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Chronological Bible: November 22, Source of refreshment…

Read:

  • Acts 3:1-5:42

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus” –Acts 3:19-20, ESV

 

Tired? Enter the presence of the Lord. Weary? Seek His location and go there. Need refueling? Draw near to God. Thirsting? Come to the Living Water. Obedience to God’s commands will only do so much. Obedience in His presence gives the refreshment for which you long. Find Him. And stay there.

Chronological Bible: March 19, Just keep fighting…

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Read:

  • Judges 20:1-21:25

Like so much of scripture, this passage both breaks my heart and buttresses my soul. The people of Israel sought the Lord and went to battle at His command. Thousands of His died. The people wept and sought the Lord. He sent them out a second day. Thousands more of His died. The people wept and sought Him again. Surely more would not have to die. Again He sent them to battle. And on the third day, the Benjamites were delivered into Israel’s hand.

Sometimes the call of God sends us into a battle with death from which we or our brothers and sisters do not emerge. Then He sends us again…and again. The Lord’s battles are not always won in the first round. Or the second. Though it seems like defeat, sometimes His battles take ore rounds than we are interested in fighting. The wounds grow, the weariness takes over, and we just keep seeking the Lord. And He keeps sending us back into the fray.

Failure does not mean you heard God wrong. Defeat does not mean you disobeyed. As this scripture accounts, the seeming failure was part of the battle plan. The people followed God to a “t” and still people died. Thousands upon thousands died.

Though you may not be taking up arms in the physical world, the spiritual battle around you requires arms as well. Take up your weapons, seek the Lord, and be not discouraged if it seems defeat is the only outcome. Round after round lay in His hand. Keep seeking. Keep battling. His glory will win. Just keep fighting.

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Chronological Bible: March 2, The grind will not wear you down…

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Read:

  • Deuteronomy 29:1-33:29

“And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.” –Deuteronomy 29:5, NKJV

Life comes with it’s seasons of grind. Up in the morning, same day over and over again as if that little groundhog emerges from his den every time the sun rises. The weekly update when asked at church remains remarkably similar. You wonder if this is what all that growing up was supposed to lead to after all. But still you grind. Every morning, coffee in hand, you keep going because you know that is the day the Lord gave to you.

Though the grind may wear on you, God provides other things that do not. Maybe you have a spouse whose support and ability to make you laugh lightens the grind. Or maybe the increasing tatters on your Bible testify to the faithfulness of His word, even in this routinized part of life. Or maybe it is that Bible study, where you ship your littles off to another woman’s care so that you can have big-girl talk with other big-girls, I mean ladies.

Whatever it is, even in the desert, God provides that which will not wear out on you. It may not be your patience or your body, but there will be something. If you are living that grind right now, look up, look around, and find that unfailing element He has given to make the grind less wearing on you.

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Day 22: Rested and Cared For, Proverbs 31:22

“She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.” –verse 22

A life of giving can exhaust.  God is not the God of exhaustion.  He calls the weary to Himself that they might feel the burden lifted, the boulder moves, and the mountain crumbling–all without their hands doing the work.  God knows we need to rejuvenate.  He gives sabbath.  He declares, “Selah.” And He designed the need for rest.

He wants you to take care of yourself.  Not as a central mission, not at the expense of your responsibilities–if all you are thinking about is you, there are greater problems.

But if you avoid taking care of you, He will allow you to be laid out so that you will rest.  He loves you too much to let you exhaust yourself.  Rest now.  Let Him handle the worries, the burdens.  And arise with a spirit refreshed, a soul clothed in fine linen and purple.

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Day 21: Choose Your Contagion, Proverbs 31:21

“She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.” –verse 21

Fear is catchy.  A damaging contagion, spread through a household like wildfire.  Fearing the cold–of weather, of life, of heart–expends energy previous.  In threadbare times, such energy, spent in trusting Jesus, brings peace.  Paying soul energy to reap fear wastes the moment, leaves you weary, and gives no peace.

Trust Jesus.  He is in all.  He is through all.  And He will get you through this too.  Faith is contagious too.  Be the catalyst for a household of faith.

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Image by Jan Sagemueller