Saturday 2/20/10 - Psalm 139

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Friday 2/19/10 - Stephen

>> Friday, February 19, 2010

Today I read the story of Stephen. It is a beautiful story. He was “full of God’s grace and power, [and] did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.”

Like any other Christian leader (or just any leader, for that matter), he had opposition. People argued with him, but the Bible says that they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. So they seized him and took him to the Sanhedrin for blasphemy. When it was his turn to speak, God spoke through him. He summed up the entire history of the Jewish people, and ended with this:

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet you did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him - you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
Acts 7:51-53

I know this was directed toward Jews who would not believe what was right in front of them, but the “you always resist the Holy Spirit” really got my attention… especially since I’ve been struggling with that lately.

I started to listen to You Won’t Relent by Misty Edwards because Melodie always talks about it and because I just felt drawn to it at that moment… and it was the perfect prayer for me at that moment.

God had Stephen’s whole heart, and God used him for glory. And I want God to have all of my heart.

“Come be the fire inside of me. Come be the flame upon my heart. Come be the fire inside of me, until you and I are one!”

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Thursday 2/18/10 - Trust

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today I think God gave me an exercise in trust. Yesterday I realized that I had a band rehearsal and a theatre rehearsal for Clue at the same time today. I’ve been slacking on both of my commitments to these things, because they’re always at the same time. I really wanted to go ahead and go to the Clue rehearsal, switching my singing week with someone else, but I felt like I should go to the band rehearsal, because it’s been the lesser of these two priorities. So I asked God to give me a reason to not have to go sing in the band if he wanted me at the rehearsal. All the time I had been feeling a tug on my heart that I should go to Band, and I was fighting it with all I had (and I’m ashamed of that). I finally said, “God, I’m going to surrender myself and go to band, even though I don’t want to.” About ten minutes later, I went and got my phone to make sure band rehearsal was at 7:30 like I thought it was, and there was a voice mail. I listened to it, and it was Frank pushing the rehearsal to tomorrow. I checked the time and date, and he had called right when I was praying that I’d do what God told me to even though I wanted to do something else. I firmly believe that God was testing me to see if I would choose him and trust him to work things out. And what’s more amazing is that he was working on it for quite a while before any of this came up in MY life. Frank had to move the practice because last week his test got snowed out, and he had to take it this week instead.

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Wednesday 2/17/10 - Unstoppable

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Pharisees must have felt incredibly guilty about sentencing Jesus to death if they were so against the apostles’ preaching. Here’s what they said:

We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.
Acts 5:28

But Peter and the other apostles kept preaching!

We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
Acts 5:29-32

This made the Pharisees mad enough to kill the apostles. My guess is that they were mad because the disciples said they needed forgiveness. But there was one smart Pharisee: Gamaliel. I’ve never remembered reading about him before, even though I’ve read Acts several times. He reminded the other Pharisees that other people had claimed to be people, and gotten a following, only to be killed and their followers scattering. And he said something awesome.

In the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Acts 5:38-39

This persuaded the other leaders. God’s spirit MUST have been on Gamaliel!

This verse reminds me that if I try something on my own, without God, and for my own reasons, I will fail. But with God, I am unstoppable!

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Tuesday 2/16/10 - Apathy

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All right. Cut the crap, Naomi. You’re starting to feel apathetic again.

Ugh, this is so like me, to fall in love all over again and then stop caring after a few weeks. It’s a vicious cycle. I thought it was ending, but my humanity is catching up to me once again.

Today I read chapters 3 and 4 of Acts, where Peter and John heal the crippled man, and give all the glory to Jesus, and all the people praise the Lord. The Sanhedrin got all frustrated because they didn’t want the people to believe in the resurrection of Jesus, so they told Peter and John not to speak or heal in the name of Jesus. But they said:

“Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:19-20

Peter and John refused to be apathetic. They couldn’t help but tell people about Jesus. It was too good of a truth to keep quiet. God used them and gave them wisdom to refute the Pharisees. I want to be like them. I don’t want to break down when someone attacks my faith, because that only gives Satan a bigger window to destroy me.

Dear Father.
I don’t want to feel apathetic! I’m trying to let go and just trust, but it’s so hard. Speak to me; show me what comes next. Help me tackle it with as much strength as you have. Cease this apathy within me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Give me the words to say. I give you my life. Use me, Lord.
Amen.

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Monday 2/15/10 - A Movement

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4


I would give anything to have been there when the Holy Spirit came down on Pentecost. God worked a miracle using his apostles by allowing them to speak every language, even ones they did not know. All the people visiting Jerusalem could understand about Jesus in their own language, and three thousand people accepted Christ!

Father,
It seems nearly impossible for me to lead someone to the Savior. I don’t think I’ve ever led anyone to Christ, and that makes me discouraged. Be with me; help me not to be discouraged. Remind me every second of every day that you’re with me no matter what. I pray that your spirit would be on this generation of believers, and that you would work in this generation. Let there be a movement for you. Work on the hearts of those we talk to, and add to our number daily those who are being saved. Father, it’s not up to me, or any other believer for that matter, to convince people that you are the only way. That’s between you and them, but I pray that you would use my words and my actions to glorify you and influence everyone I come in contact with.
Amen.

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