount
NotesGenesis 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.”
I wonder how Noah comforted his earthly father's generation. Perhaps when God sends the flood is does a lot to restore the soil and make it ready for planting again. It would definitely change the ground because up until then the water supply came up from springs rather than rainfall, it is thought. The "firmament" being a constant cloud cover that finally fell during the Great Flood. Hence, the rainbow was first seen after the sun was made to shine in a blue sky rather than overcast. So many thousands of years they never saw the magnificence of the sun or were made to roast in it. Rain must have been a very preposterous notion since they had no need of it. It's a great mystery.
NotesMatthew 5:37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
I forget this part of the verse! How the enemy of our souls fills our minds with so much chatter and excuses... Whatever is more than a simple yes or no is manipulation or a broken promise waiting to happen. A solid yes or no is the best evidence of integrity. To agree to do something is human, to follow through is Divine. :)
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you...
This brings to mind the Muslim terrorists and locally, the militant gays. While I won't be seeking out these people while I am a mom of two young ones, I will keep them in mind in my prayers that they may be found.
DAY 6Genesis 6 - Mankind's years lessened; sons of God & daughters of men; Noah finds grace
Matthew 6 - Sermon on the Mount Continued; The LORD's PrayerEzra 6 - King Darius decrees to help the temple to be built; Passover is had on 14th day of first month; Pilgramages are made;Acts 6 - Stephen, full of faith and power; Stephen is framed; Stephen has face like an angel
Concerning deeds and prayer in the first part of Chapter 6: It is lovely to me that our deeds and our prayers are gifts to God that He cherishes so much that He wants them all for Himself.
"Deliver us from the evil one.."
Thus verse in the Lord's Prayer reminds me of a verse in the last chapter: "Do not resist an evil person." The LORD is our deliverer and He should be acknowledged and glorified as such in our lives. That is why we pray "Deliver us from the evil one..." By the way, I don't know how it turned from "evil" to "the evil one" but I have a feeling it is suppose to be the latter translation. The enemy's best offense is to convince people he isn't a real person.
"Forgive us our debts..."
14“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "
This is the only thing Jesus expands on in His prayer model. It is also the only part of the prayer that is a statement. It is assumed that if we are asking for forgiveness that we have already forgiven all that we are responsible to forgive. It is our act of "good faith" in our act of praying through faith.
"When you fast..."
The word "secret" is mention two times in this paragraph about fasting. It definitely should be a secret as much as is possible. I look forward to being able to deny my flesh. It would be such good practice!