Monday, February 28, 2011

The Pain of Pride...

February 28, 2011

Lamentations 3:18 so I say, “My endurance has perished…”

Yesterday in small group, our great teacher, Amy, made several statements about endurance, and as God’s providence works, so did last week’s small group lesson. So as I was sitting in both of those lessons, I knew that I no longer have or maybe never had the endurance that I once prided myself on. Yes, I said pride. I’m not sure if I realized that I had pride in my heart of how “great for God” I could be, but there’s no denying that I did. When God decides to reveal areas of pride in your life…oh, how it hurts. I decided maybe I needed to study what this word endure means. By definition it means “The ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.” My first stop to learning what scripture says about endurance is Lamentations. And how appropriate it is because I feel just like this…”my endurance has perished.”

Monday, February 21, 2011


February 21, 2011

1 Peter 1:16 since it is written, “You shall be holy for I am holy.”

Yesterday I sat and listened to a great godly man describe how I should live out my faith to others. He gave us seven things from scripture to add to our faith. Needless to say I spent most of that lesson with my eyes lowered so that he wouldn’t see the guilt within them, since I know that I have been neglectful in some of those areas. However, I am thankful that God’s providence brought him to tell us these truths. Yet, my toes were sore after he steped on them!! One of those seven things that I knew was missing from my life immediately was endurance. I think I have forgotten what God has taught me about endurance. Or maybe, I was under the misassumption that things we are called to endure are easy. I mean as I type this I realize how crazy that sounds, but most of the time we shy away from the things that are hard. Yet, God calls us to endure. I’m not sure what my ramblings had to do with 1 Peter 1:16 but there you go!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Being Holy in Our Conduct...

February 17, 2011

1 Peter 1:9-15

V 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct

How hard this is…right; or at least for me this is difficult. I mean I don’t feel this great need to hit the bars, or wear micro-minis to the grocery store; yet, some parts of the believer’s life are difficult to control. For me it’s always about my emotions; I feel things very strongly hurts, anger, anger, did I mention anger. This is where I can lose my influence easy. One particular pee-wee basketball game comes to mind right now!! Yet, as believers we are called to be different; we are expected to act differently from the world. We should expect this of ourselves; we should want it. Yet, in the heat of the moment it’s so easy to forget.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Where is the joy?

February 16, 2011

1 Peter 1:7-8

V 8…rejoice with joy that is inexpressible

This verse makes me sad. The reason is simple and somewhat personal. Or I guess, to be more precise, embarrassing. As I read that I realized that my joy has gone. I can attribute this to many causes. However, there is no denying that this is my fault; I have allowed circumstances to become my focus. The result is a loss in joy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walking is Hard...

February 15, 2011

1 Peter 1:5-6

V 6 …though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials

I think back to where I was just last year or better yet, last summer and I think how arrogant I was. Even though I would never have considered myself as that; I would have said spiritual. And I was, I’m not implying that what I learned or how I lived was superficial; no, I experienced a wonderful time of growth with God. I was convinced that I would always grow and always be able to handle anything that came my way. God did grow me; He did shape me and give me tons of valuable knowledge of Him. Yet, it was always untested. I had no idea what it would be like to live in the midst of a trial, home-school my children, be a loving wife, and a mom. I arrogantly assumed that I could handle it all because God had graciously grown me in ways I could not believe. And He had. Yet, what I never realized is that, when God brings you through “various trial” for “a little while”; it’s so that your knowledge can be given feet to walk. It is the walking that I’m discovering that hurts; it is what is hard.

Friday, February 11, 2011

An Unshakeable Hope...

February 11, 2011

1 Peter 1:2-4

V 4 …born again to a living hope

I was stuck on that phrase “living hope”…I loved thinking of that as it applied to believers. The ESV says “believers have an unshakeable hope for the future…” Not to say that their will not be trials and persecutions; there certainly will be both. Not to say that our faiths will not be tested; it will be. Yet, in the end; we know without any doubt that our hope will be fulfilled. The ESV goes on to say “…for Christ’s resurrection is a pledge of their own future resurrection.” How wonderful to know that no matter what we face, we will in the end be triumphant.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

...Prepare the Way

February 9, 2011

1 Peter 1:1-2

V 2 According to the foreknowledge of God the Father…

How comforting it is to know that God knows our pain and suffering? He knows what paths we will travel and every minute He is preparing us to make the trip. He wants our pain and suffering to grow us, and not to be went through in vain. He wants us to become more like Jesus in the end. And through it all, He is very aware of exactly how much we can handle; He constantly sprinkles us with grace to make the trip bearable. How comforting is it to know that if we have to walk hard paths God has gone before us to prepare the way?

Monday, February 7, 2011

...The Warmth of Forgiveness

February 7, 2011

Lamentations 2:40-5:22

As I finish up in Lamentations, I notice a several things. The People of Israel are punished severely for their sin, and they know why this is happening to them; they realize with a great certainty that God hates sin. I, like the Children of Israel, realize that God takes my sin seriously; He sees it as an affront to Him. I also notice that even thought God punishes them for their sin; He also gives to them compassion. So, where there is punishment for sin, and it is earned and just, there is also the warm bath of forgiveness that He pours upon His children…all in all, a good book I would suggest anyone who hasn’t read it to give it a shot!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Acknowledging Instead of Complaining...

February 3, 2011

Lamentations 2:29-39

V 39 Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?

I love this…I mean we all know when we sin. I’m not talking about the things in our lives that God will show us that, although we once thought it was acceptable to do something, and then God changes our hearts about it. Nope, this situation is not as innocent as that; what I’m talking about is the blatantly obvious sin in our lives. Those moments in our lives where we KNOW without any doubt that we are sinning. Yet, in those moments we are surprised that there are consequences to our blatant. For example, if I habitually overeat, and I know it; why should I suddenly be surprised if I cannot wear any of my clothes? At least own up to it; at least acknowledge the sin that has brought us to where we are. In the acknowledging, there can be growth

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sadness of Regret...

February 2, 2011

Lamentations 3:28

V 28 Let him sit alone in silence…

Proof that God can speak to you through any storm was given to me this morning. Once again, I had failed to take advantage of the quietness of early morning quiet times, by laying in my bed. So, while trying to pray as the kids were doing school, (rather, loudly I might add) God lays on my heart that I had failed to remember that He is worthy of getting up early to meet. Then over an hour later, when I finally get to read my Bible, I find this waiting for me. “Let him sit alone in silence…” God wants to come to me when there are no distractions to take my attention from Him. How sad it is that I have so neglected this!