Fling Wide These Gates

gateFling Wide These Gates

As we take each step on this journey through the scriptures we will come across many places that “speak” to us. In fact, if you tell me that you have made this entire journey through the scriptures and nothing speaks to you I will be more than just a little surprised. There are tons of places that open up as I fall into the rhythm of the daily scripture reading. Places like proverbs today…

The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made them both. (Proverbs 20:12 NKJV)

On the surface, this Proverb may not seem like much, but it comes alive to me (as everything does in my life) when you invite Jesus into it…

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 11:15 NKJV)

and…

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23 NKJV)

and…

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ (Revelation 3:13 NKJV)

and…

Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? (Mark 8:18 NKJV)

Today to me is about opening our heart and letting the Lord speak to us. It is the “ancient doors” and gates of our hearts that Jesus wants access to. He has given us the free will to leave those doors closed as they are due to the fall of Adam. He has also given us the free will to open those gates of our hearts to Him.

Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:9, 10 NIV)

So as you read today’s scripture in the links below remember to open your hearts to God’s message for you. Ask yourself, “How would I react if I were the person in the situation I am reading about?”. It is listening to what is in your heart that will lead you.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27 NKJV)

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (John 10:3 NKJV)

July 31, 2012 Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 29:1-36
Romans 14:1-23
Psalms 24:1-10
Proverbs 20:12

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Our Good Shepherd

20120730-060129.jpgOur Good Shepherd

I have the feeling that almost everyone reading this today has heard some portion of Psalm 23 before. Most of us have quoted it or said some part of it at some point in our lives. But how many of us LIVE it as if it were the absolute truth.

I mean when we are in that “Valley of the Shadow of Death” place in our lives we seem to live it. Right? When we are in the deepest stresses in our lives… we live it. We live it then because we NEED it. We NEED to know that, “God HAS us” on this one… right?

Take a look at Psalm 23

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NKJV)

Think about the things that are going WELL in your life. Think about the things that you HAVE been and ARE being blessed with right now. Do you feel like those are a place that you “shall not want” or be without? Do you have a place where you get to experience “CALM”? What are your “Still Waters”? When have you chosen to do what is right because… somehow… you just KNOW it is right? All of this is for God’s Name…

Let’s keep going… Now we come to that “Valley of the Shadow of Death” place. Do you have one in your life? Are you walking through one now? Did He not help you through it? Have you not been redeemed and lifted up above your enemies? Have you not been shown His Love through some kind of redemption in your life? The LORD will vindicate you.

NOW is my favorite part of this… We will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. That is a wonderful promise. That is part of the Gospel, right? We HAVE been saved!

The issue with pieces of Scripture like this are that they get plunged into speeches. They are partially quoted to serve the days agenda. Or they are misquoted. Because the scripture gets used so often, we become “desensitized” of it.

Whatever the case may be, this scripture is LIVING. It breathes the promise of life with God. It describes something beautiful. This is not only a promise for your future… This is the promise of TODAY.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you are Saved. If you are Saved… eternity doesn’t begin when you die… It begins when you are Spiritually Born. You are already walking in eternity. That means that Psalm 23 is the Promise of your walk with God TODAY!

July 30, 2012 Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27
Romans 13:1-14
Psalms 23:1-6
Proverbs 20:11

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The Real Mr. President

in God we trust

Sometimes as I read the Bible I tend to get lost, focusing so much in the names and titles that I lose sight of the actuall stories.

For example, today’s passages start out in 2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28 with the story of Joash, a seven year old, becoming king. Sponge Bob and juice boxes for everyone! What about Jehoiada living to be 130 years old? Talk about respecting your elders and getting a great senior citizen discount!

There are so many instances like this as we read through the Bible every day and for me it’s important not to get caught up in the names so much, but to realize the stories and how things play into our everyday lives, even all these years later. Makes ya think, doesn’t it!

Continue reading into Romans 12:1-21 today and you’ll read something that probably makes more sense than anything else you’ll read or hear today.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. This is the ultimate “keep your chin up” speech.

I’m a guy that loves quotes and that’s the greatest one that I’ve read in a long time; and so simple too.

Reading Psalms 22:19-31 it becomes clear that the rules have been written and that all the people with gather and worship the Lord. The poor, the rich, the week, the weary, etc. Again words written that still to this day make sense to us in our everyday lives.

Consider this time of year and look at every four way stop and traffic light. What do you see? “VOTE FOR ME,” everywhere you look. What signs will you pay more attention to in your life? Who to vote for in your local county or the One that can never be voted out of office?

July 29, 2012 Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
Romans 12:1-21
Psalms 22:19-31
Proverbs 20:8-10

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Seinfeld, Psalm 22, and Wake Up Calls

Seinfeld landmarkSeinfeld, Psalm 22, and Wake Up Calls

Do you remember the show Seinfeld? Of course you do. That show always amazed me. How could the writers of that show sit down, write 22 minutes of content with four characters, and connect all of their situations in a hilarious way. It was the interconnectivety that was the draw of the show.

What does that have to do with the Bible? Well, let me tell you. Good ole Psalm 22. That’s what. Psalm 22 is one of the most significant pieces of scripture to me. I didn’t know

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Asking Him

*Mountain Light*Asking Him

Reading through the Bible is an amazing journey. Like any journey, the road may seem long when you take your first steps. Putting one foot in front of the other makes the journey one step shorter with each stride and that is important. It’s important because this journey through the scriptures is more than half-way over for this year and there are no doubt many changes that have taken place in the lives of those that have chosen to walk this path. However, this journey is far from over. So, stay strong. Stay committed. Stay on the path…

Today in the reading we see Jehoshaphat turn to God for his answers once again. Isn’t that part of what Jesus came to give us? Access to speak with God. The curtain symbolizing the separation of God and His people in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom when Jesus gave up His Spirit on the Cross.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:37, 38 NIV)

How many times do you talk to God about your decisions? I mean God has granted us wisdom to handle much, but the decisions that you make that are difficult? Did you know that you can always ask Him what to do? Do you automatically turn to God to get your answers? Or do you try, try, and try again and upon your own failures then turn to God? With honest reflection, that is what I have found many times in my own life.

Give this a try today. With the next big decision that comes your way, pause and take the time to ask God. Here’s the hard part. Don’t move forward with your decision until you have your answer.

July 27, 2012 Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37
Romans 10:13-11:12
Psalms 21:1-13
Proverbs 20:4-6

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What Do You Want To Hear?

Winding path to the peakWhat Do You Want To Hear?

There are a lot of twists and turns on our journey today. The one place that is “worthy of a postcard” is this stop in the Old Testament.

We find the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah aligned through Ahab and Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat tells Ahab to inquire of the Lord before going into battle and he will go with him. Ahab obviously has a need to get his way, because he has surrounded himself with “yes men” as prophets. When Jehoshaphat asks Ahab about it, this is what happens,

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied. (2 Chronicles 18:6, 7 NIV)

Then Micaiah, the one prophet of the Lord, is brought in and tells them what he sees. Micaiah doesn’t tell them what they want to hear… He tells them…

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The Elect

Smoky Mountains Light in the ForestThe Elect

Paul gives a pretty hard message to swallow for some in our reading today. For those people that have yet to submit to God and understand that God is GOD they will not like Paul’s message. Why though?

God is Sovereign. He can do whatever HE wants. It’s interesting really. When God doesn’t do what we want, we get upset. If we TRULY believe that God is Sovereign, then how could we get upset when HE doesn’t do what WE want? If God always did what we wanted we would actually be the sovereign ones, right? Yet it is not so. God is Sovereign and we were formed by Him.

What I really find interesting is that Paul uses scripture to fight off the attacks that are coming against his ministry. Scripture, whether said out loud to your attacker or said within your heart and mind, has an enormously positive affect on the situation. Memorizing some scripture as a good idea for such attacks.

When attacked by one of the enemies (the world, the flesh, or the devil) scripture is there to remind them who is Sovereign. Scripture reminds the enemies who is in control. It’s worth it to add that they hate it too.

As for God’s elect Paul is talking about… that IS the Good News! This Gospel we keep hearing about… God has chosen to allow us to love Him or not. Those that love God and choose Him are the ones He accepts as the Elect. That is the Promise that Jesus put in the work for. Jesus cleared the way by atoning for our sins for us to be truly free.

July 25, 2012 Bible Reading

2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14
Romans 9:1-24
Psalms 19:1-14
Proverbs 20:1

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