9/11/13 Part Two

I made a separate post because I had a feeling this might be even longer.

Finally, I read Isaiah 44. I don’t remember the last time I got something so great out of this book, except for that verse I posted about a few days ago in chapter 43. Anyway, this is what it says,

14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!” 17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”

I love this. OK, first of all we have a man who is going about his life as perhaps some sort of farmer, using the trees around him to survive. He uses the trees for wood for a fire to keep himself warm and to cook his food. God gives us earthly resources to be able to survive so fire wood and cooking over that fire are ways of putting God’s resources to good work. It’s a gift from God that we accept and use wisely and without wasting (at least we should). But then in the second part of verse 15 it says he also uses the wood to create an idol for worship. Ya know the saying that God can take everything and turn it for good? Well it works the other way around too. God’s pure gifts can be perverted and used for evil, even at the same time like we see in these verses. It’s a hypocritical man. Someone who gets drunk Saturday night and raises his hands in service Sunday morning. 

I don’t know why but this passage was just so fascinating to me. How could anyone take something God has given them to survive and use it and enjoy it then turn it against Him? Yet it is done daily. I dare say I am sure I am guilty of it in some way or another. It’s eye-opening. It makes me aware. I pray I stay aware and watchful. For my sake and those around me. 

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9/11/13

OK, I’m about to go on a writing spree. I’m making this post on the 12th because I read so much yesterday I didn’t think I could get it all into a post before I fell asleep. I had a great devotion yesterday, and it all started with Pinterest! Tuesday night I came across a pin that had 1 Corinthians 10:13 on it, which says,

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The verse caught my eye and struck my heart. I booked marked it in my Bible to share with you the next day. I know it’s a fairly well-known verse, rather, a well-used verse for when people say “God never gives you more than you can handle.” It made me think of you. With everything that happened last week and just everything going on in your life in general. It is my prayer for you, that you would always remember that verse whenever you feel overwhelmed by temptation or just the stress of school and work.  Then while I was at church last night I went on a reading spree. First I read the entire book (all four chapters, haha) of Ruth. It was then that I officially decided I want to be a Ruth and I want my husband to be a Boaz. Ruth was such a strong and loyal and willing woman and Boaz was so precious and sweet and caring in that manly/husbandly way. I loved chapter 3 verse 3 where Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, was telling her basically to get gussied up and go see Boaz and get her groove thang on. She said it in less words, of course, but that was the idea I got. Also, verse 13 chapter 4 where Ruth and Boaz get married and it says, “And he went in to her…”. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I think that’s hilarious. They had sex. They got it on. Honestly, I think that’s even more descriptive than just saying they had sex. He went inside her. Whoo.

From reading this entire book in one sitting (and having read a chapter from Joshua before it) I realized, once again, how much like a novel the Bible really is. And how relevant it all is to daily life. And also what a sense of humor God has for us. 

Next I read Proverbs 2. Verses 2 and 5 stuck out to me. Basically they say that if you ask God to give you wisdom and insight then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. I love those matter of fact verses. Those ones that throw the obvious in our face, those of us who are more or less “seasoned Christians” who tend to take things for granted or forget the true meaning of something. All we need to do is ask. If it’s good for us God will give it to us. And then I read Proverbs 3. There were quite a few verses that stuck out to me here. But I decided I only want to write about one in particular. Speaking of wisdom: 

…She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

I know the Bible refers to wisdom as she, but I can’t help but think of it as myself, or rather, who I want to be. I like to just think of it as the wise woman. What woman wouldn’t want to be considered more precious that jewels and desired above all else? On top of that, what woman wouldn’t want to be wise? For herself, her husband, her family, and her God. With these marriage prep classes we’re about to start taking at church, ring shopping, Pinterest boards, etc I have gotten more and more into the heart and spiritual aspects of getting married. I have become obsessed with wanting to be that sweet and loving, tender, kind, wise, hospitable wife that is so desired. It’s my life goal now. So verses like that are very close to my heart and I take them in complete seriousness and meditate upon them. 

9/4/13

I am a jumper. I can’t read just one book of the Bible at a time. I have been continuously going through Psalms and Proverbs since 6th or 7th grade. I’m making my way through the Bible from beginning to end and I currently find myself near the beginning of Joshua. I have been painstakingly reading through Isaiah for about 2 years now. I read Daniel on the odd occasion. And I jump around through Galatians to 2 Peter when I’m feeling desperate for something juicy (because we all know it’s impossible to not get something from those books). 

Anyway, I was “making my rounds” tonight and I had finished reading Proverbs 2 so the next bookmark was Isaiah (I don’t read all of them every single day) and I was skipping over it when a highlighted verse caught my eye.

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

Isaiah 43:18 & 19

I feel like I have made a post about this before. But anyway, I have the whole thing underlined and highlighted. I also have the words “former things” and “new thing” circled. Next to the highlighted bit on the left side I wrote “Total God Moment” and on the right side “04-16-12”. That date happens to be the day after we became a couple. Above the date I wrote “Look at the date.” I remember writing that earlier in the year when I cam across this verse again and it was again relevant to my life. Here I am, finding it relevant yet again. 

I remember the first time it touched me because you had just asked me to be your girlfriend. You were the new thing God was doing in my life and the “former things” I was being called to forget was Forrest. Now I find myself in another moment in life where the former is passing away and new things are being brought forth. The former being your old life, our old life and the happiness we thought we were living. The new that is springing forth is your promises and desires to change and do better. The reason this applies to me so well is this: I’ve been hard on you since you told me everything last night, and rightly so. However, I’ve been wanting to dwell in my anger because it’s something I strive off of, even though it is terribly wrong. This verse touched me in a sense of forgiveness. I told you I forgive you and I do mean that, but forgiveness means letting go. It means trying to forget (I say “trying” because we are human and it is very difficult to truly forget the wrongs people do toward us.) 

The verses I quoted were the Lord’s own words. He himself is calling me to “Remember not the former” and perceive the new work He is doing. I pray that I can do that. 

8/19/13

Joshua 1:8

Yesterday in church I opened up my Bible app on my phone and the verse of the day was Joshua 1:8. I am making my way through the book of Joshua so I was shocked when I was so blessed by this verse and didn’t remember ever reading it before. That is why I decided it would be my sole study today and I would write about it. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 

Joshua 1:8

It always makes me happy when I find fantastic verses in the Old Testament because my whole life they always seemed so rare. This verse is so simple. So simple. Do not let the Bible fade from your mind because when you have it as your weapon you can always have the good conscience to do what is right and your life will flourish. But wait, we have to remember that, as Christians, a flourishing life does not mean so in the worldly sense. Doing the right thing may mean not taking that job promotion and earning less money or perhaps giving up the “cool” friends and the flashy lifestyle. 

But in keeping the Word within us and keeping with the Word, we store up treasures in Heaven and we make our hearts strong against anything that may come at us in life. This verse made me think, personally, of all the friends I’m giving up. They were not, by any means, tearing me down but they were causing me distress and I know what is in store for me by giving them up. There will be much talking behind my back about how I’m falling away from God because I’m associating with other non-Christians instead of them. So, I realized that I had to start putting even more effort behind my faith to prove to them and myself that the talk is not true. I have never felt stronger or more knowledgeable in my faith than I have in the past couple months. 

The more that happens the more I wonder if my friends were kind of holding up my faith for me and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I should have friends with me all the time, good, positively influencing friends, but more I should have the Bible with me and within me at all times. 

8/12/13 (1)

I will be making two posts today. The first will be based on my reading from Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper. I got the book about a year ago at a back to school event at church and never got around to reading through it. I’m starting now. I haven’t even made it through the first chapter and already I have something to write about. The first chapter is entitled: The Ultimate Aim of Jesus Christ and what I want to touch on is a quote and two verses. 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

That was one of the opening verses of the chapter. Christ’s aim. Let light shine. Another way one might describe a shining light is glory being given, God being worshiped, Christ’s love being shown, etc. And is not the sole purpose of God sending His son to glorify Him and bring others to Him so that He may be glorified more? It just makes sense. The second verse is this,

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 

Romans 1:28

Isn’t that kind of depressing? Sure, that’s the whole idea of free will…but it’s still sad. To know that, if we do not let light shine out of darkness, God will cut us off and leave us to our own devices. Maybe it’s not necessarily sad, but rather scary. I also think it’s kind of chill of God to do that. To let us screw ourselves over and make our own mistakes without Him by our side. It is in moments like that that God really appears as a true father in my eyes. When a person reaches a certain age (or even as a little kid) your parents tend to let you do certain things and learn your own lessons because you’re too stubborn to take the advice of your parents. As a parent they (or God) is taking the risk of you getting sucked in to your bad decisions and losing you, perhaps forever. But they do it because they love us. 

Finally, I have a quote to share. 

The point is this: We were made to know and treasure the glory of God above all things; and when we trade that treasure for images, everything is disordered. The sun of God’s glory was made to shine at the center of the solar system of our soul. And when it does, all the planets of our life are held in their proper orbit. But when the sun is displaced, everything flies apart. The healing of the soul begins by restoring the glory of God to its flaming, all-attracting place at the center.

John Piper

I’m not going to add to that, just let it sink in and think on it. 

8/7/13

Psalms 150

First of all, I’m pissed. I started writing this post on my phone tonight at church and saved it as a draft but now it’s not showing up on my laptop. Not cool. Luckily I hadn’t written too much. But it was all so spontaneous and good! Ugh. Well, let’s try again.

I finished up Psalms tonight by reading chapters 148-150, but this post is about 150 in particular. The last sentence in the last verse of the last chapter of the book. Verse 6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Praise the Lord! I don’t want to look at that as an exclamation or a closing note or even the obvious last sentence of a paragraph or section of words. I think of it as the closing of a prayer, in a way. Ok, look at the book of Psalms. Think about all the hundreds of subjects that are covered throughout it, think of all the tears David says he shed, the complaints he made, the rants he went on, and the pleas he made. It’s a very emotionally packed book. It has a lot of heart break and a lot of healing in it. Trials and tribulation. Rejoicing and laughter. But it ends with one sentence. Three words. Praise the Lord. I feel as if it’s saying, “Despite everything we covered in the thousands of verses in these 150 chapters, praise the Lord no matter any of it!” 

 

That’s really all I have to say. I just thought it was super cool. 

Thanks. Bye.