Posts Tagged ‘Project 66’

Project 66 – Jeremiah

The passage I chose from Jeremiah is listed as #2 on Biblegateway.com’s top most-read Bible passages! Only John 3:16 has been read more often on biblegateway.com!
(interestingly enough, 25% of the verses on that list are contained in Project 66!)

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – Hope & a Future

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the LORD,
“thoughts of peace and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me,
when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Context

Just what is the historical context of this precious promise that many hold tightly to their bosom clinging to the hope of a brighter future for them personally?

Well, with the northern kingdom of Israel already taken away by the Assyrians over a century before, the kingdom of Judah, under questionable rulership, remains behind between the two world powers of Egypt and Babylon.

Just before Nebuchadnezzer (King of Babylon) attacks Judah, Jeremiah prophesied that it would happen and that Neb would take the cream of the Jerusalem crop people-wise and export them to Babylon. Jeremiah said that the exiles would remain in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25).

This did not settle well with the ears of the people so the leaders tried to kill the messenger Jeremiah for having spoken of desolation, but he escapes.

What do you supposed happened next?

That’s right! Just as that lamentable Jeremiah had said, Nebuchadnezzer, King of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, Judah, for the first time in 605 BC.

The king of Judah paid tribute and promised future payments to entice Nebuchadnezzer to withdraw. The Babylonians did so, but took away to Babylon some exiles, including Daniel and his three friends (whom we know best by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego).

Seven years later, in 598-7 BC, Nebuchadnezzer returns, after the Judean king foolishly stops paying tribute. This time he deposes the king, sets up his own puppet from the Judean royal family, and takes thousands more into exile. Jeremiah remains in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah puts a yoke on his neck in chapter 27 to symbolize God’s judgment to be in bondage to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon for 70 years of captivity.

The message was bleak, and the people did not like it. So they collected prophets and teachers to themselves to tell them pleasant things.

The resultant contest between Hananiah the false prophet and Jeremiah in chapter 28 is a case study for discernment and contrast between true and false prophets; and as I read it I am left to wonder how I might have responded had I been there listening to Jeremiah and Hananiah.

Hananiah and other false prophets in Babylon and Jerusalem were claiming that the captivity was going to be very short – that God would break the power of Nebuchadnezzer and send the captives back to Jerusalem very shortly. In effect, they were saying, “God will prosper both you and Jerusalem in less than two years.”

Jeremiah had a sober and true message–dismal and condemning in the short term but not without a future hope. Jeremiah clearly says, “No! God is NOT going to prosper Jerusalem during the next several years. Don’t think you’re coming back soon – live out a normal life in Babylon!”

Jeremiah 29

Three years later in 594 BC, Jeremiah sends a letter (chapter 29to the exiles in Babylon. Regardless of the false-hope message of Hananiah’s short term victory and vindication, God had made up His mind–70 years of captivity.

In this context, the Lord instructs the people not to be overcome by the severity of the consequences, but to take heart in a long distant promise. They are to build houses, have children, carry on, etc., and not shrink back from all hope.

Here it is, in context:

Jer 29:10-14

For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

(Note that Daniel in exile is aware of this letter. In Daniel 9, written more than 50 years later, Daniel realizes the prophesied time of the captivity is almost over, yet the exiles are not living in accordance with God’s laws. So he confesses the sins of his people, and asks God nevertheless to fulfill the promise contained in Jeremiah for His own Name’s sake.)

Ironically, this verse–on so many hearts, posters and mirrors–is smack dab in the middle of God’s pronounced judgment of 70 years captivity.

70 years is generally regarded as a “type” of a human life span. It is the time that represents our sojourn here on earth.

Ps 90:10 The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

So it is fitting that so many of us have taken a shine to this verse. For we too have seem sentenced to live as exiles in this world for seventy years—so to speak—with broken hearts, dead-end jobs, shattered dreams, losing loved ones, etc.

Jeremiah 29:11 is thus a ray of hope in this dark world—not of short-term success and prosperity, but rather that after the just sentence of God has passed… we will be restored.

"I know the thoughts I think towards you," says the Lord.

Devotional

I’m comforted by the present tense of I think towards you. It’s not the thoughts He had about me when He planned for me, or created me, but that He is thinking right now. Even if I should find myself in a 70-year captivity that was brought on by my own poor choices, He is thinking about me.

Also, He shall not just think hopeful thoughts towards me for a year or two, but He shall go on, at least in this case, for seventy years, thinking thoughts towards me!

His thoughts are not only present and current, real time, but they are also towards me. His thoughts drift towards me.

When most I fear the Lord has forgotten me, He provides this verse that three times over repeats the word “I am thinking about you, even now!” It is as if He can’t stop thinking about me, for His thoughts meander over to me yet again!

When through the course of life, people give no more thought towards me, God has me on His mind all the time!

And the thoughts that consume Him about me are of peace, hope, future, bright, reconciliation, oneness with Him.

I don’t suppose there are angels in heaven trying to counsel Him regarding some wayward child, “Ah, just forget about her. She’s done nothing for You, she just keeps turning her back on You every chance she gets. It’s like she just looks for new and fresh ways to hurt You.” But even if such counsel existed, He doesn’t seem to pay mind to it. For His thoughts keep drifting back towards me presently with thoughts of good.

So many times when I have great problems, I think, “Oh, God’s forgotten me. God’s not thinking of me anymore.” Oh, that’s not so. God is thinking of me. But God is always looking down at the end of the road.

My common mistake is that I am always looking for immediate advantage, immediate fulfillment. And I don’t consider the end result or the consequences of the things that I do. How many times I jump into things not considering what the end result is. “Oh, but it looks exciting. It looks fun. Let’s jump in.”

And God is warning and He is saying, “No, the end of that path is destruction. Now I’m thinking about you. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you. I am thinking about you. And My thoughts concerning you are for your peace to bring to you this expected end.”

Return

It is at the end of that 70-year captivity that we call upon Him and He hears us. And I like that the promise is to the whole-hearted seeking of Him. I need to be moved out of my complacency.

I think that one of my problems is that I oftentimes have a half-hearted attitude towards God. I’m not really seeking God with all of my heart. “Well, God, if You want to, I’m here. And You can do it for me if You desire. I won’t stop You, Lord.”

And I oftentimes take a very passive attitude towards God, towards the things of God. Rather than really seeking God with all of my heart.

I don’t imagine really that I can do anything whole-heartedly. But I’ve been close regarding things or people on earth. And so I just want to seek the Lord with that same intensity and passion. I want to be as whole-hearted as Deborah Lein can be for where she is right now, and to have my thoughts presently, currently, real-time be about the Lord for good, and to have my thoughts just naturally drift towards Him and His goodness.

I cling to this portion of the promise the most…that He will captivate me with Himself, when I see Him as He is! The more I seek Him, the more I will be captivated, for to know Him is to love Him!

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Project 66 – Isaiah

It was tough to choose just a singular portion of Isaiah. So much great stuff, especially in the last 27 chapters of the book.

Perhaps you have heard the book of Isaiah compared to the Bible as a whole, since it has 66 chapters, just as the Bible has 66 books.

The first chapter begins with sin and transgression while chapter 39 ends with negative consequences and captivity. (The Old Testament has 39 books)

Then springs forth chapter 40 with great comfort, carrying it all the way through the 27 chapters to 66th as it closes in with a new heaven and a new earth. (The New Testament has 27 books)

The central chapter of the second portion of Isaiah is the 53rd chapter just as the central theme of the New Testament is the Cross.

Interestingly, Isaiah is midway between the time of

  • Moses (giver of the law) and
  • Christ (though Whom came Truth and Grace), and
  • in Isaiah we clearly see the distinction between Law and Grace.

So the portion from Isaiah comes from the central chapter in the second portion of Isaiah, Isaiah 53, which talks about the central theme in the New Testament…

Isaiah 53 – Jesus Christ and His work on the cross

Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned,
every one,
to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.

All we like sheep have gone astray

I need a Shepherd

It was my grief He bore.

He not only knows my grief, but He bares it for me. I’m sure many have felt nearly swallowed up by overmuch grief, I know I have. So I cannot even begin to imagine how it would utterly crush me altogether if it were not for Christ bearing my grief.

It was my sorrows He carried.

I picture sorrows like an Alfred Hitchcock movie with spiders and roaches crawling all over the body…desparately, maddeningly, swatting and lashing out at them with a complete insanity and inability to do anything else, except to writhe in disgust trying to swipe them away.

But what’s more…sorrows are the vermin of the heart and soul, not the body. And Who will rescue me from the attack of these insidious cockroaches?

Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has carried away my sorrows to the tree of Calvary.

And though the crowd may have looked on at the time of His crucifixion and determined that Jesus was being punished on the cross for His own sins, yet today, I cannot help but acknowledge, it was for my transgressions, for my iniquities, and all in order that I might have peace, in order that I might be healed.

The truth is it was I who went astray and walked in my own selfish way. The very wanderings that fell me headlong into the pit of poisonous insects and rodents. I want to be the kind of sheep that turns to the Shepherd for guidance rather than brashly making poor choices and suffering for them afterwards.

Just thinking about this portion of Project 66, compels me to thank God with the words from this hymn…

Why would I ever leave the suffering Shepherd’s side who never leaves my side?

Project 66 – Isaiah

It was tough to choose just a singular portion of Isaiah. So much great stuff, especially in the last 27 chapters of the book.

Perhaps you have heard the book of Isaiah compared to the Bible as a whole, since it has 66 chapters, just as the Bible has 66 books.

The first chapter begins with sin and transgression while chapter 39 ends with negative consequences and captivity. (The Old Testament has 39 books)

Then springs forth chapter 40 with great comfort, carrying it all the way through the 27 chapters to 66th as it closes in with a new heaven and a new earth. (The New Testament has 27 books)

The central chapter of the second portion of Isaiah is the 53rd chapter just as the central theme of the New Testament is the Cross.

Interestingly, Isaiah is midway between the time of

  • Moses (giver of the law) and
  • Christ (though Whom came Truth and Grace), and
  • in Isaiah we clearly see the distinction between Law and Grace.

So the portion from Isaiah comes from the central chapter in the second portion of Isaiah, Isaiah 53, which talks about the central theme in the New Testament…

Isaiah 53 – Jesus Christ and His work on the cross

Surely He has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned,
every one,
to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.

All we like sheep have gone astray

I need a Shepherd

It was my grief He bore.

He not only knows my grief, but He bares it for me. I’m sure many have felt nearly swallowed up by overmuch grief, I know I have. So I cannot even begin to imagine how it would utterly crush me altogether if it were not for Christ bearing my grief.

It was my sorrows He carried.

I picture sorrows like an Alfred Hitchcock movie with spiders and roaches crawling all over the body…desparately, maddeningly, swatting and lashing out at them with a complete insanity and inability to do anything else, except to writhe in disgust trying to swipe them away.

But what’s more…sorrows are the vermin of the heart and soul, not the body. And Who will rescue me from the attack of these insidious cockroaches?

Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has carried away my sorrows to the tree of Calvary.

And though the crowd may have looked on at the time of His crucifixion and determined that Jesus was being punished on the cross for His own sins, yet today, I cannot help but acknowledge, it was for my transgressions, for my iniquities, and all in order that I might have peace, in order that I might be healed.

The truth is it was I who went astray and walked in my own selfish way. The very wanderings that fell me headlong into the pit of poisonous insects and rodents. I want to be the kind of sheep that turns to the Shepherd for guidance rather than brashly making poor choices and suffering for them afterwards.

Just thinking about this portion of Project 66, compels me to thank God with the words from this hymn…

Why would I ever leave the suffering Shepherd’s side who never leaves my side?

Project 66 (6 of 22)

Today we are running the gamut of the Old Testament…backwards!

Nehemiah and Esther are near the end of the Old Testament period (around 400 bc) while Job is considered to be a book placed somewhere back in the days of Abraham.

I took nearly 2 months off Project 66 (aside from refreshing my memory of the verses in my head while I drive) in order to concentrate on teaching a 10-week course on the History and Geography of Israel. But that is complete, so I’m returning to my Route!

Nehemiah – God’s Response to Brokenness

Nehemiah is a great book to turn to for leadership characteristics and strategies. But even more, it is a man of God doing what God called him to do…very convicting, this book!

The verse chosen from Nehemiah is 2:18:

[Nehemiah wrote]
And I told them
of the hand of my God
which had been good upon me,
and also of the king’s words
that he had spoken to me.

So they said,
“Let us rise up and build.”

Then they set their hands to this good work.

This relates to the enormous task of building up the crushed and shattered walls of vulnerable Jerusalem. What a blessing that Nehemiah had an “us” to help him! Indeed, it is not good for a person to be alone!

The convicting part comes from the “rise up” portion. It indicates a readiness towards activity. To move forward even with the prospect of failure and disapproving people. Just Get on Your Feet.” I get stuck there every time.

Oh Lord, enable me in my 44th year to become more like Nehemiah!

One more portion of this phrase is the word “build”!

Building is something positive, constructive, and uplifting. The opposite of destruction, tearing down, and breaking.

Even if I don’t know what exactly to build (like others did – Noah, Solomon, Jesus, Paul) I want to be a builder, a restorer! Of myself, of others and of Christ’s Cause!

Esther – God’s Response to Certain Death

The name of Jehovah is not in this book, but His fingerprints are all over it. I’ve often wondered if she was stripped of the opportunity to have true love, in order to fulfill this call to be the queen of Xerexes.

Whatever the case, God called Esther to a great task, and she got on her feet and did it! Convicting yet again!

I originally had wanted to memorize the longest verse in the Bible which is found in Esther 8:9, but the warmth of devotional thought from it (as well as the difficulty of it!) compelled me to choose a different verse!

Instead I selected Esther 4:16! Esther says:

“Go,
gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan,
and fast for me;
neither eat nor drink
for three days,
night or day.
My maids and I will fast likewise.
And so I will go to the king,
which is against the law;
and if I perish, I perish!”

Just like Nehemiah, she gave no mind to success or failure, just the mere call and need compelled her to action, even to the loss of her very own life.

What has to happen to make a person so recklessly abandoned to do God’s bidding? I believe I want it, as if there is nothing to lose.

It isn’t so much death or perishing that frightens me (perhaps a lack of reality makes it that way for me), but loneliness, or lack of community, or wastedness. For me the battle would be to say “If I must be lonely, I must be lonely!”

However, even in the surrendering over to the Lord, I’m also glad, that in Esther as well as Nehemiah, there is an “us”. She had people praying for her. Fasting for her. Even serving her. I don’t suppose we can all be Esthers, but we can be a part of Esther’s faith!

Esther is one of those books I could go on and on about, but I must move on to Job!

Job – My Heart Yearns within me for  Hope

Job 19:25-27

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!”

Just like Job, only one thing I know, “My Redeemer Liveth!” I shall see Him face to face. With my own eyes. Accepted in the Beloved. Fully. Unconditionally. Eternally.

“Oh how my heart yearns within me!”

Restoring the People, Rebuilding the Temp

Restoring the People, Rebuilding the Temple...Let me a part of this Great Work

Project 66 (5 of 22)

1 Chronicles to Ezra is Today’s portion

Well, it has been a month of not blogging, but I have been pondering and scribbling out all 66 portions of scriptures, one per book!

Verses Scribbled on the Board

66 Portions scribbled on Plywood

1 Chronicles 4:10 – That I may not cause pain

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
“Oh, that Thou wouldst bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Thy hand would be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain!”
So God granted him what he requested.

I shared a thought from Leonard Sheldrake on this passage at the beginning of the summer, and highly recommend giving it a read if you have the time:

https://communicatinggrace.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/possess-your-rightful-possessions/

I know for me, my greatest desire is that I don’t cause pain to anyone, intentionally or not. And only the Lord can prevent me from doing that, He is the only one able to manage and understand just what it is that could hurt others and what each person’s sensitivities are.

And how encouraging it is to read that little addendum at the end
“So God granted him what he requested.”

O that the Holy Spirit would nurture His fruit in my life!

2 Chronicles 7:14 – Seek His Face

If My people, who are called by My name,
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek My face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.

This is a promise of God to the nations, particularly Israel. But for me today, I cling to it as a promise that He will hear from heaven, forgive me my sin and heal my heart. So I want my occupation to be humbling myself, praying, and seeking the face of my Saviour, my only Hope.

At St. Philip’s we are doing the 21-day Prayer Project, and God knows how much I desire to have the results be the same as that declared in this verse 2 Chronicles 7:14.

I can’t even begin to enumerate how often I have sought after other faces or spent time conversing with others rather than seeking Him and praying to Him.

O for healing, Jehovah Raphi.

Ezra 7:10 – Prepared My Heart

For Ezra had prepared his heart
to seek the Law of the LORD,
and to do
it,
and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

As I mentioned in the previous passage (2 Chronicles 7:14) the healing of my heart is a desire of mine. But in this passage we see that there is a role that we get to play in the accomplishment of that end.

Ezra PREPARED his own heart, whether healed or not, to seek the Law of the Lord, or even the Lord Himself. Like it says in Philippians 4:8, we can choose what we think on.

Nothing gives me more comfort than the word of the Lord and sharing it with others. I just need to learn not to seek comfort from something other than Him.

I definitely want to be in fellowship with others, but as far as the depths of the heart where deep calls unto deep, only God Himself can put His healing balm on it.

I like the NIV translation too, it says, Ezra was devoted to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord. It’s convicting, isn’t it? What am I devoted to? What am I consumed by?

May it be the Lord Himself!

Project 66 (part 4 of 22)

Well, I have my plywood purchased and 1/3 of the bible passages scribbled up on it. I don’t remember a piece of 4×8 plywood being so big, but it is taking up over half of my bedroom wall right now!

As far as memorizing the passages, the traffic to Dallas from Frisco has been a blessing! Yep, you heard right…I enjoy going through the various portions while driving, walking, waiting, dosing, etc.

The fourth installment is

2 Samuel – 2 Kings

The Samuels record David’s ups and downs, victories and failures. I chose

2 Samuel 22:2-4 which captures David’s heart that was after God’s own heart

And David said:
“The LORD is my Rock and
my Fortress and
my Deliverer;
The God of my strength,
in whom I will trust;
my Shield and
the Horn of my Salvation,
my Stronghold and
my Refuge;
my Savior,
You save me from violence.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just how many things does He have to be before I finally surrender to Him and to His ways? I mean, who else in this whole world can be all that? And be good at it all? And all I have to do is Call upon the Lord!”

This is also Psalm 18:1-4 too. (Guess who wrote that Psalm? 🙂

1 Kings 17:14 demonstrates Jehovah Jireh — The Lord who Provides

I love this whole story, and selected this portion as a representative of it all.

“For thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘The bin of flour shall not be used up,
nor shall the jar of oil run dry,
until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’”

This woman from Sidon woke up thinking she knew the future, bleak, gloom, brokenness and death.

But God!

But God brings word that she will not run out of food, so give it away….and that is what she does…in the middle of a famine. What wonderful faith!

But even more, what a wonderful Lord! Even the mundane was seen to be a miracle…just flour and oil!
O Lord, transform my mundane into such vistas of Your power.

The Jordan River

2 Kings 5:14 – Restoration

So Naaman went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

I love that! Let’s say that this commander of the Syrian army is 35 years old. His acquires leprosy and when he humbles himself before the Lord in desperation, gets further down than he already was, Jehovah Rapha cleanses him. Restores him not to the rough skin of a 35 year old, but to the smoothness of a little child’s skin.

Our God knows how to restore…beyond what we even lost!

Naaman need only dip seven times in the muddy Jordan for his restoration. I’m finding out that each time I dip in the Water of God’s Word, I am slowly being restored as well. And I am confident that it shall be beyond that which I lost to begin with!

Excuse me, while I go take another dip!

Project 66 (part 3 of 22)

Three days into my travels without a CD player or iPod has compelled me all the more to keep my focus on the Lord and His word, mostly Project 66.

It’s amazing how I can scarce keep my focus on prayer for more than 5 minutes but I can rehash a memory or a “what-if” scenario in my mind for 15 minutes without interruption. Fifteen minutes gone, lost forever, and not one single benefit from it.

So I thank God that He has brought this project to mind, because it has been very ministerial.

Judges – 1 Samuel

Judges 21:25 A good summary verse of the decline of the book of Judges

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Of course, not everyone thought like Hitler or Stalin, but they just made sure that they looked out for number one in their lives, no matter the cost. Needless to say, chaos and pain abound.

You can read Judges and see the degradation of the situation increase as they move further and further away from the Lord’s prescribed ways.

Thankfully, we have Ruth to go to for a breath of fresh air, after reading Judges 17-21.

  • Instead of unfaithfulness, there is loyalty.
  • Instead of immorality, there is purity.
  • Instead of battlefields, there are harvestfields.
  • Instead of warrior shouts, there is the harvesters songs.
  • There are no miracles in Ruth, Judges had lots.
  • There are no villians in Ruth, Judges had gobs.
  • This is a book that is just “life as usual” and yet it is exceptional.

Ruth 1:16-17 Turning point of all 4 chapters as well as for the Messianic Line

But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you,
   or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
   And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
   And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
   And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
   If anything but death parts you and me.”

A promise made, a promise kept. So unlike the book of Judges where everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

I’m also struck by Naomi. What if she had not stopped entreating Ruth to leave, but sabotaged the whole relationship and sent Ruth packing? There is faithfulness of both women’s parts. I fall more in love with this book each time I read it!

Ruth 1:16-1

Ruth Commiting herself to Naomi

 

Enough about David’s great-grandmother, what about David himself?!

1 Samuel 17:45 – One of two people come to mind when you say David’s name, I’m going to think on Goliath instead of the other!

Then David said to the Philistine (Goliath),
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.
But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel [or your name], whom you have defied.”

Though that is all that is required for my little Project 66, I am including for my own sake, verse 47:

“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

What boldness! No wonder his older brother thought he was being a brat and troublemaker! O Lord, make me a “troublemaker” like David, so that I too may kill the spiritual Goliath’s in my own life.

That’s it for now. I’m writing from St. Louis at my brother’s house. And can’t wait to get the kayak out on the lake in just about 10 minutes. It’s a great place to ponder some more on Project 66 and the Lord of the Project Himself!

Project 66 (2 of 22)

Project Thus Far

I can’t even begin to tell you just how helpful this project has been.

I thought choosing the passages was the delightful part. But taking the time to ponder each one has been a very helpful way of captivating my thoughts. How often I found myself beginning an unhealthy imaginary dialgoue in my mind, and one of these 66 passages heroically interrupts, to deliver me.

Numbers – Joshua

Numbers 6:24-26 – A Prayer that Can be Used for Friends and Foes

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’
Amen.

What could ever ail a soul if the smile of Christ was evidential in a person’s life? Oh Lord, remove the clouds and let me gaze on Your face and be blessed with Your countenance. I’m compelled to copy a poem regarding “that look” from God:

HAST thou heard Him, seen Him, known Him?
Is not thine a captured heart?
Chief among ten thousand own Him,
Joyful choose the better part.

What has stripped the seeming beauty
From the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right or duty,
But the sight of peerless worth.

Not the crushing of those idols,
With its bitter void and smart;
But the beaming of His beauty,
The unveiling of His heart.

‘Tis the look that melted Peter,
‘Tis the face that Stephen saw,
‘Tis the heart that wept with Mary,
Can alone from idols draw:

Draw and win and fill completely,
Till the cup o’erflow the brim;
What have we to do with idols
Who have companied with Him?

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Moving on to Deuteronomy. What a nugget this verse is, and easy to memorize. Give it a try!

Deuteronomy 23:5 – Curses turned to Blessing

Nevertheless the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.

To get the context of this verse, Numbers 22 would have to be read. Basically, a guy named Balaam tried to wrong God’s people, though he really didn’t mean to or want to. He was once with Israel, but the enemy, Balak, offered him the fulfillment of his life-long dream. All he had to do was curse God’s people, the one with whom he had previous ties with. Read Numbers 22 for the whole scoop, but this verse in Deuteronomy kind of summarizes God’s view of that whole embarrassing scenario.

Joshua 1:9 – The Kind of Life God has for Us

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Really, Joshua 1:1-9 is worth memorizing. It’s the same message over and over. Given to Joshua as God was asking him to do the very difficult, the unthinkable, the unbelievable. The rest of the book of Joshua is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Joshua and Joshua’s faithfulness to “be strong and of good courage” in the Lord. How could he not be dismayed? Because “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”

As you read through this blog, remember, only the black italics are inspired! The rest is just a reflection of those passages from where I am right now in life! What does the passages say to you?

Project 66

The Project

I just finished reading the Bible straight through having started May 1st. It only takes about 66 hours (though obviously not merely one hour per book — just compare the 1 minute it takes to read 3 John with the 3 hours it takes to read Genesis!)

And while I was reading it, I choose one verse (tho sometimes I snuck a few additional verses in there) that either summarized each book or that was a very poignant to me.

I am now endeavoring to meditate on and memorize each of the 66 verses chosen to represent each book!

And THEN…I hope to create a little design and post them all on a 4’x10′ sheet of plywood or drywall. Don’t know where my brother will let me hang it, but maybe above the fireplace or something 🙂

It would be a VERY long post if I posted all of the verses I chose in just one post, so instead, I’m going to post only three at a time (cuz it goes into 66 easier than 5 does!)

Finding comfort in God's Word

Finding Comfort in the Word

Here is what I chose:

Genesis – Joshua

Genesis 1:1 – A good summary for the book of origins is:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

(I will also be doing verses 2-3)

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness covered the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light!

1:1 would have been sufficient but 1:2-3 seems so promise-giving, hope-filled, for anyone who is filling a void or is facing darkness in their lives. So I’ve snuck those in too!

Exodus 12:3 – another verse chosen because of it being key to the book

Now the blood shall be a sign to you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Though it may sound gory, it’s good to remember that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Not our own blood, or the blood of any other, but the one time sacrificial offering made by Jesus Christ on the cross 2000 years ago!

Leviticus 20:26 – definitely another summarizing verse. This books seems to spend a good deal of time demonstrating how complicated sin is and just what a hassle it is to get made right with God. It’s serious stuff, sin is.

And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and I have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

I can’t think of any other who would want me as much as He wants me, nor one that I would want as much! Make my holy like You o Lord!

There you have it! Just taking the time to even type them out on this simple blog has assisted me in pondering these verses to the point that they are now memorized! I dare you to try it! Maybe pick a verse you are already familiar with (like In the beginning God created…!) and see if by year’s end you can’t have 66 choice verses to ponder on for those times you’re stuck in traffic!