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Treasure His Words

I came across a verse in Job that I thought was a great reminder of how we should be treating God’s Word (the Bible). Job says, “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).

I like how The Message translates this verse. I’ll add verses 10-11 just so you get a better idea of what Job is saying, But he knows where I am and what I’ve done. He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I’ll pass the test with honors. I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it.” Job’s example of treasuring God’s Word above all else is one to be followed. Despite all the pain and heartache he was going through, he still never wavered from following God.

I love to spend time in the Word in the mornings but some mornings I do find it hard stay focused on what I’m reading while my mind starts to wander into what I need to be doing for the day. Some days I feel like I’m just going through the motions and not getting anything out of what I’m reading. Other days I can’t seem to get enough. Most mornings I pray Psalm 119:18 before I start to read God’s Word, Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” It helps me slow down and focus on what God is trying to tell me. 

I pray that as you seek the Lord and read His Word that He will open your eyes to see Him. May we be like Job and treasure God’s Word above all else.


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My Redeemer

I have been reading through the book of Job this week and came across a wonderful little verse I know we all probably know, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on earth” (Job 19:25).

My Bible commentary says of this verse, “he (Job) believes that there is a Redeemer who will one day vindicate him and then restore him, even though death and decay intervene.” Job didn’t say that he hoped or trusted his Redeemer lived. He said he KNEW his Redeemer lived. He not only knew this but he knew it within a very difficult trial in his life. He knew that God would one day restore him.

My prayer for you today is that you know without a doubt that your Redeemer lives and He is in the process of restoring you.

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Jealousy, Stewing & Anger

“The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.’” Genesis 4:6-7

In this passage we have two brothers Cain and Abel. Cain was a “tiller of the ground” and Abel was “a keeper of flocks” (Genesis 4:2). In this passage we read that Cain brought to the Lord and offering of “the fruit of the ground” while Abel brought the “firstlings of his flock and their fat portions” (Genesis 4:3-4). The Lord “had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard” (Genesis 4:4-5).

My bible commentary says, “There must have been a time when Cain and Abel were instructed that sinful man can approach the holy God only on the ground of the blood of a substitutionary sacrifice.” This would, I assume, mean that at one point Cain rejected this commandment and came before God with a bloodless offering while Abel obeyed the commandment by bringing to God the first of his flock.

God’s rejection of Cain’s offering made Cain angry, “So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:5a). I’m not going to get into why God accepted one offering over the other. What I want to focus on is Cain’s reaction and what resulted from it. Cain became angry and he allowed that anger to seep deeper so as his “countenance fell.” Here is what God had to say about Cain’s anger, “‘If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it'” (Genesis 4:7).

Cain had the option of changing his offering into one that was acceptable. He had to option of changing his attitude but he didn’t. Instead he allowed it to fester and turn into jealousy which lead him to murder his brother.

My friends, anger is a dangerous feeling. I know there is justified anger and it is a natural feeling but what we do with it is vital to both our emotional and spiritual lives. I guarantee that if you allow yourself to stew in your anger and jealousy they’ll take you to a dark place like they took Cain. I pray that when we are faced with a situation that brings feelings of anger and jealousy that we take it to the Lord. Read what He has to say in His Word. Pray about the situation and ask the Lord how to deal with it properly.

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What is Good For Us

God knows what is good for us. I love this about Him because there is a purpose to all His the things He asks us to obey and avoid. He does this because He wants to protect us.Satan, on the other hand, wants to deceive us. He wants us to doubt God’s intentions towards us. All you have to do is look at what is going on in the world to see that he is having a field day. People are being deceived into thinking that God wants to control us, not allow us to be our own person or to express who we really are. The list is endless. Just watch the news and you’ll see what I’m trying to point out.

I have read the story of the fall of man so many times that it is hard not to gloss over it. This time around I was struck by the fact that God is our ultimate protector. He calls us to avoid the things of this world because He knows if we expose ourselves to them we’ll weaken ourselves spiritually and possibly get hurt in the process.

If you have the time please read through Genesis 2-3. If you don’t have the time here are the highlights:

The doubt:

Genesis 3:1 (Satan) starts to put doubt into Eve’s mind, “Indeed, as God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?'”

The truth:

The truth of the matter is that God provided for Adam and Eve all they needed. They could eat from any tree in the garden, “Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9a).

God allows Adam and Eve to eat of any tree except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “The Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you will surely die'” (Genesis 2:16-17).

What Eve knows:

Eve knows she isn’t suppose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we shall eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die'” (Genesis 3:2-3).

Satan twisting God’s Word:

Satan uses doubt to twist Eve’s mind into thinking that God is withholding something good from her, “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'” (Genesis 3:4-5). What Satan said is a twisted version of the truth – They will know good and evil and with this knowledge they will start to die.

God had a protecting hand over His creation. He knew if Adam and Eve exposed themselves to knowledge that was potentially harmful that they’d lose their innocence by their gained knowledge. This, my friends, ended up harming them and all of mankind. It is the reason why we are in the situation we are in today. Sin entreated into the world because Adam and Eve listened to Satan’s lies and deceived themselves into thinking God was withholding something from them.

The world is a harmful place because Satan is in it. He wants to deceive us into believing what God says is a lie. He twists the truth and tries to open our eyes to the things of this world so we’ll desire them more than God. Don’t be deceived. Don’t allow the world to dictate to you what you should believe. God’s Word is the truth even if it is sometimes hard to understand. We just have to trust that God knows what’s best for us. Learn from Adam and Eve, trust in God and believe what He says is ultimately for our own good.

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Welcome to 2018!

I find it hard to believe another year has come and gone. We’ve done a lot on the Stillness blog. We’ve read through the bible in two years. We’ve also memorized the Beatitudes which means we’ve memorized another larger portion of scripture.

My goal for the Stillness blog is that we learn to make the Lord part of our daily lives. I want us to go beyond just reading someone’s devotional thought (even my own) to digging into the Word on our own. I feel that reading the bible daily, memorizing scripture and prayer are vital to our spiritual health and growth.

Over the years we’ve been reading through the whole bible. Some years we’ve taken only a quick year to get through the bible while other years we’ve taken two to three years. I’ll be the first to congratulate you on your daily bible reading if you’ve stuck with it these past two years with us. This year we’ll be reading through the bible chronologically. I’ll provide the new reading plan on the right hand side of the blog. If this is a plan doesn’t work for you than by all means feel free to find one that fits your needs. My goal isn’t that you stick with us but that you read your bible on a daily basis.

Memorizing scripture is not easy for me. I struggle with it and find it to be a challenge. Even though this is true for me I still think it is important to work on memorizing scripture. There will be a time in our lives that we may not have a physical bible to read and will have to rely upon what we’ve motorized. This year we’ll be memorizing John 15:1-11. I realize this is one verse shy of a year but I think we’ll be okay. I know December is a difficult month for many so we’ll just take the time to review the whole passage next December.

I pray that the Lord will lead you into this new year with new insights from what you learned from last year. That you won’t look back with regret that clings to your future. To know that mistakes happen but repenting and forgiveness releases you from them. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

I’m looking forward to spending another year with you!

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Exercising Your Spiritual Muscles

Several months ago I started to take Senior pictures for my daughter’s friends. I think I had over 10 sessions which required a lot of processing which required a lot of sitting. During that time I also tweaked my knee and was unable to do a lot of exercising. In time my back started to hurt. I started to become so stiff in the mornings I could hardly move. Every time I sat for an extended period of time it’d be very painful to get up.

After several months I decided to go in and see what was going on. I have Piriformis Syndrome – in other words my sitting too much caused my ligaments to tighten which caused me to start suffering from sciatic nerve issues. The doctor gave me 8 exercises to do to help with this problem. I was told it wouldn’t improve unless I was consistent with doing the exercises.

This little issue reminds me of how important it is to exercise our spiritual muscles. I’ve been very wishy-washy about my devotional time lately and I feel the effects of my lack of time in the Word. I can’t seem to write devotionals, my anxiety level has risen, I feel disgruntled and lack grace.

The Lord’s prescription? Exercise my spiritual muscles daily.

I’ve discovered the importance of doing my exercises every day. Some days I don’t feel like doing them but I know if I don’t I’ll suffer the consequences of my issue not improving. This holds true for my spiritual muscles. They need to be worked out on a daily basis.

What does this mean? It means we need to spend time in the Word by reading and memorizing it. We need to spend time communicating with the Lord through prayer and listening to Him. We need to spend time in corporate worship and being feed through bible study and listening to what the Lord is saying through our pastors.

How are your spiritual muscles doing? Are they getting the proper workout or are they tight and painful from lack of use? Remember, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

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Remembering Those Who Are Mourning

The holidays are upon us in full force. This is often a joyful time for many as they decorate, bake and purchase presents for their loved ones. But it can also be a time of great sorrow for those who have lost someone.

In the back of my prayer journal I have a page where I have a list of people I know who have lost someone. I know the loss will always be with them. The wound left will heal in time but will always leave a scar. Once a week I turn to that page and pray for each family listed. I pray for peace, comfort in their sorrow and strength to continue to move on each day. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Let us to take the time this holiday to pray for those in our lives who have lost someone.