Category Archives: Wednesday

Todays Word – Watch

Watch: look at or observe attentively over a period of time.

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. Luke 5:1-11 ESV

There is a qualifying phrase from my inspiration passage in Matthewa for the word watch:“Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” 

On one occasion,
while the crowd was pressing in on him
to hear the word of God,
by the lake of Gennesaret,
[Jesus] saw two boats by the lake
and he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

There’s a unique twist to this story that goes beyond a crowd of people that want to hear what Jesus has to say. They’ve come on this scene of tired fishermen wrapping up an unsuccessful day’s work. Jesus choosing to get into an empty boat seems like an intrusive move. The scripture indicates Simon and his crew end up in the boat with Jesus. I’m guessing they wanted to protect their property.  I am an observer watching to see how the end result of this story will show me the “unforced rhythms of grace” for a few tired men.  

I wish the story had told me what Jesus taught from the boat.  What did those fishermen know about Jesus and his ministry?  From their perspective they saw a crowd pressing in.  They saw Jesus climb into their boat.  For whatever reason, they came running and did what He asked and pushed out into the lake.  They heard the words Jesus spoke. It was probably those words and the two boatloads of fish that got their attention. Jesus often seems to work using circumstances and the powerful words  to accomplish the impossible.  “Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  The unforced rhythms of grace happen when we watch what Jesus does.  That’s what makes us aware of our sin so we begin to feel the fear of how it separates us from Him.  We don’t need a boatload of blessings or the special words we may hear to turn our circumstances into a testimony.  We need Jesus in our presence.  Jesus says “Watch what I do.a

aMatthew 11:28-30 MSG

Today’s Word – WALK

2022 begins with a transition that took it’s place in my mind just as 2021 was closing.  Three words from Matthew 11 in The Message Bible version of that Scripture were the catalyst: Walk, Work and Watch.  Those words are what I choose to begin looking for God’s Word to fill in the blanks of my own faith for 2022.  

Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”  RSV

 

“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.”  “The eyes of both were opened.”  “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God.”  “The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

Where am I walking?  Are my eyes opened?  Have I found a way to cover up because I’m aware that God can see my nakedness? These are my questions as I read these verses. It’s so tempting to pretend I don’t have any questions.  I have faith!  I am a believer!  I am standing before friends, neighbors and the world wide web, for Heaven’s sake!  How could I have questions?  

The questions aren’t the problem, the cover-up is!  I couldn’t help but notice the phrase “among the trees of the garden” and think about the common saying “to not see the forest for the trees.”  This whole walk is BIG!  I can look at Adam and Eve and clearly see their sin and forget how easy it is to cover my own with faith. If I had only one question that could meaningfully direct my personal devotions, and this blog, over the next 360 days it would be the one the Lord Himself is asking me to read and ponder at the end of verse 9.

“Where are you?”

Poetry by the Book Finale – Galatians 6:11-18

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

See with what LARGE letters
I am writing to you with my own hand —
THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
BE WITH YOUR SPIRIT, BRETHREN.
I bear on my body the marks of Jesus
by which[through whom]
the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
HENCEFORTH LET NO MAN TROUBLE ME.
FAR BE IT FROM ME TO GLORY
EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
PEACE AND MERCY BE UPON ALL WHO WALK BY THIS RULE.

Those who want to make a good showing in the flesh
would compel you to be circumcised
that they may glory in your flesh.
They desire to have you circumcised
in order that they may not be persecuted
for the cross of Christ.
NEITHER CIRCUMCISION
COUNTS FOR ANYTHING
NOR UNCIRCUMCISION
BUT A NEW CREATION!
AMEN!

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 5:16-26

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a 


Walk by the Spirit!
The desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.
The fruit of the Spirit is:
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control;
against such there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.

The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
Do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

The works of the flesh are plain:
fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger,
selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy,
drunkenness, carousing, and the like.

These are opposed to each other
to prevent you from doing what you would.
Have no self-conceit!
If we live by the Spirit,
let us also walk by the Spirit;
no provoking of one another,
no envy of one another!
If you are led by the Spirit,
you are not under the law.

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:21-31

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a


This is an allegory.

These women are two covenants.

For it is written…
Abraham had two sons;

one by a slave,
born according to the flesh
and one by a free woman,
through promise.

At that time he who was born according to the flesh
persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit,

Hagar,
is Mount Sinai,
she corresponds to the present Jerusalem.
She is in slavery with her children,
bearing children for slavery.

The children of the desolate one are many more
than the children of her that is married. 

It is written…
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and shout, you who are not in travail.
We are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
She is our mother!
The Jerusalem
above
is free.

Tell me
do you not hear the law,
you who desire to be under law?
The son of the slave shall not inherit
with the son of the free woman.

We, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
So it is now. 

a My poetry structure was created from the RSV Bible using sentences and phrases verbatim.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:1-7

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

The heir,
the owner of all the estate,
is no better than a slave
as long as he is a child.
Until the date set by the father,
he is under guardians and trustees.

 So with us!
We were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe
when we were children.
But when the time had fully come,
God sent forth his Son,
born of woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those who were under the law.

God has sent the Spirit of his Son
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
So through God,
crying, “Abba! Father!”
into our hearts,
you are no longer a slave
because you are sons.
And if a son then an heir!

a My structure was created from the RSV Bible using verbatim sentences and phrases.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 3:15-18

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, structure and rhythm.a


To give a human example, brethren;
promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring,
referring to one, which is Christ.
No one annuls even a man’s will, or adds to it, once it has been ratified.

I mean: the law.
God gave it to Abraham by a promise,
It is no longer by promise,
if the inheritance is by the law,
so as to make the promise void.
Four hundred and thirty years afterward.
does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God.

a My structure created verbatim from the sentences and phrases of the RSV Bible.

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 2:11-21

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, structure and rhythm.a

When Cephas came to Antioch,
he used to eat with the Gentiles.
Certain men came from James.
When they arrived,
he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles.
He was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.
I opposed him to his face,
he stood condemned.
The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy,
even Barnabas was led astray.
They were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel.

I said to Cephas in front of them all,
“you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs
yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.”
We Jews find ourselves also among the sinners,
doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? 

Absolutely not!
A person is not justified by the works of the law.
Through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker
because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles,
we too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ.
Do not set aside the grace of God!
Christ died for nothing
if righteousness could be gained through the law.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

a Structure taken from the NIV Bible

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 1:11-24

Galatians 1
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.
12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.
14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.
19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!)
21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
24 And they glorified God because of me.

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.

In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!
The gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.
I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it.
So extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers
I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.
I was advancing in Judaism beyond many
for the traditions of my fathers.

When he
who called me by his grace,
who had set me apart before I was born,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me
in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult with anyone.
but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

After three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas
I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

I was still unknown in person.
They only were hearing it said,
“he who used to persecute us is now preaching
the faith he once tried to destroy”
Because of me
they glorified God!

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 1:1-5

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of
distinctive style and rhythm.

Greeting
1 Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
2 and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. ESV 

Greeting to the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you
and all the brothers who are with me,
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man,
but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him
from the dead—
and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
according to the will of our God and Father,
who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age —
to whom be the glory forever and ever.
Amen.