Monday, April 21, 2014

Did God Really Say?

I was reading this morning out of Genesis.
One of my methods of Bible Study I learned when I was young was to read Scripture in a semi systematic way. Which means you don't just jump around and read Bible-lite version of Bible Study.
For Example...A verse in Romans and a verse in Lamentations and perhaps pick one out of James. This can cause confusion and often misinterpretation of What God is saying.

Instead  read the Bible in Context with as much background knowledge of the book I'm in as possible.  This version of study also includes reading until something jumps off the page at me. It may be 2 verses in and all of a sudden it hits me. That new revelation he brings me. Or a conviction he places on my heart. A  verse that relates exactly to the situation I am in.
I love this trusty method of reading God's Word.

  I don't always do this because I may be studying certain passages with a Bible Study format that I am involved with. But today I went back to Genesis and prayed for the Holy spirit to Call forth what he wanted me to see. So I read for three Chapters and then "bam" there it was.
The Verse that caught my eye, that was already underlined and made me say yes and amen once again.

In Genesis 3:1 "The serpent was the craftiest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. So the serpent came to the woman. “Really?” he asked. “None of the fruit in the garden? God says you mustn’t eat any of it?” (Living Translation)
My NIV version says... "Did God Really say"?

That deceitful Serpent, our enemy, has been using that argument and temptation for a long, long time.
Because he knows it works. We have a taste for that bait. And too often we bite.
It often sounds something like this...
Question God. You really deserve an explanation. Question why. Doubt. He Owes you something.
You're ignorant for just trusting. How stupid of you to believe He really said that.

 Maybe he comes to you like he came to Eve in the form of Temptation...."Really? Your thoughts shouldn't go there? Your eyes shouldn't look? You're too weak? Really? You can't have just one? Really? I don't think God cares." He says.

Or maybe he whispers it to us in the form of discouragement.

"Can you really trust God? Really? Are you sure his promises are for you? Does God really love you?"
"How can you be sure? He probably won't take care of this situation. You don't matter to him."

He has slowly and patiently been drawing people away from The Loving Creator for thousands of years.
Currently we live in a culture where people we sit next to in pews and some from the pulpit are asking... "How do you know the Bible is all truth? Did God really say people would be judged for sin? How can a loving God do that? How do you know that you have the corner on the truth? Really? That's pretty last year.You need to let go of your childhood fantasies and grow up. Get educated. Become enlightened. Be like us."

And we may start to ask.... Did God say it? Am I holding on to fairytales?
It smells like the same old tricks From the same old trickster to me.
Except he wants to do more than trick us. He wants to destroy us!

So I  take this approach to new ideas... First My measuring stick is God's word. Not whether the preacher does it. Or if My people are okay with it. But what does God say.
Is it wise?
Because if it's God its always wise.
If I don't think God would smile on my activity or the place I or my child wants to go or do or wear Or be involved with then it's not wise.
If its a gray area I seek counsel from Him and my Mentors.
What breaks the heart of God.... Does that break my heart too?

 I will not be arm wrestled by the enemy lies into believing I am just too ignorant to hear God's voice on the matter.
However hard it is for me to parent even when I'm told "You're too strict".
Or Sometimes I  have to painfully turn away from friendships that aren't good for my growth in him.
But in the end I believe I will give an account to my Creator and it makes a difference how I live.
Romans 14:11,12 For it is written, “As I live,” says the Lord, “every knee shall bow to me and every tongue confess to God.”  Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God.(living translation)

I'm putting all my eggs in this basket.
The God of Creation is still who he says he is and can be trusted.
I will continue To learn how to live and walk and grow in him because he is not finished working in this heart of clay. In the meantime I will continue to disciple others to follow the true Christ who loves his people and wants all of us to come to walk in faith as we believe and confess he is the only way to peace with the Father.

Easter 2014

We celebrated Easter this year with Fanfare and Worship.
I loved Having my Parents around again after not seeing them all winter.

I loved having my family to our house to celebrate.
I love Easter Service. It seems like everyone is geared up and excited to be in the building.
I love the songs and the call to worship.

I love the promise of an empty tomb and an eternal reward with him.
I love traditions that we enjoy participating in and the laughter we have as we are together.

Its a day to celebrate and be glad.

And then I woke up today on Monday after all that had filled my heart yesterday and remembered it really can be Easter today as well.
He's still alive.
He's still reigning on his throne.
We have much to be grateful for.
No matter the sorrow that stands in front of us we know that today and everyday that tomb is empty and our kingdom work here should always be in relationship to that thought.

He has freed us from death and the grave.
He is the glorious risen Jesus!
What a wonderful Savior.