Do you have a relationship with God’s Word? If not, why not?
Do you have a relationship with God’s Word? If not, why not?
There’s a Right Time for Everything
3 There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.
9-13 But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.
14 I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
15 Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
God’s Testing Us
16-18 I took another good look at what’s going on: The very place of judgment—corrupt! The place of righteousness—corrupt! I said to myself, “God will judge righteous and wicked.” There’s a right time for every thing, every deed—and there’s no getting around it. I said to myself regarding the human race, “God’s testing the lot of us, showing us up as nothing but animals.”
19-22 Humans and animals come to the same end—humans die, animals die. We all breathe the same air. So there’s really no advantage in being human. None. Everything’s smoke. We all end up in the same place—we all came from dust, we all end up as dust. Nobody knows for sure that the human spirit rises to heaven or that the animal spirit sinks into the earth. So I made up my mind that there’s nothing better for us men and women than to have a good time in whatever we do—that’s our lot. Who knows if there’s anything else to life?
photo courtesy of dailylifeverse.com
Okay, so I know it has been some time since I posted a study blog, no excuses from me – just did not set aside time to get it done.
I have chosen to review the Book of Jude. Although it is only one chapter, there is a wealth of information that I feel needs to be covered.
Let us start with a bit of background on the book itself. The book was written by Jude, Jesus’ brother. There is no indication to whom the letter was written, but the contents are as applicable today as they were when it was originally written.
The book seems to focus primarily on false teachings and reckless sinning. I feel this is an extremely important subject today. I see and hear a lot of “Pastors” talking about how God wants us to be happy and successful. This seriously concerns me. In the scripture we are clearly told that we are not to store up treasures on Earth and that all our treasures are in heaven (Matthew 6:19) Now I am paraphrasing this scripture here, but that it was it says. We are not to long for material things on this world but we are to strive for a spiritual fulfillment that only comes from the Word of God. We must also show concern when we are told that we have God’s grace and can sin with immunity. NO we cannot. We are to; again, strive to be better each and every day and to not sin. Now we will always sin, but there are those sins which we do have control over and yet continue to do that concerns me. Now I have to admit, I have those types of sins myself, and cannot seem to stop doing them, but everyday I try and so one day I am certain I will stop.
I guess what I am trying to tell you, is that No one can sin without there being repercussions, either on Earth or in Heaven – we will all be held accountable on judgment day. Also, we must also stand up for the word of God. If you know that the person that is preaching is not using the correct scriptures or using only the parts that suit them – You need to stand up and say something. Do not be afraid of standing up for the word of God, God will smile down upon you for doing so.
We are also called to witness to all, even those we think may not need it – they probably need it the most- our family, whether it be our blood or church, our friends our co-workers. Now I know that it is politically incorrect to spread the Good News in most social settings, but remember that we spread the news not only through words but also in the was we live our lives. So keep that in mind the next time someone makes you angry. You may be the only face of Jesus they see, make sure it is a good one they see.
In closing, when in doubt, ask your Father (god), your Brother (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit for guidance through prayer. They are always listening and ready to give a hand.
God Loves You And So Do I
I just came back from serving on a weekend with the ladies & gentlemen of the Vineyard Via de Cristo movement and was asked to write something about my experience. What should I write? It is a lot harder than you would think because there are so many things that go into a weekend and contribute to the experience that is shared by all.
But what I can tell you without any hesitation is what it is not. It is not a cult – we do not try to change your beliefs, initiate you into some kind of weird teachings, or brainwash you. It is not a weekend of rest, relaxation, maincures and pedicures.
It is a 72 hour immersion into the word of the Lord. There is a lot of singing (I managed to lose my voice this weekend, much to the delight of my fellow weekenders), food, talks on tools that can help strengthen your walk, tears, laughter, clapping and the list goes on.
Whenever, either my husband or I participate in a weekend, we always ask each other – What did you bring home from your experience? This time I told him that I needed to show the world more of God’s love in the way I live and talk.
This experience will change you, I guarantee it, but YOU have to be willing to change. To all me fellow walkers – Thank you for all the support you give and the love I feel.
God Loves You And So Do I (GLYASDI)
“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” Luke 8:16
We were studying this verse in our Bible Study class today. The lamp, of course, is the word of God as we are told more specifically in Psalm 119:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
We’re also promised in Isaiah 55:11
“…it (my word) shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
If God has promised that His Word will serve His purposes, why aren’t we shouting it from the rooftops! Instead, too often, we keep it under wraps. We’re afraid people will be offended; afraid it might sound judgmental; concerned about being politically correct. If we’re honest, we’re also afraid we might be asked to explain something we don’t completely understand.
Now I’m not saying we should beat people over the head with the Bible or browbeat them into conversion. I am saying we shouldn’t mind showing where we stand and why. If the Bible guides us in our decisions (I’m hoping it does) we shouldn’t mind letting others know that. If we read our Bible regularly, we shouldn’t care who sees it on our desk at work. We shouldn’t feel uncomfortable saying “have a blessed day” to a cashier in a store. If a question about Christianity arises, we should be willing to speak up and to the best of our ability explain our beliefs. If we are following Jesus, our lives will be a reflection of His love and others will want to know more about what we believe and why. I say all this knowing I am also often guilty of “flying under the radar” by avoiding what may be controversial
As my husband would say, that’s the end of my rant. I’ll try to do better. Maybe you will, too. Let the light shine!
At. St. Paul’s we sing this hymn every week before the readings. A great reminder of what a gift we have in the Bible, our road map for obedience.
This is a continuation of the ideas in yesterday’s post about the Sunday sermon at St. Paul’s.
Joseph followed the directions God sent him orally, through the visitation of angels and in prophetic dreams. Those sorts of occurrences were rare even in Bible times, so we can’t expect to rely strongly on them today to guide our decisions. However, we do have an important road map for finding our way.
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
The Bible is God’s word. It enlightens us. It informs us. It guides us. It’s hard to follow any path in darkness, but the verse above tells us that God’s word brings the light we need to follow Him. Try imagining it like the luminaries that some churches put out on Christmas eve, along the street or sidewalk.
Of course, the Bible does not contain specific instructions for every situation. It does have broad principles that can point us in the right direction. It also contains the life stories of many of God’s people. As we study them, we learn how to deal with similar challenges and temptations. The book of Psalms is another great place to start. In Psalms you will find every human emotion known to man. The Psalms can teach us to cry out to God, in any situation.
You can come to church each week and hear God’s word. Better yet, you can study it every day on your own or with others. What a great New Year’s resolution that would be! Follow God’s road map and you will always walk in the light.
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 3:16
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 11:18-19
I was in South Carolina this week with my daughter and my granddaughter. Both of them said in elementary school, they were taught that the thanksgiving feast was about the pilgrims thanking the Indians for their help in surviving the winter. I explained that although they may have invited the Indians as a gesture and friendship and thanks, the primary intention of the pilgrims was to thank God, who brought them to the new world and graciously provided for them there.
This led me to think about how we all have a responsibility to teach God’s truth, not only our children, but everyone with whom we come in contact. In the anecdote above, you can see how quickly even historical truth can become perverted by the world. If we don’t teach God’s word, in a generation or two, it may be lost. This happened in the Bible (for an example, read about King Josiah in 2 Kings chapters 22 and 23) and it happens today. Martin Luther wrote the catechism so that parents could teach their children about God each day in their own home, not just once a week in church.
So don’t allow Thanksgiving to become “turkey day”. Use it as reminder to have an attitude of thanks every day, all year long. Let your children, your grandchildren, your friends and neighbors know that you are thankful to the God for all that you have and are.
Here is Michele’s take on the last chapter of Hebrews. Have you enjoyed reading along with her?
In this, the final chapter, we are told how to live our lives as the disciples of Christ. By loving one another, being hospitable to strangers, staying true in marriage, and so forth. Exclaim the message of Jesus on your lips often. Do good works in His name, with no desire for recognition. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by false teachings, require all told to you to be from God’s word.
In conclusion, I have found the book of Hebrews to be a blueprint for how things were before Jesus, and how we should live now under the new covenant.
Thank you for your patience and I hope I have given you some insight into this book.
Ok, so maybe this seems a little off-topic for reformation, but I thought the picture was appropriate given that it is Halloween. When I think of the reformation, I try to put myself in the shoes of the leaders of this reform. What must it have been like to go up against something as mighty as the church? For them to say ‘nope- I don’t agree with your interpretation of God’s word’. Can you imagine the strength of conviction it would take to do that? The leaders at the time were telling them that they could ‘buy’ salvation and forgiveness, which as we know is not the truth of the word. Did the reformers ever have any self doubt? Did they ever think about what it would mean if they were wrong and the church was correct- would they lose their salvation? No, because they had read and studied God’s word, rather than just depending on the thoughts of others. In this world today, we are constantly bombarded by similar wolves in sheep’s clothing- telling us everything that we might want to hear. Television ‘pastors’ tell us that what God wants is for us to be rich, to have material things, to serve and love only ourselves. It is by attending a true church with members who both serve the Lord and study his word that we are able to combat and avoid this. In some ways, our church members are todays reformers- reformers of the current society that we live in. So we must continue to go to church, study the bible, and share his word. Be Batman!!