Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Summer Thoughts June 13, 2011

Filed under: devotional — womenembracingfaith @ 6:55 am

It is important to remember that getting the main point from a scripture passage enables us to apply that book or passage correctly. Application gives life to these old words. The Holy Spirit uses these principles like a sword to pierce deeply into our thoughts, hearts, bodies–our very essence. Let’s meditate on some practical implications from the books we’ve studied together: Galatians, Philippians, Isaiah. Some thoughtful reviewing never hurts….

Every period in life has its tribulations. Each day has enough for us to deal with. That is why we’re encouraged not to worry about tomorrow, but to ask God to take care of us today…Give us this day what we need. What do you need today to stand firmly together as Galatians and Philippians encourage us to do?

Personal joy in the midst of your trials?

This kind of joy comes only from our relating with a loving and faithful Father. If you are seeking this unique joy, think about what kind of Father God is….. He powerfully created this beautiful world for us to enjoy….and he sustains and keeps it all holding together in spite of Satan’s prowling around and the sin that weighs down upon us all. He has provided a wonderful Savior and a righteousness to us that we do not deserve or earn….just a free gift. ” Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name in all the earth, as it is in heaven.” Someday the whole earth will sing for joy as God redeems his creation–buys it back and, in justice, purifies it from all sin and its consequences. What a day of rejoicing that will be! Just thinking about it can give us joy during very bad everyday problems. “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say, rejoice,” Paul urged. He did not mean “think positively about your problems.” That might be helpful at one level, but spiritual joy is different. It comes with relating.

This kind of thinking about rejoicing in spite of today’s problems is one way to stand firm together. Help someone to do that today.

 

What Easter and Passover Are All About March 29, 2010

Filed under: devotional — womenembracingfaith @ 4:14 pm
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Paul explains the meaning of the Bible in Romans. For instance,

“It (righteousness) will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).

Some of the Bible passages he is explaining:

“…on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you,…” (Exodus 12: 12-13).

“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you--his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–so shall he startle many nations, kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand” (Isaiah 52:11-15 ).

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–everyone–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said….And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:6:18).

Then Paul sums it all up as follows:

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)

To be justified means to be declared righteous –perfect, without sin, able to enter God’s presence and “walk” with Him like Adam and Eve did in the garden. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that nothing else matters. Knowing God is what life is all about. Solomon found everything else to be empty in comparison.

Paul’s summation of the Bible then is that “The righteous shall live by faith” in Christ Jesus. He is not ashamed to tell anyone. (Romans 1:16-17)

Have you seen your need to be declared righteous because what you thought was your righteousness isn’t good enough ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be “passed over” in the Day of Judgment; declared righteous and be found knowing God.

Here is something else to add to your knowledge about God so you can “rejoice in the Lord”(Philippians 3:1). What a wonderful thing God has done for us.

 

Christmas Thoughts December 15, 2009

Filed under: devotional — womenembracingfaith @ 6:40 pm
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“But, Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19)…..”And his father and mother marveled at what was said about him. (Luke 2: 33)….And when his parents saw him, they were astonished….And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart” (Luke 2: 48;51).

What are you thinking about this month? What is it that is mysterious and wonderful to you about this season? What are the thoughts deep in your heart that only you know about?

In Christian jargon, this season is all about the incarnation. God coming unexpectedly as a person–a new baby no less! A real birth–but coming forth from a girl who had never had sexual relations with anyone…even her husband to be! Jesus growing up in a regular family…Living life perfectly as we all were intended to live it–without pride, jealously, idolatry, covetousness….honoring his parents and the government and religious authority over him…never hating his brothers or neighbors…..never getting involved sexually.

Christians have believed Jesus was the promised one, the rescuer, the Savior promised to the world through the Jews. Jesus is in every story from creation, Abraham, David, Daniel. He was God coming to rescue his people. Think about that. He is mighty to save. He is God–Think about the depth of his riches, wisdom, and knowledge (Romans 11:33). Imagine his becoming a baby, then a boy, then dying as part of the rescue plan. There is an unbelievable mystery around it all. No wonder Mary pondered, thought about it, asked questions, looked at the Scriptures. This whole thing she was a part of was astonishing.

I know if you are honest with yourself, you will recognize some thoughts and attitudes you are having this month that just plain miss the mark. A quick survey of the Ten Commandments and Matthew 5 should show you that. Our sin is the whole reason Jesus came. Our very thoughts reveal why we need to be rescued.

I suggest you read and ponder Romans 3-5 some day this month. It fits in so well with Luke 2.

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:2).

God’s salvation plan has always been the same. To count our faith instead of our sins.

“It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).

There it is again: Justification by faith alone. Being declared righteous, pure. without any sin–even in spite of our thoughts. Notice it is a declaration, a judgment of innocence.

Now that is something to treasure

–your salvation.

I hope your Christmas is blessed with quiet thoughts and a thankful heart. And if you do not have this treasure of salvation, may you be restless until you rest finally in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Are You Contentious? October 24, 2009

Filed under: devotional,Family Life,Teen Tips — womenembracingfaith @ 2:45 am

Thinking about Proverb 21 today? What about 21:9?

“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

or 21:19..

“Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.”

Ask yourself: What does this mean?

To be contentious is to strive or quarrel…to be in conflict; in discord…to be belligerent. Notice in verse 19, anger is added. It is all about verbal strife with an undertone of anger.

This kind of “communicating” ruins a home. You’re better off getting out of the house! It would be true of anyone, but in this case, an angry, argumentive woman is singled out.

In verse 23, everyone is urged to guard his mouth–whether male or female. And in v. 24, a man who is haughty and proud is singled out for his arrogant pride.

Of course, the point is the arrogant pride, not the male vs. female.

The root of this home’s problem is pride. That has to be faced and turned from–rooted out, so to speak, and then the arguing and strife can be stopped. And if there are two of you ruled by this SELF- LOVE, then the home is ready to explode.

Being contentious just reveals your own arrogance. Stop it; then go further and love others more than yourself.

My, we need a Savior’s righteousness don’t we?

 

Comparing Scriptures For Principles May 21, 2009

Filed under: devotional — womenembracingfaith @ 6:42 pm

One of the lessons we learned in studying Isaiah is that looking for spiritual principles and visualizing images used by the authors help us apply the Bible to our hearts and everyday actions.  The whole Bible deals with the same principles and points us always to Jesus, our Savior.

As you read these two passages, remember that David wrote around 1000 BC, Isaiah in the early 700’s BC,  while Jeremiah wrote in the years leading up to 586 BC.   Years apart, but their main idea is the same. Paul wrote to the Galatians (in Turkey) about 49AD.  That’s more than 1000 years after Psalm 146!

What is the spiritual principle in these passages?  What is the image to help you remember it?  How can you apply it to your life today?

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man

And makes flesh his strength,

Whose heart departs from the LORD.

For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,…”         Jeremiah17:5-6

“Praise the LORD, O my soul! While I live I will praise the LORD:

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Do not put your trust in princes,

Nor in a human being, in whom there is no salvation.

His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;

In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,

Whose hope is in the LORD his God,

Who made heaven and earth,

The sea, and all that is in them;….”  Psalm 146:1-6

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,

And whose hope is the LORD.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,

Which spreads out its roots by the river,

And will not be anxious in the year of drought,

Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”    Jeremiah 17:7-8

“I say then, Walk in the Spirit,…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”   Galatians 5:16 and 22

“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”  Romans 5:11

Are we dry shrubs blown by the wind?   Or flourishing trees –continuing to be kind, patient, loving, joyful.  Our hope should only be in the LORD, the same Creator who guided Paul, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and David.

Walk in the Spirit by looking to the Holy Spirit  to guide and direct you through His Word. Do not trust in the ideas, fads, celebs, doctors, or governments of the world!  Is your heart stirred to love God more…this One who created the cosmos and remains the same today–with us–as He was with these now-famous people of  centuries ago?

 

Grandsons Are Fun

Filed under: devotional,Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 5:02 pm
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Here is a good teaching tip from a reformed perspective:

As you are cleaning a kid up a million times a day, say:

“Clean face,

Clean hands,

New heart!”

You can add “Clean feet” when you need to!

Why do this? You are laying a foundation in the child’s mind to accept the biblical principle of the Holy Spirit’s sovereign work in salvation.  And you are reminding yourself of this doctrine of  our salvation and our need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  (Romans 5:6)

“”As it is written, “There is noe righteous, no, not one.  They are all gone out of the way,they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.’ ”  (Romans: 3:10

“And you hath he quickened, wo were dead in trepasses and sins.  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ;  (by grace you are saved.)”   ( Ephesians 2:1, 5)

“…I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (Jeremiah 31:33)

You need this doctrine too!  How else are you going to raise this kid unless strengthen, encouraged, revived to do it?  Stop now,  thanking God for His work in your own heart and praise Him for His whole plan of salvation.  Or ask Him for a new heart for  yourself or plead with Him for the salvation of your children.

And don’t forget that children are fun.  We are to delight in them and their childishness.  Keep your balance.  They are little sinners but aren’t they cute.  My grandsons sure are.