Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan 7-14

Monday: Exodus 3
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 24
Wednesday: Psalm 78
Thursday: Jeremiah 16
Friday: Ezekiel 10
Saturday: Matthew 18
Sunday: 1 John 1


Prairie Chick said...

Exodus 3 "God spoke to Moses through an unexpected source; a burning bush. God may use unexpected sources when communicating to us too, whether people, thoughts, or experiences. Be open to God's surprises."

"God told Moses to tell the people what he saw and heard at the burning bush. Our God is a God who acts and speaks. One of the most convincing ways to tell others about Him is to describe what He has done and how He has spoken to His people. If you are trying to explain God to others, talk about what He has done for you or for other people you know."

These were the exact words of confirmation and encouragement I needed from God this morning! So blessed by them. I have been making myself vulnerable to share some very intimate things about my relationship with God and where He has been leading me/taking me in the past month. It's somewhere I never would have asked to be taken, is completely unchartered territory for me and it is exciting but at the same time rather disconcerting as I was quite comfortable with my relationship with God before He started to reveal Himself to me in these ways. It's not that I'm not comfortable with the ways that He is revealing Himself to me, it's just that I'm not quite comfortable in talking about it with others (much like Moses, wasn't afraid to approach the burning bush, but talking to the Israelites about it, Lord... I don't know what they're going to think about all this?").

As I had made myself vulnerable to share quite honestly with someone last night, afterward I was immediately fearful. I don't know of what. Just vulnerable I guess. I felt confirmed and at peace again after reading these two notes.

Prairie Chick said...

Reading the story of Saul out to kill David, relentless, convinced that David is out to get him, chasing him down even though he is innocent of any wrongdoing and has no evil intentions toward Saul at all. And seeing how David responds compared to his men who want him to do away with Saul before Saul can do away with him, and David is just continuously humble, and seeking to make peace with Saul, and never getting bitter or resentful or angry. He just continues to say "he wishes Saul no evil" and even the way he says "maybe God will hold you to account for all of this, but that is His place to decide, not mine." that just blows my mind and is so christlike and shows me that there are many areas of my life I have NOT been willing to surrender to in discipleship. That "being right" when others wrong, offend, hurt, abuse you. That wanting them to be brought to justice rather than wanting them to soften and be transformed into beautiful people. This is not the heart of Christ in me and yet I somehow hold madly to this belief that "no, that's wrong what they are doing! they should suffer for it, not me!" And yet the truth is that when we submit to the call to "follow me" it is a call of surrender to a life of laying down rights, of taking the higher road, of becoming the kind of person who is beautiful, caring and compassionate no matter the circumstances and the rub. To let God be God and let others be as difficult as they happen to be, but to be Christlike (patient, kind, not keeping record of wrongs, etc) no matter what the circumstances.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 78:57 "They were as undependable as a crooked bow." That got my attention. A crooked bow is useless. Will always miss the mark. What things am I allowing to twist me out of shape and warp my life so that it is missing the mark I am called to in Christ Jesus. I have been thinking alot about this lately. Negative thoughts are definitely one thing that have to go. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I walk around thinking negative thoughts all the time, I usually don't, but when I do allow myself to harbor negative thoughts they have this way of festering and building a tornado within me that lays wasted to the beautiful, edifying, peaceful, pure and right things that I know God wants me to be focusing on. It twists me and makes me perspective all crooked and gnarled and ugly. This is one of my focuses for 2013. To live out Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Prairie Chick said...

from my Daily Discipler devotional this morning; (not related to the passage in Jeremiah, but it is what most stuck with me)

"Trying to be our own small g "god" has driven people to improve their appearance, to perform better and to seek a higher social status as a means of self verification. However, whatever pinnacle of self identity we manage to achieve soon crumbles under the pressure of rejection, criticism, guilt, fear or anxiety. Somebody will eventually look better, perform at a higher standard and reach a greater social status. Everything we have managed to achieve or possess by human effort we shall one day lose. We are incomplete without Christ and without him being our focus and nothing we can do by way of self help will make us whole."

Prairie Chick said...

Ezekiel 10. "God had to completely destroy what people had perverted in order for true worship to be revived."

That hit me like a hammer this morning.

Prairie Chick said...

1 John 1.

I read this chapter this morning, and it was timely that I did because my reading from the Daily Discipler had brought up something in the same theme that really got my attention. the idea of confession of and forgiveness of sins.

Both the Daily Discipler and the notes from my bible on this chapter were stating that confession is not necessary for forgiveness of sins. That God forgave all our sins in Christ Jesus, and that confession is our act of repentance and contrition, forgiveness is not hinged on it. Forgiveness is from God, through Christ. We receive it in full when we believe on Christ, for all past, present and future sins. Confession only brings US closer to God because we put things in the right place in our own heart and mind... He has already made things right in the heavenlies.

I am not sure I ever understood this concept fully, or could believe it with confidence. When you understand this it makes it much easier to cease your sin. You understand that Christ has paid the price for this, that there is no condemnation for you in this, that this is something that has no weight over or claim to you. So put it behind you and grow up into all that He desires for you since He has already paved the way.

This is a freeing and wonderful truth! Now I understand the verses about this not being a licence to sin, but a great call to live lives of holiness! Since you have been set free from the weight of sin, don't continue to let sin drag you down!

How could I not have grasped this simple, plain as day teaching at its full value... some things we just miss the forest for the trees I guess.

Lois said...

Good thoughts, P.C.
Of all the Bible Studies I went to as part of our church youth group, one stands out -- the one on I John 1:5 "God is light; in him is no darkness at all". This description of him helps me to worship him.