cover to cover – week forty-one

October 13 – 20

For the past few weeks, I have felt a restlessness. I can’t really explain it except I sense God is nudging me to press on, go deeper, follow harder. He wants something more from me. I’m not sure what that looks like yet, but I know. There is something ahead–for each of us. Without sounding mystical or anything, that is a promise. God is nudging us. God is calling, “Come closer.” I invite you to start the music and read the rest of what lingers for me in His Living Word. . .

 Mark 6:31 – “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Jesus saw the disciples growing weary, not able to eat because of the crowds wanting them to do miracles and heal them. He offers these words to His tired followers. We all need a place to lay our heads, to go with Jesus by ourselves. A few minutes of Quiet Time isn’t enough. Someone recently told me my writings seemed a little flat, and I immediately knew why. I also had someone tell me a few years ago that “the light had gone out in my eyes.” I immediately had to assess–what was I doing differently? What was I neglecting? We often don’t realize it ourselves when we get too busy with the here and now and don’t take time to be with Jesus alone. He is our rest. He is our restoration. He puts His Light back into our eyes and infuses His Breath into our words.

More than Enough. Five Loaves and Two Fishes – We often think the gifts we have to contribute are so little that they won’t make a Kingdom difference. But Jesus uses those things we bring to Him and multiplies the offering. He gives us the incomprehensible privilege of being co-laborers with Him in His work. He makes it more than enough. In the famous loaves and fishes story, they have twelve baskets left, filled to the brim. Jesus had his twelve disciples pick up all that was left and had a basket for each disciple. I wonder if He was showing them, among so many other lessons, that He was their portion, and He was more than enough.

Mark 18:7 – “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” Not only are we to take our own sin before the Lord to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, but we also must be very careful not to cause another to sin. This principle causes me to rethink some of the things I do. “Woe to the man through whom they come.”

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” This is why we join together in prayer for each other. This is why we meet as a church. There is power in several coming together in His omnipotent name. Great things for His Kingdom are accomplished through unity and agreement in community, through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Kingdom Authority. Luke 10:19 – “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” We have been given His authority to have power over satan and enemies of our own destructive device. I am doing a study by Adrian Rogers right now and one of the things he said was “our enemy can be internal, external, or infernal.” We will fight against these, each one of us. But we have Kingdom Authority to overcome. (A funny sidenote: my Outlook calendar just popped up a reminder that said, Church – NOW!) I have to go get ready for church so I’ll be back in a bit…)

Law and Orders. Mark 7:8 – (Jesus said)“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” Is anyone ready to get back to basics? Legalism is the invention of man, not God. There are so many “shoulds” that we think we need to do. Many churches give good instruction of all that we should do, good things, but fail to preach and demonstrate the commandments especially the greatest command, authentic love in Christ. One church I attended had you sign your tithe card each week with a checklist—I had my prayer time? Check. I read my Bible this week? Check. I gave of my time to the Lord? Check. The card made the parishioner puff up with a good report card and a little money to place in the offering plate. In the same way, the Pharisees prided themselves on scrupulous observance of the Law. They not only knew the Ten Commandments, but they paid rigorous attention to all the laws to the point they really weren’t following them at all but practicing self righteousness. The Pharisees had lost sight of the very heart of the matter–loving God. One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36 NIV). Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV) Without love for God, the external observance of the commandments becomes an empty demonstration of self discipline. I don’t need a legalistic heart filled with blind tradition but an obedient heart to hear His command, to love. If I have to choose between traditions/legalism or a heart like His, give me wisdom, Lord, to know the difference. And when I err, may I err on the side of love. His Love.

Lord of all. Mark 8:29 – “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus asks each of us this question and we will give an answer by the way in which we live. Do I believe? Is He Lord of my life? Lord of my circumstances? Oh really? Lord of my will? Lord of my heart? I confess with my mouth and pray that it becomes more and more true of my life as I surrender more of self and grow in Him. Like John the Baptist, I must become lesser that He may become greater within me. Jesus Christ is Lord of all of me, not just that portion to which I give Him access.

None but Jesus. John 6:68-69 – Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Peter realized eternity rested on his following Christ. He asks, “Where else would we be found?” It reminds me of when Jesus couldn’t be found for a few days when he was a boy, and they found him in the temple. And he answered, “Where else would I be? I’m in my Father’s House.” Where else, indeed, but in the safe arms of a Savior who rescues us from ourselves and our circumstances, and gives us the very words of life!

The Transfiguration. – Matthew 17. Oh, to be Peter, James, or John, as they witnessed, “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” They saw Christ in His Glory. The three closest to Christ saw Christ in His true Form. As I draw nearer, do I see Him more as He truly is? Do I see His majesty and glory? I want that inner-circle relationship with Jesus—to know Christ. (Phil. 3:10)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 12:28-30)

What lingers?    Come to Me.    And blessed is the man who does!

Join us in Cover to Cover with Bev and others as we celebrate His Words of Life in Scripture each week.

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8 thoughts on “cover to cover – week forty-one

  1. Hi there,
    I have not posted a cover to cover this week…but I did a posting that sounded a bit like your first section…the importance of time alone with the Lord…how I desperately need it and also how I am desperate without it. I didn’t come to read the recaps until I was caught up myself…I found it interesting when I read the verses to come to Jesus that the preceding verse talks about the Father revealing Himself to those He chooses. I wonder how many times I have missed the rest and peace because God wanted to reveal Himself to me but I was no where to be seen.

    So much precious ground that you covered. I must say that I love your responses to those in your life that point out “flatness” and “dimness”…I might be tempted to get defensive instead of just taking it before the Lord or immediately recognizing the cause.

    Have a blessed week,

    Helen

  2. I loved this post. You expressed alot of things in my heart. You must be doing the study Kingdom Authority by Dr. Rogers. He was my pastor for over twenty five years. He was a great man of God. I’ve not done that study,but understand it it is really good. He was an excellent preacher. Come to Jesus was his trademark…that was the main song sung at his funeral. “come to Jesus”. Thanks for being so open with your sharing. Blessings..

  3. Well you left no stone unturned. Just so very touching. A moving God through you. I finally posted—I have strept throat and one of the worst pains ever as an adult. Oh my! I tried to call you but you couldn’t hear me leave a message cause I have no voice.

  4. I almost laughed out loud when I read these words:

    “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV) and then read Come to me, all who are weary and burdened (heavy ladened from the old days) and thought I have heard these words so often on Sunday morning, it is amazing how fresh they are to me…further proof the Word is alive, it is the living Word of God. The Word never grows old, weary, or passe. I am so thankful to God for His provision as well as the many ways He sends to provision for us.

    Love, Annette

  5. He is our rest and restoration! One of the first things that begins to happen when I am not spending enough time with Him is I get very short and tend to come across as snapping at people. I soon hear Him calling, “come to Me”,

  6. You know, for all the people who think that the Bible was written so long ago that it couldn’t possibly speak to them today, where they are, I would have to encourage them to do something like this. I agree with Ang that it’s amazing that He speaks to each of us through His Word exactly where we are. “He is our rest, our restoration”…loved those words. Clinging to them as I head back to work today. (How quickly vacation passes…)

    love you,
    karen

  7. p.s. I just had to come back to hear that song one more time. He’s more than enough! Thanks for sharing your heart and what lingers. I always see His light in your eyes and His breath in your words!

  8. I love how the readings hit us all where we are. He wants me to come to Him alone… all by myself. And… “Where two or three come together”. I think God is speaking to me about this and where He wants me to go to Church. I am so grateful for the friends He brings in my life, so we can all pray for each other! I just listened to that song 3 times! He wants us to COME, Annette! Thanks for being on of my two or three!
    Love you,
    Angie xoxo

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