A Daily Choice

 

Greetings Everyone!  Welcome to Tuesday, January 4, – a brand new day to spend time pondering together in God’s Holy Bible.

 

Today, in Genesis 11:4, we get a glimpse of the character of the people who have chosen to live on the east side, near Babylonia.  The words coming out of their mouth:  “and let us make us a name,” (KJV) show us their strong desire for power.  Oh, can’t we all relate to this earthly human heart that seeks a name for its self and wants to feel important?

 

But.

 

God created us for a different purpose.  Our purpose is to glorify Him at all times. 

 

The ‘east’ keeps popping out at me the past several days.

 

Cain left the LORD’s presence and settled ‘east‘”(Genesis 4:16)

 

“People migrated to the ‘east‘…and settled” (Gen. 11:1)

 

“Lot chose for himself the whole Jordan Valley to the ‘east‘ of them” (Gen. 13:11)

 

Living ‘eastward’ brings short spurts of satisfaction and contentment.  Kind of like a bowl of ice cream!  One, ½ cup serving is never enough.  There is a longing for another serving; but, allowing Jesus to satisfy our desires brings true contentment.  How do we get to this place?  By abiding in Him.  Practicing His presence for longer periods each day.  Not settling for less than our whole heart.  Another word for settle is to negotiate.  Oh, how often do we negotiate and talk ourselves out of doing what God is asking us to do?  May we choose on purpose, –  the opposite of ‘eastward.’

 

The more we read the Bible, the closer our desire will be to draw close to Jesus.  We live in a world of lawlessness and our only hope of not being deceived is knowing the Word of God.  As we grow in our knowledge, our motives will be exposed to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Then, the knowledge learned will transform our actions and words to be pleasing to God. We are called to make this daily choice.  “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine” (Matthew 10:38 NLT). 

 

Dear Father, Help us not to settle on the east side.  Help us grow closer to you today.  May your glory be seen through our words, our actions, and more importantly, – may you see evidence inside us – in our heart. May our heart’s desire be to give you the glory in all things.  Humbly and obediently we want to serve you with our whole heart. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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17 thoughts on “A Daily Choice

  1. Amen, Lori! What thoughts you have given us to ponder on! Ouch and ouch! Thank you for the prayer! Your words touched a deep part of me, thank you! Have a blessed day and I hope to be back to share my nuggets. Love and hugs to all! Bethany

  2. Thank you for your thoughts Lori! Of course I noticed the bowl of ice cream mention…truly you! I have so many “east” moments that I can see. Just yesterday would have been in my words and attitude towards my dad. I wanted my comfort; I didn’t want to be put out. It was all about what I wanted. May God convict and correct me because I was wrong. God wants us in His territory….seeking Him. Putting down roots with Him. My reading today was the first chapters of Job. A couple of things that stood out to me was after Job lost his children and his livestock and property, he said “I came naked from my mother’s womb and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had. And the Lord has taken it away. Praise the Name of the Lord!”…..in all of this Job did not sin by blaming God. He was grieved…he tore his clothes and fell to the ground…TO WORSHIP!…Oh Lord, that my first reaction can be to worship You during any circumstance of my life. I ask You to help me with this. May I sing out in praise to You in every situation.In chapter 3, some friends arrive on the scene. It states that they sat with Job for 7 days and nights, not saying a word. According to Jewish tradition, people who come to comfort someone in mourning should not speak until the mourner speaks. This is another area that I ask God to help me with; to just be quiet…to just be there and have my presence be enough. Sometimes the blaring silence un-nerves me and I seek to say anything. Silence is better. It is golden. May Jesus shut my lips and let my love pour out in other, better ways to those around me who are suffering.Thank you Lord for the book of Job. Since the beginning of time, we humans have asked “why does bad things happen to good people?”…..thank You for teaching us to trust in You, and not to need to know the answer. amen.Morgen

  3. Morgen, Your words truly hit me, as I have to wonder myself, if everything I have was taken away from me, – – – would I have Job’s first response? That is where I want to be, for it is so counter-culture, to be content with nothing. This has been on my mind lately. So often I seek things and even buy things, that really I do not need. I want Jesus to be my satisfaction because other “stuff” just leads me void after a short period of time.What an added treat to our group here that you are reading in Job! And, God’s timing – I happened to pop back over to the Psalms blog, which I never do till my lunch break, and the words you wrote truly were meant for Jane in SC. So I shared them with her, too! God knows!

  4. My reading today is on Job Chapters 1 – 5. A lot of chapters to read but one thing that I discovered: “Bless” and “curse” come from the same Hebrew word.Strong’s H1288 – barakבָּרַךְTransliterationbarakPronunciationbä·rak’ (Key)Part of SpeechverbRoot Word (Etymology)A primitive rootTWOT Reference285Outline of Biblical Usage1) to bless, kneela) (Qal)1) to kneel2) to blessb) (Niphal) to be blessed, bless oneselfc) (Piel) to blessd) (Pual) to be blessed, be adorede) (Hiphil) to cause to kneelf) (Hithpael) to bless oneself2) (TWOT) to praise, salute, curseMy question of course was, WHY? Adam couldn’t come up with another word? Bless vs. curse. They are as opposite as opposites can be. Did Adam coin that term after the fall? How he saw Eve as a blessing but pictured her as a curse after she offered him the forbidden fruit? (If he did, for his sake, I sure hope not he did not tell her that when she asked.)So I thought and pondered. And as I did I realized they are not on the opposite ends of the spectrum as I thought.There are things we see as blessings – the bigger house, the newer car (or Kindle/phone/iPad). So we work and strive and covet. But they turn out to be burdens that become hard to bear. Then there are things we automatically see as curses – like when a Mother is diagnosed with lung cancer and dies 4-1/2 years later. Or when a child gets a headache that wouldn’t go away and he gets really sick. But they turn out to be life changing catalysts that bring God’s true blessings – a daughter gives her life to God. A prodigal son returns. I have also discovered that it is in these night seasons, we draw the closest to God and we feel His grace the most.I came upon the perfect example yesterday as I was listening to K-Wave. As you may or may not know, Pastor Chuck Smith the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the father of the Calvary movement announced on Sunday that he has lung cancer. Yesterday, two days after the announcement, he was back on his live call-in radio show, Pastor’s Perspective. He had a biopsy earlier that day! (I would have been home curled up in a fetal position under a blanket with the door closed and curtains drawn.) And you know what? He was CHEERY! You can tell that he has hope and he believes that hope is in Jesus. When Pastor Don asked Pastor Chuck how people could pray for him – the one who is used to praying for so many, stammered a bit as if he couldn’t think of anything. And you know what he said? “That God’s will be done.” Didn’t ask for a full healing and recovery but God’s will, whatever that may be. Who knows how God will use a man fully surrendered to God’s will? Only blessings could come from it. ~Grace & Peace

  5. Lori,Great post on the “East” and what it represents so far. Poor East gets a bad rap. But don’t worry, as with everything in this fallen world, God will redeem it. “Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” When Jesus finally comes back to redeem the earth, He will come from the East.And then a couple of verses later:30“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

  6. Brandee just commented on the post “A Daily Choice” on His Gathering PlaceLori, I love how you pointed out the “east.” That has really jumped out at me too this time. My HCSB makes note of this and says that when people went eat they went away from God. Adam and Eve went east, Cain went east, the people before they build the tower went east and Lot goes east, a clue he is fixing to end up in trouble! Love how we were on the same page :)I wrote about Abram’s call today. Here is my posting from the FB page: The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:1-3Today we are introduced to Abram. I have always loved this section of Genesis and God always teaches me something new each time I read it. As I read today I was thinking about Abram’s call. God was going to do something amazing in his life. He was going to be the father of a great nation, all people on earth would be blessed through him. Such great things ahead for Abram but he had to do something first, he had to leave. He had to leave his familiar to go to the unknown. He had to leave his old life for a new. Abram was learning that obedience to God often means leaving one thing in order to receive something else even better (HCSB notes).Genesis 12:1 in the Amplified says, “Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives, and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you” (emphasis mine). Do you see that? It was for Abram’s own advantage that he leave. God knew that he needed to separate Abram from all that he was, all the influences that could keep him from his calling if he was going to fulfill this great plan God was calling him to. God stripped away what Abram knew so He could take him to a new place.Has God done this in your life? Or are you feeling His call now away from something, someone or some place that you know you have to leave? Things that you know you have to leave behind to be and do all that He has planned for you. Whatever He asks us to move away from it’s for our own advantage because He has something better!Years ago God stripped away all my friendships. As I began to stay home with my son I lost touch with all the people I had called my friends, but it was for my own advantage. God knew they were not the people I needed to be with to become who He wanted to make me into. They were not the godly influences I needed in my life and God has been so faithful. As He took those away He brought back into my life tenfold what I gave up. Godly women who walk with the Lord and are the best friends I have ever had. Even though it was lonely and painful in the beginning, it was worth it.If God is calling you today like Abram to “go out” or “go away” it is for a great purpose and greater blessings are in store! His call and His plan are worth every single going out we must make with Him!

  7. GP, interesting how both bless and curse come from the same word! No coincidence tho, and words to a song play out in my mind: “our trials are blessings in disguise…” We can see an event as a curse, but in reality truly it is meant for our own good. The stronger our faith gets the more we are defined by Christ and not by our self; and, the more we will be able to act and respond like the faithful pastor Chuck. So, glad you and Morgen landed in Job today! Morgen, your thoughts have been going over and over in my mind. I want to worship no matter what my mood is and I want to grieve for the lostAND, loved the N.T. reminders re: the east! My visual I thought of was the absolutely, over-the-top sunrises I get to witness many mornings as the deep oranges arise from the mountains – eastward! Smile Shining. Gleaming. Brilliant. Radiating glorious hues that only God would create!Even tho we may not understand our purpose right now, God plans to bless if we will remain obedient. Just like you said Brandee, to be ok with what He is stripping away from us the current time. To believe He is God and we are not. To trust in His sovereign plan for our life..Loving the comments today girls’ ~ aahh, loving God’s Holy Book. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Lori, was that your last comment? It reminds me of that word puzzle we solve when you have to guess who’s doing what? Like this:”5 guys who live in apartments make orders from the same company. Unfortunately the shipping company delivered every order to the wrong apartment.Roger, who doesn’t live in an end apartment, ordered the television set.Tom lived next door to the man who received the dishware.Mr. Weiseman, who didn’t receive the automotive tools, lives two apartments from the man who ordered the downhill skis, and one apartment from Harry.etc., etc.”I understand all that is not bible related but I just thought of that as I tried to guess who posted that last comment. 🙂 Also I’m testing if my comment will work or will it still insist that I’m spam?G&P

  9. Love, love, love all the sharing of some awesome insights today!! Thank you. It’s intriguing to me about the whole ‘east’ thing. Also, that bless & curse come from the same word. Well, we all come from the same creator- so- I guess if we are ‘in tune’ with what God’s will & plan is– we will find the blessing in ALL things- eventually. What caught my attention today is every single time that Abram went to a new destination, the very first thing he does is build an alter to God. And even after he had straight up deceived the Egyptians & Pharaoh about his wife, Sarai, being his sister- God not only provides him a way out, but they leave with them all their possessions. I notice to, that he does a loop (Im assuming) because he ends back at the same altar he had built the 1st time– to praise & worship the Lord again! He had some praising of thanks for saving us!!!! What I’m getting out of all of this- is that because “Abram departed as the Lord had instructed” and truly is a man seeking to please the Lord- building altars, praising Him- God is going to use this man in mighty ways (obviously). This makes me look at myself- even though I mess up daily & even sometimes hourly, always repent and kneel before my Father- truly seek to please HIM rather than self & He will use me in mighty ways. What I have to understand is my ways are not His ways- what I see as a curse may be the BIG BLESSING for SO many others that God is going to use ME for. Even if it’s small blessings, I will praise Him for using me– I pray this anyways :)))Thanks so much for letting me read all of you wise reflections on our God’s MIGHTY Word,Heather

  10. G & P II (what’s with the II, lol) hahaha – yep that was me. No anonymous allowed in our group. : ) You’re are funny and I hope you get the spam worked out.Thanks for sharing Heather! You are so right-on, God’s ways are not our ways, necessarily! When Abram lied to Pharaoh, it showed his weakness, but in his heart, truly he loved God. He was not perfect. Like you said, God still used him in a mighty way. I loved that. The more we know Him, the more we do want to praise and thank Him in all things. Good thoughts today. Thank you for adding your insight here. Hugs everyone! Lori

  11. GP, leave it to you to figure a way out. : )LYNNE, Welcome! Loved it when I saw “YOU” this morning! HUGS!!!

  12. (Repost – January 4, 2012)—————-Heather,I didn’t know about Abram and how he went full circle. Yes, I agree that even when we mess up daily, we can also do a loop and go back to the place of praise and worship. You know I’m enjoying this different reading plans and the added insight we get from each other. I will be in Job for a few days and I can’t wait to get to the story of Abram. Also, what you said about our “curse” that is really a blessing to others – I read somewhere that the trials you go through may not be for you but as a benefit for somebody else.G&P

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