Friday, July 23, 2010

Romans 11:33-36

I am reading through Romans right now in my Quiet Time.  This morning I read Romans 10 & 11. The verses at the end of 11 really stirred my heart and I wanted to share them with y'all.  I read in the NIV and then later looked them up in the Message. Both are sooo good, so I am sharing both!

Romans 11:33-36


Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
      How unsearchable His judgments, 
      and His paths beyond tracing out! 
 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? 
      Or who has been His counselor?"
 "Who has ever given to God, 
      that God should repay him?"
 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. 
      To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

the MSG:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out. 

   Is there anyone around who can explain God? 
   Anyone smart enough to tell Him what to do? 
   Anyone who has done Him such a huge favor 
      that God has to ask his advice? 

   Everything comes from Him; 
   Everything happens through Him; 
   Everything ends up in Him. 
   Always glory! Always praise! 
      Yes. Yes. Yes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Sin, oh the bliss...

I continue to work my way through James MacDonald's Bible Study, Downpour. Last week the focus was on sin. I had to read it in small bites and then let it settle in... it was rather overwhelming at times. It is so easy to think we don't have a lot of sin in our lives. I mean I don't murder.. commit adultery.. steal etc. But there are sooo many things that constitute sin.. and I find we often dance around calling them what they are. "I'm just that way... just my personality... can't help it... my momma was the same way and so was her momma... just a quirk... I don't really mean it..." and on and on. But the bottom line is they are sin... pure and simple.. sin.

One thing that really hit me hard was James 4:17 "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." I have read and studied James numerous times, so this verse isn't new to me. But it really slammed me this past week, especially when MacDonald was kind enough to give examples like you tell someone you will pray for them and don't follow through... you know you are to spend time with the Lord daily, but you don't... ouch! I have a consistent quiet time 5 days a week. Then the weekend comes. Saturday I sleep in a bit and once I am up it is time to fix breakfast and get the day started. Then Sunday.... well that is a busy morning! Gotta get up and going for church and besides, I will get my God fix there. Wrong! God asks for one on one time with me not just corporate worship... and as great as church and family are, they are not to come before God. So when I ignore His call on the weekend, I am not just slacking off a bit... I am sinning.

Like I said.. this has all been a bit overwhelming at times to me. Then today rolls around and the task was to list my sins and next to them list the consequences. (I had already IDed my sins last week). It was a great exercise... very eye opening. There are consequences that can be rectified.. others I have to accept.. ALL can be prayed about. But I noticed today that while it still saddened me that I had this sin in my life, I wasn't as overwhelmed. I wondered a bit why. I was expecting to be burden... broken... sad.. something. But I wasn't. And then I heard it... playing softly in my mind...

"My sin, oh the bliss, of this wondrous thought. My sin, not in part, but the whole. Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!"

You see... last week when I went through the task of evaluating myself in prayer and letting the Spirit show me my sins, I followed up with a time of confession and repentance. 1 John 1:9 assures us that "if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." There was no need for me to feel burdened by those sins anymore. I had confessed and I had been forgiven. And while the consequences remain, the burden has been lifted... ALL of it.. nailed to that cross 2000+ years ago.

Does that mean I forget all those sins and go about my life? No, I don't think so. For me, I want to remember them... to keep them before me, so that I remember the things that easily trap me. I will continue to pray about them. I will have a close friend (or 2) pray also. And I will strive to not repeat them.

And sadly, when I do repeat some of them, God will be right there ready to listen to me confess once more... and He will once more cleanse me and set me free from that burden.

He will do the same for you! It is a wonderful, marvelous feeling. Then and only then, can you truly say "It is well with my soul!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Your Grace Still Amazes Me

Do you ever take time to think... really think... meditate on God's Grace? All of it... the grace that saves someone... and the grace He pours out every day.. that allows us to come back to Him over and over again after we have messed up for the zillionth time.  It truly is Amazing!