Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be Still

Today in my quiet time I was brought to some scriptures about being still before God. The thoughts and challenges of digging a little deeper delighted me and I wanted to share them with you! I will focus in on 1 scripture to keep things short!

Psalm 46:10a
Be still, and know that I am God.

The Hebrew word for "still" in this verse is (Strongs- KJV- raphah) has some great meanings- sink down, relax, let drop. To quote Jennifer Rothschild, the Hebrew word "pictures a physical position. It's like letting your body go limp or relaxing the grip of your hand. It simply means you quiet yourself by acknowledging He is God and His ways rule... The reason stilling our souls brings peace and calm into our thoughts is because it puts us in a posture of acceptance rather than anger and deference rather than defiance."

So dwell on that today and be "still" before God!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Life of Greatness- Some Thoughts

I have always felt like I was called to be and do more and have often cried out to the Lord on the subject of mediocrity vs. greatness. Sometimes he answers in the most subtle of ways and sometimes he slaps me on the forehead. Today in my bible study time, I was slapped on the forehead in a loving manner. Here are some of my thoughts and quotes from others on the subject that really got me thinking!
I reflected on where this push for greatness started for me- when I was young I felt like I was different and weird because I was home schooled, came from a larger family and my parents were not typical in their beliefs about church and the body of Christ. I felt like I stood out in a bad way. So I think I reacted by deciding to be different but in a "great" way and became consumed with going above and beyond to prove myself and to be great. One of my greatest fears is to be mediocre!!! I have to lay this down at my heavenly father's feet all the time because I struggle with it daily. What I am beginning to see is that my quest for greatness and perfectionism is a huge burden that weighs me down and I break under the stress and burden of that load.
"If your identity is wrapped up in the magnificent things you're destined to achieve- as a great writer, musician, scientist, politician, chef- the thought that you might produce something mediocre can be devastating."
My So Called Genius- Author Laura Fraser

If you constantly feel the pressure to do great things, you sometimes disdain or become too prideful to do good things. The small things in life are what really make up our days and lives. If I am too full of pride to do them, I miss out on much of what God has put me here on earth to do.
"Couldn't craving to do something great keep you from doing something good? Living just to be great will prove at least empty and maybe even deadly." - Beth Moore

God has called me to get up each day, greet it with an attitude of thanksgiving and get to work on what he has set before me to do that day. There may not be any accolades or the notice of man in the mundanes of life but God is there watching. What I have to ask myself is "Who am I living for? Do I seek man or God's notice with all that I do?". In God's economy being least is the way to be great- humility and putting others above myself always wins!
"Spending ourselves for something infinitely greater still fans our parched soul with the God-given need to matter, but relieves us of the relentless pain of being the "It" person at the center of it. To live for the greatness of God is to live the great life. Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God things. Those with presence of mind and semblance of health are called to pour out the drink offering of their lives until the cup is overturned and every drop of energy slips- perhaps unnoticed, uncelebrated- into the vast ocean of earthly need. "- Beth Moore

In putting off my pride and dying to self, I can let God rule in my and shine through me out to the world. This makes me think of Matthew 5:16- "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." It is not about me, it is all about him!
"In effect Christ says, "I'm great enough for both of us," relieving the willing of their woeful burden. "Just Follow Me."- Beth Moore

Praise the King- Let it ring- Praise the King! I was burdened but now I am at rest.
Father, help me stay at rest; not to pick up this burden again and when I do, remind me to put it back down at your feet!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th verse

Psalm 139: 23-24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

God's Rest and the Sabbath

I studied the concept of Sabbath rest this morning in the old and new testament and a new thought really hit me. This is fresh in my mind so if it doesn't make much sense to you, I am probably not making it clear. I'll just pray that God reveals it to you because I can't!
1) In the 10 commandments God told us to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy- setting aside a day of the week that we rest and put him first in our thoughts and lives. This hearkens back to God resting on the 7th day after creation. When it (his plan for his creation) was finished, he rested! This was a part of the old covenant and law that the Jews lived by in order to follow God.
2) God's people in typical fashion took a day made for their rest and enslaved themselves to it by creating laws to bog it down. The Sabbath became a day of religious restriction and was anything but restful for his people. God saw that his people were burdened down and he knew that they could not keep the law so he made an escape!
3) Jesus came to fulfill the law and in so doing also fulfilled the Sabbath. He illustrated that God's intent for the Sabbath was to point us to God and away from ourselves. With Jesus coming and setting up the new covenant of forgiveness and salvation, the old law was fulfilled. Jesus showed the Jews that they no longer had to keep the law or the Sabbath because he came to set them free. Jesus healed, taught, worked, cast out spirits and displayed the works of God on the Sabbath while he was here on earth. Suddenly the Sabbath became about doing things for the benefit of God's people and not about holding up destructive old laws full of bondage. As Mark 2: 27 says "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
4) By believing in Christ and becoming a child of God, we are not bound to the old covenant and keeping of the Sabbath but to the new covenant and to display God's works here on earth. So instead of being stuck with honoring 1 day (the Sabbath) believers should honor God in their hearts and lives each day. The Sabbath is no longer just one day but all day every day for the believer. While we may still meet together as a collective body on 1 day during the week, we are no longer in bondage to the Sabbath.
5) As believers we can rejoice in the true freedom of the Sabbath and literally partake in God's rest. Because he did all the work for our salvation we are under grace and not under the law so our hearts can always be at rest. This is eternal, deep, fulfilled rest! So even though I may be bustling about externally, I am always at rest internally because of the cross. Do you grasp the magnitude of this? I am at rest!!! I am always at Sabbath with God! These famous lyrics come to mind:
Jesus did it all; all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain; he washed it white as snow
Hebrews 4 sums it all up perfectly! Here are verses 9-11 (ESV): "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."
Enjoy some of God's rest today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st Verse

Psalm 33:11-12 NLT
But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord