21 Day Challenge Days 9-10

Apparently it’s hard for me to even post the challenge each day, which shows you how well I’m doing at getting it together this year. I just completely forgot about it yesterday so today I’ll put 9 and 10 in the same post.
For ladies in Tallahassee, please make sure to come to Four Oaks Community Church this Thursday (1/16) from 7-9 pm for a fun night of worship and listening to Debora and my testimonies on how God miraculously healed us each of Stage 4 breast cancer! I always get excited to share it but I’m extra excited about this time. So many things are coming together to make it such a great night, I just know the Holy Spirit will be there and every heart will change for the better. If you aren’t local, please keep that night in your prayers, for a big move from the Lord, and for us to say exactly what the Lord wants!

Day 9
As a reminder, the reading from the 8th day was about the woman who committed adultery, who Jesus saved from being stoned. It sounds cruel, but that was the punishment in those days and God had allowed that to be the standard of punishment for His reasons. So it was really weird for the people of the day to be told not to do that. It’s one of those examples of how the spirit of law was intended opposed to how it was actually carried out. It’s also really convicting to think that we can’t push for people’s punishments because we are sinners ourselves. It’s easy enough when it doesn’t directly affect us, but for those who sin against us or hurt those we love it’s much harder.

The 9th day’s reading is:
John 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> who sinned,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>this man<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> or his parents,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> that he was born blind?”
 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>  As long as it is day,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”> on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”> (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”>  Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.
 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”> “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”> So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.” They<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”> still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.”  His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”> who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”> of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”>
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(X)”> they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>
 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”  He answered, “I have told you already<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”  The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”> he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”> how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AG)”> in the Son of Man?”  “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”  Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.  Jesus said, “For judgment<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AL)”> I have come into this world,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AM)”> so that the blind will see<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AN)”> and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”  Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.



Day 10
From Day 9’s reading I thought it was interesting that the healed man’s parents wouldn’t vouch for the son and actually sent the Pharisees to him for answers. Ouch. I hope I wouldn’t do that as a parent, but it would be overly proud of me to say I never would. It actually convicts me more because I’ve been feeling guilty about how little I really pour into the girls anymore. Maybe the times I take the easy way out with them is sort of akin to that. 
The other glaring point that stands out is at the end: “…but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”. For all those who know about Jesus but do not humble themselves to put Him first, there is no excuse left. Your guilt remains and there’s no getting out of it but to repent (turn back) from it!

Here is the reading for the 10th day of this challenge:

John 10

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”> but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.  Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”> the gate<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”> for the sheep. All who have come before me<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”> are thieves and robbers,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)”> but the sheep have not listened to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(L)”> and have it to the full.
“I am<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(N)”> the good shepherd.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(O)”> The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(P)”> The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Q)”> Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
 “I am the good shepherd;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(R)”> I know my sheep<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(S)”> and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(T)”>—and I lay down my life for the sheep.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(U)”>  I have other sheep<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(V)”> that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock <span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(W)”>and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>—only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”> I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”>
The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”> and raving mad.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”> Why listen to him?”  But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon.<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”> Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”> who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AM)”> and they follow me. I give them eternal life,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AO)”> and they shall never perish;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AP)”> no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AR)”> is greater than all;<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AS)”> no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AW)”> ‘I have said you are “gods”’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AY)”> came—and Scripture cannot be set aside<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AZ)”>— what about the one whom the Father set apart<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BA)”> as his very own<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BB)”> and sent into the world?<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BC)”> Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Again they tried to seize him,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BG)”> but he escaped their grasp.
 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BI)”> to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BJ)”> all that John said about this man was true.”<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BK)”> And in that place many believed in Jesus.
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