February 03, 2007
Even More 2006 Reflections
Well, we’ve made it to June 2006 in my personal Bible study journal. I’ll start choosing a few random ramblings to share with you and continue to reminisce by including photos from that same time period. Who knows, we may even be able to wrap this up this week.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” – I realized today that I have been struggling between two tensions in my ministry. 1.) I often feel inadequate and shallow because I am not a “Bible teacher” as much as a storyteller. (Greeks/Wisdom) 2.) I have been wanting to see the power of God fall and the presence of God show up when I speak. (Jews/Signs) Dear Jesus, Please forgive me for looking beyond the work You did on the cross and resurrection as enough. Not only when I speak, but also in my family. In my ministry, rather than look for signs or impressive teaching I should keep the focus on Your ability to forgive sins, set free, bring newness of life and hope for tomorrow and eternity. In my family, rather than focus on works, I should always bring the answer back to You alone, the forgiveness of sins and power over the threat of death to the abundant life You have planned for us. Holy Spirit, please remind me and adjust me when I start looking anywhere else but to the cross! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
James 1:14-17 – “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shallow due to change.” I needed to be reminded that we are more prone to sin when we aren’t satisfied with what God has given us or provided or promised us. We think there is something more or better or sooner, even, and so we go after that. We are drawn away by our own desires and this usually leads us to sin, rather than be content and believe that God gives every good and perfect gift and trust Him that not only is that enough but it really is also the best.
Matthew 24:12 – “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” – Although, there are many excellent shows on television that appear acceptable for me, as a Christ-follower, to watch, I need to be more prayerfully discerning. I love the show, “24,” but I’m concerned about the effect the violence may have on my heart. Because we see so much violence on TV and hear about so much of it on the nightly news, it no longer touches us like it should. We become detached from the fact that these bad things are happening to people! God’s children! We should be broken-hearted.
2 Chronicles 7:1 – “As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” – When they dedicated the temple they offered thousands of sacrifices and then the glory, the presence, filled the temple. When we offer the sacrifice of praise, the glorious presence of the Lord invades my heart and life. I didn’t make up that connection. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” It is a sacrifice to praise, to lay down my busy schedule, my “feelings,” my inhibitions to offer praise. And I should offer Him my best, the beginning of my day and my first response to every situation, just like Solomon offered the best animals, not the mamed or lame. The reward is the glorious presence of God, for goodness sakes. Why do I hesitate for even a minute?
Luke 6:45 – “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – I feel so badly for what I said to Steve. Why do I always say things that I know I’ll regret later? My problem is, I can be “good” for months and not blurt out what I’m thinking, only to, in a moment of weakness, eventually say it. At that point, what was good in even having self-control for any length of time. The damage was done, only later. Perhaps, it all goes back to “thinking.” I must start by being more careful with the thoughts I’m thinking, knowing that eventually they’ll come out of my mouth. With that in mind, when I catch myself thinking thoughts that I know I would regret if they ever came out in the open, or if I ever said them out loud, I need to do business with them right then until they don’t come back again. I need to repent, nail them to the cross and bring resurrection life through Scriptures that are filled with life.
Proverbs 27:7 – “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” This verse defines the answer I’m so often asked in interviews, “How come your life turned out so differently than the typical child star?” I believe it is because the emptiness in my soul was filled with Jesus, I was not enticed by the sweet things the world had to offer. But to someone without Christ, they will often consume bitter things just to temporarily stave off the gnawing ache of emptiness. I’m so grateful for God’s grace to fill my heart so completely from the time I was a little girl.
Well, it looks like we are going to need one last journal entry to wrap up 2006. Doesn’t it just blow your mind that the Ancient of Days wants to speak to us so personally through His eternal Word today?!
Posted by weblion at 06:10 PM