Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2 Timothy 1:6-7

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The apostle Paul pulls no punches with his young protégé, Timothy. Even though Timothy was a timid man, Paul is reminding him that Christian leadership should not be based upon a personality type, but upon reliance upon the Spirit of God.

Each of us has gifts from God that He wants to use. Whether you are timid or aggressive, our hope doesn’t come from our temperament, but from a gifting that is waiting to burst forth into flames as we take the time to fan it. - thought by David Whitehead.

I absolutely needed this thought today when I have had lots of thoughts of my inability in service. I don't speak the language in the country I'm living in.  I don't have any friends here.  My husband travels all the time.  I am alone... save for the internet, I don't speak to anyone for days at a time.  But today, I read this.  Today i got an email from someone I influenced.  Today I talked to my friend via email and encouraged her.  Use the gift you have at the time you have it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ecclesiastes 1:16-17

I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. – Ecclesiastes 1:16-17
How many times do we need to watch an interview of a successful someone who tells us that once they “made it” they were more dissatisfied than ever? To think that achievement will bring peace flies in the face of current and ancient wisdom. As Ecclesiastes sums it up: the goal is to know God. Jesus promises to bring peace in ways that our greatest achievements never could. To lose that perspective results in a lot of wasted time and effort.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
  To venture into the uncomfortable views of the Bible is greater than staying in the familiar patterns of our own understanding. This is how HE will make our paths straight.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4
This proverb gives us an important insight: always love and be faithful.  Keeping something around your neck and close to your heart as a constant reminder to be consistent in loving others will give us a good name to the most important One. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7
Remember the joy of knowing Christ because He first knew you. Don't forget how you first felt when you came to know him.  Look back to the work that Christ did in your heart.

As the reformer Martin Luther stated: “Christ plus nothing equals everything.”

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Romans 8:31-34

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. – Romans 8:31-34

I don't know that there is a more comforting verse in the Bible.  That God loved me so much that he didn't spare his own son that I could be saved.  That no matter what happens in this world, God is for me!  No matter what the Devil may throw at me, God is for me.  If I am oppressed on every side, I can still stand because God is for me. 

God is so amazing to include little nuggets of verses like this in our Bible so that we can KNOW and remember that He is FOR us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
God’s eternal plan was to create a people for Him. This is more than an individual plan for our lives. God’s plan is a community. To walk alone is cross grain to God’s purposes for our lives. God mercy was not to enable us to do our own thing, but to get a new identity with other people who are called out by God. Now we stand before God as priests who are brought together, each with the same story of being called into light. If you don’t have that identity, seek after that community this week. Don’t miss this important part of God’s will.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Job 1:21

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21
It’s interesting that Job, the oldest book in the Bible, is all about suffering and it’s purpose. Job wrestles with why bad things happen to good people, but one of the things that keeps his focus intact is the understanding that all of life is a gift from God. The question is not why bad things happen, it’s really why good things happen at all! We know that there are things that are good and beautiful, but many times that beauty isn’t realized until it’s taken away. But Job reminds us that even when life seems to disappear in the dust, that death is a signpost toward the One who loves His creation so much He will reclaim it. For those who follow Jesus Christ, there will come a day when that same God will take us into His arms. May the name of the Lord be praised!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exodus 16:2-3

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” – Exodus 16:2-3

The miraculous escape from bondage had just happened.  10 Plagues in which they were spared, the wall of water and chasing egyptians, the water from the rock, and still they grumbled with no faith that God would take care of them. 

Boy, I could be an isrealite and I have no where near the physical evidence to excuse me.  And yet, I have plenty of physical evidence that He cares for me and still I grumble.

Please forgive me for my grumbling, Oh Lord.  You are mighty!  You are faithful.