“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post is on friendship. Take a journey with me in pondering the meaning of Proverbs 18:24 and what friendship means to us. As with most verses in the Bible, there are many opinions as to the meaning in Proverbs 18:24. Considering that God speaks to us personally and sometimes has differing messages for each of us, it is sometimes okay to have differing opinions as to it’s meaning.
Do you have many friends or few? Are you someone who just seems to be surrounded by people? Do have many invitations to go here or there? Are you the life of the party? Are you pleasant to be around? Are you always cracking a joke? Are you the type who feels kind of awkward in the crowd and sort of sits on the sidelines? Do you enjoy being out with one friend? Are you the person everyone comes to when in need? Do you have any friends?
I am not trying to make you feel bad if you don’t think you have friends or good if you have more friends than you can count. I am hoping to just get you started in thinking about friendship, so we can better contemplate the meaning of Proverbs 18:24.
Next, what do you think it means to be a friend or to be friendly? Is there a difference? Does a friend give you what you want or what you need? Does a friend seem agreeable all the time to you or correct you when you are wrong? Does friendly mean courteous, flirtatious, kind, giving, joyful, helpful, or any number of other things?
Now that we are thinking about friendship, friends, and friendliness, let’s look at Proverbs 18:24 and some of the varying meanings I saw as I researched for today’s post. (I will just summarize them in my own words.)
Varying meanings for Proverbs 18:24:
*Having too many friends will spread you too thin and you won’t be able to be
a good friend to anyone, so it is better to have just one good friend.
*If you aren’t friendly, you won’t have any friends.
*Some friends aren’t really friends, but more of just acquaintances. There
are only a few true friends.
*Many people who we think are friends will lead us down the wrong path in
life, but there is a friend who will lead us down the right path.
*We can have many friends, but Jesus is our only true friend.
With these meaning in mind, what are your thoughts for Proverbs 18:24? Some of these meanings are similar. Some are quite different. There are even more options than this if you look for them.
When I was a teenager, someone told me that it is better to have a few friends that you can count on than many friends that aren’t really friends. I think that is sage advice. Could it be the meaning of Proverbs 18:24?
Now, let’s look at Proverbs 18:24 a little closer. The first part of the verse says, “A man that hath friends, must shew himself friendly”. (KJV) In most of the places I looked, people seem to take “friends” as meaning “many friends”. So, in today’s lingo, it might sound more like, “A man that has many friends must always appear friendly.” What do you think?
If we think of it in that way, we can see just how tiring that can be. I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I enjoy being with someone and doing things with others, there are times when I just need time for myself. I need time to unwind, regroup, and just enjoy the quiet. I need time to pray, read, and think. I enjoy doing things and being with people, but I also enjoy my quiet time too. If we have too many friends or get involved with too many things, we may not have time for that quiet time. We also may not have time to be a true friend to each and every person. It is especially difficult to be a friend and “be there” for others, when we don’t have time to “be with God”.
The second part of Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) says, “and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”. Is this second part talking about God or that special friend we have on earth, our best friend so to speak? That special friend may be someone different for everyone.
I think that no matter whether scripture is talking about God or about that special best friend in our life, God is always part of that special friendship. After all, a true friend wants us to be the best we can be and to follow God’s will for us. They care for our spiritual wellbeing as much or more than our physical and emotional wellbeing. They lift us up in prayer, care enough to tell us the truth whether it hurts or not, help carry our burdens, love us, show kindness, and inspire us to do better. Even if that isn’t meant to be God himself, it sounds like a godly person who is following God’s will. So, God is definitely involved.
I think verses like Proverbs 18:24 are good to get us thinking. We can all relate in some way, even if we all have unique understandings. We all want friends. We can understand that we need to be a friend to have a friend, although it isn’t always followed. Deep down, we can still understand it. Most of us have had someone we have called a best friend at one time or another. We understand that we like and enjoy being around that one special person a bit more than being with other people. That one person is special and holds a bigger piece of us in their heart than most people do. It is also a verse that can mean something different to us at different times. Some of our friendships change, get stronger and closer, or fade away. We need a different message at different times in our life.
As I think about it right now, to me, it means that it is good to be friendly towards everyone. However, we should really cherish the special friends who encourage us to be the godly people we are called to be. We should always make time for quiet time to be with God through prayer, reading the Bible, meditation, reflection, and even going out with that one special friend whom God gave you to help you be closer to Him. Don’t have so many “friends” that you don’t have time for what is important and you can’t be a true friend for each. Besides, if you have “many friends”, probably most of them aren’t true friends anyway.
It is great encouragement for people who don’t feel they have any friends or don’t have many friends. It is encouragement for those who lament over not having as many friends as their neighbor. It is caution about comparing ourselves to others who may have more friends. It may be food for thought about the way to be a true friend. It can be a way to inspire us to keep God as our best friend. It could be telling us not to get too stressed by having too many social engagements.
Thank you for your friendship, for your love, for your parental care, for the kindness you show. Thank you for your Word to inspire us, to teach us, and to encourage us. Help us to be a true friend to others and especially to you, for you are a true friend to us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 18:24 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 1824 mean to me?
*What does being a true friend mean?
*Do I have a true friend?
*Am I a true friend?
*What does being friendly mean?
*Do I have many friends or few friends?
*Are all of my friends true friends?
*What can I do to be a better heed the words in Proverbs 18:24?
*What can I do to be a better friend?
*Do I cherish my friends?
*Do I have time to be a true friend to all of my friends?
Now, it is your turn.
I hope this post got you to thinking not only about Proverbs 18:24, but also what it means to be a true friend. I pray that you know what it means to be a true friend and to have a true friend. I pray that you have been able to experience both. And, if you haven't, I pray that you will experience it sometime soon.
I welcome your thoughts on Proverbs 18:24 and friendship. (Actually, I always welcome your thoughts that would further God kingdom, whether it is about the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, prayer request, ideas, suggestions, questions, etc.) Please, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.
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“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)
How are you? Have you ever wondered why you are going through a difficult time? Have you wondered what you did to deserve such a horrible time? I pray that in these times, your discomfort turns to comfort, even if only through the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Sometimes the source of our discomfort is obvious. For example, you touching a hot stove will result in a burn. We know this. We can understand it. It doesn’t help the burn, but at least we know why the painful burn is there. We did something not so smart and we are suffering the consequences.
However, sometimes things happen and we are not sure why. We are suffering with something and we are not sure the cause. What did we do? Why are we suffering? Did we do something that wasn’t so smart? Did we bring it on ourselves? Did Satan do it to bring us down? Is God punishing us?
At times, these things are good to ask, so that we can reflect on where we are at in our relationship with God. There are lessons we can use from self-reflection and it seems like the lessons come the most through our mistakes and hardships.
Although, the “why of it” might not be the best question to ask or even the view to take. Maybe we should be taking it as it comes and asking God for comfort and mercy. More than that, maybe we should be noticing and acknowledging that comfort.
One of the reasons I like this passage so much is that it is so comforting and it shows the compassion and love of our Heavenly Father. Now, that we have started wondering the reasons of why bad things happen and why we go through hardships, let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort”. We are called to praise God! As Christians, we know that and do that anyway. However, it is sometimes difficult to praise God during hard times. We feel angry or hurt during hard times, instead of thankfulness and the willingness to praise God. That is why I think we need to not focus on the hardship as much, but on God.
I think it is in “focusing on God more” that we will realize that God is our Heavenly Father, that He has mercy on us and comforts us. I think it is then that we can start blessing Him and praising His name, even during hardship, or closely thereafter, as Paul did. After all, this was written just after a time when he thought he would be killed and his daily condition probably wasn’t the best.
After being reminded of some very wonderful titles and traits of our Heavenly Father and being called to bless Him, we are reminded of some reasons why we should bless our Heavenly Father. Let’s now look at 2 Corinthians 1:4 (KJV), which says, “who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
To me, two of those reasons that we might not know about for our hardship might be explained in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Maybe one of the reasons that we have hardship is so that God can comfort us. I don’t mean that God causes hardship, so that He can some in like a knight in shining armor to rescue use and feel good about himself. It isn’t some sort of knight in shining armor syndrome. When God comforts us, it is the real thing. He comforts us as nobody else can.
God doesn’t want us to continue to suffer. He wants us to seek Him. We have seen this in Jesus’ personality and ways. We read in scripture how Jesus was compassionate towards those whom he met. We also see God’s compassion and mercy when Jesus says in John 16:7 (KJV), “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Like any loving father, our Heavenly Father, provides for us and comforts us.
I mentioned that there are two reasons for our suffering that can be found in 2 Corinthians 1:4. Again, I don’t mean that God causes suffering, just so that He can comfort us. He may let it happen, so that we can benefit from His comfort and learn from the experience. The second, to me, is that we suffer so that God can comfort us and that we then in turn can comfort others. We are to testify of God’s kindness and comfort for us, so that others can be comforted as well. We are also called to physically and emotionally comfort others, as God has comforted us.
In a way, 2 Corinthians 1:4, shows us that we are called to “pay it forward”. God comforts us, so we are called to comfort others. Then, they can comfort others, as God comforted them through us, and on and on.
Of what verse does the “pay it forward” aspect of 2 Corinthians 1:4 remind you? It reminds me of Matthew 6:12 (KJV), “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us examples of the good things that we are do. He treats us, as we are to treat others.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your love, mercy, and comfort. Thank you for showing us more and more the love for us. Help us to be thankful for the love, mercy, and comfort you provide. Help us to remember it and “pay it forward” during times when others are in need. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV):
*What does 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 mean to me?
*Do I praise and bless God in difficult times?
*Do I testify how God comforts me and has mercy on me?
*Do I “pay it forward” and comfort others?
*Of what other verses do 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 remind me?
*What message is God giving me through 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
*What can I do to better heed the words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4?
Every once in a while, I like to remind you that I am not a biblical scholar. I didn't go to seminary. I am a Christian who loves our Heavenly Father. I read the Bible to know Him and to know His ways and what I am called to do. I encourage you to do the same. A devotion, such as I offer in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, is a great starting place to get used to reading and thinking about God's Word. It is also a wonderful place for more experienced Christians and Bible readers to read the thoughts of other Christians on Bible verses, and to offer thoughts of their own.
*If you want to read another post on comfort, you may also want to read this one.
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I pray you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and find value in it. I always look forward to your comments, ideas, and suggestions. I want to learn and grow in faith with you. So, please feel free to comment below. Also, if you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. "Pay it forward." Let others find value in it as well. Thank you.
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“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
How are you? Today, I want to talk about times when people have said, “Don’t touch this or you will be in trouble.” Or, maybe they said, “Don’t cross this line or you will be sorry.” Then, nothing happened. It is like bullies were warning us to get us scared, hoping that we wouldn’t call their bluff.
These bullies like to manipulate the truth to get others to do what they want. They want to mock others for being afraid of them. They want to keep us down, so they feel strong.
However, when people call the bully’s bluff, they may jeer at the bully, “I touched it. I touched it”, because they touched it and nothing happened. Or, they crossed the line and nothing happened. So, the bully is then mocked. The bully didn’t have the strength or courage to follow through with his or her threats.
With this image and frame of mine, let’s now look at Galatians 6:7. The first part says, “Be not deceived.” That is don’t be mistaken. God can definitely follow through with whatever He says will happen. God has infinite power. God does not trick or manipulate people to get His way. God tells the truth. God is truth.
The second part of the verse says, “God in not mocked.” In other words, God will follow through with whatever He says He will do. There will be no, “I touched it, I touched it,” from sinners who thought they got away with something.
We may “think” we are getting away with things, because our consequences don’t always come immediately. They come in God’s time, not in the time we always think they will come. For example, if we are told we are going to gain weight if we eat something and then don’t gain weight immediately, we may think that we got away with something. However, what we may not know is that it is probably working unseen negative effects on the body and we will end up gaining weight in the long run because of it.
Another example might be, if we smoke after being told it causes cancer and we don’t get cancer right away, we might feel like we got away with something. However, what we might not realize is that sometimes it takes time for the effect of the nicotine to take hold and the cancer to start. It might also be that the cancer is starting inside the body, but we can’t see it yet.
No matter what the unhealthy action and sin we may do, we must not think we “got away with something” if our consequences don’t come immediately. Our consequences may not even come during our time on earth, but we will be judged on whatever we do. Our consequences or rewards will come eventually, in this life or in eternity.
The last part of Galatians 6:7 (KJV) says, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” When consequences don’t come immediately, we may forget or not believe that they will come. Yet, again, God doesn’t lie. He tells the truth and is truth. Even if we forget about them, the consequences are coming.
It may also be that the consequences are put to us in worldly terms, but the consequences are according to God’s law and not worldly law. For example, we may “steal something” and not get caught. So, we won’t go to jail and “pay” for the crime. So, we may think that we “got away with something”. However, that is worldly law. God still knows that we stole something and He will still give us His consequences.
If we do good things and follow God’s Word, we will reap the rewards He promises. On the other hand, if we sin and don’t heed God’s Word, we will reap the consequences He promises as well. Even if we don’t see the rewards or consequences in this life, we can be sure that we will see them in eternity. As it says in the beginning of the verse, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.”
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for the truth and direction you give us. Help us to heed your words and to remember that consequences and rewards are coming according to your Word, even if they don’t come in the time we may expect. We ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Galatians 6:7 (KJV):
*What does Galatians 6:7 mean to me?
*About what does Galatians 6:7 make me think?
*How can I relate Galatians 6:7 to a situation in today’s world?
*What do I need to do to better heed the words in Galatians 6:7?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad that you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I feel blessed to write the Faith Blog. I feel God has called me to do so. I pray before I write and trust God to give me the words and message that He wants written. I pray you are blessed by it also.
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I look forward to your thoughtful comments. Please, feel free to comment below or to contact me.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are well. There are many verses in the Bible about the power of words. Yet, do we really think about that power in our every day lives? Words must be powerful, after all, God spoke the world into existence. Words can be powerful in a negative and in a positive way, depending on what we say and how we say it. Yet, in the case of Proverbs 16:24, words can make a powerful and positive difference.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb…”. As important as words are to God and how powerful He knows them to be, there must be a reason that the word “honeycomb” was chosen over the word “honey”. So, I did some research about honey versus honeycomb. It seems that as one may expect, honeycomb and the honey within it is healthier for you than the honey we buy from the store. It is in its natural element and how God made it to be, instead of processed and extracted. Honey has many, many nutrients and is good for us in so many ways, but honeycomb has even more and is even better for us.
When we speak, do we take time to think about whether we are using “pleasant” words or not? Let’s look at the word “pleasant” for a moment. What does pleasant mean? I think we can all agree that hearing a loved one tell us that they love us is pleasant. I think sometimes, other things might get a little cloudy in our mind as to whether or not it is “pleasant” or not.
For example, if you tell someone who has on a hat that you do not like, that they have a “beautiful hat” and you like how it looks on them, is that considered “pleasant words”? Some people may say “yes” because the words seem nice, polite, and even encouraging. Yet, is it really pleasant and encouraging when we are told lies, no matter how nicely they are put? I don’t know about you, but I would rather know the truth. I would like it to be said as nicely as possible, but I would rather hear the truth, so that I know that I can trust that person with other things. (Whether or not a hat is liked or not seems like it is of no real consequence, but if someone lies with little things, will they lie about bigger things?) We can dislike something and still say something nice that is honest and more meaningful like, “That hat isn’t my style, but if you like it, I am glad you are wearing it.” (The latter is not only honest, but it also acknowledges that people have different styles, and encourages people to be themselves.)
Even if we are rebuked for doing something that goes against God’s will for us in a kindly way, it can be pleasant for us in the most “heavenly” use of the word. We want to do our best for God and to serve Him in the way that He calls us to do so. We want to be close to God and to receive the gifts and love He has for us.
To me, it isn’t only the words that are called to be pleasant, but the way we speak the words as well. Words as simple as “yes” and “no”, can be spoken in a nasty tone or demeanor, or a pleasant tone and demeanor. The words still have the same meaning, “yes” means “yes” and “no” means “no”. However, they can help or hurt, in the manner in which they are spoken. For example, in Proverbs 15:1 (KJV), God tells us, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” I think most of us have probably experienced both “soft words” and “grievous words” and can understand the difference.
Now, that we have pondered the meaning of “pleasant words” for a while, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 16:24 (KJV), “…sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Can you imagine that every time you speak, you have the power to bring someone sorrow, hardship, depression, anger, sadness, and even ill health or death or you have the power to bring encouragement, truth, love, kindness, happiness, empathy, or even heath and life? That is a huge consideration and responsibility. Yet, God wouldn’t have told us this if it wasn’t important for us to learn.
I know that for me, it makes a difference how and what people speak to me. Encouragement and truth have empowered me and brought me joy, while mean words and lies have hurt and discouraged me. Can you relate?
Many of us have heard, “Don’t say things in anger” or “think before you speak”. The words in Proverbs 16:24 is a good reason for these sayings. The question is, “Will we understand the importance and heed these words?”
Thank you for your heavenly love and direction. Thank you for the message and instructions you gave us through Proverbs 16:24. Help us to understand the power of our words and help us to speak “pleasant words” to each other, so that our words will be “sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Also, help us to realize that when we heed your words, we glorify you.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 16:24 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 16:24 mean to me?
*Do I think before I speak?
*Do I speak “softly” and with “pleasant words”?
*Do I understand the power of words?
*How can I better heed God’s words in Proverbs 16:24?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so glad you are here. I pray that God is encouraging you and making the words in the Faith Blog to be "sweet to the soul, and health to the bones" for you. I also pray that these words help you to read and ponder God's Word for yourself.
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I look forward to reading your thoughts, comments, prayer request, prayers, questions, and suggestions. Hopefully, they are said in "pleasant words", but I look forward to them. Feel free to comment below or contact me. Thank you for your support and kindness. I appreciate it.
“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”
Proverbs 24:27 (KJV)
How are you? Are you a planner? Some people like to plan and some people do not. However, we are often called to plan. Let’s look at Proverbs 24:27 for an example. It seems to be instruction on literally making a house, which it could possibly be. Yet, I believe it is good advice for many situations.
The first part of Proverbs 24:27 (KJV) says, “Prepare thy work without”. In a physical sense, like in building a house, you have to do some of the preparations before you can even bring the materials to the home site. You have to cut the trees, mill the lumber, make the floor plans, and things like that before you can even think about starting to actually build a house. (We may not cut down our own trees and mill our own wood any more, but it still fits.)
We can look at it in a spiritual and emotional way as well. We often have dreams and ideas that we find desirable. Sometimes, though, we leap before we look. Before we get all excited to the point of really, really wanting something, it is good to do some thinking and some research. Once we internalize things and feel passionate about it, we often do not want to turn back or listen to reason. We just want it.
If we look at the second part of Proverbs 24:27 (KJV), it says, “and make it fit for thyself in the field…”. In our house building experience, that is in keeping with milling, cutting, and planing the lumber before you bring it to the house site.
There are reasons not to bring it to the house site first. There are practical reasons, such as it belongs at the mill or you don’t want to spend extra gas money bringing to the house and then taking it to the lumber mill. You may also not want the lumber under foot while you are digging and pouring the foundation.
The same considerations can be made in our spiritual and emotional examples. For example, we want to keep things in their place. We want to keep work things at work and home things at home and not let stress build up between them. We can also think about what fits for our life and our situation at the moment. Just because someone else does it one way, doesn’t mean that it is the way we need to go. Our “fit” might not be the same as someone else’s “fit”. This is the same for physical fit, emotional fit, financial fit, spiritual fit, social fit, time fit, talent fit, and other kinds of “fit”. So, before we take on things we may really want to do or are asked to do by others, we need to consider our “fit” for it.
Now, let’s look at the third part of Proverbs 24:27 (KJV). It says, “…and afterwards build thine house.” Does this sound a little like, “don’t put the cart before the horse”? Or, maybe it sounds like, “There is a time and place for everything.” All these verses are not only good advice, but biblically based, which is what we want in our life.
Whether we are building a house or reading God’s Word, or anything in between, we can heed the words in Proverbs 24:27. We talked about the building of the house and that we need to research what it entails, make the plans, draft the floor plan, and get the supplies ready, before we even start to build the house. It is the same with reading God’s Word. We need to sit quietly, prepare our hearts, make sure we have time to read, and then read, study, and pray God’s Word. It is then, that we are ready to internalize it and accept God’s gift of making it a reality in our life.
Maybe that last part is the point when we ask God for something that seems good, but we don’t seem to get it. We may “WANT” something, but God may know that we are not ready to accept His gift of it. We may need to “prepare our work without and make it fit for ourselves in the field” first.
Before I close, I want to consider another way we can think of these words. We know that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, let’s consider that as “our house”. Wholesome food is grown in the garden and not in a laboratory. We prepare a field for gardening and make sure the soil is fertile. We plant the seeds and work the gardens. We also harvest the food and wash it, before we end up eating it so it can nourish us. We can’t eat it before we do all the other things and we shouldn’t eat it, if it isn’t from God, like the wholesome foods from a garden. After all, the verse doesn’t say, “prepare it in a laboratory”.
I don’t know. It might be a reach to look at it in this way. However, I pray before I write and God brought the thought to my mind. I think it can fit. Does it “fit” for you?
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father and for loving us the way you do. Thank you for giving us guidance in the way we should live. Help us to take time to plan things out, research, and set a firm foundation, before we internalize it and go forward with our plans. You know what is a “fit” for us and when, but help us to lean on you and to follow YOUR plan instead of our own in your timing. Help us to ready ourselves to receive and accept your gifts, instead of just getting impatient if we don’t get what we want right away. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 24:27 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 24:27 mean to me?
*What does “prepare thy work without” mean to me?
*What does “and make it fit for thyself in the field” mean to me?
*What is God trying to teach me with Proverbs 24:27?
*How can I better live my life to heed the words in Proverbs 24:27?
Now, it is your turn.
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“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, is a long one with many parts to it. In researching and praying about the verse, I have found that there are many interpretations of the verse. As always, I pray that you read God’s Word, pray, and research yourself for the meaning of the verse. However, I would like to give you some food for thought.
First of all, it is interesting to notice that this is an “If/then statement.” We read, if this happens, then that will happen. It is one of those times when we are called to know and understand that even though God has unconditional love, His actions and answers to prayer are not necessarily unconditional. Out of His unconditional love, He tries to discipline His people and teach them right from wrong, so that they will seek Him and do His will for them.
The first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14, says, “If my people…”. And, actually, that first part of “my people” is clarified further by “which are called by my name...”. I have noticed in my research that there is disagreement among interpreters as to who is meant by “If my people, which are called by my name…”.
At the time, it was meant for God’s chosen people, the Israelites. However, since God’s Word, like God himself, transcends all time, and since God opened up his Word to everyone to have the opportunity to believe, I think it is meant for all believers and followers of God. What are your thoughts?
Another thing to point out about 2 Chronicles 7:14 before I go much further is that this isn’t the only time that God has said these basic words. He has warned and encouraged His people time and time again with these words. And, this isn’t the first time God has said these words. There had been other times in history where these words were said and things were good for a while, but then the Israelites turned away from God and His commands and started worshipping idols, so God brought the famine or exile or promised consequence until His people listened to His message to “humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways”.
We are called to do four different things in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are called to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God’s face, and to turn from our wicked ways. Let’s look at that first one, especially.
I think to humble ourselves is difficult for all of us, because of our human nature. What does it mean to humble ourselves? I think if we were to put it simplistically, it would mean to not think that we know it all, because we don’t. To humble ourselves might mean to apologize, even though it may seem like we are making ourselves look weak or wrong. In a way, being humble is being honest and kind. We don’t know it all, God does. So, if we are honest, we will show that in our words and actions. If we are kind, we will care about others and be honest, take responsibility for our actions, even our mistakes and apologize. We wouldn’t want to hurt someone or do something wrong without making amends and helping the other feel better. Being humble is showing that we don’t think we are bigger, stronger, more important, smarter, or better than anyone else, including God.
Once we realize these things, it seems easier to pray, to ask God for forgiveness, to be honest, to admit our faults and limitations, to turn to God and to seek Him, as well as to ask God for help and for guidance. As we turn to God and get closer to Him, it will be easier for us to turn from our wicked ways.
Isn’t it wonderful that God loves us and gives us a schematic in the way we should go!?! It is such a blessing that God loves us so much to be not just our Creator, but also our Heavenly Father. He cares enough to be a loving parent, to teach us right from wrong, to reward us if we do right, to show us the way to go and what is best for us, and to love us like we have never been loved before.
There is one other point that I want to bring up. Right now, we are going through a pandemic. People are fighting about rights. There are arguments about whether or not we should get vaccinated and whether or not we should be required to wear masks. There are people struggling, losing life, losing money, losing jobs, worrying about loved ones, working under pressure, and many other things with this pandemic. I wouldn’t hesitate to say, that no matter which side of the arguments or theories we are on, we are probably all tired of the pandemic.
So, it might be interesting to look at the pandemic in light of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and other similar verses. Does that mean I am saying that God created the pandemic? NO! I am not saying that at all. I don’t know whether God created it or is allowing it or what. Are we being called to learn a lesson from the pandemic? Are we being called to humble ourselves, to pray, to turn to God, and to turn from our wicked ways, so that God can heal our land?
No matter our thoughts on the pandemic, it might do us well and to show God our love to humble ourselves, to go to Him in prayer, to seek His will for us and His guidance in this situation, and to turn from our wicked ways.
I know. It is difficult at times to think that anything we do is really wicked. However, that isn’t the point. It is good to know that we are sinners and big or small, sin is sin. So, no matter how good we think we are, we can still learn from this verse.
Thank you for being our Creator and our Heavenly Father. Thank you for loving us and guiding us. Help us to put our trust in you and to follow your will for us. Help us to live according to your Word. Help us realize your love and be thankful for it. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV):
*What does 2 Chronicles 7:14 mean to me?
*Do I understand that God truly loves me, even enough to discipline me?
*Do I understand the difference between unconditional love and unconditional doing things for others?
*Do I understand that showing our loved ones the difference between right
and wrong is a wonderful form of love?
*What is God teaching me through 2 Chronicles 7:14?
*Is God teaching me something through the pandemic or other hardships?
*How can I reframe my thinking to better understand 2 Chronicles 7:14?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I look forward to reading your comments and ideas. What are your ideas and comments in regards to 2 Chronicles 7:14? What is God trying to teach you through those words? Do you think we can relate those words to the pandemic?
If you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Also, if you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others. Thank you. God bless.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalms 16:11 (KJV)
How are you? I hope and pray that you are well. Today, I would like to talk a bit about joy. Do you feel joyful? Do you know what joy feels like? I think we may have fleeting moments of joy. I think we may be happy over this or that circumstance in our life. But, most often, it fades away as circumstances change.
It is like, we can think about and imagine how sad it is to lose a loved one, but we never know until it happens to us. We can empathize and try to sympathize with our friends and neighbors as it happens to them, but we can’t truly know their sadness until it happens to us.
On the flip side, we can hear about how joyous it is to have a child and to hold our baby in our hands for the first time, but unless we have a child and experience it for ourselves, we don’t truly know that joy. We can only imagine.
So, with this in mind, we can start to imagine the monumental encouragement in this verse. We can only imagine what the psalmist is thinking or feeling. We can tell that he puts his trust in God and has great hope for the future and everything God promises.
Let’s look at the first part of Psalms 16:11. It says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” The psalmist has great faith and trust in God. It doesn’t say, “Please, show me the path to life.” It doesn’t say, “Will you show me the path of life.” It doesn’t even say, “If I am good, you will show me the path of life.” The psalmist is very positive and sure of the outcome. He has complete faith and trust in God. Do we have such trust in God?
In Matthew 21:22, it says, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” It seems to me that the psalmist shows that sort of faith in exclaiming that God will show him the path of life. Do we go to God with that same unwavering faith?
The second part of Psalms 16:11 says, “In thy presence is fulness of joy.” I think this is where we need to consider that we don’t even know what joy means at this point. We may have experience a partial joy in different moments of our life. However, I don’t think we can even wrap our head around the idea of what “fulness of joy” could even mean in reality. We might think we can imagine a joy so magnificent and so total as being in God’s presence forever. I just don’t think it is possible to even imagine the joy we will feel.
The last part of Psalms 16:11 says, “…at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” I am not sure if the psalmist could even know or imagine just how wonderful and majestic these pleasures may be. I don’t know that any of us can. However, we can see his belief, trust, faith, and passion in this verse.
The psalmist may not have fully understood his own statement in Psalms 16:11. Although, he believed what God told him through prayer and scriptures about leading him to eternal life and the joy of being in the presence of God for eternity.
Thank you for your infinite love and faithful guidance. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Help us to value your Word and take to heart your truth as did the psalmist is Psalms 16:11. Help us to pray and rejoice with the same confidence and faithfulness that the psalmist did. Thank you for showing us your ways and your love for us. Help us to love and appreciate all you do for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Psalms 16:11 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 16:11 mean to me?
*Do I know what “fulness of joy” really means?
*Can I imagine what it would be to be in God’s presence forever?
*Can I see and feel the belief, trust, faith, and passion of the psalmist?
*Do I have this same sort of belief, trust, faith, and passion?
*What does God want me to learn from Psalms 16:11?
*How can I better heed the words in Psalms 16:11?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I hope and pray that I will find the belief, hope, faith, love, and passion that the psalmist shows in Psalms 16:11. I believe God is working on me with this. I hope and pray that you will find it also, if you haven't already.
I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts, beliefs, faith, and testimonies. Please, feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me.
I pray that you are finding value with the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. I pray that it at least touches your heart and gets you to thinking or encourages you to read God's Word more. If you are finding value with the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends and family. Thank you.
Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Get my free gift of the "5 Reflective Questions to Delve Deeper into God's Word" by DUO Inspirations as my thank you. I pray it helps you to get more out of God's Word as you read it.
“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 6:54 (KJV)
How are you? I pray you are well, if not physically, then spiritually. Today’s verse may be difficult to understand. When one reads John 6:54, it might seem a bit cannibalistic. Whoever heard of eating someone’s flesh and drinking someone’s blood and having eternal life?
I can imagine that back when the words were written, many people were wondering just that. At least now, over 2000 years later, we have had time to get used to the idea that this is the Bible. It is God’s Word. And, those who believe in God, mostly believe that to be true. I can only imagine what were going through the minds of the people who first heard these words when Jesus spoke them. What do you think?
Now, let’s look at the meaning of John 6:54. As we know, Jesus often didn’t say things right out plainly. He often said things in parables or metaphors. The concepts He taught were difficult for people to understand. Not only that, but not everyone was meant to know and understand things right away.
The first part of John 6:54 says, “Whoso eateth my flesh….” Jesus wasn’t talking about physically eating his flesh, so what did He mean? I think the key to knowing that is in looking at some of the other metaphors Jesus uses about himself.
Earlier in the chapter, in John 6:35, Jesus says, “…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 is similar to John 6:54 in that they both talk about taking Jesus in as nourishment. To me, John 6:35 states it a little more plainly in stating Jesus is the “Bread of life”. However, Jesus isn’t talking about physical nourishment, but spiritual nourishment.
Another metaphor that speaks about Jesus can be found in John 1:14, which says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” So, is Jesus physically the Bible? Again, I believe it is a metaphor. Jesus knows all that is in the Bible. He spoke the same words. He knows and taught the same truth. Just like the Bible contains the physical words of God’s will and is often considered to be like a road map to eternal life, Jesus spoke the words that lead to eternal life. Yet, this metaphor goes a little more in depth, because Jesus is the key or way to eternal life. If one doesn’t believe in Jesus, his words, his miracles, his death and resurrection, his being Christ, his being our Savior, or all he did for us, one won’t have eternal life.
So, how do we take Jesus in as nourishment? How do we benefit from the “Bread of life” and the “Word that was made flesh”? We get to know Him. We spend time with Him and build a relationship with Him. We read the Bible and learn all we can about Him and God’s will for us. We believe.
Let’s now look at the second part of John 6:54 where Jesus says, “…and drinketh my blood…” Again, Jesus isn’t talking about literally and physically drinking his blood. No. I believe that Jesus is talking about following in his footsteps and following his ways. Blood is often a symbol for sacrifice. I believe that Jesus is saying here that we are to be willing to not only believe in Him, but also to give our physical life (if necessary) to follow God’s will for us and for the good of others.
To me, John 6:54 is both similar to and points to Mark 12:30, which says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” If we spend time with Jesus, believe in Him, get to know Him, read the Bible, get to know God, and appreciate all that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit does for us, and be willing to follow Jesus even including sacrificing our physical life to do God’s will, then we are following this first commandment and will gain eternal life.
Thank you for loving us so much that you gave us Jesus as our brother and Lord and Savior. Thank you for giving us Jesus as the Word and Way to eternal life. Thank you for the love and salvation you have given us. Help us to love you and show you our appreciation. Help us to follow Jesus according to your will. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for John 6:54 (KJV):
*What does John 6:54 mean to me?
*What does Jesus mean when he says, “eateth my flesh”?
*What does Jesus mean when he says, “drinketh my blood”?
*Do I understand John 6:54 or should I research and pray more?
*How can I better live and follow the words in John 6:54?
Now, it is your turn.
Have I confused you yet? I feel like I John 6:54 is so in depth, that I could write a mini book or pamphlet on it. However, to me, the main point is that if we believe in Jesus and follow him with all that we have and do, if we love and appreciate what he did for us (all God does for us), then we will gain eternal life. What do you think?
I am so glad you are here. May God bless you for your kindness and support. If you are finding value with the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with others. Maybe your family and friends, including your church family, will find value in it as well. Also, if you haven't already done so, you may want to consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. (You will get my free gift of the "5 Reflective Questions to Delve Deeper into God's Word" by DUO Inspirations in the process.) Thank you.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
How are you today? How are you feeling? Are you happy in life? Do you have a positive outlook or a negative one? When stress hits, do you handle it well or do you let it handle you? It is good to self-reflect on such things once in a while. It is even better to pray and to ask God how you are doing in such areas. Now, that we have acknowledged our feelings and reflected on our outlook, let’s delve into God’s Word.
The first part of Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. This verse is wonderful encouragement to have a positive outlook instead of a negative one. When you are happy overall, when you trust God and fear nothing but Him, and when you are able to find joy even though others cannot, you go a long way in staying healthy, not only emotionally, but spiritually and physically as well.
Let’s look at the phrase, “like a medicine” for a moment. Medicine can sometimes be a controversial topic. Some believe that medicine, or at least man-made medicine does more harm than good. Others take medicine as needed and believe it is what is needed to help, if not cure their ailment and condition. However, we look at it, we know from the context that the author meant “medicine” to be a good thing just as a “merry heart” is a good thing and causes good things to happen.
The second part of Proverbs 17:22 says, “but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” We have all probably felt down or depressed at one time or another. As people who have chronic depression can testify, being depressed can be debilitating not only emotionally, but also physically and spiritually as well. Even feeling down or depressed for a short time, we can sometimes notice how it changes our physical and spiritual health in a negative way too.
I know there have been times when I have felt down or depressed and I felt old. I felt slow, unstable, unsure of myself, and hesitant. My posture was kind of hunched over and my body ached. I just felt bad overall. Have you ever felt like that? I hope you haven’t, but if you have, you know the feeling I mean.
So, if we are down or depressed, how can we have the “merry heart” instead of the “broken spirit”? We can try things like listening to music, talking with a friend, smiling or laughing (even for no reason), taking up a hobby that we might enjoy, Christian fellowship, going to church, or any number of things. However, there is only one true way.
Here are some verses that can help:
“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and [that it may be] well with you, and [that] ye may prolong [your] days in the land which ye shall possess.”
Deuteronomy 5:33 (KJV)
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 (KJV)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Matthew 17:20 (KJV)
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Mark 11:24 (KJV)
“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Luke 18:27 (KJV)
So, if we are down or depressed, if we can only remember Proverbs 17:22 and other verses that encourage us to find joy in the Lord. It will be better for us not only emotionally, but also physically and spiritually as well. Before we think, “Oh, it is not my fault I am depressed. I can’t just be happy”, we have to remember that only part of that is partially true. The cause of our depression may not be something we did or created. And, while we may not be able to “just be happy”, all things are possible with God. We can’t do anything alone and that is good to remember. However, we need to pray and call on God for help. He can help us find the joy we need. We need to remember that as well.
Thank you for being our Father in heaven. Thank you for loving in a way that we couldn’t even imagine. We know that you are a loving God, a Father of all Fathers, and we know that you only want what is best for us. If we are down and depressed, either for a short time or chronically, help us to remember your infinite love and to call on you to bring us out of our depression. Help us to find joy in You, Lord. Help us to remember your Word, in Proverbs 17:22 in times us despair. Be our strength and hold on for us, when we don’t know how ourselves. Touch our mind, our heart, and our spirit, so that we can see and appreciate your work in our life. Help us to reach up to you, even when we don’t think we have the strength to reach anywhere at all. Help us to find the hope and joy you want us to find. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Proverbs 17:22 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 17:22 mean to me?
*Am I happy in life?
*Do I have a positive or negative outlook on life?
*Do I handle stress well or do I let stress handle me?
*What can I do to live according to the words in Proverbs 17:22 better?
*When I am down, do I pray and ask God to help me through it?
*What can I do to remember to rely on God instead of letting things get me
*What can I do better in order to have a “merry heart”?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. And, if you are depressed or down, I pray that this particular post touches you in a special way and I pray that you reach out to God for help, strength, and joy. He can help. Whether He helps supernaturally or gives you help through a verse, a thought, a song, a friend, or whatever, He can help. And, most of all, He WANTS to help. He loves you greatly!
Please, feel free to comment below or contact me. Feel free to share your story, leave a prayer for those who may be suffering from depression or hardship, or just to let me know your thoughts on Proverbs 17:22.
If you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends and family, so that they can as well. Also, if you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. You will also receive, as my gift, "5 Reflective Questions to Delve Deeper into God's Word". Thank you for you kindness and support.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
Proverbs 13:13 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week I pondered the words in Psalms 119:127 and how the psalmist cherished God’s Word more than the finest gold. You can read it here. Proverbs 13:13 is similar to Psalms 119:127 in that it too shows that we are to cherish God’s Word and commandments.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV). It says, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed.” What does the “destroyed” mean? To tell you the truth, I am not sure I want to find out. However, if we truly think of God as our Heavenly Father, we know that like any good parent, He only wants what is best for us. His Word will lead us to this goodness. “Destroyed” could be hardship in this life, as in if we don’t follow God’s Word and kill someone we could be sent to jail or even sentenced to death. I would guess that would be a way of being destroyed. Or, maybe we don’t follow God’s Word and we don’t trust Him, so we worry ourselves to death. That could be a way of being destroyed.
While these extreme examples of how not listening to God and how they can destroy us in this life, the worst way it can destroy us is in eternal life, or shall I say eternal death. It may be difficult to deal with the consequences of not following God’s Word in this life, I can’t imagine suffering the consequences in the eternity. I don’t want to be destroyed in this life or in eternity. Do you?
Now that we know we don’t want to be destroyed, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV), “but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” It might be nice to know that the word “commandment” here doesn’t just refer to what we call the “Ten Commandments”, but to God’s Word and commands or will for us in general. I believe it means not only what God commands us in scripture, but also through prayer. What about you?
Another word to look at in the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV) is the word “feareth”. What does “feareth the commandment” mean to you? Usually, when I think about “fear” I think about being so afraid of something that I don’t want to be near it. I want to turn and run away from something that I fear. (Insert a picture of a snake chasing me as I think, “feet don’t fail me now.”) However, this isn’t the meaning here. After all, God wants us close to Him and not far from Him. God wants us to cherish His word, to know it, read it, listen to it, and love it always. God doesn’t want us to run away from His Word.
This kind of fear is more of a reverence and respect. It is a fear of going against it, because of the terrible consequences, such as destruction and eternal death. It is like an extreme desire of wanting to do the right thing, to not disappoint God, and to follow His will, not only because we don’t want the consequences of doing something wrong, but also because we love Him and we know He loves us.
I like the last part of Proverbs 13:13 the most. I like the part about …”he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded”. I like the idea of being close to God throughout eternity. That is the ultimate reward for those who follow His Word. It is also another great reason to read the Bible. If we don’t know God’s Word, it is difficult to fear or follow it.
Two posts in a row about cherishing and following God’s Word. Can you tell that I am encouraging you to read scripture for yourself and follow God’s will for you? Like I said before, I am finding that the more I read God’s Word, the more I do cherish it.
Thank you for being our Father in Heaven. Thank you for you holy Word and for giving us a path to you. Help us to read and follow your Word as a way of life, this life and eternal life with you. Help us to take in, understand, and cherish your Word. Help us to be closer to you, now and in eternity. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Proverbs 13:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 13:13 mean to me?
*What does “despiseth” mean to me?
*What does “destroyed” mean to me?
*Do I despise God’s Word?
*Do I cherish God’s Word?
*How do my actions show what I think of God’s Word?
*What does “feareth the commandment” mean to me?
*Do I fear the commandment of God? How do I show it?
*What does “shall be rewarded” mean to me?
*How can I better live according to the words in Proverbs 13:13?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I pray that you are finding value and even being blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. I look forward to your comments. I enjoy reading your thoughts, understanding, and ideas. It helps us all to learn.
If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends, family, and church family. Thank you.
Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. At the same time, get the free gift of the "5 Reflective Questions to Delve Deeper into God's Word" by DUO Inspirations. Thank you.
“Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”
Psalms 119:127 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post comes from Psalm 119, which is considered one of the “Pilgrimage Songs”. The human author of the psalm is unknown, however, the important point is it is part of God’s Word and God is the ultimate author.
Let me start by asking you, “What is your most prized possession?” I don’t mean family, friends, and other loved ones. I mean a tangible item, a possession. It could be something of great monetary value, maybe a house or a vehicle. It could be an inheritance from a loved one that has invaluable sentimental value with any amount of monetary value. Maybe it is something that has no monetary value at all, but it “means the world” to you for a personal reason. I don’t know. Whatever it is, keep it in mind and keep how much you cherish it in mind. Also, keep the reason you cherish it in mind.
Here is another question for you, before I actually start specifically pondering today’s verse. Do you have a favorite sentiment, saying, or quote that someone you know says that moves you, encourages you, endears you to him or her, or is valuable to you in one way or another? Who says it? How do you feel when he or she says it? Remember that feeling.
Okay, now, let’s look at the psalmists words in Psalms 119:127 (KJV) “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” In a worldly way, some people feel that gold (precious metals/jewels) is the most valuable thing on earth. I am guessing the psalmist chose to make the comparison to gold, because of the worldly thinking that if you have gold you are rich and have something valuable. The comparison doesn’t stop there. No. The psalmist wants to stress his point, so he compares his feelings for the commandments with not only gold, but also the purest and highest quality gold.
With this comparison, we know that the psalmist holds God’s commandments near and dear to his heart. They are worth more to him than even the finest gold. The psalmist seeks the heavenly way of life instead of the worldly way of life. He treasures God’s commands, God’s will, and God’s Word instead of gold and other worldly riches. Psalm 119 is full of reasons why the psalmist holds the commandments with such high regard. How do you rank God’s commandments in the list of things that you cherish and love?
Psalm 119 in general, but also Psalms 119:127 specifically shows us the importance God’s Word and God’s commandments and how much we should cherish them. If we take this a bit deeper, Psalms 119:127 gives us a great reason to read our Bible. It is difficult to know God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s commandments if we don’t read the Bible.
Thank you for your Word! Help us to cherish it, seek it, and abide by it above any earthly treasure. Help us to love your Word and your commandments more than the finest gold. Help us to love you and to seek your will and your Word above all else. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 119:127 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 119:127 mean to me?
*Do I cherish God’s Word and commandments as much as the psalmist does?
*How do I show where I rank God’s commandments in my life?
*Do I know all that God commands and expects of me or wants for me?
*Do I read the Bible?
*How can I know God’s commands, if I don’t read the Bible?
*How can I better live and appreciate the words in Psalms 119:127?
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“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)
How are you? Before I get to today’s passage, I would like to kind of ponder the scene during the Sermon on the Mount for a bit and the words relayed to us by Matthew, especially during the beginning. What do you imagine the Sermon on the Mount looking like?
Obviously we weren’t there and don’t really know the look and feel of the Sermon on the Mount. However, I kind of imagine that Jesus was sitting on a rock or outcropping of some sort. His closest friends and followers were sitting next to Him. These closest friends and followers probably came to the Sermon on the Mount with Jesus. Then, a crowd of people from the general public probably sat out from there. People in the crowd were probably made up of various groups of people. Some may have heard about Jesus and wanted to hear Him speak. Others may have been there in hopes of being healed. Others may have been there to “spy” in order to go back to the Pharisees and gossip about what Jesus said. We don’t know.
Yet, when Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 5:3-10, I believe He was probably speaking rather loudly, so the crowd could hear Him. (I don’t think they had a public announcement system back in the day, especially one that could be used on a mountain. I do wonder if Jesus was speaking through a horn or something to help His voice carry or if supernaturally He made it so everyone could hear Him.)
Although, when Jesus got to the words in Matthew 5:11-12, I can sort of imagine Him leaning in with a tender loving look on His face and telling his closest followers, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (KJV) Or, maybe He was speaking to the whole crowd, but wanted to reinforce the fact that they would be persecuted if they followed Him, yet they are in good company because the prophets were persecuted. They weren’t alone. Maybe Jesus wanted to reinforce the fact that they will be rewarded in heaven for following Him.
When I think of verses such as Matthew 5:11-12, I think of the persecution of the early church and people like Saul who were persecuting the Christians as we read about in Acts 8:3 (KJV), “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” I can’t imagine being persecuted in that way or to the point of death. Can you imagine someone coming into your home and forcing you to jail, not because you did something wrong, but because of your belief in God and in Jesus being the Son of God, the Christ and your Savior?
I look at the strength of those who have gone before us who did in fact endure all kinds of evil and persecution for following Jesus, even to the point of death, but didn’t sway in their belief. I pray that I can have that sort of endurance, faith, and belief, under any level of evil and persecution.
The most difficult part of this passage for us to understand and live out may be the beginning of Matthew 5:12 (KJV), “Rejoice: and be exceeding glad…”. We, as humans, don’t usually enjoy or feel glad about being persecuted. We don’t enjoy being picked on, abused, talked about, put down, shunned, ignored, or neglected for any reason. We don’t like being hurt in anyway. This way of thinking doesn’t come naturally to the human way of doing things.
So, how and why can we think about rejoicing when we are persecuted as followers of Jesus? Well, I would say the first reason why to do it, would be because our Lord and Savior told us to do it. Trusting in God and praying for help in being able to rejoice will be the answer in how we can do it.
I noticed that in Matthew 5:12, the prophets are mentioned, whereas they are not mentioned in Matthew 5:10 in almost the same sentiment. Is it because Jesus wanted to relate this important sentiment in a way that they would understand and in the way that would mean something special in the eyes of His very human followers. I can imagine that the Jewish people of the New Testament read the Old Testament and admired the words of the prophets and the fact that they saw those words coming true throughout their history. I can imagine they may have grouped the prophets in a group of godly people. Jesus may be using this thought to show that those who are persecuted for following Him, will join the prophets in the group of godly people. They will be in the heavenly group and not the worldly group. Even more importantly, we will be in God’s family.
It is definitely a joyful thought and worth rejoicing in knowing that you are part of God’s family and will be greatly rewarded. God’s Word has many verses encouraging us and reminding us that no matter what sort of hardship, hurt, persecution, and even death we may go through in our earthly lives, it doesn’t compare to the reward we will get in heaven as His followers. (This is one of the reasons we read the Bible, so we can know these verses and remember them in time of need.)
Thank you for your Word and your encouragement. Thank you for sending Jesus to us to teach us and to show us the way to you. Help us to stay strong throughout all the evil, hardship, and persecution we endure especially in following your Son, Jesus. Help us to follow His example, and endure no matter what, so that we can join you in heaven as well. I ask you this in His Holy name, Amen.
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Reflective questions for Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 5:11-12 mean to me?
*What is the difference between these verses and Matthew 5:10?
*What was it like for the prophets and people in biblical times to be
persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
*Was I persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
*If I was persecuted, when and how? How did it feel? How did I deal with
*Does it help to know that the prophets were also persecuted?
*Do I rejoice during times of persecution?
*What can I do to better live according to the words in Matthew 5:11-12?
If you enjoy this post, you may want to read the posts in The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations.
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 1
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 2
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 3
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 4
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 5
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 6
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 7
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 8
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here and would enjoy reading your thoughts, ideas, comments, and suggestions. Let me know in the comments below or feel free to contact me. If you are finding value, please feel free to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with family and friends. You may also want to share it with your pastor and church family. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. If you haven't already done so, please feel free to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Psalms 100:5 (KJV)
How are you today? I hope you are well. Today, I offer the last of the Psalms 100 Series. I pray you are enjoying it and being blessed by it. In today’s Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, we look at Psalms 100:5.
In Psalms 100:1, we are told that Psalm 100 is a psalm of praise. I also mentioned that it is a joyful psalm to me. It is that joy which makes me happy to praise God. In Psalms 100:5, we are told other reasons why God is deserving of our praise.
There are three phrases or parts to Psalms 100:5. The first and second are pretty easy for us to understand as believers. We know of God’s goodness and mercy. Many of us have experienced both many, many times.
It is the third phrase or part where I think we find division. It is difficult for many people to believe that “his truth endureth to all generations.” I have heard where some people feel that there are parts of God’s Word that are outdated and no longer apply to their lives. Yet, in the last part of Psalms 100:5, we are told otherwise.
One might say, “Well, we are no longer required to sacrifice animals, so that is outdated.” The actual sacrificing animals may not apply to us today, but that isn’t because it is outdated. It is because Jesus died on the cross for us. He was the living sacrifice once and for all. This doesn’t mean that we may not be required to show some sort of sacrifice, to repent, to take some sort of responsibility, or to make some sort of amends. It doesn’t mean that we are not called to show our thanks and appreciation. These are some of the reasons behind the animal sacrifices. The actions and feelings behind the animal sacrifices are still very much appropriate for today’s believers.
Someone might ask, “But what about how the wife should be submissive to her husband? That is outdated. Nobody does that any more. Women are considered equal now a days. There are laws. It isn’t politically correct to think otherwise.”
First of all, it isn’t outdated to God. He still calls wives to be submissive to their husbands. Secondly, there are still women who are submissive to their husbands. It isn’t outdated for them either. Thirdly, just because worldly laws or trends and political correctness seem to wander from God’s truth, it doesn’t render God’s Word outdated or make it less of a truth today than it was when it was written. We are called to follow God’s Word whether it is outdated in worldly view or not, because it isn’t outdated in God’s eyes.
That is the real point. God’s Word endures forever. God’s Word is truth for people in all times. It doesn’t change and isn’t outdated. We are called to thank Him and praise Him, and follow the truth of His Word always, no matter what the worldly views of our times may be.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your holy word. Help us to remember and live the words of Psalm 100 and all of scriptures. Help us to remember that your words are truth to us for all times and don’t get outdated. Help us to live by your words and praise you always, for you are good and deserve it always. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 100:5 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 100:5 mean to me?
*Do I believe in God’s goodness?
*Do I believe in God’s mercy?
*Do I believe that God’s Word never gets outdated?
*Are there any parts of my life where stray from God’s word, because of
*Is there anything I need to change in order to get back on track for God’s
will for me?
*Is there anything I can do to better live out the truth in Psalms 100:5?
Now, it is your turn.
If you haven't already, you may want to read the other posts in the Psalms 100 Series:
I am so thankful that you are here. I pray it blesses you in some way. I look forward to your thoughts and words. I hope you will share them here in the comments or contact me to share them there.
If there is anything I can do for you or if you have any prayer requests, ideas, or suggestions, I look forward to you contacting me.
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“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Psalms 100:3 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 100 Series by DUO Inspirations and are finding more joy in your life. Today’s verse seems more of a comfort than a joy. However, it could be a joy as well. I mean, knowing that “we are his people” and that I am part of the “we” makes me very joyful.
Psalms 100:3 kind of reminds me of when people need to know their roots. I have heard stories where adopted children feel uneasy, because they don’t know their ancestry. They don’t know anything about their biological parents and they just kind of have a hole in their history that makes them feel confused, sad, or lonely. However, in Psalms 100:3, we are told our place in life and our roots. There is no uneasiness, confusion, sadness, or loneliness.
We are God’s people. He made us. He loves us. And, we are the “sheep of his pasture.” Okay, not all people may like the idea of being referred to as sheep. However, if you knew how closely the shepherds back in the day watched over and cared for their sheep, you might not mind it so much. I believe it is very much like a term of endearment here.
I was never a shepherd and don’t really know, but I am going to do a little imagining. I imagine that a shepherd led his or her sheep out to a part of the land that is filled with green grass for them to eat. It was far away from the house, so the shepherd had no one with whom to speak, so the shepherd probably often talked to the sheep. I imagine that the shepherd even named all the sheep, and got to know the sheep as individuals with their own little quirks. And, every so often when the shepherd counted the sheep to make sure they were all there, he or she would leave the flock to go find the one or two who had wandered off.
This was probably not only done out of necessity of needing all the sheep for making a living, but also out of love. After all, I can imagine that if you spend most of your waking hours tending sheep, you tend to have a pretty close bond with those sheep. They are almost like friends and family.
So, being called sheep isn’t so bad. And, being called God’s sheep is actually quite wonderful. God made us, knows all our little quirks, leads us, cares for us, searches for us when we are lost, and loves us. It is a wonderful feeling!
There is a part of this verse that I don’t want to overlook and that is “not we ourselves.” It seems like that we are being reassured that we are made well and correctly. We are not “cheap reproductions”, but the real thing. We are made in God’s perfect way and not in any half-hearted, knock-off way. We are special to God.
I know that in the beginning of this post, I said that this verse seems to be more of a comfort verse than a joy verse. However, as I wrote, I have felt myself feeling more and more joyful. So, I can actually say that I believe this is a joy and a comfort verse.
Thank you for being our Creator and Shepherd. Thank you for telling us and reassuring us that we are your people and we are well loved. Help us to know the joy and comfort of the words in Psalms 100:3 in our every day lives. Help us to act and feel like your people. Help us to let you care for us and lead us as a shepherd cares for and leads his sheep. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 100:3 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 100:3 mean to me?
*How does Psalms 100:3 make me feel?
*Do I feel like God’s own?
*Do I let God lead me in the same way that shepherds lead sheep?
*Do I feel like God knows me?
*Do I feel like I know God?
Now, it is your turn.
If you haven't read the Psalms 100 Series - Part 1 or the Psalms 100 Series - Part 2, you may want to do that. I hope you are enjoying the series as much as I am. I am so thankful that you are here. You are important to me. I look forward to reading your thoughts, so please comment below. What are your thoughts? If you have any prayer requests or suggestions, please contact me.
If you find value in what I write, please share it with friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox.
How are you today? I hope you are enjoying the Noah’s Ark Series. Today is the last post of the series. I will be highlighting verses and information in Genesis 9.
I have seen and heard of Noah being compared to Adam theologically. After all, they were both “firsts” as far as men go. Adam was the first man created and Noah was the first or eldest of men to survive the flood. God spoke to both of these men in the Bible. As a matter of fact, God told both men very similar things. There have been times when I have even heard of Noah as “the new Adam” in a way.
As a matter of fact, God’s message to Noah in Genesis 9:1-3 is very similar to God’s message to Adam in Genesis 1:28-30. The latter seems like it may be a little different in that, as I understand it God gives Adam plants and fruit to eat and in Genesis 9:3, God includes animals as food too. What is your understanding between the two passages?
Although, in Genesis 9:4-6, God adds to his message to Noah. God tells Noah not to eat animals with lifeblood still in it. God stresses the importance of life to Noah. It is my understanding that God is saying not to be violent and hurt or kill others, because God and others will require accountability for your actions for it. Not only that, but I think God is also telling him that if a person kills another person the death penalty will be given on earth. What are your thoughts?
This is different than in Genesis 1, because in Genesis 1:31 we see where God looks at all that He has created and sees that it is good. There is no reason to warn Adam about violence or killing others. No violence has occurred.
In verses 8-17, God tells Noah and his sons about His covenant. He tells how never again will He destroy the earth and all people with a flood and how the bow in the clouds will be the token of that covenant.
Maybe this is why so many people get enjoyment out of seeing a rainbow in the sky. Sometimes, I just seem to enjoy the beauty of it and the awe of it. However, there are times when I see it and I remember God’s words in Genesis 9 about His covenant with all mankind and the earth. Either way, seeing a rainbow often makes me smile.
In preparing for writing this post and rereading Genesis 9, this seemed to have been where most of my memory of reading Genesis 9 before ended. However, there is more to the chapter. God has more to His message and more lessons for us to learn within Genesis 9. How much do you remember of the rest of the chapter?
I seem to have more questions than answers for the verses in Genesis 9:18-29. We see sin in these verses, even after being recently saved from a flood in which everyone else perished. It may be easy to feel that Noah and his family should be so thankful from being saved and having a new beginning that they shouldn’t sin, especially so soon after the flood.
Noah plants a vineyard. That sounds great. Fruit is good for you. However, as a result, Noah ends up making wine from the fruit of the vineyard and gets drunk. Not only does he get drunk, but also he lies around naked and not covered up.
I wonder why Noah drinks wine. I wonder if he drank before the flood. I wonder why he got drunk. I wonder if he had stress from the flood that had sort of caught up with him, now that he was safe and out of the ark. The Bible doesn’t say and maybe it is none of my business. LOL! The important part is learning the lessons God wants us to learn from the passage and being thankful that God has given us the passage from which to learn.
Then, to make things worse, so to speak, Noah’s youngest son Ham sees him naked and instead of covering Noah up himself, he goes and tells his brothers about it. Again, it may be easy to judge the inappropriateness and the sinfulness of dishonoring his father by telling others of his sin or by not covering him up so that others don’t see him that way. Yet, I don’t believe we are called to judge others in that way, especially if they are not neighbors or friends or part of our church family. Then, we may be called to point out the wrongdoing and encourage better behavior and repentance. I don’t believe we are called to gossip about others though. What are your thoughts?
It may seem surprising that Noah and Ham can sin so soon after the flood and after being saved. It may seem like the only thing that they should have in their hearts is thankfulness. However, don’t we do the same? Don’t we sin when all we should have in our hearts is thankfulness? I wonder if that is part of God’s lesson for us in this passage.
I find it interesting that the Bible doesn’t say anything about Noah saying anything bad to or about Ham as a result of the indiscretions. Noah does curse Canaan, Ham’s son. I wonder why. I wonder if Canaan was in on it in any way. Or, I wonder if Noah knew that cursing a child is more often painful for a parent than cursing the parent his or herself. (Parents would often rather go through pain than see his or her child go through the pain.) Maybe Noah couldn’t bring himself to curse his own child because of that same way of thinking. I don’t know. What are your thoughts?
I also wonder if there is a connection of Ham’s son being named Canaan and the land that God wants to give the Israelites in Numbers 13, when God tells Moses to send people out to search the land which I will give you. (Numbers 13:1-2) The symbolism seems to fit to me. What do you think?
Thank you for sharing with us the words in Genesis 9. Thank you for giving us this resource so we can read and gain knowledge. Thank you for teaching us and showing us what is right and wrong. Thank you for giving us rules to live by. Help us to learn from your Word and to walk in the way of righteousness according to your will for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Genesis 9:
*What does Genesis 9 mean to me?
*What can I learn from the message in Genesis 9?
*Did I judge Noah and Ham when I read about their sins in this chapter?
*Do I have the right to judge Noah and Ham or should I just learn from their
*How do I feel when I see a rainbow and why?
*Do I compare Noah to Adam in anyway? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
*What does God’s covenant in Genesis 9 mean to me?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I hope you have enjoyed the Noah's Ark Series by DUO Inspirations. What are your thoughts? Do you have any requests for other topics? (Feel free to comment or contact me.) If you are finding value in what I write, please share with friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. (Sometimes, I even send treats. For example, those who are currently signed up as of the writing and sending of the email for this post, four word searches will be sent on the subject of Noah's Ark/Genesis 6-9.)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying this look into the possible thoughts and feelings of Noah. I like to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. I believe it helps you to get to know them better. We can even learn from the thoughts and feelings of those from long ago.
In Genesis 8, Noah and his family, and the animals with him, mainly ride out the flood and wait for the waters to recede after the flood. However, at the end of the chapter, they are able to disembark and touch land once again. Then, Noah builds an altar and sacrifices a burnt offering to God. God is pleased with Noah’s sacrifice and enjoys the aroma, and thinks to Himself that we will never again destroy the earth.
So, it is raining and raining and it probably feels to Noah and his family that the rains are never going to stop. How do you think they feel at this point? Do you think they are getting restless and maybe getting on each other’s nerves a bit? How do you think you and your family would do cooped up on an ark for days, weeks, and even months? (And, remember, there are no TVs, video games, or cellphones.)
One thing that stood out for me when reading Genesis 8 was that Noah sent out a raven and a dove. I am not sure the meaning, but I wonder if it has to do with unrighteous versus righteous, anxious versus meek, human’s spirit versus God’s. What do you think? Any thoughts?
Can you imagine everyone’s feeling when the dove didn’t come back and everyone was finally able to get off the ark after about a year of being cooped up? How would you feel? What would you think? Would you be tired? Happy? Apprehensive? Curious? Thankful?
What would you want to do first after you got off the ark? Look for a place to set up your tent or build some sort of shelter? The Bible doesn’t mention Noah doing that in Genesis 8. It says that Noah built and altar and sacrificed some of the clean animals for God. I don’t know, but I can imagine that Noah was so thankful to be alive, to be saved from the flood, to have his family safely with him, and to be on dry ground again, that he just wanted to thank and praise God for it all. What are your thoughts?
Oh, Lord, thank you for new beginnings and new adventures. Thank you for being our protector and our provider. Thank you for remembering us as we go through difficult times. Help us to be thankful, to praise you and glorify you for all that you do. And, help us to give you our first and best thoughts, prayers, praises, and thanks, just as Noah did when he first got off the ark so many years ago. Help us to learn all that you want us to learn from your words in Genesis 8. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Genesis 8:
*What does Genesis 8 mean to me?
*How would I feel after being in an ark with seven other people and many
animals for about a year?
*What can I learn from Genesis 8?
*Am I apt to give thanks to God for everything He provides and does for me?
Now, it is your turn.
Friends, I am so glad you are here. I look forward to reading your thoughts. I learn from you as well. God often uses others to inspire us. Please, leave a comment below. (Feel free to contact me, if you don't want to share publicly.) If you find value in what I write, please consider sharing the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with your friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, please consider signing up to receive the Faith Blog in you inbox as well as other faith content. Thank you.
Note: Remember, for those who are signed up next week when I post the Faith Blog and send out the email, there will be some Noah's Ark word searches with your email.
How are you? Last week, I started delving into the possible thoughts and feelings of Noah regarding his circumstances in Genesis 6. This week, I will continue with his possible thoughts and feelings regarding his circumstances in Genesis 7.
In Genesis 6, Noah was mainly getting the instructions to build the ark as well as building the ark. In Genesis 7, Noah is mainly loading everyone into the ark and riding in the ark during the flood.
Can you imagine being in Noah’s shoes? Have you ever thought about being in Noah’s predicament? I have tried to imagine myself in his circumstances some, but I don’t know that I can really get the full feeling or picture of it.
I wonder if at this point, Noah was hoping that everything was just a dream. I mean it is one thing to say that one will do something kind of scary, different, and outside of one’s comfort zone when it is a ways in the future. However, as the time for the actual event gets closer, sometimes worry sets in and one’s feeling may change. One may get nervous or have second thoughts.
During the pandemic, there have been times when it has been mandated that people should stay home, except for essential outings. During the flood, Noah was cooped up in an ark with seven other people and a bunch of animals for days, weeks, and even months. I doubt there was much room to “get away” and have a personal moment in the ark.
What can you imagine about being in an ark with seven other people and a bunch of animals? Can you imagine the room (or lack of), the smell, or the noise? I wonder what Noah and his family were thinking and feeling. Do you?
I wonder if the animals were in pens, cages, or stalls. Were they “free” in each deck of the ark? Did some animals chase others, as they were accustomed to doing? Or, did God supernaturally quiet the animals to make it a more pleasant voyage for all involved?
God had told Noah that He would make it rain for forty days and forty nights in Genesis 7:4, so Noah probably realized he would be in the ark for a while. I wonder what one does in an ark for over forty days. Do you? (It isn’t like Noah had video games and TV back in the day.) Maybe the animals, meaningful conversation with family, and prayer kept Noah and his family busy.
I wonder if they thought about being the only people alive. I wonder if they thought about where the rains were taking them. I wonder what it was like to look out the ark window and see the water rising and then one day, only seeing water. I wonder how they felt. I wonder if they talked about this “adventure” they were experiencing and what their life might be like in the future. What do you think?
Thank you for the story of Noah, so that we may be motivated to be righteous in your sight as well. Thank you for the earth and all you have given us. Help us to trust you, as Noah did, and to do your will. Help us to learn from Noah’s experience all that you want us to learn. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Genesis 7 (KJV):
*What does Genesis 7 mean to me?
*How would I feel about being cooped up in an ark with seven other family
members and a bunch of animals for so long?
*How would I feel knowing that my family and I were the only people alive?
*How would I feel being tossed about with the water during the flood in
such a tiny ark?
*What can I learn from Genesis 7?
Now, it is your turn.
How do you think you would feel if you were in Noah's shoes? What do you think he was thinking and feeling? I look forward to knowing your thoughts. Also, if you are finding value with what I write, please share with your friends and family and feel free to signing up to receive faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
How are you? I thought I would tell you of a lesson I have had lately in perseverance. I have wanted to create a list a digital product now for well over a year. At first, I procrastinated a bit, because I wasn’t sure which product to list. Then, I procrastinated a bit, because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be good enough. I was getting imposter syndrome. Yet, I felt God was calling me to step outside of my comfort zone and do this.
After a while, I created the digital product, I got feedback, tweaked it, and finally got it so that all the feedback was positive. Yay! Then, I ran into trouble with actually listing the product. I wasn’t sure where to list it. Some places didn’t handle the taxes and I didn’t know how to deal with taxes online. I was afraid that I might get into some sort of trouble. Yet, I still felt that God was calling me to do this. So, I prayed, I researched, and I asked around, but nothing. I didn’t get any answers. Ugh. It was frustrating, but I still felt God was calling me to do this.
Yes, there were more ups and downs than this. However, long story short, finally, the other day, after praying with a friend, doing more research, making a phone call, and trying out a new platform, I was able to list my first product with confidence. It took a while, but God showed me the way. (No, I am not giving you the link here, because I am not trying to sell you anything and that is not the point. LOL.)
So, what is the point of this story? I needed perseverance and I needed to trust God and His timing. Even though creating and listing a digital product, at first I didn’t trust that I could do it, although I felt God calling me to do it. I say that I didn’t trust that I could do it, but what I am really saying is that I didn’t trust God to give me a way to do what he was calling me to do. I know, over a year may seem a bit extreme to list one digital product. Yet, it was all in God’s timing. God knew that I needed to be ready to list it. He needed me to trust Him fully, to do the work and experience the ups and downs to get there.
No, I didn’t always enjoy and appreciate the time it took to get from start to finish. There were times when I wanted to give up. There were also times when I set it aside for a while. And, I did waste the time in the beginning procrastinating. However, I am here. I am thankful and I thank and praise God for bringing me here. I give Him the credit. I couldn’t have done it without Him! I feel very blessed!
I believe the words in Galatians 6:9 refer to doing well spiritually and we will reap in due time the rewards of being in heaven and with God eternally. Yet, I also believe that we can also use these words to encourage us to trust in God and His timing doing what He has called to do here on earth. Will trusting in God and having the perseverance to list this digital product help me to have eternal life with Him? Well, I am not sure. It doesn’t seem like something that would have that big of an effect. I do think that it is a step in the right direction. This is a step in learning to trust God in small things, which also is a step in learning to trust God in important things like life, death, and eternity.
Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for letting us experience all we need to experience in order to be in a better place and where you want us to be in the end. Help us to have trust in you and perseverance to follow through with all that you ask us to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Galatians 6:9 (KJV):
*What does Galatians 6:9 mean to me?
*Do I persevere in what God wants me to do or do I give up easily?
*Do I trust that God can help me do what I don’t think I can do?
*Do I get weary of doing well, especially when I feel threatened or
*What can I do to trust God more?
*What can I do to better persevere in what God calls me to do?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever felt like giving up? Did you end up succeeding in God's time? I look forward to hearing your testimony.
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“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”
Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV)
How are you? Recently, I started trying to set up email marketing and a way to sell digital products. I feel God is calling me to expand my way of business and to step outside of my comfort zone to do things unfamiliar to me. As I have been looking into these things, I feel like my mind has been into finances way more than I would like. (Call me an ostrich if you must, but I don’t like thinking about finances. That isn’t to say that I am irresponsible with money. I just think my mind and soul does better pondering other things.)
Anyway, I believe that it is a good reminder to look at what God’s Word says about money. So, while I was praying for and looking for a verse to use for today’s blog post, God directed me to Deuteronomy 8:18.
Deuteronomy 8:18 starts off with a reminder that I really like, “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth the power to get wealth....” Often times, we forget to include God or to thank our Heavenly Father. Sometimes, we get to thinking about what “we” need to do in order to accomplish this or that and we don’t take time to pray or to consider that we can’t do anything without God’s help.
This may seem like “backwards thinking” in today’s society. We are bombarded with phrases like “self-made man” and “independent person” that make us think that we decide what we make. With phrases like these and statements like “You get out of it what you put into it,” makes it difficult to remember that God is in control and He is the one that gives us what we need to do things.
So, does this mean that we need to sit back and wait for God to do things for us? No. God often calls us to do something, before He guides us to our destination. The saying, “God helps those who help themselves” may be close to how we are called to work. We are more apt to make more money or be more successful if we put more into it. Yet, the point is that we are to pray, to remember God, to know that we can’t do anything without God, and to thank God for all that we have and can do. We aren’t to think that we did something by ourselves, even if we don’t see anyone else physically helping us.
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for creating us and giving us all that we have. Help us to remember you in all that we do. Help us to thank you and not to take all the credit for something as if you weren’t a part of it. Help us to include you in all that we do, to pray for your guidance, and to be thankful for all that you do for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV):
*What does Deuteronomy 8:18 mean to me?
*Do I remember God in all that I am doing or trying to do?
*How can I better remember God in all that I do?
*Do I give God credit for all that I am able to accomplish or do I take all the
*Do I use phrases like “independent” and “self-made”?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? How can we, as Christians, involve God more and dissuade ourselves and others in thinking we are "independent" or "self-made"?
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“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9 KJV
How are you? I hope you are well. Sometimes I think about the pandemic and whether or not it was brought on by God or by Satan. I am not sure the origin of the pandemic. Yet, I do know that many people have been touched by it.
Regardless of the origin, I wonder if God is using the pandemic to give people a chance to grow closer to Him. I wonder if it is like a “last chance motivator” to get our affairs in order and get on the right path. And, yes, either way, I can’t wait for it to be over. I will be glad when the difficulties of the pandemic will be over. What are your thoughts?
I do believe that God either initiates or allows difficult things to happen, so that we feel a warning. It could be a “close call” in a health matter. Or, it could be a global pandemic, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. It could be many different things. Whatever the affliction or struggle, we sometimes realize that there is a lesson in it for us. That lesson could be that we need to learn patience or that we need to learn to praise God even during difficult times. Although, that lesson could be that we need to learn to follow God’s Word and to grow closer to Him. Our difficult time may be to remind us that we have something buried in our life that needs forgiveness.
I don’t know about you, but I am way over the pandemic. I am ready to have a mask free life. Yet, if God is using this time to give us motivation to get “right with Him”, then we must still need time. This might be difficult to understand. I mean, we are all tired of the pandemic. We know that. God is a loving God. We know that. So, why can’t it just be over already?
Well, if we go back to the idea that the pandemic may be a warning, we may be able to understand it a little better. Have you ever given a child a warning, like, “When I count down from twenty to zero your toys better be picked up or you will be grounded”? Then, you start counting down. And, if the child isn’t acting right away, you start counting slower in order to give that child a better chance to finish. Yes. I have done that as well. I wanted to give that child every chance to succeed within the restrictions I had set. It is the same way with God.
God wants us to succeed, so He will give us many chances and as much leeway as possible in order to succeed. So, if the pandemic is a warning of “you better get right with God by the time this pandemic is over or you will be sorry”, then God is probably letting the pandemic continue to give even more people a chance to “get right with Him”.
Are you right with God? If the answer is “yes”, great! If the answer is “no’, now is the time to get right with Him. So, what can we do? We can pray. We can pray that more and more people, ourselves included, do what is necessary to get right with God. Yes, we want the pandemic to be over. But that might not be the prayer we should be praying, maybe the prayer should be that as many people as possible use this time to get right with God. What do you think?
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Thank you for your holy Word. Thank you for being our Heavenly Father and loving us so much. Help us to remember that when we are going through difficult times, often there are lessons to be learned or good to come out of it. Help us to not just pray for the difficulty to stop, but for the lessons to be learned and for the good to come. Help us to be right with you. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Reflective Questions for 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV):
*What does 2 Peter 3:9 mean to me?
*Am I right with God?
*Do I feel that the pandemic is from God or from Satan?
*Is the pandemic a warning or motivation to get “right with God”?
*Am I praying for the pandemic to be over or for people to get “right with
Now, it is your turn.
I would like to know your thoughts. Please, comment below or feel free to contact me. Also, if you haven't already, and you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please consider signing up to receive it in your inbox. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.