Where You Are Standing is Holy Ground

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“Do not come any closer, God said. Take off your sandals,

for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Exodus 3:5

God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, but why was Moses told to take his shoes off? Well some of the answer can be found in Asian culture. What?? Nico, have you lost it? Flipped your lid? No my friends, lets think about this for a second.

Many in Asia will take off their shoes at the door. You see, shoes are considered for outside. The home is held as being very special indeed, and the dirt from outside is to be kept outside. We do this at our house too, and it is a wonderful way of having a cleaner home.

So Moses’ sandals were not clean and to meet with God, he needed an awareness of the holiness of God. Remember all the verses about clean and unclean throughout the Old Testament? And the beautiful lesson that Moses learned that day, holds an illustration for us when we meet with God through prayer.

When we meet with God let us make sure that we have clean hearts, for God is holy. Yes, He is love also, but God never gave up His holiness. He is not one or the other, He is both at the same time!

Were the rocks and sand of that mountain holy? Probably not. The place was holy, simply because God – was there.

Are your shoes placed outside the door?

Heavenly Father, help us to be holy, to live holy lives. Thank You My God that You are both holy, and You are love. Thank you that we can each meet with You through prayer. Hallelujah!

Be with us and bless us with Your presence when we pray! Amen and amen.

     

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

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The Statutes of the Lord are Trustworthy

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“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord

are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord

are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord

are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Psalm 19: 7-9

Many of us love the Scriptures, but do we really think of God’s Word as refreshing, and giving us joy in our hearts? We often think of “law” in a negative sense don’t we? But here, long before the New Testament came along, the law was seen as giving us life, and even light to our eyes.

Let’s think about the Ten Commandments for a moment. This was an amazing time of God teaching His people the difference between right and wrong. It’s a good thing when God says, “do not steal”, “do not commit adultery”, “do not murder”. Yes, God bringing light to our eyes, indeed!

Perhaps another way of looking at this topic, is how we raise our children. We teach them right and wrong because we love them and want the best for them. We say things like, “Don’t play in the street!” or “Look both ways before you cross the road!”. Our children trust us now (hopefully) to guide them.

Yes, there is grace, but He is not a Grandfather politely turning His head, pretending not to see when we sin. He is fully aware of everything we do. Some theologians have noted that we cannot fully appreciate the New Testament, without knowing something of the Old Testament.

Lord God, thank You for Your Word! Continue to guide us, teach us, and lead us. Bring light to our eyes, and joy to our hearts as we learn more about You and Your ways!

Hallelujah (praise be to God)!

Amen and amen.

      

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Friday Focus – Religion

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“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

So many people of faith that I know really, really don’t like the word, “religion”. I find this odd, and mainly an American concept. I know, because I used to do the same thing. We sometimes say things like, “I don’t have a religion, but I have faith in God.” And that can be true if we are not plugged into a place of worship, but do we really want to sound so independent?

Even more prevalent is the phrase, “I don’t have a religion, but I have a relationship with God.” Oh wow, maybe it is simply a matter of semantics, but this can be terribly confusing for people that don’t have the same faith we do. Are we really saying that we are to high and mighty to be part of a religion, or even a church? No of course not.

When we use this phrase though, without realizing it, we can sound like we are judging others that say they have a “religion”. In other words, we give the impression that we really know God – and others? Those religious people? Well maybe they really don’t know Him. You see where that can lead us and how wrong it can sound? We too often judge others.

I love the Book of James. According to James we do have a religion. You know what this verse reminds me of? The Two Greatest Commandments, of loving God and loving our neighbor as our self. And you know what? It’s ok to light a few candles and kneel down from time to time.

So how is your religion doing?

I wish you peace.

       

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Stronger Faith Through Tough Times

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,

whenever you face trials

of many kinds,

because you know

that the testing of your faith

produces perseverance.”

James 1: 2,3

God really does know when we face difficult circumstances. So how can He say to us to consider those circumstances or contemplate them with joy? How is that even possible?

I hate tough times, I think we all do if we admit it.  And yet God is encouraging us here because He sees the bigger picture!

He can see something taking place internally that is actually positive. I think by perseverance God means that we get stronger or rather our faith becomes stronger.

Ever seen a cancer patient survive? I have. What an incredible boost to us and strengthening of us that is!

I’m also reminded of an athlete that gets stronger, or faster due to resistance! Wow, so cool.

Lord God it is difficult to see the good or positive within difficult circumstances, but help us to see the big picture!

Do a work in us, and through us to make our faith, our trusting in You, even stronger. Help our roots to go down deeper. Only You can do this Lord God Almighty. Amen and amen!

      

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

 

Always in Your Strength

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Lord God, I pray You would help me to be true to myself,

to be who You have created me to be,

even if I am different

or not far to the right,

empower me to speak

the poems in my heart,

to be filled with Your light,

and to walk always

in Your strength.

Amen.

    

Prayer Poem and Image Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

On Earth as it Is in Heaven

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“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven….” Matthew 6 

These famous lines mark the beginning of the “Our Father” prayer, also known as the Lord’s Prayer.

Besides the setting apart of God’s name and praising Him, there is something very important for us to remember.

We should want it to be on earth as it is heaven. Now we know it won’t be perfect down here, until the end of all things, but we can still pray that it would be according to what He wants!

And you know what? The most important thing is – God’s will being done in our lives.

True we are not perfect, but do our lives reflect His kingdom on earth?

Heavenly Father, may Your will be done in our lives, and may we be a reflection of who You are! Amen!

   

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the KJV Bible

 

In Your Light

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In Your light Lord God we can see ourselves, and our need for You

without You shining in our hearts, we lose direction

we lose the meaning of who we are, so shine

Lord God, forgive us for being so dim

at times, may we be the light

You made us to be,

fully and completely.

Amen.

    

Prayer Poem, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

Blessed Are They

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek…..

Matthew 5: 3-5a

My reason for sharing this portion is twofold. It shows that even in the most difficult circumstances, God is at work.

Secondly, these words also show us that He cares, and of course there are many other verses in both Old and New Testaments that indicate God loves us.

So why do bad things happen to good people in the first place? Many books have been written on this topic, and I’m not a theologian, but the best book I have found on the topic was written by C. S. Lewis.

Lewis tackles many of these questions in his book, The Problem of Pain. He explains that in addition to the laws of nature, natural disasters, humanity’s inhumanity to each other, there are still a few unexplained tragedies, that we may never know the reasons for.

God is high above all our circumstances, and we cannot see the big picture. I think its important to remember the concept of “trust”. If everything always went great would we really know what trust is?

Heavenly Father, Abba, please help us through these circumstances, where all we can do is trust in You. You know the ones we face, sometimes daily. Give us the insight we need to push through, with hope.

And bring healing to our spirits, because we know that You care about each one of us. Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Teach Me Lord

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“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it

to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep

your law and obey it with all my heart.”

Psalm 119: 33, 34

For those of us following the New Testament, we don’t talk much about decrees or law do we? In fact, we can often have a negative feeling about these types of terms.

And we often, in a good way, replace these terms in our minds with “God’s word”. We want to follow His directions, He is after all our Creator, and knows each one of us so well!

But remember the context here, there was at this time the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, also known as the books of Moses. The psalmist wanted to follow the laws of God.

Laws can be beneficial to us, to all of us. For instance, we have traffic laws and without them there would be complete chaos! So many people would get hurt.

Heavenly Father, help us to follow you and your ways, because You only want the best for us! Help us to do like the psalmist did, having a heart that says, “give me understanding, so that I can follow You!” Teach us Lord God. Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Quick to Listen

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“…Everyone should be quick to listen,

slow to speak

and slow to become angry.

Because human anger does not produce

the righteousness that God desires.”

James 1:19b, 20

So if we want to show that we are Godly people, we need to listen more and talk less!

And we need to get less angry when people do or say something we don’t like.

Heavenly Father, help us to follow You by listening better, and getting angry less, even in tough circumstances (which is not easy). Amen!

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible