Monday, April 11, 2011

Random Lessons

This is a random blog post, but it is just some things God has been showing me. And honestly, I need to do something to occupy my time because as I write, it is another Monday under Tornado watch here in Smith County! These are definitely my least favorite days of Spring, but they make you appreciate so much more the days that come after. I am learning that for me, this is one of those times where God tests me. Do I truly believe that He holds everything in His hands? Because if I truly believe that, then why do I worry so much about storms that I cannot control when I know the one who holds not only the storm, but the world in His hands! Too many times I find myself forgetting that He is the only one deserving of my fear. I fear too many things that have absolutely no power over me, & too often find myself completely ignoring the fact that He is all-powerful, almighty, and absolutely the only one I should fear!

This weekend, our church family participated in a prayer walk throughout our community. Zeke and I chose to select our neighborhood and the areas immediately surrounding us. The first thing that hit is was how many people live in this area that I honestly considered to be one of the less populated areas of our town. We counted around 80 homes that are in this area! A reminder to us that there are so many people who still need to hear the gospel of Christ!

As we were walking, it became a little more intense of a walk than we originally expected. (I later found out that there was a special weather statement saying that it was a record heat day!) So as we were walking I looked down in the grass and saw something moving. It looked kind of like a worm, but then when I looked a little closer I saw that it was an ant carrying a piece of bark. And it reminded me of the Proverbs 6:6 where is says:

"Go to the ant, O sluggard;consider her ways, and be wise."

I thought about that as I was watching this ant. All the random facts that you learn about ants in school came to my mind and I realized how amazing a thing it was for this tiny ant to be carrying this piece of bark. I also thought about how in doing this, the ant was bringing praise to God. The ant was doing exactly what God had created it to do, and because of that God gets the praise. The same is true for us. When we do what God has created and called us to do, He gets the praise for it, not us!

As I think about these things I am overwhelmed by a God who holds everything in His hands and love us with a love that is so undeserved and absolutely unconditional. The only response to this amazing, mighty God is to fear Him and serve Him with all that I have.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pictures of the Son

This is my first blog of the new year. I intended to post sooner than this but everytime I sat down to start, it just wasn't right. But today it the day!

This year, I am reading through the entire Bible. Many of you have probably done this before, this is the first time for me, and I am excited! There is a reason that God's Word is put together the way it is and I think there is great benefit in starting from the beginning and working our way through. If it is something you have never done, I encourage you to go for it! God has used it in my life already in awesome ways.

One of those ways is through opening my heart to realize that God uses His word to point to Jesus. From beginning to end it all points to Him. So, to help myself keep a record of it more than anything else, I am going to focus this blog on that for the next year. As I read through His Word, and God reveals these pictures of His precious Son I am going to post and share on here.

Right now, I am finishing the book of Genesis and there is picture after picture of Christ and His sacrifice for us on the pages of this book. I am going to share all that I can remember, but for today I am going to focus on Adam and Eve.

We have all heard this story at least once, if not many more times than that! God created man and saw that it wasn't good for man to be alone and created woman to be a helpmate for him. God placed them in the garden that he had made and gave them "the rules" so to speak. He told the man and the woman that they could eat of any tree of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and EVIL. (I meant to put that in all caps, I will come back to it in a minute.)

God walked with them daily. They could literally hear Him! How many times we would love to have that now! What a blessing to not walk with God figuratively, but literally! (Now some of you may say "We do literally walk with God as believers today." But I am talking about walking with God like you walk with your family or friends, it is an event in your day, just like this was part of what they did each day!) Such an awesome picture!

But one day, the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the tree. He used half truths and manipulation, and planted seeds of doubt ultimately making it look as though God was withholding something good from Adam and Eve. And ultimately, they believed the lie and disobeyed God. (So much I could add in right here about our obedience to God, but I fear I am drifting from the point.)

Because of their disobedience, their eyes were opened to the fact that they were naked, and they made a covering for themselves of leaves. (This is the counterfeit folks! Today we call it Religion. We are sinful, and think somehow that we can do something to remove the sin from our lives. We try to get to God, a right relationship with Him - on our own terms instead of coming to Him on His terms and finding true forgiveness.) But when God came, they realized how inadequate their covering truly was. There efforts did nothing but cover sin, in their strength it couldn't be taken away. But God (don't you LOVE hearing those words in the Bible? things look hopeless But God steps in!) made a covering for them and a sacrifice for their sin. Genesis 3:21 shows us a picture of the precious lamb that would come and live a holy and blameless life and then be offered on the cross as a sacrifice to cover our sin! Praise God!

Of course there were still consequences of their sin, just like we have to face the consequences of sin today, even after coming to Christ. (Here is where I am coming back to the "EVIL" in all caps.) Before their disobedience, Adam and Eve had only known Good. Now, unfortunately, their eyes were open to see and know evil. Physical death, hard work, pain in having children all became part of their life as a result of their disobedience, and ultimately are part of our lives today as a direct result of this event.

But God (Awesome right??) made a way! Through His precious Son. Although practically we still live life in this place and deal with death and disaster, we live as those who have HOPE! We have great HOPE in Him!