Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Romans 12:12

NIV -- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

ESV -- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

HCSB -- Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer

NET -- Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer

NASB -- Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer

AMP -- Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer

MSG -- Cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times, pray all the harder.

KJV -- Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant prayer

Let's look at these 3 exhortations..

First.. Be joyful in hope

Rejoice .. being joyful.. cheerfully.. expectant in HOPE

The Greek word used here means rejoice, joy, joyfully, be glad, hail

Hope -- faith, hope BUT from a root word that mean to anticipate (usually with pleasure).. expectation, confidence

So I am to be full of joyful anticipation and confidence in my faith and hope which is Jesus Christ!

Next... Be patient in affliction

Patient in.. enduring... persevering... steadfast .. in affliction, suffering , tribulation

hupomeno (Greek) -- to stay under, remain, bear, have fortitude, endure, abide, take patiently.

Tribulation -- from root which means pressure, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble

So I am to be patient.. endure.. stay under.. bear.. remain in.. have fortitude in.. abide while I an in tribulation, trouble, affliction, anguish, burdened or pressured.

Abide.. I don't think we are to abide IN the suffering or tribulation but to abide while going through it.

John 15 is all about abiding.. remaining.. in HIM.. Only way we bear fruit is to abide in Him and we are called to bear fruit no matter the circumstances.

So our hope is in Him.. our abiding in Him...

and lastly... Be faithful in prayer

Continuing instant.. be faithful.. constant.. persistent.. devoted in prayer

"continue instant" is a phrase foreign to me.. even though I was reared with the King James Version of the Bible.  It means to be earnest towards, to persevere, be constantly diligent, to adhere closely, attend continually, wait on.

So I am to be earnest toward, persevere in, be constantly diligent, adhere closely to, attend continually to, wait in prayer... and again,  we find Jesus.. for our prayers are to be asked in His name!

These verses go hand in hand with 1 Thess 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I love that the underlying current which allows me to do these things.. to rejoice.. be patient.. be faithful.. is JESUS.. my hope in Him.. sharing in His affliction.. staying connected to Him with prayer. It is all about Jesus and our relationship with Him!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beautiful Things

I am just overwhelmed by this song today. I have posted it on FB.. messaged it to friends.. listened to it over and over.. and am now putting it here.  Such an awesome reminder of how He makes us NEW.. Beautiful .. HIS beautiful, not the world's beautiful... no matter how much we mess up .. act up.. screw up.. He continues to mold and make us into the Masterpiece He has designed us to be!

Listen and let the truth of this pour over you...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Romans 12:11

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (NIV)

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. (NLT)

Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (NAS)

Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. (NET)

Do not be slothful in seal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (ESV)

Don't burn out keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, 
cheerfully expectant. (MSG)

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor be aglow and burning with the Spirit, 
serving the Lord. (AMP)

Do not lack diligence be fervent in spirit serve the Lord. (HCS)

Not slothful in business; fervent in Spirit; serving the Lord. (KJV)

According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, slothful means inactive, lazy, idle, sluggish, indolent.. indolent means averse to activity, effort or movement.. habitually lazy.

Business (as used in KJV) is earnest care or carefulness, diligence, forwardness, haste

Fervent.. again from Webster's 1828.. is hot, boiling, animated, glowing, vehement, earnest, excited.. Current dictionary defines fervent as exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling -- zealous.. impassioned.

I often pair this verse with Gal. 6:9 which tells us to now grow weary, but I see it is very different. Weariness comes from doing so much and often not seeing results.. feeling ineffective. This verse is about the doing.. we are to be.. I am to be.. ACTIVE.. purposely active in my faith. Living it out.. loving sincerely.. hating evil.. clinging to good.. honoring others.. etc. NOT lazy, but easrnest.. diligent.. with a boiling hot (not lukewarm, lest Christ Spit you out) passion for the Lord and the church.. serving Him.

A few years ago our youth pastor taught our youth on the word Pisteuo.. which is translated Faith in the New Testament. He told how it meant more than just believing in God.. it is an active word.. a word that requires action.. Pisteuo is Faith IN Action.. that is what Romans 12:11 is telling us. We are not to be passive.. we are to be active in serving the Lord!  

And like so much else we are to do or not do, we cannot do is in and of ourselves. Here's where Phil 4:3 and 2 Peter 1:3 come in to play.. we have to let God work through us.. giving us ALL we need for life and godliness!  So today I pray for the Lord to infuse me.. infuse you.. with His passion.. His zeal.. and to give me and you the energy.. focus.. opportunities.. to serve Him in all we do.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her thoughts on Ingratitude made me stop and examine my heart....

"...the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simple, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave."

"Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins? Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.  We hunger for something more, something other."

"There's a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means. I don't."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 Word of the Year Take 2

I am about to start teaching the Spring Bible study for ladies at my church. We are going to step back and do an older Beth Moore Study.. Believing God. I did this one years ago and it still impacts my life. One of the best studies I have ever done.

Last night I piled up and watched the first video....preview and getting ready for when we start next week.  She talks in the video and the work book about the verse that started her on this journey to Believe God.. take Him at His Word.  It is Isa. 43:10...

     You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, 
     so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.


Last year my word of the year was a pair of words.. Less.. More.. I think I will amend my 2013 word of the year to be a pair also.. Know.. Believe.

Know there is the Hebrew word Yada ... that intimate knowing that I talked about in my original post.  Believe is the Hebrew word Aman which means to trust, believe, have assurance in, have faith in, put trust in.. and when I look at it, I can't help but see Amen.  So I did a bit of research on the word Amen and found that while it does show up in Greek and Aramaic, its roots are in the Hebrew Aman.

As I grow to know God better.. deeper.. I'll be able to Aman what I knew.. to trust the one who is the Amen (Rev. 3:14)

No matter how many promises God has made, they are "yes" in Christ. And so through Him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 1:20

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Rom. 12:10 NIV

NLT - Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other
HCSB - Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.
MSG - Be good friend who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
NASB - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.
AMP - Love  one another with brotherly affection, as members of 1 family, giving preference and showing honor to one another.
KJV - Be kindly affectioned one to another with brother love; in honor preferring one another.

Kindly Affection is a reference to caring for relatives, family

The Greek words translated here as one to another convey a sense of unity, mutual, each other, of one mind

Honor is value, esteem, dignify

The one another in this verse is the Church.  This is how we are to treat other Believers.... not just nice or kindly, but as family.. putting their needs above our own.  There is a strong sense of unity in this verse.

Hebrews 13:1 tells us to Keep on loving each other as brothers (and sisters)

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Lord -- There are many brothers and sister in Christ I love.. like family.. but I confess I do not tend to honor others over me... to give preference to others.. to consider them better than me.  This requires humility and I lean more toward pride.  Teach me, Lord.  Pour me our and fill me with Your Spirit.. grow my love for You so that is overflows onto others.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Romans 12:9

Romans 12:9-21 is a passage of scripture that has been coming up in sermons, teaching, readings, etc. a great deal in the past month. So I decided to spend some time digging in to it.. chewing on it a bit.. learning from it and hopefully I will be transformed.. changed.. by what I learn.

I am reading and praying through the entire passage during the week, but taking it apart one verse at a time.  And it all starts... with Love.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NIV

Love must be sincere (NIV)
Let love be without hypocrisy (NASB)
Love must be without hypocrisy (HCSB)
Let love be genuine (ESV)
Don't just preten to love others, really love them (NASB)
Let your love be sincere, a real thing (AMP)
Let love be without dissimulation (KJV)
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it (MSG)

This Love is AGAPE love... benevolent love.. unselfish love... love which considers what is best for the person loved.. this is how God loves us and how we are to love others, but we cannot do it in our natural state.. it is the Love we receive as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Hate what is evil (NIV)
Hate what is evil, loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness (AMP)
Run for dear life from evil (MSG)
Hate what is wrong (NLT)
Abhor what is evil (ESV  NASB)
Detest evil (HCSB)
Abhor that which is evil (KJV)

To Abhor is to detest utterly, to shudder with horror.

Evil is wicked, lewd, malicious, grievous.. evil in a moral and spiritual sense.. perverseness.. Satan is the author of these acts, thoughts etc.

I abhor the obvious evils... rape, child abuse, human trafficking, .. but what about the evils that the world accepts.. abortion, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, lying, mocking God... really? Do I abhor them? I am sure I speak my opinion on them.. share scripture.. say they are wrong.. but then I will watch a TV show or Movie that includes glorification of evil and overlook it.  Is that abhorring? If I truly hate it shouldn't it repulse me.. make me shudder with horror? What does this say about my heart and conforming to the world?

Cling to what is good (NIV, HCSB, NASB)
Hold tightly to what is good (NLT)
Hold on for dear life to good (MSG)
Cleave to that which is good (KJV)

To Cleave is to join oneself, keep company

Good is benefit, well, benevolent, profitable, useful

This, for me, seems to be an indictment on how I spend my time. Am I "keeping company" with those things that benefit me and my family.. that are profitable for my spiritual growth and for the Kingdom?

This verse has 3 exhortation.. Love as God loves.. sincere.. real.. not fake

Hate / Detest that which is evil, wicked, ultimately of satan

Clint to, hold on to that which is good, beneficial, right

So HOW do I do this?

I can only love with AGAPE love when I allow God to fill me with His Spirit and let His love flow through me.  I must have His heart for others.. must love Him with all my being before I can love others as He would have me love them.

If I am to hate evil and cling to good, that will require action on my part.  This is not about hating people.. never that.. but I must consider who I spend my time with and what I spend it doing..reading, watching, etc.

Psalm 1:1-3 comes to mind...

Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
    Whatever he does prospers.

This cannot be accomplished in and of myself -- My sinful self cannot love this way, resist temptation and conformity to the world (which does not hate evil).. hold only to what is good, which means letting go of some things. I can only do this through Christ living in me which turns me back to Romans 12:1... offering myself as a living sacrifice.. dying to self.. DAILY.

Lord, today help me to love sincerely, not fake, not pretend, real.. just as You love me.  Pour me out and fill every bit of me with Your Holy Spirit and let the Fruit of the Spirit be evident in my life. Give me a distaste -- a hate -- a disgust for anything evil or wicked. Change my heart, my nature.. conform it to your. Help me to see past the trappings of the world to the truth.  Show me evil in my life that needs to go.. bad I need to let go of... and show me the good here I need to hold on to with all my might.  I can do all thing through Christ who lives in me!  Thank You, Lord!  Amen!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Psalm 15

Who may worship in Your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter Your presence on Your holy hill?

Those who lead blameless lives

          May I be blameless in keeping your decrees (Ps. 119:80)

Those who do what is right

         Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness (Ps. 5:8)

Those who speak truth from sincere hearts

          for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception (Prov. 8:7)

Those who refuse to gossip

          Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people (Lev. 19:16)

or harm their neighbors

         Love your neighbors as yourself (Lev. 19:19, Matt. 22:39)

or speak evil of their friends

          Keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies (Ps. 34:13)

Those who despise flagrant sinners

          Bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33)
          Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners or     
            join in with mockers. (Ps. 1:1)

and honor the faithful followers of the Lord

          Love one another (John 13:34)

and keep their promises even when it hurts

          It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it (Eccl. 5:5)

          Simply let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matt. 5:37)

Those who lend money without charging interest

          Remember do not charge interest on money you lend (Lev. 25:37)

          Be generous and lend them whatever they need (Deut. 15:8)

and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent

          Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see (Ex. 23:8)
          Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice 
             or partiality or the taking of bribes (2 Chr. 19:7)

Such people will stand firm forever!

          The wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm (Prov. 12:73

          Be on guard -- Stand firm in the faith - Be courageous - Be strong (1 Cor 16:13)
          It is God who enable us to stand firm (2 Cor. 1:21)
          Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil 
             (Eph. 6:11)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 Word of the Year

I am extremely tardy posting this.. but not as tardy as 2012. I was looking back to see all the words I have chosen since starting this tradition of having a word of the year... 2008 was the first year and my word was Gratitude (I never posted it here)... 2009 -  Peace... 2010 - Change ... 2011 - Choice ... 2012 -- Less / More .. I never posted about it!  Needless to say 2012 was not a good blog year... I really did not put the time and energy into it that I needed to. Hoping 2013 will be better.

So now on to 2013's word... I have known what my word would be for a while.. really before 1/1/2013.. God started speaking to my heart about it months ago...  the word is KNOW.

Know.... might seem an odd word, but there are several aspects of it that God is working in my life.

First off... an rather obvious.. is a need to KNOW Him... not just Know about Him but really Know Him.  The Hebrew word for Know is Yada and it means to know .. well in the Biblical sense... Adam knew Eve.. to be intimate with someone. Now I am not talking about sex .. I am talking about knowing someone so deeply.. so intimately.. like a husband and wife know each other.. that is how we are to know God .. what I am striving for in my relationship with Him this year.  To Know Him more... deeper... in ways I have never known Him before.  And I will confess that the thought of that excites me and scares me.  I have grown in my relationship with the Lord most in the difficult times.... and I fear the answer to that prayer.. to know Him more.. might require a walk through the valley.. but I also know it will be worth it, if that is the path He has chosen for me.

Second... as I think of wanting to Know Him.. to Yada Him.. I am struck by the reality that He already knows me that intimately.  Read Psalm 139!  In fact, He Yadas me more than any other person / being ever has and ever will... more than my parents.. more than my children.. my best friends.. even more than my husband, who knows me better than anyone else on this earth.  No human can know me the way and to the depths that God knows me.. in fact, I don't even know me as well as He knows me!  Mind boggling, isn't it!?  This year I want to grasp that.. to realize I don't have to hide the real me.. to pretend to be who I think He wants me to be. I can trust Him with all of me because He already knows Me.. and He loves me even in the messed up state I am in.

Third.. I want to Know His Word more.. some of that is practical knowing.. I am striving to dig in and study more.. to memorize more Scripture this year.. but again, I am striving for something deeper. I want to Know His Word not just in my head, but in my life.. I want to see it at work and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt the realities of it. When I say that God will supply all my needs I want to KNOW that to my core.. when I say He will never leave me or forsake me, I want to KNOW it without a trace of doubt... I want His Word to be a part of me... as Hebrews 4:12 says, it is living and active.. I want it to be living and active in me.

So I am striving to KNOW more this year... not just head Knowledge.. heart knowledge that is walked out in my life and that glorifies God so that others see Him and not me.

I want to be able to say with Paul...  

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  (Phil. 3:7)