Thunder and Lightning

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“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’

Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid…..’”

Exodus 20: 18-20a

So is the God of the Old Testament somehow different from the God of the New Testament? My Mom used to say, God was always angry in the “Old” Testament but He is loving and kind in the “New” Testament.

But let’s think about the context for these verses. God was giving the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions! He was working with a group of people and establishing them as a people that should be different, than the other people around them.

His people were told to not worship idols, to not commit adultery, to not sacrifice their children to idols. Yes, unfortunately there was human sacrifice in other nations. God’s people were to be different, but in a positive way. So, in a sense God was “laying down the law.”

Now in the times of the Messiah, there were quite a few cases of his blasting away at the hypocrites! He often called them, snakes, vipers, serpents! And remember the time he chased the money changers (people making a profit at the Temple) with a whip? Look out!

My point is God did not change, but the context of His interactions with us humans did. God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Yes, God is loving, kind and forgiving. And yet He is also holy, mighty – far above the heavens, and all powerful too.

Lord God, as we follow You, help us to have a balanced view of Your holiness and Your love. Thank You My God that we don’t have to afraid of the thunder and lightning, and that we can pray to You, with humble hearts as we seek to do Your will.

We praise You, and may You forever be praised!

Amen.

     

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

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Friday Focus – Prayer

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“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all you heart.” Jeremiah 29: 13

So how much should we pray? Should we pray everyday? I once knew of a pastor that woke his family up at 4:00am everyday so they all could have Bible reading and prayer, for one hour together!

Now I did not know him personally but I’m sure his intentions were good. But we do need to be careful of spiritual burnout! And I hope his children did not grow up resenting their father or his faith.

So back to the question, prayer and meditation are always good. It’s a good habit too, for a daily time set aside. And we can pray during the day as we meet different challenges.

But in our busy schedules that can be difficult. Do not feel condemned though! Simply be consistent.

I once heard it put this way. We enjoy spending time with those we love. And we make time for our loved ones so we can build solid relationships.

Well, the same is true, perhaps even more so, in our relationship with God. Did you know our faith is based on our relationship?

I wish you peace.

   

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

The Glory of God

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“When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven

and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices,

and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

The priests could not enter the temple

of the Lord because the glory

of the Lord filled it.”

II Chronicles 7:1-2

Well the presence of the Lord is not exactly for wimps now is it? This was a very special time for the people of God. Solomon had just prayed as they dedicated the Temple to the Lord God. Can you imagine God’s presence so strong that you can’t go near Him?

And let’s remember this was the Temple that God instructed the people to build. He gave them specific instructions for it to be built a certain way. Before that there was the Tabernacle (basically a type of large tent), that God had given the people very specific directions for. But look what happens when these instructions are followed, and the people dedicate themselves to following Him! Wow.

So, for us today what specific instructions are we to follow? Yes, we are to follow the Scriptures, but do we read them? And do we allow God to work in us as individuals, making us into a type of temple?

Do we forgive others when we need to? Do we teach our children to do right, and be mindful of God? We may not have experiences like this today, but when we dedicate ourselves to the One Who made everything, something powerful does take place!

Lord God, help us to be people that are dedicated to You. Help us to experience You daily and help us to be in awe of You. Work in us and through us! May we be worthy mini-temples! Amen and amen.

     

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Happy Easter

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I will be one of the millions of people around the world filling churches this weekend, celebrating the atonement and resurrection. From our house to yours, we wish all those that celebrate this day, a blessed Easter!

Yet my faith is somewhat different than it used to be, and different than many celebrating this day. My confession to you is that my faith has taken a huge hit the past few years, mostly due to circumstances beyond my control (mostly).

For example I’m not a right winger like many are, like I used to be. We absolutely need gun control, affordable health care for everyone, and so on.

But there’s more that goes much deeper. I feel very uncomfortable in some churches! Now how do you explain that one?

Some things don’t seem right to me. So part of my starting this blog is asking God to guide, to lead me, through this path He has for me. I believe my faith is strong and yet…..I’m different. 

I have a great appreciation for the Old Testament. In fact I contextualize the Scriptures, like using the term “atonement”.

I try to draw out meaning from the Old Testament. I believe it is part of what I’m supposed to do. I think Jesus did that, and explained it so wonderfully in the Sermon on the Mount.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate you traveling with me. I ask for your prayers.

Peace.

    

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

The Lord Your God Will Be With You

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“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them,

because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.”

Deuteronomy 20:1

So how does this apply to us today? Well not too many of us have horses or chariots, and fortunately the majority of us (thank you God for our military) do not have to fight wars, at least not physically.

But all of us face battles, every day, and many different types! And you know what? We’re not really fighting people, even though we may disagree with them, no our battles are different.

We battle against the anger, fear, frustration, etc., and sometimes these enemies can be great! So, God is encouraging us here not just to hang in there, but that He, the Creator of the universe is with us! Hallelujah!

And notice also that God reminds His people of a great victory in the past. He is the One that set them free. Again hallelujah!

Heavenly Father thank you for the freedom You have given us! And be with us in the battles we face each day. Give us the victory over the issues of fear, anger, frustration, or whatever we face, so we can continue to follow You! Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Yet I Will Rejoice

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Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes

on the vines, though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God

my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17, 18

Barren. Nothing, but emptiness. Sometimes things don’t go well, and it seems as if it’s all over. People get sick, marriages fail, jobs can be lost, or one disaster hits after another.

And yet here, in this little known book of the Bible, and elsewhere in the Scriptures, God often reveals that there is light, there is hope, because God is in the midst of us. We can still be joyful!

I’ll admit I’m not good at this. When you experience one trauma after another it can be so difficult to stay positive, but perhaps it’s a decision on our part to remain open.

Look at what Habakkuk writes at the end “….I will be joyful….” What?? How?? Everything is in ruins and we’re to be joyful? And yet with God all things are possible.

Heavenly Father help us to see that we can be encouraged when disasters strike, by focusing on You. And Lord remind us to reach out to others when we are in need, or when people we know, need to be encouraged. Amen.

   

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Walk Humbly with Your God

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“He has shown you, O mortal,

what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly

with your God.”

Micah 6:8

This is such a powerful verse. Too often we say there is no grace in the Old Testament. This is one of those examples of grace that I love.

And we are not only to accept mercy, we are to give mercy to others.

And we are supposed to be humble. Ever met a proud religious person? It’s awful! Sometimes a proud person can do more damage in the name of God, than anyone else.

Lord God, please help us to be humble, full of mercy, and to walk humbly with you! Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

 

Soaring on Wings Like Eagles

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“…but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings

like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk

and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40: 30, 31

Note: The word for hope here is not a passive term, as in waiting for a bus. It is an active word, as in seeking and trusting in.

I believe this is the essential part of having faith.

 

Commentary and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

 

The Lord Looks at the Heart

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“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

 

I Samuel 16: 6, 7

    

Image Copyright 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible