"I know what I know / Could not fill a thimble."

Friday, July 30, 2010

2 Cor. 2

10But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes (M)in the presence of Christ,

11so that no advantage would be taken of us by (N)Satan, for (O)we are not ignorant of his schemes.

It's interesting to me that Paul is talking about forgiving a brother that has done wrong in the church. He says to forgive him and to show him love. And he adds "that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes." Interesting when you think about it...how bitterness or lack of forgiveness can add fuel to the fire of what Satan wants to accomplish. May God help me truly forgive those who have wronged me and those who have wronged the church. May Satan's schemes NOT be rooted in my heart in any way.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1 Cor. 16

1Now concerning (A)the collection for (B)the saints, as (C)I directed the churches of (D)Galatia, so do you also.
2On (E)the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that (F)no collections be made when I come.

3When I arrive, (G)whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;

I find it interesting that Paul puts the line "as he may prosper" in this verse. Obviously I do not believe in your typical "Prosperity Gospel", but there is something to the fact that if we put God first, in the area of giving/finances, that will will prosper....whether it's spiritual prospering or other prospering; God desires that we prosper when we give. Let us give cheerfully!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1 Cor. 15

10But by (T)the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I (U)labored even more than all of them, yet (V)not I, but the grace of God with me.

I have always loved this verse. I actually put it in my college essay. (Wow, did I think I had things figured out then.) :) Each year I get older and learn more I know this verse is more and more true. By God's grace, I am what I am. And because I still have a lot of growing to do, I labor hard for Him....not, I, but the grace of God with me. Man, I just love that. It makes his work seem easy and light. (Oh yeah...that's Scripture too.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

1 Cor 14

1(A)Pursue love, yet (B)desire earnestly (C)spiritual gifts, but especially that you may (D)prophesy.

2For one who (E)speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks (F)mysteries.

3But one who prophesies speaks to men for (G)edification and (H)exhortation and consolation.

4One who (I)speaks in a tongue (J)edifies himself; but one who (K)prophesies (L)edifies the church.

5Now I wish that you all (M)spoke in tongues, but (N)even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who (O)speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive (P)edifying.

I really love this. Growing up in the AG where "tongues was IT" I really love what Paul says in relation that gift. As a 'tongues speaker' myself, I can attest to the way that it edifies me....but also not that for many it's scary and weird. But, Paul does wish people to experience the gifts God has for the, whether tongues or not. Let us all continue to seek the Lord for the gifts He has for us.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1 Cor 10

23(AL)All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things (AM)edify.

24Let no one (AN)seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

25(AO)Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience' sake;


27If (AQ)one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, (AR)eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience' sake.

28But (AS)if anyone says to you, "This is meat sacrificed to idols," do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake;

29I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for (AT)why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?

30If I partake with thankfulness, (AU)why am I slandered concerning that for which I (AV)give thanks?

31Whether, then, you eat or drink or (AW)whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So good....so good! I think it's kind of funny that Paul says..."don't ask" about what is served to you. That all that is from the earth is God's. Anything legal, that we eat or drink is permisable....may not be beneficial. Lord help me to clearly see the difference. Amen.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1 Cor 9

3My defense to those who examine me is this:

4(G)Do we not have a right to eat and drink?

5(H)Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the (I)brothers of the Lord and (J)Cephas?

6Or do only (K)Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?

7Who at any time serves (L)as a soldier at his own expense? Who (M)plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

8I am not speaking these things (N)according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?

9For it is written in the Law of Moses, "(O)YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING " God is not concerned about (P)oxen, is He?

10Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, (Q)for our sake it was written, because (R)the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

11(S)If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

The best portion of Scripture that explains why Ministers should be paid, allowed breaks and "take along a believing wife". Interesting to wonder whether Paul was married or considered being married. What a hard life that woman had, if so.

Friday, July 16, 2010

1 Cor. 8

1Now concerning A)">(A)things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have B)">(B)knowledge Knowledge C)">(C)makes arrogant, but love D)">(D)edifies.

2E)">(E)If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet F)">(F)known as he ought to know;

3but if anyone loves God, he G)">(G)is known by Him.

I love this first verse...it really puts you in your place...we all have knowledge...but knowledge makes arrogance...isn't that true. Some the the most educated people I know are the most arrogant people I know. For some reason they think their knowledge will save them. Don't get me wrong...I struggle with this too.

But, love edifies. I love that too! Especially after reading "Love is an Orientation". Our greatest combat tool in helping people come to Christ is LOVE! I know it's not rocket science, but it's good enough for God. And if it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Love is an Orientation

Yes...I'm skipping my Bible Reading today...because I have been deep in His Word through reading this book- http://www.christianbook.com/love-orientation-elevating-conversation-with-community/andrew-marin/9780830836260/pd/836260?item_code=WW&netp_id=585403&event=ESRCN&view=details

I ordered this book because (especially after moving 20 minutes from San Francisco) the issue of how to approach the GLBT community has challenged me. I have been to a predominately GLBT restaurant and karaoke bar in the City and both times were actually very memorable and gave me pause. Why do I, as a Christian FEAR having relationship with GLBT people?
Well, primarily it's because I believe that promiscuous sex is not biblical and being a friend to people who think it's ok will somehow lead me, and those I love, astray.

But this book, for the first time, has given me a true understanding of what God's word says on this subject (or doesn't say) and why so many GLBT people are hostile toward the church. Gaining this perspective is going to greatly help me as I navigate through this world. Not only in the issue of dealing with the GLBT community...but also in dealing with anyone in my life, who I am fearful of approaching because they differ in their opinion of what is biblical.

I highly recommend this book for all Christians and non-Christians. It's time to get over our fears and start talking about why we have, for so long, hated the GLBT community through our jokes/ words/ and actions. Forgive us Lord for not truly loving YOUR children.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1 Cor 6

20For (AK)you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in (AL)your body.

This verse was shoved down our throats as teenagers as a repellent to having sex, doing drugs and drinking. And, I suppose it worked for me....well mostly. But now that I'm married, feel the freedom to enjoy a glass of wine occasionally and eat a pretty healthy diet I have asked the Lord to show me how it applies.

I believe God is challenging us to use our bodies for His work. He has given us hands to serve; feet to go; minds to learn more about Him; hearts to love and eyes to see His glory around us. He has given us mouths to praise, ears to hear His word; and touch to minister comfort.

God help me use my body and all of it's function to honor you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1 Cor 5

7Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our (N)Passover also has been sacrificed.

8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, (O)not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9I wrote you in my letter (P)not to associate with immoral people;

10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with (Q)idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.

11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called (R)brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or (S)an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

12For what have I to do with judging (T)outsiders? (U)Do you not judge those who are within the church?

13But those who are outside, God judges. (V)REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

I find this section of Scripture difficult...especially when Christ ate with tax collectors and comforted woman who were accused of prostitution and idolatry. Even "drunkard" is listed.

I am reading a book called "Love is an Orientation" which challenges the Christian community to bridge the gap with the GLBT (Gay/Lesbian...) community. I really have to ask the question is it truly OK to continue to "eat with a so-called brother" if they choose to be immoral or covet or party explicitly? How do we reach out to these without allowing the "leaven to affect the whole lump?" My only answer to this is PRAYERFULLY.
May God help me to discern when I need to love and accept a brother/sister in Christ and when I need to draw the line because their actions begin to affect me or the Body of Christ.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pray for Madagascar

Saturday July 10, 2010
All Day

Christian radio programs are regularly aired on national and on a multiplying number of local FM stations in the larger urban centers - but all lack consistent quality, organization or leadership. Avotra, a local ministry, has a radio station in Nosy Be with some ministry to Muslims. HCJB and the Islands Mission have helped to set up a number of the FM stations. Both TWR-Swaziland and FEBA-Seychelles broadcast a total of 9 hours in Malagasy and 7 hours in French weekly. Pray that Christ will use these programs to draw people to Himself.

1 Cor 3

L)I planted, (M)Apollos watered, but (N)God was causing the growth.

7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

This is a good thing for all of us to remember, especially those of us in vocational ministry. It's not one of us (or our programs, or small groups, or bible studies, or fellowship times) that cause growth in people...but rather the work of God. I think the best way to be co-labors in God's work is through prayer. It's a challenge to prioritize prayer over planning, scheming and developing. God help me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1 Cor 1-2

4(J)I thank [a]my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,

6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 4(J)I thank [a]my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,

6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wow! I find these verses so amazing. What a WORK God has done in US through Christ.
1. We received God's Grace
2. We are enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,
3. We will be confirmed to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. We are not lacking in any gift
5. We were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

What an amazing work God has done through what Christ did for us. Without it God would see us as 'unclean' but now we have His grace; without it we are unenriched and lacking knowledge; without it we have no confirmation before God when Christ returns; without it we are lacking spiritual gifts; without it we are not called to be in fellowship with Christ.

Thank God for his calling! I am incredibly grateful for it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Romans 16

20(AA)The God of peace will soon crush (AB)Satan under your feet (AC)The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

I am struck, in this verse, how Paul says Satan will be crushed under OUR feet (not Christ's feet). It gives me confidence in the battle we rage. Christ in us allows US to crush Satan. We don't need to fear his evil or feel like we are (in any way) defeated by him. Christ in us allows us to soon crush Satan under OUR feet. Praise God.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Romans 15

Self-denial on Behalf of Others
1Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of (A)those without strength and not just please ourselves.

2Each of us is to (B)please his neighbor for his good, to his (C)edification.

3For even (D)Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "(E)THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."

How hard is it to not just please ourselves? We can become so self-consumed, daily...there is so much to do; clean house, watch kids, work, volunteer, etc...but if we aren't pleasing our neighbor to his edification, we are not allowing Christ's likeness to manifest itself in us. May God help me to not only please myself, but look for opportunities to please my neighbor.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Romans 14

12So then (T)each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us not (U)judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--(V)not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.

This chapter is a good one for me because it answers some of the questions about 'grey areas' in the church. Do we drink wine, or not? Do we dance or not? Do we play poker or not? Do we get tattoos or not? Should we do everything possible to have natural childbirth? Should I see that movie? Should I watch that TV show? I tend to be on the more liberal end of a lot of these questions, but I should never judge my brother/sister who feels like these issues are very important to their spiritual walk. This is a good reminder not to get frustrated with my sisters and brothers in Christ, but to remember that I AM GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT TO GOD. What will my testimony say? Will God say, "Well Done" or "You could have done better". I am so thankful for our freedoms in Christ, but am also extremely grateful to those brothers and sisters who choose to abstain as an act of worship. May God bless them in that abstinence. And may God give me the grace to know when it's my place to abstain.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Romans 13

6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

7(G)Render to all what is due them: (H)tax to whom tax is due; (I)custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for (J)he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Firstly- I always complain about paying California taxes....I could go on and on about how corrupt this state is...and how rediculus it is that I have to pay a much, much higher percentage of state tax than I ever did in Texas or Montana...but this verse challenges me to stop complaining. I choose to live here and therefore should devote myself to the rulers. That doesn't mean I can't be involved in helping change, but to walk around with a attitude of hating rulers is not what God has intended for us.

Also, I am challenged to love my neighbor. This has really become more evident to me in traveling the world and really how every area of the world is a neighbor to us now (because of internet, quick plane flights, etc.) How to I love our friends next door and how do I love my sisters and brothers in Africa...I ask myself this question often and I know I fall short of loving them "as myself." May God help me grow in these two areas.