Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover.............God is among you I Cor 14:24. He has provided for you to stand up under all you're going through I Cor 10:13

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU REPENTED? A friend asked me that question. Said he had put the question on one of his exams when he was teaching Bible. Am I really free in the place where I am this very day? We may think we are free but then someone shows up in our day and steals our peace. And do we repent no matter whether big or small sins. Sometimes we are not as free as we think we are. A teenager said to me this week that it was boring hearing about the love of God one more time---she wanted to hear something else. Maybe I misread her but it seems so arrogant to me. She had no idea how she came across. Have we lost our marvel over God’s love for us no matter what we do? What place in our heart do our thoughts and actions and attitudes come from. It’s not about cleaning up our behavior. It’s all about repenting and returning. This verse lingers with me from the chronological readings this week. God has done I Cor 10:13 - He has provided ways for each of us to stand up under all we’ve been through. We can look “spiritual” on the outside but what does that count for? It’s all about our hearts, isn’t it? We are so grateful to Him this Thanksgiving week for freedom. I loved reading I Cor 9:1 “Am I not free?” I am finding freedom in Him like I have never had. I am more free than ever! It’s freedom first, then love. Can’t move to love if we are not free from that person and their responses. Awesome work HE is doing in all of us. Faithful is He Who has called us and He is doing it! And if He is not working in your life, you need to ask yourself some hard questions. Here are 7 questions that linger with me from reading the chronological Bible this week. Pick one question and read that paragraph and leave a comment about what your mighty awesome God is saying to you.

1. When was the last time I repented?
2. Is God really among us?
3. What if I have faith that moves mountains?
4. What rules my heart this moment?
5. How do you deal with weakness and fear as you walk through your days?
6. Wonder how God is revealing to you what He has for you?
7. What would Jesus look like if He was living in your circumstances?

I Cor 14:24 – if someone walks into our midst, are they convinced that they are a sinner when they bump up against us? Now, if they bump up against our sin, how do we repent and show them a heart alive to God? Are the secrets of their heart laid bare so that they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming “God is really among you!” What is happening among us? If it is God, then we’ll know it cause we can’t conjure up the power of God. But we can do I Cor 14:1 “hold firmly to the Word.”

What if I give all I possess to the poor? But I live distant, distressed, disgusted, discouraged.
If I don’t have love for those God has brought into my life, I gain nothing. I am nothing.
If I have a successful ministry but really don’t love people enough to talk with them and walk with them whether they are right or wrong, I gain nothing from my passionate ministry.
If I have awesome kids but love them only when they do the things I approve of, that’s not love.
If I have great faith but withhold my love from one person even for very good reasons, what’s that about? I gain nothing. We think of love in terms of our behavior and then our definitions of love are so shallow.

Does God’s Love really rule my heart this day? Just look at what comes out of your thoughts, your mouths, your heart. Disgusted thoughts about others? Distant actions that communicate you don’t care. I Cor 6:12 says: “I will not be mastered by anything.” Not even the judgmental thoughts we harbor. Something rules our hearts more than the love of God if our thought life shows our ambition, our obsessions.

I Cor 2:3,4 has meant so much to me over these past years cause I feel that I live in weakness and fear. Paul said that is where he was coming from “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” Oh, that’s what I long for. Not longing for the perfect wise words to say. Not longing to persuade people. But longing for the power of the Spirit of my God. That means I need to let Him work and trust Him and not try to make it happen.

I Cor 2:9“No eye has seen,no ear has heard,no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” I have so struggled my whole life with believing that I’m not loved, not cared for. I've kept friends "in court" trying to prove I am not loved rather than seeing what God has done and how they have responded to God. And how I want to respond to God to move in loving others regardless of their responses to me. I’ve walked into a Love that I cannot lose in the past couple of years through suffering. I’m thinking differently these days. Embracing truth and remaining there and trusting like I haven’t before.

A couple of years ago, I couldn’t physically stand up I was so depressed. Doesn’t matter what got me there, the real question is why did I crater? How did I get to the place that I wasn’t able to function when I perceived a tragedy hit? Not the place of trust where my beautiful God wants me to live. So this verse speaks to me: 2 Thes 2:15, 16 “Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. You know I cannot even stand firm without God’s help. What would Jesus look like if He was living in your circumstances? “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” And, yes, it was God Himself who strengthened me and I couldn’t be any more grateful. And I continue every day to grow and make shifts I could never do on my own.

My prayer for you this Thanksgiving week is 2 Thessalonians 3:16 - “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” Wonder what that peace looks like in your life, in my life?


Karen 11/30/2008  

Bev! 1 Cor. 10:13 has long been one of my favorite verses. I love the promise of knowing that I will not be tempted beyond what I can bear. Not that I won't ever be tempted, but that when I am, He will provide me a way out from under it. What a precious, practical promise!

The question that struck me the hardest was what would Jesus look like in my circumstances. Well, as my boy pointed out to me yesterday, He sure wouldn't be complaining about it. (Don't you just love children. Sigh.)

You are in my heart, girl and I am praying for you.


annie's eyes 11/30/2008  

Your heart is full of His love and wisdom. He speaks through you, Bev, and your life testifies to His abounding grace. The softness from which you speak strong convictions is so like Jesus. Rest in Him this beautiful Sabbath.

I love doing Bible reading and devotion time with each of you! I love our Mondays togehter. Blessed Assurance, Annette

Mary Lou 11/30/2008  

Bev, I pray you have gotten some sleep today. Your post was posted at the middle of the morning. Hope all is well. Once again, just about everything that you wrote resonated within my heart. What stood out to me was, how I am dealing with weakness and fear as I walk through my days. Looking back over the past few years, I did not deal with it well at all at the time that it occured and I feel in hindsight that I have gotten better and am able to turn things over to Him much quicker and have His perspective much better sooner than I did in the past. I am striving to learn to trust Him and not try to make it happen. He has shown me over and over that I am to trust Him and not try to make anything happen. I am a control freak of sorts and have too much responsiblity and have had to be the "adult" in different situations which makes it harder to trust Him. Howeever, I think He has dealt kindly and mercifuly with me and He has shown me that I can trust Him and I am. I will not go on and on. Thoughts keep coming up but I will stop. Your post has given me much to ponder on. I am so thankful that I found you and have been able to read the Bible through this year with you and so many other lovely Christians. Blessings on your week. Hope you are much better physically and are well. Love, Mary Lou

Nise' 12/01/2008  

"I need to let Him work and trust Him and not try to make it happen." Oh how this speaks to me today! It is always a battle to let go of control (the control I think I have) and allow God to work His way. I am always offering suggestions and that shows I am not completely trusting Him with the situation and its outcome.

Michelle V 12/01/2008  

Bev, this whole post speaks to me so! The Lord has been dealing with me on much of this lately. That I have to first fill myself with His unfailing love every morning before I can do anything else. Then, after I am filled with His love, I can show His love to others no matter how difficult the relationship may be, and regardless of how they treat me back! It's a choice to show His love to others, it's not about feelings.


Ang baylis 12/01/2008  

I Cor 2:9“No eye has seen,no ear has heard,no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
We have no idea... Yes.... those are such great words from another Siesta who has struggled with feeling loved... truly loved. You have a beautiful heart, Bev! And I love you! Thank you for sharing your in-depth lingerings with us. You bless me every single week and I'm really going to miss these Monday insights!
In His Love,
Angie xoxo

Shonda 12/02/2008  

Bev, I'm so thankful that you invited me on this journey of reading the Bible through Cover to Cover. I glean so much from each of your posts. I'm sorry I'm not always able to comment, but each post means so much to me.

I repented last week when I read 1 Cor. 13. I realized that I did not love as God loves. I ask forgiveness and asked Him how to so me how to love as He loves. I am seeking Him more on walking the love walk. I'm letting go of things I think I need to control.
I'm letting Him be in charge more of my life.

Thanks for the prayer of 2 Thess 3:16. May His peace be with you at all times and in every way too!! Love ya bunches!!

Engrafted by His Grace-

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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