My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Security and Restoration
Sunset over Encinitas.
Psalm 31:16Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
The Psalmist has been going through great difficulty, but discovers that his security is not in being saved from trouble, but that God is with him in his time of trouble. It is in the face of God shining upon him that the Psalmist understands that he is saved and restored. God has not turned his back on him, but instead, constantly shines his face in his direction. This is God watching him in a way that is protective and restorative. In the midst of great struggle, God is security and restoration.
It appears that the Psalmists immediate inclination in the midst of his struggles was to turn toward God. That’s a great reminder for us, because I know that it’s often easy to look at our difficulties and allow them to become overwhelming. Rather than seeking the face of God, we look to our circumstances and can feel as if we are being swallowed up by great darkness.
I believe that it was through years of dependence upon God that David learned to instinctively turn to God for help. Even when facing the smallest challenges, we need to recognize our need for God. Years ago I attended a prayer seminar led by Glaphre Gilliland where she talked about learning to pray. She encouraged us to learn to pray every day, even about the smallest details of our lives. She said that far too often we think that God isn’t concerned about the small things, but only the major events. That’s simply not true, and God is concerned about the small details of our lives. When we learn to be in constant communion with God, then we know how to go through the days of great trial with the Lord.
God provides security in the midst of difficulties. Even when we don’t understand what we are going through, God does. Here we can put our entire trust in the Lord and depend on the promises that we have experienced. When we are in a face to face relationship with our Lord, then we can seek the face of God. The image of God is restored in the Father’s children when his face shines upon us. In this way, we are able to reflect the image of God, who is Jesus. That is complete and entire restoration; all of God’s children reflecting the face of the one who shines upon us.
Lord, I’m grateful for the security to be found in you. I want to learn to trust in you more and more throughout this journey of life. May you be reflected in me, and the ways in which I live my life. My desire is to be restored in your image. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…