Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's Bible Reading

I don't have to work until late today - I go in at 11:00AM. That gives me plenty of time to soak in the beautiful, cool morning sun (we had a reinforcing cold front last night that brought the pre-sunrise temperatures here to the 40's). My computer is in front of a window that looks out towards the southeast, so the sun comes pouring in, shedding it's clear light on my pink and salmon colored Bougainvillea, s well as the mostly green Cape Honeysuckle that Iggy the Iguana lives in. The cape honeysuckle blooms bright orange flowers, but I have to fertilize and water (and I haven't done so) so the blooms are not so plentiful. I can also see purple Mexican Petunias from my window.

The bottom photo is what I see when I sit in my chair at my computer and look out the window. The top photo is what I see if I stand up and look out. It is beautiful, and a gift from God.

Here is a photo of Iggy's brother. I couldn't find Iggy, the original - he had moved since I first saw him this morning. It was COLD this morning for an iguana, so he is soaking up as much sun as he can get.

Anyway - you may be asking what the heck this has to do with Bible reading. I look out my window, it is impossible not to give thanks for the glory that God has given us, even in these uncertain times. How peaceful and beautiful it all is viewed from my little window. I can even see green monk parakeets on the electrical wires behind my back yard. They are getting ready to come down and eat some black oil sunflower seeds I put out a little while ago. They are gregarious and fussy birds. They often get into tiffs over placement on the wire or on the feeders, and when they do that, the noise is quite loud and raucous.

Back to the original purpose of this post. Here is what I read from "Valley of Vision" first to get my mind in gear for the Word:

If you own this book, it is on page 282, and the prayer is called, "God All-Sufficient":

"O Lord of Grace,
The world is before me this day,
and I am weak and fearful,
but I look to thee for strength;
If I venture forth alone I stumble and fall,
but on the Beloved's arms I am firm
as the eternal hills;
If left to the treachery of my heart
I shall shame thy Name,
but if enlightened, guided, upheld by thy Spirit,
I shall bring thee glory.
Be thou my arm to support,
my strength to stand,
my light to see,
my feet to run,
my shield to protect,
my sword to repel,
my sun to warm.
To enrich me will not diminish thy fulness;
All thy lovingkindness is in thy Son,
I bring him to thee in the arms of faith,
I urge his saving Name asd the One who died for me.
I please his blood to pay my debts of wrong.
Accept his worthiness for my unworthiness,
his sinlessness for my transgressions,
his purity for my uncleanness,
his sincerity for my guile,
his truth for my deceits,
his meekness for my pride,
his constancy for my backslidings,
his love for my enmity,
his fullness for my emptiness,
his faithfulness for my treachery,
his obedience for my lawlessness,
his glory for my shame,
his devotedness for my waywardness,
his holy life for my unchaste ways,
his righeousness for my dead works,
his death for my life."

That is so very powerful for the days in which we live. The world is a very scary place these days, but God in in control, and He is my Father, so what have I to fear?

Next, I read Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus recruits Peter, James and John. First, Jesus has a huge crowd following him. Peter, James and John are off washing their nets after an unsuccessful night trying to catch fish. I wonder what they are thinking as they see the crowd approach. Jesus sees their two boats and asks Peter to take Him out a little ways from land in the boat, which Peter does. So there is Peter sitting in the boat with Jesus, as Jesus teaches the huge crowd - giving the Gospel message which at that time still included the possibility that the Jews would accept their Messiah right then and there (although God knew they would not, but it was offered anyway). Peter must be sitting back, listening to the whole thing, and he is believing. The crowd must be jealous a little because Peter gets to be so close to Jesus during this entire teaching - right in the boat with Him. (Of course I always picture a small canoe sized boat, but that wouldn't be accurate if they are trying to bring in a net's haul of fish, so it must be some size larger than that for sure!)

When Jesus is done teaching, he doesn't get back out of the boat. He addresses Peter - He suggests that Peter take the boat out into the deep part of the lake and let down the nets. Peter calls Him "Master" and lets Him know that they had no luck the night before, but because He has asked it, Peter does it. Of course, you know what happened next. The nets filled with so many fish that Peter had to signal James and John on the shore to get in their boat and come out to help him haul the nets up. I'm sure Jesus helped them, too - pulling and tugging on the huge haul of fish.

When Peter saw what had happened and knew Jesus had made it happen, he acknowledged Him as Lord and Messiah. Jesus had his first disciples, and He calmly told them, "Don't worry, now you'll be fishers of men." (not literal - my wording). And the last words in Luke 5:11? "And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him."

Everything. That was it - no more fishing. He caught Peter, John and James hook, line and sinker, so to speak. I wonder what Peter's wife thought of all this. Remember when Jesus cures Peter's mother in law of a fever? So Peter was married. Just put yourself in her shoes - how will they pay their bills, raise their children (if there were any)? Once she met Him, I bet she understood completely. At least I hope so.

And that's my Bible reading for today. I'm off to get dressed and go to work now - where I will need to apply that prayer from "Valley of Vision" at the beginning of my post. I have a great job, but I need Him every minute of every day.

By the way - this is a cape honeysuckle flower. I think Iggy is eating them.

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