Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30-May 6

Monday - Genesis 17
Tuesday - Judges 13
Wednesday- Psalm 42
Thursday- Isaiah 46
Friday-Zephaniah 2
Saturday- Acts 10
Sunday- 1 Timothy 5


Prairie Chick said...

Genesis 17:1

>>live entirely before me, live to the hilt!<< the message

>>walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).<< amplified

I love it when the bible refers to people who "walked with God". There were not many. It is one of my aspirations to be known by God as one who "walked with him". learning to live habitually before him. That being made "complete" part reminded me of the heartwarming words of Tom Cruise to Rene Zelweger in Jerry Maguire. "You complete me." Who else can that be completely true of but God.

Prairie Chick said...

judges 13.
"They boy grew and God blessed him. The Spirit of God began working in him...."

and yet how did things go so sour? is it called partial surrender? partial surrender that in the end does not equate to surrender at all? Can't remember if I shared this quote here or not, but I will share it again, because if it's been good enough for me to read 10 times in the past few weeks, it's good enough to post twice.

>>"The "other voice" I hear most often isn't Satan's or the world's. It's my own. It's me resisting Jesus' full claim on my life as Lord. I've told him thousands of times he's my Lord. I meant it, and I still mean it. But there's an independent, sinful part of me that wants to reserve a part of my life for *me*. I want to be able to call at least part of my life *mine*. The apostle Paul said it well: 'The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I lease expect it, they take charge. '

So, let's give it a name. Let's call it *partial* surrender. And I've noticed that others who believe themselves to be Christians apparently have bought into the partial surrender idea too. They like hanging on to there "mines" also. And there have been times I've begun believing the lie I so desperately wanted to believe- that because of grace, Jesus is fine with partial surrender.

Is he?

Is grace, the amazing truth that God through Christ has forgiven all our sins- really a contributing factor to my spiritual mediocrity?

Only when I abuse it.

Grace abuse is holding God to his word while using it as an excuse to break ours. Most of us wouldn't think of ourselves as actually doing that- but isn't that what we're really doing?

Christ's sacrifice was meant to pay the price for that which I *cannot* do for myself. It should never be my excuse for I what I *won't* do for myself.

So the primary reason some of us aren't making more progress on living more godly lives is that we've made peace with our conscience. We've come to what we think is a reasonable balance between sin and surrender- a compromise we can live with, and one we think God is okay with too. We tell ourselves that Jesus died not just for our past sins but for our present and future ones as well. We've been forgiven! And that's a powerful incentive to settle for partial surrender. For *good enough*. Anything more just feels unnecessary, too difficult, or costly.

So most of us obey (the voice of the Holy Spirit( often enough to assuage our guilt and enable us to feel reasonably good about ourselves. And maybe you're doing about as well as most Christians you k now. But deep down, you know that your Savior and Lord deserves so much more, and wants so much more *for you*. "<<

The Ten Second Rule, Clare de Graaf

Lois said...

Gen 17:23 (I'm behind, I know)"On that very day, Abraham took his son Ishmael and .... every male in his household and circumcised them"
I always wondered why God would require that. It was quite a relief to me to read in the Quest Bible notes that circumcision was usually practiced in the ancient world as a rite of passage into puberty or marriage. But God was giving it a new meaning. In Abraham's case, it was a mark of possession, indicating that he belonged to God. God's relationship to Abraham is also similar to a marriage covenant.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 42

"I want to drink God, deep draughts of God, I am thirsty for the living God."

Prairie Chick said...

thanks for sharing that Lois, it is interesting that God took something they "knew" and put a twist on it and gave it spiritual meaning. You see that happening again with baptism, this wasn't a "new" thing, they had been using the mikvah since ancient times, but He used it to symbolize the new spiritual life we receive when we are born of the spirit. It gives me food for thought because I am usually very disdainful of taking secular holidays and trying to christianize them, the historical and idolatrous roots of those things bother me. But from this example it would seem that the origin of the thing is not an issue, but the heart of faith/worship behind it. I will definitely have to mull on this more.

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 46:12 "Now listen to me: You're a hardheaded bunch and hard to help. I'm ready to help you right now. Deliverance is not a long-range plan. Salvation isn't on hold."

how often am I my own stumbling block to deliverance? Putting things off... doubting... not knowing how to let go and let God. Not knowing how to give up what's holding me back. I love this visual. He is ready to save.

Prairie Chick said...

"Seek God, all you quietly disciplined people who live by God's justice. Seek God's right ways. Seek a quiet and disciplined life." Zeph 2:3

Speaks to me right where I'm at.

Prairie Chick said...

"(Cornelius) was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer."

Wow. This was quite weighty. How wonderful to be spoken of this way. If I look at this list 1,2,3 I would say that 1 (leading my family to lead worshipful lives before God) is something I am very devoted to. Helping people in need is something that is just now becoming a bigger part (an actual desired not just out of duty part) in this past year, and having this habit of prayer is something I really, really need and want to learn. I think I am learning many aspects of prayer (just do it) that is revolutionizing my communion with God and others (just stop and pray for people when they express a prayer request or before parting company, etc) but I have so far to grow in this area. Sang Hee Harder is my living mentor in this prayer life area.

Lois said...

Acts 10 -- Interesting that Cornelius was obeying God as much as he knew how -- then God blessed him with more knowledge. It makes me think of how God used Philip to explain the Scriptures to the guy in the chariot. He also was honestly searching and God rewarded his search with more knowledge. Is it safe to say that it requires effort on our part first, and then God will reveal more of Himself?

Prairie Chick said...

>>Is it safe to say that it requires effort on our part first, and then God will reveal more of Himself?<<

Hi Lois, I saw your note last night and mulled on it for a bit. Here is the verse that came to mind;

Jeremiah 29:13 You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!14 I will let you find me," says the Lord. "

I was thinking about the heavy weight of the word "required" though. I think that God can call/equip/bless outside of this box "seek me and you will find me", but I think He chooses to bless those who do put the first foot forward. So I am not sure that I would use the word required, because I think He will do it on His own initiation at times, but I think it is a promise that He will respond when we initiate, He won't leave us dangling... Actually, many theologians would reverse that and say that it is always God who initiates, and that when it really gets down to it when we "seek" God it is because His spirit has already initiated to awaken a hunger in us to seek him at all, so in other words our "initiating" with God is really our response to something He has initiated in us and then God responds to our response and we tandem pedal on the road to righteousness :)

hope that makes sense, it's hard to explain on a keyboard, let's talk about it sometime, I love talks with you.

Lois said...

Good thoughts.