Posts tagged ‘power’

April 22, 2016

Super Chapters of The Bible – Old Testament

To begin this blog post I wanted to preface it by sharing with you how I got the idea. My pastor David Dunn was speaking one Sunday recently and he honed in on a Luke Chapter 16 as a focus for the cross-reference of James Chapter 5. What stood out to me was so much insight and knowledge and gumption to this Chapter in Luke that I named it a “Super Chapter”. I also felt like other Books of the Bible had that same effect on all of us. I am not saying that other chapters aren’t as important as these are, I am just saying that I feel like these Chapters in the Bible are extra special…at least to me and maybe to you as well. This isn’t a perfect science either and this is mostly for fun and education as well. I will also highlight a verse or two that I think ‘coin’ the chapter in my opinion also. I would love for you to comment on your own “Super Chapters” you think are as good as the ones I will be focusing on below. Enjoy:

Genesis 50. Besides Chapter 1 being so important with the Words,”In the Beginning God created”, I felt so much goes into Chapter 50 along with forgiveness/redemption and Verse 20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Exodus 20. Great stories/depictions of the Israelite’s leaving Egypt, etc. but come on, The Ten Commandments….which are still valid today! Thou shalt not….
Leviticus 18. Big on rules, this Book with its regulations and laws of how to properly handle yourself in this life. God gives us the ‘what not to do’ summed up in Verse 22-23,‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”
Numbers 14. Grumbling from the Israelite’s and Verse 2, Joshua and Caleb’s good report, The Glory of the Lord shows up and more. Verse 8 is the highlight of that Chapter as well,”If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.”
Deuteronomy 6. Jesus quotes this chapter in Verse 5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Also, do not put the Lord to the test, and Fear the Lord.” Pervading topics throughout the Bible.
Joshua 24. Now I know Chapter 1 is great but Chapter 24 summarizes the whole book well. Highlight Verse 15,”But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Judges 4 I love that a Woman named Deborah leads the army and people of Israel in battle and service. Verse 9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Notable mention is Samson in Judges 15 & Gideon Judges 6.
Ruth 1. Only 4 Chapters, but a powerful account of her life I think we can relate to in some ways. Summed up in this verse, the Faith of Ruth is shown here, Verse 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
1 Samuel. Too many good chapters for sure and thus debatable. I have always liked this Verse 22 in Chapter 15: But Samuel replied:“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice,and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
2 Samuel 12. The culmination of accountability comes to a head with David’s initial response and then his penitent heart after Nathan rebukes him. Verse 13 “I have sinned against the Lord.”
1 Kings 3 The wisdom of Solomon is on display here as God had granted him. Verse 28 “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”
2 Kings 19 Many Kings of Israel that do good in the sight of the Lord on the throne and Many that do evil just the same during their reigns. I love this prayer and the Chapter is powerful in itself. Verse 15 “And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.”
1 Chronicles 4. The Prayer of Jabez. Famous book and a good read. Verse 10,”Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
2 Chronicles 7. Famous Verse 14 from the book and chapter “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Notable mention is Chapter 1 when Solomon asks for Wisdom rather than anything in the world and God gives him more than he expected because he asked with right motives a la Matthew 6:33.
Ezra 7. Some Chapters in books of the Bible are more ‘Super’ than others. Still others have more than one. In the case of Ezra it wasn’t so easy. I went with Chapter 7 Verse 28..”Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me,…” and this chapter had the most substance of God being addressed than the others as well.
Nehemiah 1. Boom, right off Nehemiah gets into the grit of what the whole book is about. Fasting, Mourning and Praying. The Rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. Verse 5,”Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” – This is how we should pray, like our forefathers.
Esther 4. Powerful story of bravery. Not any mention of God in this Book(The only Biblical book to do so) and the famous words of encouragement from Mordecai in Verse 14…”And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Job 38. The Hammer drops! After Job’s wife says to Job “curse God and die” in Chapter 1.The conversation between God & Satan and the litany of 3 of Job’s badgering friends ridicule him and on and on, God gives the last word…Are you done? Verse 4-5,“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?Tell me, if you understand.Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!Who stretched a measuring line across it?” I love these verses. Puts us all in CHECK! WHERE WERE YOU…
Psalm 91. With TOO many good Chapters to count, I’m going with this one. Verses 1-2 are beautiful in a maze of others “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”  I must share that I love Psalm 23 as well, which I do have memorized.
Proverbs 3. Again pick your favorite and go with it.They are all Super! Verses 5-6 always quickly come to my mind “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit(acknowledge) to him,and he will make your paths straight.”
Ecclesiastes 2. Amongst the ‘Wisdom’ of Solomon and so much meaningless…Verse 25 makes a point “for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”
Song of Songs 1. Starts off so beautifully and I must go with beauty, Verse 15 “How beautiful you are, my darling!Oh, how beautiful!Your eyes are doves.” Speak like this to your spouse and your marriage shall endure!
Isaiah 53. Without question, in my opinion, one of the most important Chapters in the entire OT. Verse 5 about Jesus(The coming Messiah) “But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.” *Honorable mention to Chapter 1:18 and 40:31. Again too many good Chapters in this Book.
Jeremiah(aka Weeping Prophet) Chapter 1. So many great verses in this first Chapter alone. Verse 5, 9 & 17. I really like the Verse 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Notable mention to Chapter 29:11.
Lamentations 3. Not sure there is really a Super Chapter here, but if there was, 3 would be it. Verse 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Ezekiel 37. Not a very famous book, but of the quoted and powerful chapters in a 48 Chapter book this is it. Verse 4-6,”Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Daniel 3. One of my most favorite books of the OT and this Chapter in particular. Jesus comes alive as the 4th person in the blazing furnace. Verse 25- He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Hosea 4. The adulteress/whore wife likened to Israel’s prostituting herself to other god’s. Verse 14b”a people without understanding will come to ruin!”
Joel 2. Quickly becoming one of my favorite Minor prophet books. This famous Verse 28,”“And afterward,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,your old men will dream dreams,your young men will see visions.”
Amos 4. A serious call-out of Israel throughout the book and in Verse 13 God makes a statement,”He who forms the mountains,who creates the wind,and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,who turns dawn to darkness,and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name.”
Obadiah 1. Only 1 Chapter here and Verse 15 stands out ““The day of the Lord is near for all nations.As you have done, it will be done to you;your deeds will return upon your own head.”
Jonah 3. Oh how we love to tell this tale to our children in SS class 🙂 Chapter 3 really points to God’s willing nature to forgive as shown in Verse 10 “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” However, Nineveh was destroyed some decades later for her same faults historically.
Micah 6. Another famous and quoted verse that I truly love. Verse 8,”He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercy & to walk humbly with your God.”
Nahum 1. Three short Chapters and mostly in regard to God’s wrath. Verse 3a,”The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.”
Habakkuk 2. Anther 3 Chapter book. Habakkuk brings 2 complaints to the Lord and He responds twice. Verse 20 “The Lord is in his holy temple;let all the earth be silent before him.”
Zephaniah 3. Three Chapters again. More judgement and wrath but ultimate restoration found in Chapter 3 Verse 17,”The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Haggai 2. Two Chapter book. That is why these are called the minor prophets. Shorter books many of them. Haggai ends leaving you wanting…but I like Verse 5 “‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
Zechariah 4. Verse 6b ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 3. This is the end of the OT. Famous verse from this book in this chapter Verse 10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”

July 28, 2010

Forfeit?

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26

In my daily devotional and study I am reading through the Book of Matthew.  Mainly because I find Jesus words and life fascinating and also because of how perfect Jesus is and how He responds and reacts to his surroundings and world around Him.

In this passage, Jesus discusses the point of being rich here on earth, but having stored up nothing in Heaven.  What good is it to have money and even lots of it, if your spiritually broke?

He continues on to say ‘each man will be rewarded according to what he/she has done.  Heavy thoughts, when you think about it. 

Throughout Jesus’ ministry here on earth, many themes are brought up.  Money is a huge aspect of His many themes.  I think that money is such a daily thought on most folks minds that Jesus knew and needed to address it.  Money is one of His top 3 themes He shares here on earth.  And Heaven and what it’s like is one of His least topics(funny huh?).  Mainly because life here on earth is a test and He wants to warn us to be wary of money and all of it’s corruption.  He never said money is bad, but it’s something we all need to be conscious of.

Furthermore, money is not the only thought on the ‘gains the whole world’ aspect of this passage.  Power is another.  Some folks are prone to want to be powerful in their communities, world or even family.  I find myself relating more to the money aspect and not so much the power aspect.  I have realized that I’m not going to run for office or become the president of a country or corporation.  So my ‘power’ desire is very minimal.  But, if your desire for power causes pain, hurt and heartache, then you’re not doing anyone any good by being in that position. 

What does it mean to you, other than what I have addressed, when Jesus says “Gain the whole wold?”

I know we all come from different places and backgrounds and I would find it fascinating to hear your thoughts on what you think Jesus is eluding to.  Please share.

“Father God Almighty, help us all to focus on doing good and spreading your love and keep us from evil desires. In your name we ask.  Amen”

July 30, 2009

Jude

24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.  Jude 1:24, 25

angel

April 22, 2009

more insight into tolerance…

We are in a battle for what is right and what is not in America.  Currently, what is right, is what ‘feels good’ and not what is moral.  What is right is ‘to each his own’ and not ‘the 10 commandements’.  Where do we go from here?

Is bestiality something in the near future where we say as Americans, that’s OK, because hey, to each his own?

Is incest something that is OK, because hey, it feels ‘right’?

I’m onto something…that is, we must have a limit to excess!  What is right to a narcissist is not to what is right to a conservative and vice versa.  Where do we find a common ground?  Where is it that we say enough is enough?

The Bible gives us a clear and healthy guide to living.  The reason people don’t like or believe or follow the Bible, I’m convinced, is that it DOESN’T FIT THEIR LIFESTYLE AND THUS people choose to turn a blind eye to it or say, I don’t believe in it because I don’t like the truth that is told in it.  It doesn’t conform to their personal way of thinking.

Scripture tell us to no longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  That is reading scripture and KNOWING and BELIEVING what it says.  If  you don’t know, how can you know?  Knowledge is power and scripture tells us that my people die for a lack of knowledge and zealousness without knowledge is bad.

Is Tolerance a Virtue? is the topic of this link and I implore you to read it.  It’s a short read that gives some insight into our current state of America and where we could be headed.  Let’s be diligent to know and not just think we know or believe something that anyone just said.  Having knowledge from what your parents or grandparents said to you growing up isn’t good enough anymore!  Knowledge is power and the more you know, the better off you will be.  Read your Bible today and study it. 

“Those who stand for nothing may fall for anything.”  Alexander Hamilton

“”He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters”  – Jesus (Luke 11:23)

March 12, 2009

life after death

I was reading a news feed just now about an owner of a big clothing line that was killed in a car crash early this am driving his Ferrari.  It saddened me because I was thinking about him and how he had all the money in the world and had hopes and dreams and other aspirations and many long years to still live. 

I then thought about what really counts in life.  Is it money, riches, fame, power that we all seek?  In a recession time that we’re in, people losing their jobs and even their minds during this tough time.  What really matters/counts?  Is it having a good job?  Is it avoiding unemployment?  Is it paying your bills and having a nice 3 months of savings put away for a rainy day?  What is it that matters/counts?  Is it having a happy love life, a healthy and happy marriage?  Being filled up with what this world has to offer?  Why is it that I find myself wanting the best of every world??  Is it my humanity that makes me feel this way?  That I urge to be comfortable in every facet of my life?  Life perplexes me because I think about life, how we’re here on earth for such a short time compared to the breadth of history.  I look in the mirror and see an older me.  I realize that life is short.  I begin to think about what do I want to accomplish in life before I die. 

I lye awake at night thinking more and more these days.  I find myself having sleep apnea because of my many thoughts.  I guess I am very introspective today and need to write my feelings and thoughts down as the story I read really hit my heart. 

I wonder when my time is up and where I will be when that happens.  Life is so finite.  To be so bold and arrogant as to not think of there being any higher power outside of man is ridiculous in my humble opinion.  To think that something exploded into such beauty is preposterous. 

To know that there is a living God and a son that paid the ultimate price for ME & YOU gives me hope that there is life after death.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.