Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Word as a Weapon

I have been doing some verse mapping with my current Bible study .It has been eye opening to dig a little more into some common verses that I have known since childhood, and see a deeper meaning than I have seen before.

This week I was looking at John 15:4 ~ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

My NLT Study Bible (which is awesome!) says about remaining in Christ, "A disciple's life is fully formed by Jesus' words". It also says remaining "means a commitment on the part of God and the disciple".

I am #amazed that God is committed to me. He isn't asking anything of me that he isn't already doing for me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My #Saywhat Moment

Her name was Susan. She was a captive audience in my living room. She had come to my home to sell me a very expensive vacuum cleaner. She did her demo, and I listened politely. In exchange for this I got a clean living room carpet and a small, rather useless camera. She got stuck at my house with no sale and no ride for an hour.

To say this was awkward is an understatement. I'm extremely introverted and I struggle with small talk. Thankfully, she was somewhat chatty. We talked about life for a few minutes. She asked me what my husband did . I said he was studying to be a minister. This brought on a rather long diatribe about why she didn't like ministers because they were so rich and took money from little old ladies.

At some point during all of this I got the strong impression that I was supposed to share my faith with with Susan. After hearing her talk about all that was wrong with churches, and Christians, and pastors, I was a little hesitant.  But I was obedient. I asked her a few questions, and found out that when she was young she went to a hell-fire-and-brimstone church. All she had ever heard about God was how judgmental he was, and that he couldn't wait to send people to Hell. Pastors scared her, Christians scared her, and God scared her. I was able to share God's love with her, and tell her that I'm not a Christian because I'm afraid of God. I'm a Christian because of the love He showed when He sent Christ to die for me.

I never saw Susan again after the hour we spent together. I still pray for her whenever I think about her. I'm so thankful I was obedient that day. I hope today she is serving the God that I know. The one that loves her more than anything.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

With All My Heart

I have been meditating on Deuteronomy 6:5 this week:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

I've known this verse since I was a little girl. I never really thought about it being anything spectacular. Of course I love God. I am a Christian. That's what Christians do.

Last night I dug a little deeper. My study Bible commentary says the heart, soul, and strength are our intellect, will, emotions, and our physical being. Everything I am needs to love God. Everything that makes me who I am needs to love God. Not just my mind if I'm tired, and not just my body if I'm thinking about something else. I need to love Him with all my being. This takes concentration and discipline. It takes time. It also takes reading the next verse:

"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you."

Wholehearted commitment. That's what it looks like.