Sunday, August 12, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is[a] that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given,to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[b] God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Okay, so it seems that very simply the mystery of Christ is that the gentiles are awarded the same benefits as the Jews. If I'm getting this all straight the Jews have been God's chosen people and they seem to have let it really get to their heads. They've lost their love for God and they're just following rules now. So now they're being told that they need to forget all the rules and just love God and treat others with God's love. "members of the same body" wow, we as believers seem to miss the mark here. I keep thinking about all the denominational differences that we keep on letting get in the way of all Christians functioning as a body. Doctrine, rituals and traditions are the heavy burdens of a lot of churches just as the Jews back when this was written... I think that we are being reminded here that we need to put all the man-pleasing aside and just serve God.
I love how he's such a humble man. He always remembers that he doesn't deserve to be God's messenger. I also love how he sticks to the topic. He doesn't get off rambling about weird ideas or personal opinions here. He's just telling us how it is. He reminds us of God's power and that its the churches responsibility to ensure that God's wisdom is made known. Then really it is up to the church to continue to break down the barriers that separate us and help us to function as one. Christ has come to make a way for us to get to heaven and all we need is faith.
I guess the main thing that strikes me here is the idea of sticking to the point. I keep thinking about the verses in Matthew that say Love the Lord your God with all your heart....love your neighbor as yourself....on these hang all the law... something like that. I know thats not what I'm reading here but it keeps popping in my head. I think that we are supposed to be united for Christ. I don't really know how to apply this idea in my current circumstances. I just want to make sure that I show God's love first and foremost. Let my light so shine before men that they may see my good works and glorify GOD ... not me. That means it needs to be sincere.
Lord, let me truly love you with all my heart, my mind and my soul. Help me to focus on you and not let all the chaos of life pull me away from you. Help me be united with the fellow believers in my life. ALL of them.Well, I think I got a little off the topic but its where my mind just went swimming to!
Monday, February 13, 2012
1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Saturday, February 11, 2012
19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
What strikes me is that we are no longer strangers or foreigners. Which means that before Christ we were. Now we are fellowcitizens. It goes on to say that we are built together into a temple.
I really feel excited by the connection and unity to fellow-believers! My biggest application to this is to keep studying more! I think I'd like to continue to search for online studies like the one Good Morning Girls has offered so that I can continue to grow with my Christian family!
Thank you Lord for helping me connect with my fellowcitizens! That the technology available today is being used for a great purpose! Please continue to open up your word to me!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
God intends that salvation is for EVERYONE and that we are one because of our shared belief in Christ Jesus. By abolishing the law, he created peace.
Again the thing that is just glaringly obvious to me here is that God wants all believers to forget their differences and all follow Jesus. The law is of no value.
Lord, you know my heart. You know what I want.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Scripture for- today
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I've read and heard this verse a number of times and I believe that it is fairly self-explanatory. God gave us the gift of salvation and all we need to do to receive it is believe. That is so amazingly simple it seems that so many people complicate this process. The main thing I keep seeing is that if you don't get some part of it just right and don't see the right "fruit" in your life then you were never really saved in the first place. I think that THAT idea falls into the category of "works". I can't question another person's experience but I've heard things said on a regular basis that I can see how someone who's salvation experience was some time ago and maybe they've allowed things in their lives to take precedent over their relationship with God then maybe they would wonder whether their salvation is true! I believe that my faith in God has given me the gift of salvation that no person can take away...not even me! There is nothing I can do to get saved and nothing I can do to get UNsaved! Thank you God! The other part of this I see is simple...lest any man should boast. I have nothing to be 'proud' of.
I did nothing to earn my salvation, God just gave it to me. I am nothing and I deserve nothing less than death. But thank God, He chose to sacrifice His one and only son to save me the sentence I truly deserved! I believe this. And that's just how simple it is! I need to stay humble, I am better than no one else. We are all just sinners, saved by grace!
These verses just keep humbling me more and more. To the fact that I am nothing and that all I (or anyone else) needs is faith. Lord, help me to show others the simplicity of your love for sinners. That it really is not of works; whether I do things, or don't do things doesn't matter at all, it is believing that matters. My heart is yours Lord! Thank you thank you thank you!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Alrighty, week 3 day 3! I still haven't mastered the art of getting up before my kids so I'm still doing this piece by piece while Danielle does school work, getting up frequently to tend to the other 3 kidlets!Scripture.
7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Here, once again is the words us and together. I love those words. It makes me feel so connected to fellow believers! And that we all sit TOGETHER in heavenly places! I want to research that phrase "in Christ" more... oh wow...
In Christ - We are one as a body of believers
5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
This is so very encouraging to read. There is so much more I found it on this page.
Besides all that, verse 7 reminds us that He is kind enough to us to show us the riches of His grace.
All those who believe will sit with me in heavenly places so I should treat all fellow believers with love, respect and kindness. I need to be humble and remember that as a follower of Jesus I need to act like Him. I have the power THROUGH my Lord to do this!
Firstly, this would be so much more meaningful if only I could get up before the kids. Lord, get me up tomorrow and remind me that I want to stay up! Keep me focused on my need to be close to you so that I can start my day off right!
Second, thank you for humbling me and reminding me that I am part of a whole group of believers and that we are TOGETHER with the same purpose! Thank you for showing me your grace, even though I really don't deserve it.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I'm so grateful for this bible study! Its really helping me stay focused on my walk with God! Thank you Girls!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:1-3
"22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. "
I read here and see that if the church is a represenation of Christ's body, it would seem that there is only ONE body of Christ. So is it that I am part of a local church that is part of a much larger entity? Or is each local church an individual representation of the body of Christ? I wish I had more time on my hands to research things like this.
I know I definitely see that I used to walk accroding to the world and I can recall my conversations revolving around the "lust of our flesh" I am so grateful that God saved me and changed my heart! Its good to remember where I came from so that I can see how God has blessed my life!
I am a little lost today about things. I'm going to try to research the church sometime soon so that I can feel a little more settled about that.
Otherwise, I'm going to try to be sure that my conversation reflects spiritual things!
Lord, show me what you meant for church to be. Give me peace and understanding in this area of my life. Help me to show my children that you truly are the centre of our lives! Let all that I do and say today be to your honor and glory!!!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come"
I think it's important to note the verse before this again. Here we're talking about the great power that God gave to Christ. Raised from the dead, set at God's right hand, far above all other powers. This power that is referred to is available to us! Its just a more indepth description of that power.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him
18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
So, I've hit my first moment of confusion. I'm not sure if all who read this know that I belong to a church that believes that the King James Version of the bible is the only bible we should use. I have been questioning that belief recently and so I've been quoting the KJV here on my blog but I've been referring to both the KJV and the ESV while studying Ephesians with this group. In the KJV the word "spirit" is not capatilized, which I've been taught to mean it is not referring to the Holy Spirit which would show that in the verse it means that God is giving unto me a spirit...
(Spirit : Temper; disposition of mind, habitual or temporary; as a man of a generous spirit, or of a revengeful spirit; the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Let us go to the house of God in the spirit of prayer)
...of wisdom and revelation in the knowlege of him. But the ESV capitolizes the word Sprit, which would make reference to the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit has been given to me and IS wise and reveals the knowledge of God. I suppose either way God is showing me giving me wisdom and knowledge of Himself. Funny thing is this would be an incredibly big deal to some people and now that I'm reading through and seeing differences for myself, it seems that the main message conveyed remains the same! God is giving me wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him whether if thats by giving me a disposition of mind or by the Holy Spirit!
And what does He want me to know?
- He wants me to know what benefit there is to my calling; which I believe is to raise my children and be a good helper for my husband!
- Also, the riches of His glory I will inherit one day!
- The immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe!
I feel that I can be sure of my calling, but its good to remember that there is a benefit to following God's calling for my life. I believe that God will bless me with the riches of His glory! Also, I can call on His power! I know that the power of God is available to me and when I find it to continue in my calling I can draw on that power for strength and assurance.
Thank you Lord for my husband and children and my place as a wife and mother. Thank you that not only will I one day recieve an inheritance but that I can also enjoy the blessing of my hard work in having a beautiful home, happy and healthy children, and of course a contended, loving husband who works hard for us because he cares for us! Grant me strength to carry on even when I have challenges in my day! Remind me of these verses.
Monday, January 23, 2012
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
- Thank you Lord that everything on my shopping list was on sale yesterday.
- Thank you that because we are a little strapped for cash I'm being forced to think harder about what I eat and not have as much junk food in the house.
- Thank you for running water.
- Thank you that no water on Thursday gave me a fun outing!
- Thank you that Lacey is such a content baby!
- Thank you that my husband doesn't make abrupt decisions for our lives and is really trying to seek the RIGHT thing to do for us!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Ok, so Day 3 of my Journey Through Ephesians bible study.
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
...And here is where I got interrupted to bath all four kids, nurse the baby to sleep, take a shower and put on another movie... and now I'm back to work!
...Or not, ok I got interrupted right after I typed that. But I'm back at it now! Seriously, finding it really hard to focus today!
Wow, God predestined us to obtain an inheritance! I guess there are some weird religions out there that take this to mean that only a select group of people are meant to have God's salvation but the way I see this is that God wants everyone to accept Jesus as their Savior. If I inherit something from a family member I have to take it.
If we are to be to the praise of His glory I imagine we should stop back-biting and trying to devour one another. That would probably help. I think the key thing is to love others the way that God loved us. Sometimes, it seems like fellow Christians are too busy playing "holier than thou" and forget that we are supposed to be showing for Christ's love for the glory of God.
Lord, let me be to the praise of your glory. Show me how to be what you want me to be today.
I kind of feel like I'm not doing this right. Lots of people in my group are using colored pencils and word lists?? Ack! Well, I love the Lord and I just pray and He shows me everything I'm supposed to learn from this!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Ephesians 1 : 5-6
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
God wants us to be His children. So I would surmise that we are not born the children of God, we must be adopted into His family. We can only become His child through Jesus. Grace, thats an interesting word. It seems to have a lot of meanings. The one that struck me as being a simple definition of God's grace was "Favor; mercy; pardon" God is doing me a favor to allow me into His family. I do not deserve to be here and He is merciful to me, a sinner, to pardon my transgressions and love me as a daughter!
I gets the idea that strikes me is that if God can show me this much love and forgiveness then shouldn't I as a Christian (Christ-like) be able to show at least some measure of love and forgiveness to others? I think that today I will practice that on my children (only people around me regularly! haha!) I will try to remind myself that messes can be cleaned, broken things replaced and that they are only just learning! If I am their teacher, what lesson am I teaching today?? Am I showing them God's grace?? Love??
Thank you Lord for giving me what I don't deserve! Salvation, my husband, my children, our material possessions....it's all from God!!! My prayer for today is that God will remind me to treat my own flesh and blood with at least some small measure of grace today. That I will show them favor, mercy and pardon today.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Ok, So today marks the beginning of a 12 week bible study of Ephesians. I'm doing this with Good Morning Girls.
Today, I'm reading Ephesians 1:1-4. They follow the S.O.A.P. method of bible study.
The KJV says...
"1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: "
- Paul considered those at Ephasus to be faithful in Christ Jesus.
- Spirtual blessing are what is noteworthy, it doesn't say "who has blessed us with big houses, fancy cars and lots of money"
- God wants us to be holy and without blame.
- Am I faithful in Christ Jesus? I sure hope so! I doubt I'm as faithful as I should be. I find that in my current situation I'm always doubting if my faith is real because of the standards that I'm not interested in upholding. This is a tough place to be. Belonging to a church that I'm not 100% sure I want to be a part of. I love God and I desperately want to serve Him by raising these children He's given me in a way that displays His love so that maybe one day my children will choose to follow the Lord! I also want to serve Him by following my husband's leading (even if that means attending this church).
- I need to stop worrying about the things of this world and remember that my blessings are in heaven. I see that to mean my children. I need to focus on making sure that these sweet little people come to know the Lord so that I will be able to enjoy the blessings of God throughout eternity!
- What does being holy mean? I always go to the webster's 1828 dictionary to define words used in the KJV because it seems to provide a more accurate definition of the word. It says that holy means "Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections. Applied to the Supreme Being, holy signifies perfectly pure, immaculate and complete in moral character; and man is more or less holy, as his heart is more or less sanctified, or purified from evil dispositions. We call a man holy,when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, pious, godly" That is intense! I really need to work on lots of that! I really want to try to focus on what God considers sinful. Instead of what church or man thinks. I think sometimes it is so easy to follow man's rules/standards rather than letting God lead us. The things I want to work on in life to make myself holy my temper, I'm not exibiting God's full love towards my children when I'm yelling at them. Blameless is a little more simple "Without fault; innocent; guiltless; not meriting censure" Again, if I want to be blameless before others then I open myself up to a whole gammet of what some people consider to be sinful. I want to focus on being blameless before God. This also applies to how I raise my children and keep my home. I need to focus on teaching the children about God's love for us and caring for the things God has given us. Sometimes I ask my kids to get dressed or help me clean up and I hear them ask "is someone coming over?" Wow, that gets me thinking! Are we doing the things we do to be seen of man?? Shouldn't we put the same effort in for no other reason but that God would have us to take good care of ourselves and our home?
My prayer for this bible study is that God would help me remember that those at Ephesus were faithful. I can learn about how to be faithful by reading this book.
My prayer for today is that God would show me the things in my life that are sinful so that I can repent of my sins. I want to truly know God's will and focus on hearing God's voice speak to me through His word and focus my day on seeking to glorify God in my home and in how I raise my children.
And as always, I'm praying that God will give me peace with our church if this is where I'm meant to be. If its not, I pray that He will guide my husband to lead our family where we should go.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
My salvation. I think I wrote my testimony on here once. I should read it again. Here's the gist of it as I remember it.
As a child, I attended an evangelical summer bible camp. I was 2 months from my 8th birthday. My counsellor explained that Jesus had died for my sins and that if I said I was sorry for my sins and asked Him to come live in my heart then He would and I would get to go to heaven. Seemed like a good deal, so I did it! I buried my head into my brown sleeping bag, prayed and asked Jesus if He would live in my heart! After that I continued to attend church with my parents and thought of myself as a Christian. It was shortly after this experience that a dark family secret was revealed and my family life was turned upside down. In my teens, influenced by peer pressure I started to participate in worldly pleasures. I think I enjoyed the attention I got from "being bad". I spent more and more time with my school chums, less and less time with my church friends. I still attended church, worked at the bible camp in the summers and felt so close to the Lord during those summers! I prayed and read my bible everyday! Journalled all my devotions and really wanted to serve the Lord. But, I felt like I lived a double life at the time because upon returning to my school friends I returned to my sinful life. When I was 16 I decided that I should get baptized, a class was starting up and I remember thinking that maybe if I made a public declaration of my commitment to God that I would have an easier time resisting temptation. I was wrong. After high school, I moved to the big city and dove headlong into a world of sinful pleasures. I smoked, drank, did drugs and was promiscuous. I felt that I was unlovable because of my wickedness and did not believe that God could love or forgive me for any of the awful things I was doing. I did some things that are so wicked that I rarely speak of them. I felt like scum.
After 5 years of living in the depts of the world and having nothing left, I do mean nothing... spiritually, physically, monetarily, I was a bag of raw emotions. I begged my parents if I could move home. They relunctantly agreed. I met my hubby 3 months later. We became friends very quickly and I thought that maybe he would be a good influence on me because he went to a very conservative church. I was wrong... I was a BAD influence :( We got married 2 years later. Pregnant with our first baby I felt that we needed to find a church. It was the right thing to do. We attended several churches and in the end Aaron was very insistent that we attend his church. I did not want to go. I tried to make the best of things and after going there off and on for 2 years I felt like I needed to be there. I questioned my salvation experience as a child because of the sinful life I led for 5 years as an adult. I actually liked the idea that I was lost when I did all those awful things. Finally, after many times of ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit working on me to commit my life to God... I went forward, fell on my knees at the alter and with tears pouring off my face I begged God to save me!
I did not feel an instant relief... I needed time to process. I was invited into the office to talk privately with the Pastor's son. He did not realize what I had just asked God. He slapped his bible open and shut a couple times, announced, "you know what the bible says, you know what you need to do!" I turned to Aaron sitting by my said and asked him "what do you want me to do" he started to cry and said "I want you to get saved" I prayed and told my Lord that I felt tired and I just want him to take the lead in my life. Afterwards I was met with lots of people hugging me and congratulating me. It felt awkward. I wanted to be baptized because I felt that it was the logical next step. Joining the church was part of that step. I loved hearing the preaching and participating in the singing at church whether it was congregational or singing specials, the music and the bible really touched my heart. I slowly over time grew to be comfortable in my church.
In that last year, things have been changing.
This post is getting long. I'll continue tomorrow... or whenever I pull this thingy out again!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
1. wearing pants is sinful
2. drinking in moderation is prohibited
3. church discipline is necessary or beneficial
4. that God expects me to beat my children with a stick
5. music other than hymns is of the devil
I do believe...
1. I shouldn't dress to "show off"
2. people shouldn't drink to excess
3. we should show forgiveness and let people leave quietly if that is their desire.
4. God wants me to use my position of authority to teach my children
5. music is a form of entertainment, as long as its not DIShonoring God.
I've been studying out some of these topics and I'm obvisouly feeling very conflicted about my current choice of denomination. I will be continuing to pray and seek God's guidance. Ultimately, the church our family attends is my husband's decision.