Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Useful

For a period of three years we had a broken dishwasher. It sat there taking up space but being entirely useless. Not wanting to have a huge hole in the kitchen cabinets while simultaneously not desiring to spend money on a new one led to the decision of keeping it around. The purpose the appliance was created for went unfulfilled. Tonight I remembered that broken dishwasher while helping the girls with their Bible memory verse.

"God has breathed life into all of 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." (2 Timothy 3:16 NIRV)

Did you catch how this verse specifically shares four purposes of scripture?

1. Teaching what is true.
2. Correcting our mistakes.
3. Making our lives whole again.
4. Training us to do what is right.

I don't know about you, but I sure could use some help in all those areas and in my current season, a life made whole is very appealing. However, if I don't take time to read , study, reflect on and ponder what is laid out in the Bible I cannot benefit from it. "God has breathed life" into the Bible. Life that I need. With all of life's uncertainties and heartaches of this I remain sure, God's Word will meet me there. You can be met there as well. 

In her song The Word, Sara Groves states it like this,

"And I think it's very odd,
that while I attempt to help myself
My Bible sits upon my shelf
With every promise
I could ever need"

The messages of hope, restoration, healing, forgiveness, grace, joy, love and so many other encouragements resound throughout scripture. I'm not saying that taking steps to carve out time or to work through the emotions that may keep you from opening the Bible will be easy but it will always prove beneficial.

The Word is useful. It is useful in my life and yours. I encourage you to discover or rediscover just how useful and powerful the Word can be in your life.

Blessings!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A challenge and a reminder

"But God!?!"

Anytime those words creep into my soul I know God is pressing in to teach me something. Perhaps it's something I've never learned before. Maybe it's a reminder of things forgotten. It's even possible it will lead to conviction and change. Whatever the reason, I know God is up to something.

Most recently I felt these words in my heart as God impressed upon me this familiar verse,

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

"But God!?! I am weary. I am tired. I just need time, space, refuge. I need a break from, from...everything!"

God knows that. He knows that I am weary and tired. He sees me and knows the pain going on and the raw emotions I am dealing with and yet, the pressing continues. It's a real challenge to look at God's Word, understand that it has power to penetrate and divide soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12) but when the personal challenge comes, it's so easy to become defensive. To claim that God couldn't possibly be saying that to me. Thankfully, scripture is much more immense and more holistic than one verse. As much as I know God is pressing upon me the challenge of living out Gal. 6:9, I am just as quickly reminded of these verses,

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)


I sported this verse on my Bible cover through most of my high school days. I enjoyed the rhythm of the verse and clear picture of soaring eagles.  God brought these verses to my mind as a reminder that God is my strength. The weariness I feel is not beyond His knowledge or His power. Do I not know? Have I not heard? God is at work in this world. My eyes see tragedy, not just in my life but in the lives of others I know and even some I may never meet. This tragedy is enough to overwhelm and confuse. However, the truth of Gods Word meets me there. It can meet you there as well. 

Allowing God to teach me how to press on when I a feel like quitting. Opening myself to see there is a harvest to come when my eyes can't focus on more than what is required today. This is not natural, but it is necessary and it's where God has me. Perhaps there is a challenge God is pressing into your life right now. And perhaps there is a gentle reminder right alongside that challenge. A reminder that God is with you, He sees you, He cares for you and He desires for you to trust Him more. 

Blessings!