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Prayer for our Kids day 20 – Compassion

compassion“Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion” (Colossians 3:12).

There are some words that evoke strong emotions within us and for some reason the word compassion brings forth feelings of comfort and warmth within me.

The dictionary describes compassion as, “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Compassion is a strong word; you can not feel compassion lightly for someone. The definition really drives that idea home by explaining that the feelings of sympathy are accompanied by a desire to “alleviate the suffering.” Personally, the whole definition is filled with powerful words: deep sympathy, misfortune, alleviate, and suffering.

Compassion is shown in the parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15). The father in the story was filled with “love and compassion” for his son upon his return home. The son’s actions did not matter anymore; he had forgiven him and was just happy he had returned. Just as the father in this story was filled with love and compassion towards his son, our heavenly father has both love and compassion for us.

There are two verses from Micah that speak of Father’s amazing display of compassion towards his people:

“Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
 Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” (Micah 7:18-19)

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

B90X- Final thoughts on Joshua 2013.01.20

Deeply embedded in almost every part of the Bible is a tension between the holiness of God and his graciousness.

As a holy God he demands compliance with his law, set before human beings choices of obedience or disobedience on which are conditioned blessing or judgment.

As a merciful, gracious, and compassionate God, he makes unconditional promises reflecting the grace and favor he has set on his people.

Joshua 1:1-8 expresses no less than ten “will”s, of which the Lord is personally speaking to a stalwart of a man, of which every one of them were fulfilled.

What was true for Joshua is certainly true for each of us- “Do not let this Book of the Law (probably Deuteronomy) depart from your mouth; meditate (hagah) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Josh1:8).

Then to close the book, Joshua sums up everything ever learned from Moses and challenges the people, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.  Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:14-15).

Each of us is going to worship and serve something.  What or who is it going to be for you?

Prayer for our Kids day 19 – Humility

“God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all” (Titus 3:2).

“Show true humility toward all.” Think about that for a minute. What does that look like, true humility to everyone? We live in a very proud nation. We’re proud to be Americans, proud to live in such a beautiful state as Colorado, proud of our families, our pets, jobs, kids, sports teams just to name a few. But, are we living how we were called?

humilityHere are a few more things to think about from the Bible on humility:

“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor” (Proverbs 29:23).

“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:12-14).

Pride leads to humiliation and disgrace. Humility brings honor, wisdom and good works.

I’ve always said that it’s important to take pride in your hard work for example, but I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Instead we are told to “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23). I think I’m going to have to re-evaluate my entire life view after writing this.

What does it really look like to live in humility?

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

B90X- How Joshua points to the New Testament 2013.01.19

strong and courageousIn kind of a short look back at the week, a point struck me regarding the person of Joshua, some of the theological ideas in that story and how they point to a future Messiah and Kingdom of God.

We are so fortunate to live in history when we have the cannon.  We are able to read back and make connections that men like Joshua or the disciples only had bits and pieces of information in putting together their worldviews.  The way we can read Israel’s story and the thread of redemption woven through it, is grace to us.  How much more revelation do any of us need to comprehend and grasp the love Father has for us?

Here are a few things found in Joshua which point to events and ideas found when and after Jesus came:

  1. The Name of Joshua and Jesus.  The name of Joshua  means “the Lord is our salvation.”  Interestingly enough the English Jesus is a derivation of the Greek which is a derivation of the Hebrew.  So etymologically, their names mean the same thing and their roles and nature line up dramatically.
  2. The Promises Rest-  Josh was leading Israel into their inheritance, into their rest (Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1).  But at best a temporary rest from enemies, for Israel would have many more foes in the centuries ahead.  From the vantage point of the NT, Joshua’s successes were only partial at best, and therefore they pointed beyond themselves to a time when Joshua’s greater namesake, Jesus, would bring God’s people into an inheritance that could not be taken away from them (1 Peter 1:3-5).  Jesus would provide the rest Joshua had not attained (Heb 3:11, 18; 4:1-11).
  3. Models of Faith- The people of Israel at the battle of Jericho and Rahab the prostitute are presented as models of faith, examples of those who were looking for a country (Heb 11:30-31; 11:14-16), but who did not attain what was promised (11:39_40), because God had planned something better.
  4. God’s Warrior- According to the NT, Jesus is not only Joshua’s greater namesake, but he is also the Divine Warrior, the captain of the Lord’s Army who fights in behalf of his people and achieves victory for them (Josh. 5:13-15; Rev. 19:11-16).  The inheritance he gives is not a stretch of rocky land in the eastern Mediterranean, but rather renewed heavens and earth and a heavenly city (Rev. 1-2).
  5. The Conquest- Many have made comparisons between Joshua and the book of Acts.  After redemption from Egypt in the Exodus, Israel began the conquest of her inheritance; after the redemptive work of Jesus at the cross, his people move forward to conquer the world in his name.  Israel enjoyed an earthly inheritance and an earthly kingdom but the kingdom of which the church is a part is spiritual and heavenly.

Sidenote- for some of you struggling to rearrange your daily schedule to get the hour or so reading done everyday, I ran across this article that gives a few pointers on how it  can be done.  Stay after it!!  Reading all of God’s words in this rapid fashion is so worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

B90X- End of Deutoronomy 2013.01.15

As the end of the Torah rolled around a bit of sadness overcame me.  The end of a forty year era was done.  The end of Moses ministry to the people was done.  The end of his event-filled 120 years was complete.  There has been, nor ever will be a man like Moses.  One can see now why is so revered in the Jewish Faith.  “Moses and the Prophets,” they say.  He embodied many attributes of Father.  He was patient with the people, though at times wondered why he had to lead this group of rebellious and stiff-necked people.  He interceded on their behalf for Father not to wipe them off the face of the earth.  Moses stayed faithful to the wandering Hebrews, he never quit or left them on the side of the road.  Yet in the end, even Father’s most favored man on the planet at the time had to deal with the result of his decisions and disobedience.  Moses was not allowed to enter the place he vowed to lead the people towards.  His forty years of education and training– lead to forty years of training with Father–  which lead to his forty years of service–  ending with looking at the place of promise.

Did any of you stop to ponder the choices for why which tribes were chosen to be on Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal during the recitation of the blessings and curses? The two tribes from which the two positive spies surfaced, the priests, “Praise,” the youngest son from whom the first king came, the favored one of Jacob, and the laboring servant were all on the Mt. of Blessing.  There are many reasons why the others on the Mt. of Curses side.  See if you can come up with more than what I have listed.

deut 28When you read through the blessings and cursed in chapter 28, was there any evidence of which category events of your life fell in? Did you see any evidence of your obedience or disobedience and the results of said decisions?

In the end, I think the most poignant words to date are found in Deut. 32:47, “They are not just idle words for you– they are your life.”  As we are reading all of these words and believe me, I know we have read a lot of words in the past two weeks, they are our life.

They are our sustenance,

they are our eternity,

they are our success,

they are our prosperity,

they are a key,

they are our nourishment,

they are our warfare,

they are a door to understanding Father,

they are victory,

they are a gift,

they are grace and mercy,

they are all we need for a life of faith and godliness.