Tag: Understanding

Psalm 19 {Summer ’17}

In the Bible, we are given specific instructions on how to have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus and taught how to live well. God has much He wants to teach us.

Those who have chosen to follow His Son Jesus Christ, have been declared children of God. We have been saved by the grace of God! His love leads us to be adopted into His family. This sets the stage for understanding and following the Father’s instructions.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them (Psalm 19:8-11, NLT).

In Psalm 19, we are reminded about God’s law. God has specific instructions for our lives. If we want things to go well, we need to be deliberate in hearing the Word of God {the Bible} and put it into practice.

Many times, we don’t apply what God is teaching us. What we need most is to savor His Words and simply obey. We need to seek His will, not our own.

Learning to Abide

God’s Word is so important for us, as Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to make sure that we stay plugged into Jesus. In 1 John 3 and John 15, this is specifically called “abiding”. We need to abide in Christ.

In its original language, this means “to remain”. We need to remain with Jesus the Christ, my friends.

Loving God and His Instructions

We need to learn what it means to love God and the instructions He has faithfully given to us – through the Bible.

God has lavished His love upon us, and continues to passionately pursue us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to show us what is right. God wants to help us to avoid the pitfalls of the human life.

As we obey God, through His instructions, He continues to show Himself to us. Not only does He show Himself to us, He protects us from the traps we don’t see.

This is why God’s Word is so important, for God wants to help us to not become hurt. He doesn’t want to see us miss out on what He is ready to give us. If only, we would listen to what our great God has told us and put it into practice.

In Christ,

Signature

Job 24-28; Psalms 23-25

jan-10

Assigned Reading for January 10: Job 24-28; Psalms 23-25

Psalms –

Chapter 23 – God is my Shepherd. He doesn’t say He might provide, but that He will provide and actually does. He leads me along the road where I need to go, and makes it all work out – as I stay near to Him.

Chapter 24 – God is holy. He is our Creator. Not only is He our Creator, He allows us to draw near to Him with pure hearts through Christ Jesus. God is the King of glory, and is very good to His people – His Creation.

Chapter 25 – Because our hope is in Him, we are not put to shame. God’s love is unfailing and beyond human limitations. Out of His love, He guides us. As God continues to love, offer us hope, and guide us, we begin to have reverent fear for Him and our eyes are growingly on Him – not the world we live in.

Job –

Seeing Injustice with No Consequence

… But God charges no one with wrongdoing (Job 24:12b)

This Scripture stands out to me, as Job recounts the wrongs he sees. In Job’s eyes, God doesn’t punish those who do wrong. It might seem that way in our own eyes as well, but we have to be reminded that we are not God. We are not holy – far from it, and have human eyes. God does see what is going on, and will act in His time. Thank God for the grace He offers to us through His Son Jesus Christ! Our biggest need as believers is to observe where our trust in the Lord is going. Fixing our eyes on Jesus is the One Thing we can do, as we see the injustices of the world.

Bildad: The Awe of God

In Job 25-26, Bildad begins to have a discussion with Job about the power of God. And, it sends off Job recounting the powers of our God. The question is –

Will we choose to realize the power of God today that is heavily at work in our lives?

Interlude: Truth Concerning Wisdom

But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living (Job 28:12-13).

The search is for wisdom. Wisdom cannot be bought, but is a treasure to be found. Wisdom is incomparable to anything we could ever touch in this world with our hands. In 28:21, wisdom is described as being hidden. Following in verses 23-28 we learn exactly where to find wisdom, which is to seek for wisdom in God – because God is the Author of wisdom.

I recently begun a Bible study through Love God Greatly, and Proverbs 1:7 is the first day’s Scripture to reflect on. This points back to what we are being told in Job 28. If we want wisdom, we need to go and find God!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Call to Surrender {{Week 5}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:38-39; Proverbs 20:22, 24:29

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye must be put out for an eye. A tooth must be knocked out for a tooth.’ (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21) But here is what I tell you. Do not fight against an evil person. Suppose someone slaps you on your right cheek. Turn your other cheek to them also (Matthew 5:38-39, NIRV).

Don’t say, “I’ll get even with you for the wrong you did to me!” Wait for the Lord, and he will make things right for you (Proverbs 20:22).

Don’t say, “I’ll do to them what they have done to me. I’ll get even with them for what they did (Proverbs 24:29).”

Devotion

Have you found passages you struggle to really understand in the Sermon on the Mount yet (Matthew 5-7)?

For myself, this is one of those Scriptures I wrestle to understand. There is just something about this passage. We are faced with what we really believe in moments like these. Vengeance versus grace.

Today, I am reminded of the strength shown when we made decisions against our pride’s preferences. It takes a strong believer in Christ, to allow an evil person to have what looks like the upper-hand (at least momentarily).

We must take our faith and put it into action, as we read passages like these. It takes faith to put this passage into action. It is not for the faint of heart. Why? It requires us to fully surrender everything to Christ. It requires us to leave everything we are and possess at the foot of the cross. It requires us to deny ourselves and to take up our own cross, just as Jesus taught us to do (see Matthew 16:24-26).

In these moments, we are faced with what we truly believe about Jesus Christ and the call to surrender everything to follow Him.

In moments such as this one in our Matthew passage, we have to remember who it is we are living for. The One who has given us His full armor. Custom built armor for our very difficult circumstances. When we wear the armor of God, we can fight well through the love of Christ.

His armor and protection is exactly why I can make different choices, when met with attacks and suffering. It is only because of Christ, that I can have the strength to not retaliate. It is only because of Christ, that I can overcome evil with good – rather than adding even more evil to the world.

We each must make the choice to follow Jesus one baby step, at a time. It is only as we follow Jesus, that we can conquer evil – and through His love and grace.

Christ is far greater than anything or anyone we could meet or face, and we need to keep allowing Him to be the Greater in our lives.

Lord God, Help me to carry my cross. I pray You would remove the anger and strife in my spirit. Remove all desires to be ‘right’ or issue ‘pay back’. Help me to let You be far greater! Keep helping me, my Father. I need You to do what only You can do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Accepting God’s Word {{Week 4}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:19-20; Proverbs 30:12; Luke 18:11

So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 5:19-20, NLT)

They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed (Proverbs 30:12).

 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! (Luke 18:11)

Devotion

To ignore God’s commands, is a deliberate act. When we ignore something, we overlook it and there is thought that goes into it. In today’s Scriptures, we learn that it is a holy offense to our holy God – to ignore His written word. We can’t ignore part of God’s Word. We need to accept all of it, for it is food for our soul and pivotal for our relationship with our God through Jesus Christ.

God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing (NIRV).

Like we are taught in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, all scripture is God breathed and has an important purpose.  We may struggle to read and certain books of the Bible like Leviticus and Revelation, but we absolutely cannot discount these parts of God’s Word.

God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us in reading the Bible and learning how His truths apply to our lives.

It’s in God’s full written word that we learn our righteousness isn’t righteousness at all. When we study and teach the Bible in its entirety, we learn how much we don’t have it all together and need Jesus Christ to enter our lives, displaying His power.

Our righteousness isn’t enough; it’s like filthy rags. The righteousness of Christ far exceeds our own, and His righteousness and grace is what we desperately need and seek for.

The Bible teaches us about Jesus and why we need a Savior. Our righteousness is not righteousness at all.

Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your beautiful Word and grace. Teach me Your Word. Help me to not ignore any of Your commands, designed with my blessings in mind. I pray You would give me the understanding I seek. Amen.

Five Minute Friday – Unite

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Minute Friday!
This week’s theme is “unite. To learn more about Five Minute Friday,
please visit Kate’s
blog for more details… Each week, a community
of bloggers come together with the common goal is to spend
five unedited minutes to write on a topic.

“So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body (Gen. 2:24, emphasis mine).”

Since the very beginning, God designed the human race to be united to one another. In Genesis, we see that a man is designed to be united to his bride. To such an extent, that other relationships are put on the back burner. “He will leave his father and mother, and be joined (or united) to his wife.”

To be united, it is a sacred thing.

Yet when sin broke in, unity became a complicated thing.

When sin entered the world, unity became this intensely complicated task that we strive for – as human beings. Not only do we wrestle with trying to find out how to be united with God, we have the same struggle in our own interpersonal relationships.

This world offers little hope in how to achieve this reconcilation, that our souls crave. It teaches us that perhaps we need to be a bit more selfish, that it is the other person’s fault, etc. We need to consider where we have sought unity. What tools did we use, to achieve unity with our families, friends, co-workers, and near-impossible neighbors? How have you sought unity?

Our Hope

The Scriptures reminds us that Jesus is the answer. As we search out unity, we need to know that Jesus Christ is the answer! We don’t need to run out and do all these amazing things in our own strength – to try and bring reconciliation to these broken relationships.

What we really need is to invite Jesus, to step into these broken relationships, mend them, and make them brand new.

Our methods of madness and troubleshooting need to be laid down and exchanged for Jesus Christ – the Living Water. After all, He is the Author of reconciliation!

We need to run to Jesus.

Our efforts would be far better spent if we would just put down our self-help books, our google searches, the article reading, and run to Jesus and His holy word that does more than inspires – it transform! I don’t know about you, but I am ready to be transformed by the Word of God!

Our God is a God of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:17-21). Not only can our God mend broken relationships and make them stronger than ever, the whole process can be used as a way to worship God.

How can you pursue reconciliation and unity this week?