Entries by YMI

ODJ: Star Gazing

My adopted teenage son and I had the privilege of hosting two of his closest friends, Brock and Wesley (and their parents), in his native country of Uganda. Though our friends were spending just one week in East Africa, their plans were so ambitious that I said to Brock, “Your dad wants to do everything in seven days.” “It’s possible,” Brock replied. “God made t

July 20, 2017 

READ: Isaiah 40:25-28 

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth (v.28). 

My adopted teenage son and I had the privilege of hosting two of his closest friends, Brock and Wesley (and their parents), in his native country of Uganda. Though our friends were spending just one week in East Africa, their plans were so ambitious that I said to Brock, “Your dad wants to do everything in seven days.” “It’s possible,” Brock replied. “God made the earth in seven days.” “Yes,” my son said with a smile, “but did God do all of these activities?”

As we plotted our days and tried (unsuccessfully!) to fit all we wanted to accomplish into our allotted time frame, our efforts and lighthearted conversations prompted us to reflect on this profound truth: no one, absolutely no one, compares to the Lord, our Creator, the Holy One (Isaiah 40:25).

The everlasting God desires that we continually come to this place of embracing that He alone is Lord and “the Creator of all the earth” (v.28). He calls us to gaze at His creation, to look up at the stars and to marvel at His handiwork. He knows that as we do so we’ll better grasp that “he brings [the stars] out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of [God’s] great power and incomparable strength, not a single [star] is missing” (v.26).

This passage of Scripture, the heavens and the entire Bible proclaims that the Lord who created and orchestrates the mighty host of stars in the sky is our Creator, and He is for us. While no person can measure the depths of His understanding, through Scripture, the Holy Spirit and His creation we can know with full certainty that the God who never grows weak or weary is constantly at work on our behalf (vv.27-28).

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Mark 7:1-37

MORE
Read Psalm 19:1-6 and consider how the cosmos speaks of God. 
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What impresses you most about God’s creation? How does it make you feel to be loved by such an amazing, creative One? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: A Time for Everything

While flying recently, I watched a mother and her children a few rows ahead of me. While the toddler played contentedly, the mother gazed into the eyes of her newborn, smiling at him and stroking his cheek. He stared back with a wide-eyed wonderment. I enjoyed the moment with a touch of wistfulness, thinking of my own children at that age and the season that has passed me by.I reflected, however,

July 20, 2017 

READ: Ecclesiastes 3:1–14 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

While flying recently, I watched a mother and her children a few rows ahead of me. While the toddler played contentedly, the mother gazed into the eyes of her newborn, smiling at him and stroking his cheek. He stared back with a wide-eyed wonderment. I enjoyed the moment with a touch of wistfulness, thinking of my own children at that age and the season that has passed me by.

I reflected, however, about King Solomon’s words in the book of Ecclesiastes about “every activity under the heavens” (v. 1). He addresses through a series of opposites how there is a “time for everything” (v. 1): “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot” (v. 2). Perhaps King Solomon in these verses despairs at what he sees as a meaningless cycle of life. But he also acknowledges the role of God in each season, that our work is a “gift of God” (v. 13) and that “everything God does will endure forever” (v. 14).

We may remember times in our lives with longing, like me thinking of my children as babies. We know, however, that the Lord promises to be with us in every season of our life (Isa. 41:10). We can count on His presence and find that our purpose is in walking with Him.

— Amy Boucher Pye

Lord God, You lead me through the seasons, and whether I’m laughing or crying I know You are with me. May I reach out to someone with Your love today.

God gives us the seasons of our lives.

 

The Journey

Title: The Journey Materials: Watercolour Description: Life is a journey all of us are on. Along the way, we may get lost or experience loss. In these moments, we can’t help but ask: What do we do? Which way do we go? How do we navigate life’s maze? Finding the way starts with knowing who can show us […]

ODJ: Author Intent

Sam thought his teacher was a bit over the top with her interpretations of poetry. She could launch into a detailed explanation of why there are “five sibilant sounds in this phrase”. This would cause Sam to think, Don’t be ridiculous! The poet just used words with the letter S! Try writing a poem without that sound.So Sam decided to conduct a test. When the teacher aske

July 19, 2017 

READ: 2 Peter 1:16-21 

No prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative (vv.20-21). 

Sam thought his teacher was a bit over the top with her interpretations of poetry. She could launch into a detailed explanation of why there are “five sibilant sounds in this phrase”. This would cause Sam to think, Don’t be ridiculous! The poet just used words with the letter S! Try writing a poem without that sound.

So Sam decided to conduct a test. When the teacher asked the students to choose a poem to critique, Sam wrote his own poem. Then he put a pen name to it to disguise his authorship and provided a critique. He got an A minus. The teacher marked him down slightly because “you missed some of the author’s intent”. This well-meaning teacher obviously read something into the poem that the author didn’t intend.

This story reminds me of the care we should take to respect the intentions and trustworthiness of Scripture. “We were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote Peter the apostle (2 Peter 1:16). Then he said, “No prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative” (vv.20-21), reminding us to take Scripture’s testimony about Jesus seriously.

Peter’s colleague Paul added, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

As you read the Bible, first let it say what it says and no more, prayerfully asking God to reveal its truth to you. Then listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading in applying it to your life moment by moment.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: John 6:41-71

MORE
What does Hebrews 1:1-4 tell us about the way God has spoken to us in the past and how He speaks to us now? 
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Do you ever find yourself tempted to put meanings into Scripture that aren’t there? How can you take steps to hear the content of Scripture on its own terms? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)