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Reality Check

Isaiah 33:6 (NLT) In that day He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.  The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

Bible study author, Priscilla Shirer, recommends this exercise as part of Discerning the Voice of God:  Rank the following activities from 1 to 8 with 1 being the activity to which you devote the most time and 8 being the activity on which you spend the least time.  Order the list before you continue reading.
  • Watching television
  • Reading novels
  • Reading Scripture
  • Reading magazines
  • Surfing the internet
  • Working / Parenting
  • Talking on the telephone
  • Pursuing other hobbies

What does your ranking reveal about your priorities?

If God’s Word ranks low on your list, how can He speak to you through Scripture?  Our goal should be to saturate ourselves in His Word.  The more Scripture you have hidden in your heart, the more likely He will be to bring it to mind and use it to direct you. 


Does saturating yourself sound really overwhelming and tedious?  Start small.  You’re already reading Scripture in this devotion!

Each week select one or two that are meaningful to you.  Post them in a place you visit frequently (car dashboard, bathroom mirror, kitchen sink).  Every time you pass by, read and think about what the Scripture means and how it could apply to your life.  Later, you may not remember the verse word for word, but the meaning will have shaped your conscience.

Digging for Treasure

Proverbs 2:1-6 (NLT)

My child, listen to what I say,
treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to
concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
ask for understanding.
Search for them as you
would for silver;
them like hidden treasures.
Then you will
understand what it means to fear the Lord,
you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!
his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Do you dig through your accessory drawer to find just
the right gem (or tie) for the day?  You
have go-to favorites.  One corner has a
particular color.  What suits your mood
or makes you feel beautiful?  Some days
yield a quick pick while other days you linger in thought.  Some days you forget entirely.  Accessorizing has become a habit.  Routine. 
Finding a daily message from God’s book of wisdom might take some
practice too, but  you will learn to tune
your ears.
I like to read a verse several times and let it tumble
around in my head as I go about my morning chores.  Where does the verse take my thoughts and
why?  What does it mean for my life?  Sometimes a word or phrase jumps off the
screen and slaps me in the face offering encouragement, affirmation, a new
perspective, conviction or correction.   Reading
different translations can expand the nuances of a verse because the original
Hebrew and Greek don’t always translate easily to English.  If one verse or devotion doesn’t speak to me,
I read another.  Almost every day, one of
the devotions I read contains a personal message.

Search for God’s message as you would for silver; seek
His wisdom like hidden treasures.

The Movie of Life

1 Peter 1:24-45 (NLT) – As the Scriptures say, “People are like
grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the
flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the
Good News that was preached to you.
Francis Chan talks about the movie of life. 
This movie starts when God says “Let there be…” God is Love so He
creates humans with whom He can be in relationship.  The people rebel and turn away.  God floods the earth, but gives Noah and his
descendants a second chance.  As the
movie progresses, God calls Abram, Joseph, Moses, judges, kings and prophets.  In the fullness of time Jesus enters the
scene and teaches us The Way of life. 
Jesus dies and rises to rescue us from sin so we might be part of God’s
spectacular final scene.  Jesus will come
again just before the film’s climax. 
This is
the movie of life and it is all about God. 
Somewhere between Jesus’ resurrection and His return, our lives are a
blip on the screen – a tenth of a second flash. 
So why
do we live our lives as though the movie were all about us?  Our purpose in the movie of life is to advance
the plot.  Our whole existence should
point to God.  We will wither and fade,
but God’s script plays on forever.

It’s Alive!

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper
than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between
joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

think about the longevity of the Bible. 
Most of the Old Testament, of course, is the Jewish scripture that was
in use long before Jesus’ birth and continues to be the foundation of the
Jewish faith.  The New Testament was
written and compiled in the first century. 
It’s important to remember that it was written while eye witnesses were
still alive who could have refuted the content, but didn’t.  Though debated and studied, it’s Truth has
held for more than 2000 years.

But the
Bible is not just a historical document. 
It’s alive and relevant!  I find
that a familiar verse or story can reveal different insight as my life (or even
my mood) changes. When I read Scripture as more than information, God can use
it to send me a personal message.  When I
allow Scripture to expose my innermost thoughts and desires, it has the power
to transform me.  Sometimes He brings me
encouragement or comfort.  Sometimes
Scripture helps me identify with a person or situation.  Sometimes it cuts right to the quick and

Do you read
Scripture for information?  Or do you
allow it to be relevant and powerful in your life?

Scripture Is Useful

Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make
us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and
teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to
do every good work.
mornings I use’s verse of the day for my reflections.  I love that ever since I published this blog,
the daily verses have been about the importance of Scripture.  Truly there are no coincidences.  God is affirming our need to put His Word
into our hearts and lives.
Scripture is inspired by God.  We could
probably have a great discussion about the authority of God’s Word.  Yes, it was written by man and a group of men
decided which writings to include in our Bible. 
Folks will always debate which teachings are for all time and which were
specific to the particular time and culture.
after much Bible study, I believe God used these men to communicate His Word.   It is
Truth.  If you stumble on the first
phrase, try reading today’s scripture as ‘All Scripture is useful to teach us
what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.’  Yup. 
It sure does.  We just don’t always
like the correction part.
uses Scripture to prepare and equip us to do every good work.  Let’s get to know God’s Word so we can base
our lives in Truth and be ready for Him to use us.  Are you in?

God’s Masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
we are God’s masterpiece (handiwork, workmanship).  He has created us
anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us
long ago.

I’ve expanded today’s verse with words from
several translations.  English words don’t always match the original
Greek so various translations attempt to capture the original meaning.  One version
can’t even describe your essence in one word.  It states  “For we are
what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (NRSV)

Here’s what I
think is so beautiful:  the word translated masterpiece, handiwork,
workmanship, or ‘what He made us to be’ comes from the Greek word poiema, where we get the English word poem.

You are God’s poem. 

words do you use to describe poetry?  All of those words describe your
essence – who you are in God’s eyes.  No two poems are the same.  Each
has a different personality, voice, rhythm, message, emotion, power….
yet each is crafted by God intentionally and carefully to be our way of life.

You are God’s masterpiece.

Be Wise

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
Proverbs 9:10 (NLT)

I could give many good reasons to read the Bible, but this scripture explains the logic in two short sentences. First, understand that fear of the Lord doesn’t mean being afraid. We can almost substitute awe for fear. Awe of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Remember that God is the Creator and designer of all the immense and intricate beauty surrounding us. His creation reveals His character. Do you see majesty in a snow tipped mountain range? Power in the rush of a waterfall? Glory in a sunrise? Can you see His love in the details of a butterfly?

This Proverb says standing in awe of this unimaginably awesome God is the foundation of wisdom. Why? Because this God knows your name. Your name. He loves you. In fact, He has a specific plan for you to be in His presence, in relationship with Him forever. How do we respond? By falling in love and getting to know Him. God reveals Himself to us in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God is telling us about Himself. Through Scripture and communicating in prayer we get to know God. Not head knowledge – heart knowledge.

Why does knowledge of our awesome God result in good judgment? Because our thoughts become His thoughts. We see the world as He sees it. We are created in God’s image and therefore have the capacity for goodness, love, beauty, creativity, wisdom…… and good judgment.



Psalm 27:14
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (NLT)

This is a funny little verse.  Think about it.  The
psalmist says waiting takes courage.  Sometimes the bravest thing to do
is to wait for God’s instruction or action.  Hmmmm.

In my head, I’m fine with the first sentence.  Wait patiently for the
Lord.  I know the routine.  Give my trouble or request to God in prayer
and wait for His response.  But the next sentence affirms my experience
that waiting is difficult.  I want results and I want them now.  How
often do I ask God for help and then take back control of the
situation?  Abraham and Sarah did it.  We do it too.  Waiting is hard! 

It reminds me that the Israelites in the Old Testament prophesied about a
Messiah, a king to rescue them.  They pretty much begged.  They were
suffering and continued in brutal oppression for many years.  But in
God’s great timing, He sent Jesus into the world.  Our liturgy says ‘in
the fullness of time’.  That means when everything was lined up just
right.  The Romans had built roads and commerce was flowing among cities
as did news.  Hellenization had declared one official language so
everyone could communicate.  The diaspora had scattered Jews all over
the civilized world, providing a network for the gospel to spread.  Many
things were just right for God’s plan to be fulfilled.  I’m sure there
are many we don’t recognize.  His timing was perfect and yet many Jews
didn’t recognize God’s answer to their prayer for rescue.

The bravest stance was inaction.  And perhaps in our trials the bravest
action is inaction.  Trust.  Trust deeply.  Trust with all your soul
that God will answer your prayer ‘in the fullness of time’ and according
to His will.  Wait patiently, expectantly and bravely.

Spend a few minutes to plant a quick Seed. Or stay longer and plant a whole garden.

Each post is a brief scriptural thought that will grow as you let it take root in your thoughts.  If you have time, dig into one area of interest and plant a whole garden.
Each post is a brief scriptural thought that will grow as you let it take root in your thoughts. If you have time, dig into one area of interest and plant a whole garden.

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