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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB March 9

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Mar 08
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Numbers

11:34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah - "the graves of craving" - because they buried the people there who had craved meat from Egypt. Addictions (habit sins) and idols (things we turn to for comfort before God) always become "graves of craving." Even if we don't die physically from them, the dreams and passions we were created for-the true yearning we feel in our guts-get buried and die.

12:3 Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth. What makes a person humble? Any guesses? Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Doesn't care who gets credit (11:29)

  • No lust for power (remember Moses didn't want to have to speak or perform miracles in Egypt)

  • Repentant/admits to wrongs-Moses often repents for the sins of others

  • Forgiving

  • Obedient

  • Doesn't talk about themselves or relish in special opportunities

  • No agenda

12:8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?" How many times I have spoken against and been critical of God's servants. Yikes! Very convicting.

13:27-33 God offers an amazing plan for all of us, a Promised Land of milk and honey, but we all have our giants standing between our promise and us. Will we face our giants with faith, or miss the PL in fear? This is a big theme in my life these days. My giant IS fear! Some days I'm winning the battle, some days I'm giving into it. Fear can come in so many manifestations. Almost every sin we act out on can be traced back to a fear somewhere—fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of inadequacy, and fear of being under the power of "the ache of life," to name a few.

13:28, 33 I was surprised to see the Nephilim and Anakites back in our midst after the flood. This raises a lot of questions, although I was unable to find out anything conclusive. Even David Guzik didn't touch that one.

Mark

14:23-24 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, "This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. Today I was reminded of Melchizedek, and how he celebrated this very occasion with the bread and the wine, do you remember? The bread and the wine signify the New Covenant—the Living Torah—coming to restore fellowship between God and man through broken body and spilled blood.

14:29 Peter said to him, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will." The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (14:38). The "Refiners Fire" is to help our flesh catch up to the courage of our spirit.

14:34 He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." These three men were Jesus' closest friends, the three whom He'd invested even more of Himself into than the others. If there was ever a moment He needed them to come through for Him, it was now. How many times throughout their remaining lives did these words stab their hearts with regret?

I have one situation that I believe evokes similar feelings. When one of my daughters was about 4, she had one particular night shortly after we'd moved from Florida to Wyoming when she felt scared and insecure at bedtime. She cried and begged me to sit with her for a few minutes. She was normally very independent and secure, even at this young age, so this was not manipulative behavior. It was a little girl who needed love and reassurance from her mom in a critical moment. I can't even tell you what I was thinking that night, but it had to be selfish. I pushed her needs of the moment aside and left her there to cry herself to sleep. Though she is now 18 and probably has no recollection of the moment, I cannot think about the situation to this day without stabbing pain.

14:38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Perhaps if they had kept watch and prayed, they would have been faithful to Him. Perhaps with more prayer and watchfulness, we would be able to do the same.

Questions for reflection:

  • What is your "grave of craving"—that craving in your life that pulls you away from single-hearted devotion to God by capturing too much of your time, focus, affections, money, energy, heart? Do you see it as a threat to your purpose and passion?

  • What are your giants—the fears, worries, and obstacles keeping you out of your "Promised Land"? What do you allow to be bigger than God? Try to identify them.

  • Have you ever let someone down to the point that you have painful regret? Do you think you would have stayed and kept watch with Jesus, or would you too have fallen asleep? I'm positive of my answer, and I'm not proud of it.

All tough questions today!