10 in ’15 Book List Announced


Matthew 7:21-10:42

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was great calm. Matthew 8:26

While reading this verse today I was struck with the way this version translated Jesus’ words that night out on the sea in the storm. Those three words: fearful and little faith, resounded in my brain. It was the juxtaposition of “fearful” and “little faith”. And it hit me, when we are full of fear it’s because we are empty on faith! Or to put it another way, when our faith tank is empty we end up getting filled with fear (about something or another).

It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in times of trouble, “there is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). My friends, love, God’s love drives out fear. If we are low on faith it is most likely because we are low on God’s love and need to fill up on it. Whenever we realize that we’re reacting in fear we need to stop and focus on God’s perfect love for us: that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. You see, God loved YOU so much, that He gave His one and only Son Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him would not die, but have eternal life!

Now that’s love!

And when we fill up on His love for us, we find ourselves filled with faith and emptied of fear! :D

Drum roll please! ………………………………………………….

It’s the list you’ve all been waiting for! Our 10 books to read in 2015! Everyone who reads all ten books with me and comments on the 10 in ’15 Book Challenge post at the end of each month will receive one SIGNED book of their choice from the “Books” tab on TamarKnochel.com for FREE! And everyone who comments on one of the monthly 10 in ’15 Posts will receive the free e-book of the month! :D

10 in ’15 Book List & Dates

#

Title

Author

Date of Book Club Post

1

Tuesday’s with Morrie

Mitch Albom

Feb 27th

2

The Horse & His Boy

C.S. Lewis

Mar 31st

3

Not a Fan

Kyle Idleman

Apr 30th

4

Unbroken

Laura Hillenbrand

May 31st

5

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Deborah Maggach

Jun 30th

6

What Alice Forgot

Liane Moriarty

Jul 31st

7

They Thought for Themselves

Sid Roth

Aug 31st

8

Divine

Karen Kingsbury

Sep 30th

9

100 Days of Favor

Joseph Prince

Oct 30th

10

Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem

Adam Hamilton

Nov 30th

In December I will send out your FREE SIGNED books!!! :D

 

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | 1 Comment

New Release! Jesus Loves You #3 Journal


Matthew 5:1-7:20

“Look at the birds of the sky; they don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?” Matthew 6:26-28

Today I was lucky enough to have the day off from Dollar General so I spent the entire day at the school getting my staff photo taken,

filling out paperwork and I even got to walk through my day today and meet all the kids and teachers… it was a LOT of kids and teachers. I have all kinds of names and faces swimming through my poor little brain right now, and it’s glorious!!! I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of these people’s lives!

Before I go today (yes, it’s a very short post) I wanted to let you know about the newest resource in the “Books” tab! I just finished it yesterday. It’s the journal

that goes along with the third book in the 365 Life: Reading Through the Bible in a Year Series.


I also wanted to remind you all about the 10 in ’15 Book Challenge,

I’m posting our final list tomorrow so there’s still time to put in your suggestions here in the comments section.

Categories: 365 Life, Matthew, Season 3 | 2 Comments

10 in ’15 Challenge

Yesterday & Today’s:

 

Oh my dearest friends it is with the GREATEST JOY that I announce to you that I will be writing daily again!!!!! You have no idea how much I have missed you!!! Well, really it was Him that I missed the most of all, but I missed talking to you too. ;)

This week is a transition week for me as I phase out of one place of employment and phase into another. Tomorrow I’ll be taking my security photo and filling out paperwork at the school and then doing a little bit of touring to get my feet wet a bit. I also plan on getting some pre-planning done for the blog and writing. I’ve been doing a Facebook poll to see what book people recommend for me to read this year. I’ve had some really great suggestions too. If you’d like to put your bid in for your favorite book, or a book that you’d like to read with me you can comment below and add your own suggestions. I’d love to see them!

I’ll be posting the 10 in ’15 Book List and reading plan for 2015 by the end of the week this week. (I’m shooting for Wednesday, but don’t hold me to it.) I’m planning on starting it February 1st. It’s my goal to read 10 books in 2015, and while that doesn’t sound like that much, I assure you that for this busy mom (with a NEW JOB!), it is.

It’ll be fun! We’ll have our own little book club sort of thing. When I post the book list later this week I’ll have you comment below to let me know that you’re on board. Then every time I post a book report I’ll have you comment at the bottom of those posts as well and EVERYONE who completes all 10 books with me will receive any one of my books FREE!!! :D I will mail you a signed copy and everything!

We can read them together and all share in the joy of learning and growing together! There will be a mix of fiction and non-fiction (which may include a secular book or two as well, I haven’t completely decided yet). That way we’ll have a nice round selection. I’m sure I’ll have to throw in at LEAST one Karen Kingsbury book since she is my FAVORITE non-fiction author. Her book Forever was a huge inspiration for me when writing True Intimacy! And for that I will be forever grateful. (God used the writing of True Intimacy to save my marriage!)

So, how does that sound? Is anybody out there up for my 10 in ’15 challenge?

I can hardly wait to get started! But I’ll wait a little longer because I would love to see what books you all will suggest!!! Comment below and let me know what books you’d like to read with me!!! If you receive this post via email, all you have to do is reply your comment to it and it will automatically publish to this post! How handy is that!?!

Categories: 365 Life, Mark, Matthew, Season 3 | 1 Comment

Thank You Sir May I Have Another?

This week’s :

 

If this last week is any indication of how 2015 is going to be, SIGN ME UP!!! I mean, no offense 2014, but you stunk! That was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a very long time! I feel like I’ve been through the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and lived to tell about it. When 2014 passed away on December 31st, I didn’t have a whole lot of hope for things changing much but BOY WAS I WRONG! Thank God!

So far this year I have started attending Alpha class at church with my husband, I attended a very inspirational writer’s meeting at church that ended with a divine meeting, I’ve spoken at a MOPs meeting where there were about 35-40 women in attendance (and they apparently loved me and are begging their leader for more), just yesterday I got the word that I officially have a new job teaching as a special ed aide in the middle school here in Sheridan (and I can’t even begin to tell you how absolutely ecstatic I am about it for more reasons than I can even begin to explain), and today both my son AND my husband were baptized!!!!! To say it’s been an awesome twenty-five days would be putting it lightly. I mean, these are only the things I’m telling YOU. I’m not even mentioning the things that I’m holding tight to my chest and not even breathing a word about because they’re too glorious to even speak of yet (and quite possibly the most wonderful blessings of all).

My friends, this morning in church as I was standing in awe of the RELIEF that I feel right now I was singing my praises and the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation of what this past year has been – refining fire. Yes, just like our dear ole friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we too have been going through a fire. If you look in the book of Daniel you’ll find our friends’ story. They were placed in a VERY uncomfortable position. First they were brought to Babylon and offered the kings food, which probably smelled AMAZING, but didn’t quite abide by Jewish Law. They were presented with a choice, obey God or not. They chose to obey God and requested only vegetables to eat. And they were handsomely rewarded for their obedience.

Later in the book they were presented with this same situation, obey God by refusing to bow down to an idol or not. The stakes were high… really high on this one. If they obeyed God and refused to bow down to the idol, the king would throw them into a fire-filled furnace. They stuck up for their beliefs and refused to bow resulting in them being tied up and thrown into the furnace that killed the guards who threw them in because it was so hot…yet our friends didn’t die. The cords that bound their hands and feet were burned off, a man that shone like the son of the gods appeared with them IN the fire, and they were removed from the fire with all their clothes not only in tact but they didn’t even smell like smoke!!!!! They obeyed God at all costs and came out MINUS the ties that bound them and smelling like roses. The fire did more benefit for them than harm.

And that, my friends, is where we stand today. I know that many of you have been facing fires of your own; un-pleasantries of all different kinds. Yet we faced them all the same simply because we knew in our heart of hearts that it’s what God wanted of us. Beloved, you have been removed from that fire! Your cords have been burned off and you’ve emerged smelling like roses instead of smoke. And honestly, if you’re anything like me, your obedience has been reward in and of itself, buuuut I have the distinct feeling that there will be even more reward than that in store for us this year.

This is the year we’ve been waiting for my friends. It’s the year where clarity will be the norm. The year where the things that have been shadowed by uncertainty or misunderstanding begin to reveal themselves plainly. For me, it’s been about direction. I knew God was taking me somewhere I just didn’t understand how in the WORLD I was going to get there or where exactly “there” was. But from where I stand today things are SO MUCH CLEARER than they were last year. With the blessing of this new job that will pay MUCH more than what I was making before while still affording me the luxury of being a writer AND a mom, it has also brought into focus a picture of my future and the plans that He has had for me all along. I feel like I’ve been traveling along with Him in complete and total blind trust through this winding path where I could only see a few feet in front of me before the path curved again taking me somewhere completely unexpected and away from where I thought we were going. On Saturday when I got that call it was like we rounded a curve and everything that lay before me was straight as an arrow pointing to exactly where I thought we were going but just didn’t understand yet.

Clarity!

For the first time all the jumbled pieces in this puzzle are fitting together just like I knew they were supposed to but couldn’t for the life of me get them to go. It’s like my vision was blurry before, I could see colors and shapes, light and dark, but nothing had real definition. Then I blinked and suddenly everything is clear.

I pray for that for YOU today my friend. Maybe you’ve been walking around bleary-eyed looking for the straight-a-way in your racetrack. Maybe you’ve been looking for your purpose and direction in life that you KNOW God has for you, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it yet. I pray for that for you TODAY! I pray that God’s Spirit will reach out and touch you in this very moment with more clarity and understanding than you’ve ever had in your entire life. I pray that He will lay His plan out before you in plain English (or whatever language you’re more fluent in). I pray that today you find yourself in precisely the right place at precisely the right time so that the door that He is flinging open before you will swing so close to your nose that you’ll feel the wind (but not the sting) so that you absolutely, positively can not miss this opportunity. And then I pray that He will PUSH you through that door so that there is no way you can doubt for even a second that it’s THE door for YOU. And I pray all that in Jesus’ name for you my friend!

Now go out there and follow that dream that God put in your heart! He MADE you for this, so you’d better go do it! Because no one can do it the way YOU can!

 

Categories: Luke, Malachi, Mark, Season 3 | Leave a comment

The Book of Luke & a Conversation with God

This week’s:

225 

33 

Luke 8:1-9:62

226 

Luke 10:1-12:21

227 

Luke 12:22-15:10

228 

Luke 15:11-18:30

229 

Luke 18:31-21:24

230 

Luke 21:25-23:49

231 

Sabbath

 

“Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus told him, “because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

Today I asked God, “why isn’t this working out the way I thought it would. I’ve done everything you told me to and it’s still not going like I hoped it would.”

“NO. You haven’t done everything I told you to. You’ve let Fear stop you. Why are you so afraid of success? Why are you so afraid to let people see the beautiful gem I’ve created in you? Why do you care so much about what they have to say to you and about you? Isn’t MY opinion of you more important than theirs? Doesn’t My value of you matter more to you than theirs? It should.

My love, fear not for I am with you! Why are you so afraid of them? Don’t you know that I am your shield and your fortress, your ever-present help in times of trouble (and in times of joy)? I’m there too you know. I’m right there feeling their scorn and hatred of you and yet you feel alone?

Tamar Knochel, you are a sad and scared little puppy and I pity you. You are afraid of many things yet none of them can hurt you. Why can’t you believe me? Why can’t you trust me? Why can’t you allow me to do this for you?”

 

“God, help me! I WANT to!

My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak Lord! Help me! I believe, help me with my unbelief! Lord I need You!!!!!

Lord, I want You. I want you to hold me and allow me to feel your arms wrapped around me. I want to know that you’re really there.”

 

“My dear. If I did that for you every time you wanted it, then it wouldn’t be faith. If I showed up in the way *you* wanted me to every time then I wouldn’t be God I would be a genie. You don’t want a genie my Dear. You want God. You want Me, God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, creator of the universe and lover of your soul.
Did you know that? I love your soul. I love the very essence of who you are. I don’t love you for what you wear, or what you look like. I don’t even love you for what you do or don’t do. I love you for who you are deep down inside where no one else can see but me. That’s the part of you I cherish and adore.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all the rest of you too, but your soul is my favorite part of you.”

 

“Lord, before, you said that I’ve allowed fear to stop me from doing what you’ve instructed me to do. How can I fix that? Can I fix it?”

 

“My Beloved Child, there is no undoing what has been done. We can not go to the past and change the course of how things unfolded. We can only view the past from our current moment and allow it to change the way we make decisions today. However, with that in mind, remember that I am God. I am not a genie under your command; I am your Father who adores you from the numbered hairs on your head down to the depths of your very soul. There is no mistake that I can’t turn into a message. There is no test that I can’t turn into a testimony. You, My Dear One, have come to the right place. We can’t undo what’s been done, but we can certainly take new steps to turn those missteps into dance steps. To answer your question in the words of Bob the Builder, Can *we* fix it? YES WE CAN!

Apart from Me you can do nothing My darling. However, a part of me and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!!! And that’s a truth you can take to the bank! This dream turned goal in your life is absolutely impossible for you to accomplish on your own, you know that, that’s why you’ve been so frustrated by it all. With man, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible for those who believe! Believe ME My child. I tell you the truth and the truth will set you free. And she whom the Son sets free is free indeed!”

 

Next week’s :

 

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Let the Rocks Cry Out

Last week’s post – finally! I will post this week’s post tomorrow when I return to civilization and internet access.

This week’s:

“silent”

  • Luke 1:20, Matthew 26:63 & Luke 19:40

From the third word in this week’s reading and throughout the entire week God has sprinkled a message of speech before our eyes. In Leviticus 19:1 The LORD spoke to Moses: “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”

And again in the first chapter of Luke we come upon Zechariah who’s faculty of speech is taken away due to his disbelief! The angel Gabriel said to him, “You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time” (verse 20). As I read this verse I was reminded of the piece I wrote about the fall of Jericho and the role silence played. In order to stave off the birth of Unbelief and Doubt, Joshua commanded the people: “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout” (Joshua 6:10).

John 1:1-5 says that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.”

Words are spoken. This entire world began its existence with God the Father speaking, commanding, “Light be”… and instantly according to His command there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.

Words contain within them tremendous power.

And when someone who houses the Holy Spirit within them speaks a word, any word, that word has the power of life and death. (See the entire book of James!) Solomon the wise wrote a few words on the ebb and flow of life I’d like to share with you:

There is occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven:

A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to uproot;

A time to kill and a time to heal;

A time to tear down and a time to build;

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;

A time to search and a time to count as lost;

A time to keep and a time to throw away;

A time to tear and a time to sew;

A time to be silent and a time to speak;

A time to love and a time to hate;

A time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

My friends, there is a time to speak and wield those words of power, and there is a time to clamp that mouth shut and hold them all in. Zechariah had voiced enough doubt before that angel who stood in the presence of God daily to let Gabriel know that Zechariah couldn’t be trusted to keep his big doubting mouth shut. So Gabriel shut it for him – saving the prophecy from an untimely death. And what happened when John was born and christened John? Zechariah’s mouth sprang open and he SHOUTED amazing blessings upon that child! There is a time for silence, but there is also a time for shouting.

I was curious about this particular Greek word that Luke used for Zechariah’s silence so I looked it up. It’s the Greek word, see-oh-poh, and it refers to a kind of forced silence as opposed to a voluntary kind of silence. Zechariah is the perfect example of this kind of silence. However there are a few more instances in the New Testament that this particular Greek word is used that I found quite interesting. One is in Matthew 26:63 and the other is in Luke 19:39-40. We’ll take a look at the verse in Matthew first and it will lead us straight to our verse in Luke so watch for it. :D

In Matthew chapter twenty-six we find Jesus having been captured from the Garden of Gethsemane and a trial being held in order to find Him guilty of anything they can find to pin on Him and get to stick. They bring forward false witness after false witness to no avail until two came forward and stated, “This man said, ‘I can demolish God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.'” The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” But Jesus kept silent.

There are times to speak, and there are times to just be still and let the Truth set you free!

That night in that darkened courtroom a Light shone bright and the darkness couldn’t overcome it. In the beginning God said, “Light be” and the Light was, is and still is today. That night in the courtroom they found Jesus guilty of none other than Blaspheme, a sin punishable by death. A sin that, “coincidentally” enough, we read about in our readings this week. Leviticus 24 shares a story of a man who blasphemed, this is what the LORD had to say about his punishment: “Bring the one who has cursed to the outside of the camp and have all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then have the whole community stone him.”

Laying their hands on his head transfers his sin against them back to him. Yet here we have Jesus who is without sin. So what is it that happens when we lay our hands on His head? Our sins, our guilt, our shame, it ALL transfers over to His head where He takes the punishment for the crimes we committed. In Leviticus the LORD spoke to Moses: “Speak to the entire Israelite community, everyone who will HEAR, and tell them: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” And yet here we are today with our hands on the head of a Saviour and once again the LORD speaks and says, “Be holy. Because I the LORD your God am holy!”

My friends, there is a time to be silent and there is a time to SHOUT! And this is a time to SHOUT for I tell you, if you keep silent about this the very stones in the fields will cry out!!!! (See Luke 19:39-40, I told you it would come around!) Jesus has transferred His holiness onto your head! He has taken the guilt and the shame from you. He has removed the cause for Fear and Doubt and Concern! He is LORD. He is LIGHT. He is GOD! Rejoice and be glad in this day that He has made for you.

Next week’s :

Categories: Luke, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments

This week’s post

Please forgive my lack of a post on Friday/Saturday. It’s written, but hasn’t been edited yet. I had to basically jump up and leave it (and you) hanging. Our grandma died somewhat suddenly on Thursday and I’m still trying to recover from it all.
As I tap this out on my phone, my stomach is reeling from what I can only assume is food poisoning from eating the only leftovers we had in the fridge for lunch. I’m not exactly sure how old they were…I didn’t think they were THAT old. I was mistaken. But I might be ok because I think I might just have some penicillin growing in my sink on the dirty dishes. Oh wait, I don’t think penicillin helps with food poisoning. Never mind.
Every time I go into my bathroom it’s like going into a walk-in dirty clothes hamper. Sadly, I’m not exaggerating. Our dryer has been broken for months now and I’m so behind that the clothes are crawling out of the hamper and across the floor! We’re to the point that there’s more laundry than floor! I would say that tells me we have too many clothes… except right now we NEED them because none of them are CLEAN!
I’m sitting here with my head propped up with my arm on the table so I can assist my daughter with her homework while I tell you all what’s been going on and at the same time try and figure out a way to fix dinner telepathically. Not that I’ll be eating any of it anyway.
I said all that to say this, I LOVE you.
I have not forgotten about you. And honestly would appreciate some prayers at the moment if you wouldn’t mind offering then up on my behalf. The last few months have been HARD. But I know that God is with us and for us and that with His help we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. He loves us and has not forsaken us. Of that I have no doubt!
As for this week’s post I will get it to you as soon as humanly possible. I love you my friends! Hang in there like every single Christmas decoration that I put up and haven’t touched yet! Hey! It’s only halfway through January, I’m not that  late for taking them down yet. Right…?

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 1 Comment

God’s Not Mad at You

This Week’s :

Because of the LORD’S faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him. Lamentations 3:22-24

It’s not too late, you know. The ball may have already dropped, but that doesn’t mean you’ve dropped the ball. You see, God’s not mad at you. And if He’s not mad at you, should you be mad at you? Resolutions get dropped all the time, but that doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to bend down and pick them back up again!

Once upon a time, I resolved to read through the Bible in a year alphabetically (starting in Acts and reading through to Zephaniah.) After a year and a half I was only halfway through the Bible! I was tired and frustrated and ready to give up on the whole endeavor until I re-watched an old video of my husband trying to run up a huge quarter-pipe

at the end of a 13 mile long Tough Mudder Race (think ½ marathon with obstacles along the way). He ran at that impossible curve (aptly named “Everest“) with all his might and barely even reached the middle before sliding back down to the muddy bottom. But he didn’t stay there. He got back up, got back in line and gathered his strength to try again. His second attempt at the obstacle brought him closer to the top; but it still wasn’t close enough. Some might have considered that a failure and simply walked around the obstacle altogether; giving up. Not my husband. He had been preparing his mind and body for this very obstacle for months and he wasn’t about to let it beat him. It was the end of a VERY long and difficult race. He was exhausted. But he had something at this point that he hadn’t had for any of the rest of the race, his family watching and cheering him on. He stood there facing his foe, this obstacle that had sent him sliding into the mud twice now, and he gathered his strength and his courage to try again, and this time when he ran he made it high enough that with outstretched hands he grasped the hands of someone, a stranger, who had reached out their hand from the top to help him get over this nearly impossible obstacle.

Life is filled with challenges my friend. We can sit and moan about them having beaten us, or we can gather our strength and our courage and decide that we’re not going to allow a nearly-impossible obstacle to become an impossible one in our heads. Humanly speaking it’s impossible for a virgin girl to become pregnant and have a baby. Yet when Mary the mother of Jesus was faced with this very proclamation and she asked the angel, “how can this be?” The angel Gabriel said with a shake of his haloed head, “Nothing is impossible with GOD.” (Luke 1:37) The moment God enters into the equation the impossible becomes nearly-impossible. In Mark 10:27 Jesus says, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”

My friend, I don’t care what you’re facing today, a dropped resolution to lose weight or an impossible marriage – don’t give up!


(Click on photo for a printable version.)

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Emphasis mine) You CAN do all things through Christ who gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13) You may feel exhausted and worn out from this rat race through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but always keep in mind the truth of life. It’s all a test. BUT no one ever said it had to be a closed book test, or that you have to take it alone! God’s not mad at you for failing; He’s pleased with you for trying! He KNOWS what you’re going through. He understands and He’s here to help you! Let Him! The addition of Jesus into the equation turns the impossible, possible! Get up and try again my friend! You CAN do all things through Jesus who gives you strength!

Next week’s :

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 1 Comment

Fear May Grip the City, but Jesus Brings Peace

This week’s

Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying, “The LORD will rescue us!” Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria? What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power? What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the LORD can rescue Jerusalem from me?” 2 Kings 18:32-35

After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will moved against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.” 2 Kings 19:5-7

Fear grips the city. The Assyrian officials are shouting about the LORD and that He’s unable to protect them from the army that has successfully taken down every other god out there. And who is “the LORD” to them? We see the people gathering in huddled groups whispering with each other in hushed conversation debating the truth of the official’s statement. They HAD conquered every other land they’d gone up against. Would the LORD be able to hold them back? Would the LORD be able to help them in this time of desperate need?

The Assyrian officials knew exactly what they were doing didn’t they? Not only did they put Fear into the hearts of the people, they put it in there along with Doubt. Doubt and Fear often seem to go hand in hand together. One never seems to be too far away from the other. But while there may have been some along that wall that heard those words and were afraid, King Hezekiah was moved to prayer. He went to the only One who could actually help them. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Hezekiah. And in answer to their prayer, “the LORD sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and offers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. THAT is how the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land.” (2 Chronicles 32:21-22)

As much as the Assyrians taunted and shouted, it didn’t matter because they were shouting lies. It doesn’t matter how loud you are, what matters is the amount of Truth you’re telling. Yaweh is the LORD of lords and the King of kings and no amount of lie-shouting is going to EVER change that. He is the beginning and the end. He is the creator and the Father – your Father. He is the One who loves you with a love that surpasses all knowledge and experience. He is your biggest fan and your highest honor. He is the one who cheers the loudest for you. When all you hear is stillness, He’s there. Satan shouts in your ears while Jesus whispers to your heart. Listen to the sweet whispers of your heart today. What are they saying?

He loves you my dear one. More than you could EVER hope, think or imagine – and then some more on top of that!

 

As 2014 winds down and 2015 gears up, be seriously thinking about making consistent Bible reading part of your New Year’s Resolution. Even five minutes a day makes a difference! However, if your interested in getting disciplined with your Bible reading, I suggest our 365 Life Reading Program. It takes you through the entire Bible in just under 365 days by reading about 30 minutes a day six days a week – now that’s not too bad. If you’re interested click here and check out our 365 Life Devotionals and Journals!!! They’re a great way to get started and will help you keep going so that you can reach your goal with success! :D And if you have any questions, feel free to email us at tamarknochel at gmail dot com (no spaces, fill in the “at” with an @ and the “dot” with a .)

Next week’s

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Nobody’s Perfect

This week’s:

 

The Old Testament is filled with examples of humanity’s complete and utter inability to keep the Law. The Law is perfectly perfect in every way… and WE are not. And because of Jesus, that’s OK. You see, God loves this world so much that He sent a tiny little baby to save it. Isn’t that just about the strangest way imaginable to save humanity? A baby? Really LORD? What can a baby do to help me, to save me?

Ahhhh, but this was no ordinary baby. This baby, conceived with a divinely royal bloodline on all three sides, was born in a manger right beside all the other sacrifices. This baby didn’t come to live, He came so that He could die the most spectacularly amazing death anyone could ever imagine.

In this time of Christmas we celebrate a baby born to die for us… for YOU. The perfect Law was given to show us our sin. The babe from the manger and perfect fulfillment of the Law was given to show us the Love that erases our sin. His loving act of sacrifice erases our sins so completely that according to the promise of Isaiah 54:9, not only is God finished punishing our vast ocean of iniquity and sin, He’s not even angry about them anymore. In the beginning God gave Abraham His word and He fulfilled it and then some. God has done the very same thing for us. He promised us salvation from our sins, and it came in the most perfect Christmas package of a bouncing baby boy wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger – Jesus. This Christmas, I pray that the first present you open is YOUR gift of salvation from a God who’s not angry with you at all. You can unwrap this gift by simply opening up your heart to receive His love for you. To do that, simply say, “yes” to Him.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard; yet God with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26

 

Next week’s :

Categories: 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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