What would dinner consist of, had you the privilege to dine with the Crawleys of Downton Abbey or the Vanderbilts of Biltmore Estates, Asheville, North Carolina in their era? I only know what I have seen on TV about Downton Abbey. Built in the late 1800’s, Biltmore Estates comprise of thousands of land acreage and the largest privately owned home in the United States. Many aristocrats dined at the Crawley and Vanderbilt tables, experiencing the satisfaction of fine cuisine. Wealth afforded people, places, and possessions to satisfy the social life for these families and many of their friends and acquaintances. Now, in 2013, for most of us, we might only image their lifestyle and wealth.
My husband, Kent, and I returned this afternoon from a weekend at Biltmore, where we experienced a measure of such fine dining. We departed the grounds, for the one-hour drive home, anticipating an afternoon nap from the lull of our fully satisfied palates. Articles from the Ashville, North Carolina, and our home newspapers, today, featured the two Estates and families comparing the similarities.
I find some similarities also. Spiritually, I perceive that reading the Bible compares to physically dining from fine cuisine as that from the Vanderbilt’s table. The spiritual richness of the Word from the Lord’s Table nourishes satisfaction in a similar, yet, spiritual way. Pull your Bibles from your shelves and join me for this fine Word dining experience as we feast on His Word in 2013. Please leave a comment or like if you plan to join.
As we gather around His Table to feast on God’s Word day by day, I will:
- Pray for clarity in our understanding the day’s reading and it’s application
- Emphasize the Tasting (Scripture) of the day
- Share my thoughts, insights, and prayers (Today’s Nourishment) from the fine cuisine of God’s Word in italics
- Aid you in receiving nourishment
I apologize for the delay in launching this feast. This post includes January 1-14. Jump in with today’s reading. Then, try to backtrack and read the previous days in your timing.
January 1 – Tasting of Genesis 1-3: The Spirit of God hovered (brood, relax, flutter) over…He breathed the breath of life…
Today’s Nourishment: He hovered (brood, relax, flutter): “Spirit of God, hover over the lives of my family this year, over my life, over my church’s life, over our businesses, and over the ministry to others this year. Brood and protect us, relax and rest within me, flutter and move things to happen by the power of your Spirit. I also ask you to breath life around me, my family, and in the situations we face this year.”
What is your prayer concerning the Spirit of God for your family this year?
January 2 – Tasting of Genesis 4-6/1Chronicles 1:1-4: “Enoch lived in close fellowship with God,” Genesis 5:22. “Noah…walked in close fellowship with God,” Genesis 6:9c.
Today’s Nourishment: Twofold: Names carry meaning and fellowship: The first names mentioned in the Bible compiled together make a strong statement: Adam (Man has) Seth (set, granted, or appointed) Enosh (mortal) Kenan (sorrow or mourning) Mahalalel (but the blessed) Jared (God shall) Enoch (come down teaching) Methuselah (His death shall bring) Lamech (despairing) Noah (relief, rest, and comfort) to Shem, Hem, and Japheth’s descendents.
The interpretation of their names read like this: Man has granted mortal sorrow, but the blessed, God shall come down teaching and His death shall bring despairing relief, rest, and comfort to all people of the earth.
Thank you Lord for your willingness to come to us and teach us through your life and teaching on earth, for your willingness to complete your work of salvation.
What is the meaning of your name? Write how the Lord uses the significance of your name:
Fellowship – In the early days of the Angles and Saxons, the cattle (cows, goats, and sheep) they owned became known as “fees.” The used their “fees” as their barter system (exchange for something needed). We continue using the word fee in conjunction with a service provided by a professional, or for money exchange. An exchange “fee” for their purchase held the same concept as our modern day paper money. The early cattle owners paid someone to watch their “fees.” As relationships developed with love and trust among neighbors, they broke down fences and decided to pool “fees” together. The fences/barriers between neighbors came down and they paid only one person to watch their “fees.” This became known as “feeloship.”
Fellowship consists of:
- rubbing our lives together
- trusting each other and sharing what we own
- living with one another with no barriers, no fences in between
Read Acts 2:42-47.
Today’s dessert: Lord, I want to live in close fellowship with you and those in the body of Christ. Unfold to me the way to do this. Break down barriers that deter fellowship from occurring between you and me, and within the Church. I understand from 1John that in order to live in close fellowship I must love you and love others. Show me how to love.
Describe your fellowship with other believers:
January 3 – Tasting of Genesis 7-10/1 Chronicles 1:17-23: The flood and God’s Covenant with Noah occur. Noah’s sons, Japheth, Ham, and Shem had sons with their clan, language, territory, and national identity. All the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood. One of these descendents, Nimrod, lived as the first heroic warrior on earth.
Today’s Nourishment: Lord, I pray that I will live as a heroic warrior for you on this earth. I pray that my descendents will live as heroic warriors for you on this earth.
How might you live as an heroic warrior for the Lord?
January 4 – Tasting of Genesis 11-14: Abram, descendant of Terah, headed for Canaan, but stopped in Haran (hard place.) Abram built an altar there and worshiped. Abram traveled south to Bethel and built another altar and worshiped the Lord. Then he traveled south by stages toward the Negev. They pitched their tent between Bethel and Ai. This place marks the place where they had camped previously. In the same place Abram built an altar and worshiped the Lord again.
Lot moved his tent near Sodom and settled among the cities. Abram moved his tent and settled near the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron. He built another altar to the Lord.
Abram rescues Lot: as the armies of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into clay pits, while the rest escaped to the hills. When Abram returned from his victory, the king of Shalem, Mechizedek, a priest of God Most High, brought bread and wine and blessed him. Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Today’s Nourishment: I choose to worship in the midst of those hard places. I choose to worship now, today in the midst of the hard place, which we face with Kent’s recent diagnosis and now with two surgeries ahead of us, unless you heal him. We certainly pray that you dissolve the large kidney stone and heal Kent of cancer with no need for surgery. We expect the arrival of our little Emily Kate (granddaughter) in the mix of both procedures.
I noticed that Abraham reached his destination in stages. Lord, you may heal Kent in stages, but, once again, as Abraham did, we pitch our tent toward you. We worship you. Cause the kings of kidney stone and cancer to fall into clay pits and dissolve. Bring your bread and wine to offer healing. We give you our lives and everything concerning our lives.
What is your worship in the midst of your Hebron, “hard place?”
January 5 – Tasting of Genesis 15-17: An everlasting covenant: “And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith,” Genesis 15:6.
At ninety-nine years old, the Lord (El-Shaddai (God-Almighty) appeared to Abram. The Lord said to him, “Walk in my presence and live pure-hearted. I will make an everlasting covenant between you and your descendents and me. I will change your name from Abram to Abraham. Canaan belongs to you and your descendents forever. I will be their God. Obey me in circumcising each male among your offspring.
As for Sarai, her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and give you a son from her. Name him Isaac. I will bless Ishmael, your first-born son, by Hagar, but my covenant is established through Isaac (paraphrase mine).
Today’s Nourishment: Lord, I thank you that I benefit from the covenant you made with Abraham. Jesus came through the lineage of Abraham. I also thank you that you gave Abram and Sarai a portion of your name – the “H” sound from Jehovah– becoming Abraham and Sarah. When we came to Christ, you gave us a new name, Christians – “little christs.” They called them “Christians” first in Antioch, see Acts 11:26. “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance…to the other a fragrance….” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV. I pray that we carry your name with honor. I pray that we offer the fragrance of Christ in our way of treating others and in our conversations and attitudes. You gave us your name and covenant to carry gracefully. When life seems to overtake us and the Word does not seem strong in us, let us remember, that we are the aroma of Christ, carrying your name, whether we feel like it or whether things seem out of kilter.
Lord, thank you for the faith that you impute to us to live daily. I stir up that faith and remind myself of your great love toward me, for some of the things you did for me in the past such as….
Name some of the great things He has done for you:
January 6 – Tasting of Genesis 18-21:7: “The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre” Three men stood… ‘your wife Sarah will have a son.’” Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction occurs. Lot and his daughters escaped to Zoar (little place). Genesis 18:21. “But God listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster…” Genesis 19:29. Lot’s daughters birth his babies – Moab (become the Moabites) and Ben-ammi (become the Ammonites) Genesis 19 37-38.
Today’s Nourishment: Lord, I pray that we will recognize your presence and your word to us. I pray that we will listen as you guide us through areas to keep us from destruction. Thank you that hear our requests. My request continues to be for healing for Kent and a safe delivery for our daughter’s baby girl. Keep us safe today as we live and make decisions.
I also ask for healing for my dear friend. She battles today for her life. I pray that you remove her from disaster. I trust you, Lord, in her situation. I praise You!
What is your request from the Lord, today?
January 7 – Tasting of Genesis 21:8-24: “Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba…lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time,” Genesis 21:33-34. “Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith.” Genesis 22:1 “Take your son…and go to Moriah. God and sacrifice him…We will worship there, and then come right back. When they arrived…Abraham built an altar…took his son and laid him on the altar…and picked up a knife to kill his son as a sacrifice…AT THAT MOMENT…Abraham looked up and saw a ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in the place of his son, ‘the Lord will Provide.’” Because you have obeyed…I will certainly bless you, I will multiply your descendants, your descendants will conquer, and through your descendants all nations will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and Terah, Abraham’s father, die. Isaac marries Rebekah.
Today’s Nourishment: God will test your strength. He tested Abraham’s faith, his greatest strength. At the very moment that Abraham would accomplish something in his strength, AT THAT MOMENT… God offered His strength to Abraham’s weakness. He provided a sacrifice. Abraham’s greatest weakness was to make his own provision – a provision from himself. Abraham’s greatest strength was to believe God for provision.
I pray that AT THAT MOMENT of my greatest weakness, you will provide your greatest strength. Thank you, Lord, for your strength as I face today’s tasks, decisions, involvement with others.
Today’s Dessert: Some areas to consider where He provides His strength:
1 – “Similarly, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we don’t know how to pray the way we should. But the Spirit himself pleads on our behalf…” Romans 8:26 Complete Jewish Bible.
AT THAT MOMENT when we need to speak with God and do not know what to say or how to pray, He prays. Sometimes, I do not know how to pray, but thank you Holy Spirit, you pray!
2 – “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men,” 1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV. “And God’s ‘nonsense’ is wiser than humanity’s wisdom. And God’s ‘weakness’ is stronger than humanity’s ‘strength,’” Complete Jewish Bible.
AT THAT MOMENT when we need wisdom, Jesus Christ becomes to us wisdom from God. Trust Him as your wisdom today with the decision you make, in determining your work issues or family issues. He offers His wisdom to us freely as we trust Him. “The fear (trust) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Lord, I revere you and honor you. As I honor and trust you, you then give me wisdom. I ask for your wisdom in some upcoming decisions for our family.
3 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness,’” Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me. Yes, I am well pleased with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties endured on behalf of the Messiah, for it is when I am weak that I am strong,” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Complete Jewish Bible.
Whatever you may experience for the sake of Christ, AT THAT MOMENT in your weakness, you are strong. We may declare together, I am strong because He is strong in me! Therefore, He will pray when we are weak. He is our wisdom when we trust Him. His grace is the power in our lowest of times we endure for loving Him.
Name your AT THAT MOMENT:
January 8 – Tasting of Genesis 25:1-26/1 Chronicles 1:28-31; 34: Abraham’s descendents: Ishmael’s descendants: Isaac’s descendents: “After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev,” Genesis 25:11.
My Nourishment: The promise of the covenant continues through Isaac, just as the Lord promised Abraham. The Lord keeps his promises. Your provision, your protection, and your peace rules our hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus. Today, I trust you, Lord, for this.
What are His promises to you as a believer?
January 9 – Tasting of Genesis 25:27-28:5: “The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Live here in this land and I will be with you…your descendants will become as numerous as the stars… through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed…Abraham listened to me and obeyed all…Isaac planted crops and harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORD blessed him,”
“So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down…servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water…men dug another well…moved on and dug another well (named it “open space)”… From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the LORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. ‘I am the God of your father, Abraham…I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply…they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.’ Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD.” He set up his camp at that place (Beersheba) and his servants dug another well.” Following a covenant meal and receiving a blessing… “That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. ‘We’ve found water!”
My Nourishment: Isaac’s servants found water each time they dug a well. However, this time they dug a well, they found water without disputes from those who lived near. They came to Isaac declaring, “We found water!” Persevere, my friend and keep digging in the Word of God. As you dig, pray for understanding. As you worship the Lord, through the Bible, He Washes us CLEAN in 2013 with His Word. “Having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,” Ephesians 5:26b. Read Tyler Perry’s facebook – January 4th TRUE STORY of why we need to keep digging until we find water.
What encouragement did you receive today?
January 10 – Tasting of Genesis 28:6-30:24: “Then Jacob made this vow:…And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he give me,” Genesis 28:20-22.
“Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone…and watered…flock. Then Jacob kissed Rachel…Jacob stayed with Laban for about a month, …Genesis 29:10b-11; 14b. “Jacob slept with Rachel, too and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years,” Genesis 28:30.
My Nourishment: Jacob lived with determination to worship the Lord and present a tenth of everything given him. Then Jacob found his wife. Worship of God occurred first in Jacob’s life by building altars and tithing from everything given him. His desires fell into place following his worship.
Lord, how I see again, the preeminence of worshiping you, first. I worship you today, first. There is none like you in the heavens above or in the earth beneath. You are the one who keeps covenant with your people. Thank you for your love toward me, I love you because you first loved me. I worship YOU!
Write your worship to the Lord today:
January 11 – Tasting of Genesis 30:25-31:42: “So Jacob put his wives and children on camels…and set out for Canaan, Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her. God appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, ‘…leave Jacob alone!’ Laban caught up with Jacob… Laban continued his search, but he could not find the household gods.” He decided to make a covenant with Jacob and set a boundary line. Laban cut covenant with Jacob, responding, “I call on the God of our ancestors—the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor—to serve as a judge between us.” So Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father, Isaac, to respect the boundary line. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. Laban left and returned home.”
My Nourishment: Though Jacob abandoned his father-in-law, Laban, and Rachel stole from her pagan father, God spoke to Laban, in spite of living as a nonbeliever. The Lord will stretch to drastic measures to protect His own. Laban concluded that Jacob’s God deemed worthy of recognition, because his eyes viewed and his ears heard from the One True God. Jacob offered a sacrifice (worshiped) the Lord in everyone’s presence, then, extended an invitation to a feast.
Lord, we trust you for that protection, in our own circumstances, in which we find ourselves. Some around us may recognize you as our Lord when eyes see and ears hear of how you provide and take care of us. As we worship you, may others recognize the extended feast of which they may enjoy, also?
What stretch of drastic measure have you seen the Lord do, in order to protect you as he did Jacob
Have you expressed your worship to Him in thanksgiving for this drastic measure?
January 12 – Tasting of Genesis 32-35: As Jacob started his transition, angels of God met him. Now with reassurance, Jacob named the place ‘This is God’s camp,’ Jacob prayed, ‘O Lord, please rescue me,” as he prepares to meet with his brother, Easu. Traveling with his family and his possessions to Jabbok River, he crossed over alone. Here at Peniel (face of God) Jacob wrestled with God. Yet, God spared his life. Jacob made peace with his brother, Esau. They settled their families near each other for a short time. Jacob set out again, as the Lord directed, and arrived in Canaan, where he built an altar (worshiped) and named it El-Elohe-Israel (God, the God of Israel)….
The Lord told Jacob to move and settle in Bethel, then build an altar where God appeared to him. Jacob advised his household to rid the area of any idols and prepare to worship God. The fear of God spread throughout the area protecting any attacks on Jacob’s household. When they arrived at Luz, Jacob built an altar and named the place, “God of Bethel.”
Jacob’s household grew to twelve sons and one daughter. He returned to his father, Isaac in Hebron.
My Nourishment: We seem to live in the “re” category today. The Lord reassured, rescued, wrestled, rested him in Canaan, renamed Jacob to Israel, reinstituted His covenant, and returned Jacob to Isaac in Hebron in a short span of time.
He may do the same for us today with His redeeming ways!
- Reassurance of His love for us
- Rescue us from thoughts of defeat
- Wrestle between the Spirit and our flesh
- Rest in Christ as we submit to the Spirit
- Rename us to Christ like – “Christian”
- Reinstitute to our minds that Christ completed the work for salvation
- Return to the Lord as we face difficult situations
Name the “re” that captured you today: For me, I thank you, Lord, for the rescue from my thoughts of defeat today. I choose to listen to your voice as you speak your rescuing words to me, such as, “I will keep you in perfect peace, when my mind is on You!” I choose for my thoughts to rest on you today.
Your “re” word:
January 13 – Tasting of Genesis 36/1 Chronicles 1:35-2:2: The descendants of Esau lived in Edom. “Esau took his wives, his children, and his entire household, along with his livestock and cattle—all the wealth he had acquired in the land of Canaan—and moved away from his brother, Jacob. There was not enough land to support them both because of all the livestock and possessions they had acquired. So Esau (also known as Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir…they lived in Edom.” Kings ruled in Edom before kings ruled over the Israelites.
Israel’s sons: Reuben, Simeon, Lei, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
My Nourishment: The Lord moves on those around us to fulfill his plan for our lives. We move and settle in the area where support thrives to carry out the plan of God. Our children and grand children play a vital role in the plan of God. Lord, help us to settle, both physically and emotionally, where your plan deems most effective. I pray that our children and grandchildren settle where you want them to settle and carry out your plan.
Write a prayer for your family:
January 14 – Tasting of Genesis 36-39/1 Chronicles 2:3-6, 8: Jacob settled in Canaan. Jacob’s love for his youngest son, Joseph, stirred hatred among his older brothers. Joseph’s robe, a gift from his father, and dreams of others bowing to him, only enhanced the hatred and jealousy. The brothers ridiculed and tormented Joseph, to finally sell him off to Midianite traders on their way to Egypt. The traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, captain of the palace guard for Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
While in prison, Potiphar recognized that Joseph’s succeeded in everything, because of his God. When he placed Joseph as his personal attendant, the LORD blessed Potiphar’s household. Everyone and everything in his household flourished.
Potiphar’s wife pressured Joseph, a very handsome and muscular man, to sleep with her. Joseph repeatedly refused. Potophar’s wife deceived her servants and husband into believing that Joseph attempted to rape her. Potiphar threw Joseph into the prison where the king’s prisoners remain. “But the LORD was with Joseph in prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison…The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.”
My Nourishment: Lord, our success rests in your hands. Provision comes from your hands. I pray that we rest in “Provision comes from your hands,” today. I pray that you cause everything that Kent and I, our children, and grandchildren touch to succeed. We give you praise and acknowledge that all we become and own are gifted from you! Thank you for our life in Christ and for the way you cause success to come our way.
How has the Lord granted you success and favor?