Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Halloween or Reformation Day? October 31, 2008

Filed under: Church History — womenembracingfaith @ 4:15 pm
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October 31 is one of the biggest days for Christians to remember. In 1517, Martin Lurther, a German monk, nailed his ideas on a church door.  The printing press was the new way to communicate.  So his ideas soon spread and led to a great revival of God’s truth and the emergence of Protestant churches.  What resulted were five principles of scripture that were easy to understand and teach. They are:

Scripture Alone—2 Timothy 3:14-17

Christ Alone—I Timothy 2:5-6

Faith Alone—Romans 3:20-25

Grace Alone—Ephesians 2:8-10

To the Glory of God Alone—Ephesians 1:1-6

Halloween can be a lot of fun and a good time for families to “Play” together.  Children love to pretend and parents need to find ways to stimulate their imaginations.  I found that Family Play Days were a way to bind us all together and get the children to listen to us later when we decided to teach something.  Enjoy those play moments!

But, don’t leave out these five great biblical principles.  Tell them some stories about Martin Luther or John Calvin, or the Christians who died so these principles could be passed on to us.  Do you know and believe them yourself?

What if there had never been a Reformation?  Would the sovereignty of God in salvation have been smothered over another two or three hundred years?  How different would America have been without these principles? Something to think upon.  Happy Halloween.

 

From Visualization To Principles October 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — womenembracingfaith @ 4:35 pm
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You must be able to think in images to get at Isaiah’s meaning. No, it isn’t about having visions!This skill of visualization is why your English teacher kept making you work on metaphors and similes. Remember? Now we want to take visualization a step further. To let the snapshot help us understand the Biblical principle Isaiah is getting at. It is all about thinking skills. Using our heads to understand more of the Christian viewpoint.

Visualization
Scroll back to the last blog. Reread Isaiah 2:1-5. Don’t confuse this by imposing your end-times view on it! Instead, picture a crowd of diverse people going into the presence of God, seeking to learn and apply His ways. Peace prevails.

Principle
With that picture in mind, think about some foundational teachings in the Bible. Things you can easily tell stories about to pre-schoolers. Like:
We are to look to God for how to live and what to believe.(Jonah)
One day there will be a great judgment against sin.(Noah and Flood)
One day peace and righteousness will be restored to all of God’s creation. There will be no more sin!(Adam and Eve)

Application
See how easy this thinking is? The next step is to apply it to yourself:
Do I look to the Bible to show me how to live and what to believe or do I go by what others say and do?
Do I have a healthy respect for the justice of God and His intolerance for sin?
Am I looking forward and hanging in there until a time of peace and restoration?

Under my blogroll, clink Old Paths For Little Feet. Click Coaching Bible Skills, Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 will give you addition help with this essential Bible Skill.

 

Do You See Yourself In This Picture? October 20, 2008

Filed under: Isaiah — womenembracingfaith @ 1:10 am
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We are seeking to apply Isaiah’s message to our lives today. He lived more than 2700 years ago, predicted several changes in world powers, specific events and people, and the coming of the Savior. Some of his predictions aren’t completely clear to us yet, and so these passages continue to stymie and divide Christians today. Read Isaiah 1-6 to get a fuller picture of the context. Then look for yourself in these snapshots.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, And reb uke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the LORD (Isaiah 2:1-5).

AVOID ASSUMPTIONS, BUT REMEMBER BIBLICAL THEMES
Often one’s end-times views are imposed on this passage’s interpretation. Assumptions are made about its meaning based on whether one is pre-mil or not. Notice it does not mention a 1000 year period at all, but it is speaking of things to come. Instead, this is a plea to Judah and Jerusalem (2:1;5) to think about the future. They could be a part of God’s peaceful and glorious kingdom–eternal and world encompassing. But, they must be willing to live in the light of the LORD–to trust in His redemption and obey His commandments. Do you see yourself in this snapshot–going up with many kinds of people to God’s house to hear His teachings and enjoy His peace.

They shall go into the holes of the rocks,
And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the LORD
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily (Isaiah 2:19)

Here is another glimpse of the future. Condemnation is horrible. God is majestic and just. Without the salvation found in Christ Jesus alone, we will be terrified IN THAT DAY. A specific time of judgment. You aren’t in this snapshot, are you?

APPLICATION TO JUDAH IN 730-586
For Jerusalem stumbled,
And Judah is fallen,
Because their tongue and their doings
Are against the Lord,
To provoke the eyes of His glory.
The look on their countenance witnesses against them,
And they declare their sin as Sodom; They do not hide it (Isaiah 3:8-9

Isaiah applies this specifically to Judah by predicting the siege of Jerusalem in the 500’s BC. Instead of walking in the light of their promise-keeping God, they provoke Him by the arrogant look on their faces. I hope you do not see yourself or your church in that picture.

See how to use the Bible’s themes to help you figure out what a passage means? And how to avoid letting your pre-conceived assumptions take you too far in your interpretation? We want to be women who handle the scripture carefully as we tell Bible stories to our children and grandchildren. Don’t leave your thinking caps off at the church or the children’s church door!

 

Children’s Lesson From Isaiah October 9, 2008

Filed under: Isaiah,Teaching Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 12:55 am
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Perhaps you can use this with your own children or when you have nursery duty (ages 2-4).

GOD NEVER DOES ANYTHING WRONG

 

SNAPSHOTS FROM ISAIAH October 6, 2008

Filed under: Isaiah — womenembracingfaith @ 7:41 pm

Isaiah 1-6

WE’RE NOT PROPHETS
Isaiah preached in Jerusalem and had access to government leaders of Judah in the 50-60 years of Assyrian invasions leading up to the destruction of Israel. His ministry was to warn people in both countries of the consequences if they did not turn back to God. But, he was specifically warning Judah and its leaders of the consequences of continuing to forget about God. He had access to the highest levels of government and religion. (Billy Graham’s ministry comes to mind as a parallel.) Neither country listened. Israel,N. Kingdom,in 722 BC , was hauled off to N. Turkey by the Assyrians and from there ended up scattered all over E. Europe, Russia etc. Judah held out until 586BC but ended up being destroyed and some sent into capitivity in Iraq. 2nd Chronicles 26-32 gives the history of people and events during Isaiah’s ministry.

Isaiah was a prophet. He had visions which included predictions of people and events 80-150-750 years ahead. And some that aren’t completely clear to us yet. He had direct revelation from God. This is different from our walking in the light of the scriptures today. His messages were spoken in the Temple, then posted on the door for clarification of any questions. It is believed that they were recopied and compiled during the Babylonian Exile.

We’re going to apply his message by picturing snapshots (or streaming video) of ourselves seen within his sermons.

Isaiah 1:15-20; 27
(The Lord speaking to those claiming to be His people–in relationship with Him…)
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.

Come now, and let us reason together,
says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Through they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
If your are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword…
…Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness..

Does the snapshot show your hands covered with the blood of people you have “killed” by saying, thinking, or doing bad things to and about them. “O you fool!” or body language implying it. Or obstinate anger refusing to compromise or reconcile (See Matthew 5:21-26). Or refusal to admit your sin while, at the same time, going thru the rituals of worship? Does it show you washing yourself and seeking to do what is right or obstinately refusing to bathe, and so being cut to pieces by God’s sword of judgment?

Of course, the snapshot can be cleaned up with a little turning around. The hope is in that last verse where Isaiah hints at a redeemer. Zion (God’s people or Jerusalem) will have a Savior who has done no wrong (Titus 3: 1-7). So work on your snapshot if you see yourself in need of a bath, and trust that in that terrifying day of judgment, you will be covered by the righteousness of Christ Jesus.