If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
I find it interesting that the same passage can elicit such different responses in my heart.
When I read the first version, it makes me want to be a better person. I want to try to live a good life not because it’ll get me to heaven or earn me special favor but because it’s the right thing to do as a Christian. It's a way to show God that I love Him.
When I read the second version, I think of the Pharisees and feel like giving up. I am not wise or have a lot of understanding, so why should I bother trying. I am a simple person just trying to muddle through this life the best that I can.
This exercise proved to me that it is worthwhile, useful and a good practice to look at different bible versions when reading even what seems like a simple verse. It really can make a difference to how my heart hears God's word.
Do you do this?
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.
This morning I am trying to answer the question "When do I find it the hardest and the easiest to wait for God's timing?"
Think about that for just a minute. I have to admit that I never find it easy to wait, not as a child for Christmas and certainly not as an adult. I want it all and I want it now. Waiting has always seemed the hardest for me when life is difficult.
There was an 8-10 year stretch in my career, where I wanted a certain job title very badly. I did everything, that I could think of and was within my morals (no, this wasn't like an episode of “The Apprentice”), to get that job title. My supervisor promised me the promotion for years. Every year at review time, he came up with another excuse. As the excuses built, I became more and more frustrated. Our department was reorganized and I was eventually moved to another department. My job gradually turned into something completely different. As people retired I was given more and more responsibility but still the dream title never came. I went back to school because I thought maybe an education would finally do the trick. It didn’t. I finally gave up trying and took a different career path, when I saw the opportunity . A funny thing happened, once I moved into the alternate career path I very quickly got several promotions. I wasn’t terribly happy with the work but, in a matter of a couple years I was at an equivalent level to my dream title.
Then I finally saw a job posting for my dream position and it was even in an office that I really wanted to work. I applied, interviewed and was offered the position. I’ve been doing work the work I dreamed of and love for a couple years. As I look back, if I had been given the title 10 years ago, I don't think I would have been able to do the job as well. So much of the experiences that I had during the years I spent struggling have been crucial to excelling in my current position. The waiting wasn't fun but it was worth it.
I probably I owe all those people who I felt held me back or that I thought were deliberately hurting me an apology for the dark thoughts I had about them. Because now it all seems like it worked out in Gods timing. Well, maybe I won't apologize but I'll say a little prayer for them. I only hope that the next time God says "just a minute, you're not ready yet" I'll have ears ready to hear him and the patience to wait.
I try to wake up and say "Good Morning, Lord what do you want of me today?" And I will continue to muddle through life, just like the millions (or are we up to billions) of other people who are on this planet.
May God's Peace be with you,
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Welcome Dear Friends or anyone else who happens by.
This blog is being started in large part due to a Bible Study that I'm doing. If you aren't already familiar with Proverb 31 Ministries, I suggest that you go over there and check them out. Go ahead, I'll wait....
Are you back now? Isn't their site amazing! A few weeks ago I decided, somewhat skeptically, to take part in their online Bible study "Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl." This is based on the book by Lysa Terkeurst. I am not exactly a girl anymore, in fact I am well out of girlhood by 20 or 30 years. But I was moved to participate anyway.
I have followed the study and done the work. Then a funny thing happened. God started working in my life. A couple weeks ago Lysa mentioned starting a blog as part of bible study. At that time, I thought phewy, I've done the blog thing and wasn't very successful. By successful, I mean that I didn't write in it consistently and the content was not very interesting. I wasn't going to blog, a pen and paper would work just fine for me.
Then this afternoon as I was reading chapter 16 "Finding God in Unlikely Places," It occurred to me pray, now I am sure that God put it on my heart to pray. The prayer I said was about God helping me find my way out of my personal wilderness. I have never considered myself a Godly Woman. I struggle with all sorts of things on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. But as I read a bit further, the idea of a blog came up again. Then it occurred to me that I am probably not the only one who struggles. And that if my struggle could help one person to know they aren't alone, they aren't crazy for wanting something more from their relationship with God, then it would be worth while.
My reading today was Romans 8:28-33. What spoke to me most about these verses is that God chose me! That he loves me and has a plan for me, just as He had a plan for his Son, Jesus.
Many people have the impression that a call from God is like the burning bush. Something loud and flashy, something that you just can't miss, they are waiting for a call to start a ministry, to become a teacher or a preacher. But I think a call from God is much subtler than that. I don't believe for most of us that there is one single call but rather many small ones every day. I believe that for the vast majority of us, we are asked to do small assignments, like helping a neighbor shovel their sidewalk, being kind to a coworker, or simply cooking dinner for your family.
So this is my assignment for today, starting this blog. I'm not sure where it will go, but I promise that I will try to post regularly about whatever God puts on my heart.
God's Peace be with you,