Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

I've heard people say that the Bible is outdated. It doesn't apply to our lives today.

I've heard people say that the Bible is too difficult to understand.

I've heard people say that the Bible is just a book of good stories. It isn't really true.

I've heard people say a lot of things about the Bible that I just have to disagree with. Here's an example from today as to why I believe the Bible very much applies to life today, can be understood and is very much true.

I woke up early this morning and began to write in my prayer journal. To be very transparent, here's some of what I wrote to God:

"Use me...keep me planted solid in You."
"Prevent me from getting a big head."
"Get me in Your Word and keep me there."
"Grow me in the knowledge of You."
"I long for more conversations about You."
"Too often I want to be liked. I have to stand up for you no matter what."
"You need to become more of the focus in my relationships."
"Please give me an illogical love for [specific people]."
"Too often I gripe and complain about my irritations."
"Your love is supposed to be displayed through me."
"Give me an eternal mindest always."
"Make me a wife that honors my husband,
a mother that lives an example for her girls,
a sister that builds up her siblings,
a daughter who loves,
an aunt that sacrifices
and a friend who see through Your eyes."

Then I opened my Bible to Romans 12.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

It seemed like there was an answer from God to every part of my prayer. This is not a daily occurrence where I pray and see an answer directly. Still, it was encouraging and reminded me of how God reveals Himself to us when we seek Him. As I've been praying for my relationships to be more intentional, conversations have come up that have depth and meaning and purpose. I love this!

"Thank you, Lord, for the Bible. Thank you that we can clearly see what your plan is for our lives. Thank you that through the Bible, conversation becomes two-way with you. We can listen through reading your Word as we talk with you through prayer."

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