Showing posts from February, 2015

Critical Comments

If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.  You might be needing forgiveness before the day is out.  Galatians 6:2 MSG
Really into the Message translation this year...such a fresh and unique way to hear God's word in a way that speaks to me differently.  
I am susceptible to being critical to others.  I judge them in my heart for making different choices than mine.  In part I suppose it's because I have always felt this need to make my own worthiness and have elevated how I think and act to be the "right way."  When you make yourself your God then you have to put all other ways down for yours to be supreme.  When you aren't supreme, you lose worth.  Thus all the ways that aren't mine are wrong, which really isn't true, but it helps me maintain some sort of imaginary significance.  
When reading this morning, God showed me a few things.  First that often what I take for another's sin, is not sin, bu…

Unfolding Grace

Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace.  2 Corinthians 4:16  MSG

Have you ever done origami?  If you get one of those step-by-step unfolding books they can be really  hard to understand.  Though it goes a step at a time, the drawings are two dimensional and it's hard to tell the direction to fold, even with clear illustrations.  It's often puzzling how what you are doing will create the picture you see in the long run.

In this verse in 2 Corinthians, Paul describes the Christian life as one big folding puzzle.  On the outside, it's hard to know what God is doing.  It is sometimes impossible to imagine how the circumstances surrounding your life will lead to a beautiful outcome.  Yet because of grace, His well chosen, meticulous work has purpose to create in us something we can see as it unfolds daily.  Yet the Creator has a big picture in mind…

An Interruptable Life

Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place.  Proverbs 16:3 MSG

When I read this I laughed because moments before reading it I was hoping today's verse (this year instead of reading through the bible I am selecting devotional plans from YouVersion and reading their verse of the day) would give me something to chew on.  Then I read this and was so grateful that God has answered me.  What a reminder of what a personal God He is.  It is probable because the desire to have Him flood my work with His presence and truth today came from His spirit speaking and prepping me for how to walk with Him today.  He is the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); He will bring His work in our lives to pass.

So this one speaks right to the heart because I am a planner.  I fill up our calendar with social events, decide what I'm making in advance before I go grocery shopping--I've even made dinner reservations at restaurants for a trip that is happe…

Deceitful Hearts

And the Valentine's theme continues...not purposefully...just reading what God is showing and seeing what He has to say.

The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.  But I, GOD, serach the heart and examine the mind.  I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things.  I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.  Jeremiah 17:10.

According to this verse, to be lead by our heart is a dangerous thing.  It is not full of light, showing you the way.  In fact it fools and tricks you.  Why is that?  Don't people recommend to follow your heart.  According to this verse that would be a foolish thing to do.  For one, the sin nature is there, making your feelings selfish and biased.  The other problem is the heart only knows one perspective: yours.  It doesn't have the benefit of eternal existence, holy thinking, and all knowledge like God's guidance.  To us it's an unsolvable puzzle.

So God comes in as the exp…

Friendship with God

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.    John 15:11-15 MSG

Today is Valentine's Day.  Being an elementary school teacher, it is common in my world that the emphasis is on love expressed through friendship and not romance.  Reading the above verse this morning reminded me about the friendship we have with God.  Here are some things I notice in regards to how this friendship with God works:

He wants joy to come out of a friendship with Him.  This joy comes from growing as a person into your full potential because you spend time …