Lifting Others Up to God

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

As I learned from my local pastors, whenever you see then at the beginning of a verse, you need to look at the previous passages to see what it is referring to. 1 Timothy begins with Paul writing to Timothy in regards to the people of Ephesus who had walked away from their faith in the Lord. Paul told Timothy to stay in Ephesus to instruct people on how they had fallen from the teachings of Christ. Paul also stated specific examples of this own terrible behaviors, speech, and actions that were all changed by the grace poured out on him by God. Paul was telling Timothy to remember what God had done for him and called him to do. You should also remember what God has done for you and called you to do.

For All People

By the time you get to the first verse of chapter two you understand why Paul was urging not just Timothy but everyone to lift people up to God. He told Timothy to petition, pray, intercede, and give thanks for all people. At first read that sounds like a lot to do for a lot of people so let’s break it down.

Petition

Petition, also translated as supplication, is to ask with desire. Before we pray, we need our hearts to be in line with God’s will for the person we are lifting up. Our prayers then call upon God to flood them with grace and blessings as in Psalm 67:1-4.

Pray

Pray, according to many scholars, as written in 1 Timothy is defined the same as supplication. If we look at other scripture to find out more about praying, Matthew 6:5-15 is an obvious place to look. We are to ask God for his grace, mercy, forgiveness, guidance, and provisions without boasting that we have done so.

Intercede

Intercede is to act upon someone else’s behalf. Often we don’t even know the words to pray, but we know that they need the love of God. Romans 8:26 speaks of how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. We hope for what is not yet received.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving speaks of the nature within us that develops when we are fully grounded in God’s will. (2 Thessalonians 1:3) Love overflows in us the deeper we are in relationship with God.

Lifting Others Up

We don’t know what God has in store for us or anyone else but God does. God doesn’t need us to pray in order for his plan to work. He desires a close relationship with everyone and we can develop that relationship by praying as he has instructed us to. Let’s give all our petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for everyone.

What do you think?

Do you find it easier to pray for others than it is to pray for yourself?
Do you pray for those who have tarnished the name of the LORD?
More specifically, do you pray for those who have harmed you?

Tell us your thoughts by leaving a response at the end of this post.

 

 

 

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

What’s the Purpose?

Why? Why? But why? Why? Why? Why? Why? But why? Why?…

Anyone who has been around an inquisitive toddler has heard the continual questions of why that seem to go on and on and on. I think at times we sound that way to God, but thankfully God does not get tired or irritated by our questions. So, let’s ask the question why pray?

There are many explanations of why we should pray. A few of the reasons that we at Bible Study Journey came up with are because we are told to, to be in communication with God, it’s a privilege, to be imitators of Jesus, to be a part of God’s workings, to develop humility and to have power over evil. I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into the Bible to discover what God has to say about prayer. Please join me on this journey to discover why we pray.

Christians are to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), faithfully (Romans 12:12), devoted (Colossians 4:2), to praying for everyone (1 Timothy 2:1)–even our enemies (Matthew 5:44)–and on all occasions (Ephesians 6:18). Does that seem overwhelming? Just take it slow and remember that learning new things and developing new habits takes time. With confidence I can say that God will bless you richly when you devote yourself to strengthening your prayer life.

I became devoted to prayer when I learned that Jesus himself prayed for us. It was early in my Christian walk during a women’s Bible study when we discussed John 17:20-25. In verses 24 and 25, Jesus said this prayer to God: 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
      “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” 

If Jesus prayed for me, then why should I not pray for him and for God’s glory to shine above all?

If you are anything like me, you struggled at the thought of praying for everyone, all the time, and for those who attack us. That is where humility comes in as shown in Proverbs 11:2, “with humility comes wisdom” and in 22:4, “Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.” It is amazing when you humble yourself and truly pray in God’s will for goodness to those who have done you wrong. Give it a try; you won’t be sorry.

I believe the most humbling reason to pray is to be a part of God’s plan. When I think of who in the Bible (outside of Jesus) brought glory to God by his actions and his prayers, I think of the Prophet Elijah (You can find his story in 1 Kings 17-18:14). Elijah stood up for his beliefs in God. He prayed for God’s interventions even when they would be tremendously hard to endure. I see a man who showed us that the Christian life is not always easy. He wavered from time to time, even trying to hide from God when he felt like a failure. Just because you profess to believe in God, it does not mean that all troubles will be washed away and life will be one happy party. However, if we stay dedicated, humble, and steadfast in prayer, we can find the joy in the trials of life. Better yet, we are a witness to others, and the family of God will grow.

God shared with Elijah how his life had affected the Kingdom of God in Romans 11:4, “and what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.'” 7,000! WOW! Elijah had no clue that his life had such an impact and the same goes for us. We have no way to know how a stranger’s life is impacted by our own. Just think, if someone sees you be extraordinarily gracious during a time of trial where you give God the glory for being able to endure, they may share what they saw with someone else, who will share it with someone else, and so on and so on.

I invite you to download the printable prayer journal (here) and other resources (here) we have available. Use these to commit to increasing your love for communicating with God through devoted prayer. I will conclude with a prayer:

Dear Lord,
Your gracious love for us is unfathomable. You say you will not leave those who believe in you. You give a way through any and all trials we come across here on earth. For this I thank you. I pray that my selfish desires are extinguished by the living water that flows through me from your Holy Spirit. Please use my life to strengthen your kingdom. Thank you for not turning your back on me. I thank you for the hope that comes from believing in your promise of returning to earth to redeem the world. Until that time I will continue to praise your good works. I speak all of this in the precious name of Jesus,
Amen.

 

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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Finding Your Way with GPS

Are you a GPS user, or do you just figure out where you’re going on your own? In the 80’s when my siblings and I got our driver’s licenses, gasoline was pretty inexpensive. Living in a rural town, we would often go cruising for our entertainment. Just driving around with nowhere to go; just taking an adventure to see if you could find your way back. We always found our way home and had a blast exploring the countryside.

One of the funniest trips was years later though. My sister and I loved cable TV decorating shows and really enjoyed a local show called Decorating Cents. They had a segment called “Trash to Treasure,” where the host would go to a resale shop called Sticks and Stones in Minneapolis, MN.  My sister lived within in an hour of there, so one day we took a road trip to visit the store. At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, we thought, “Huh, how hard could it be to find?” Well…let me tell you.

She had one of the first-generation, dash-mounted GPS units so we thought it would be a piece of cake to find the store. If you ever tried to use one of these units, you know that they were not always the most accurate (to say the least). She followed its instructions to the T—turn left, turn right, continue forward; and before we know it, we found ourselves on a dead end street. Well, that was obviously the wrong path! So, we turned around and tried again.

Just about the time we’re thinking we might not find the place, we saw a library sign. We pulled over to hopefully look up resale shops in the yellow pages. I got out of the car and got the address—only to find out that we’d been close and didn’t even know it. We went just a bit further, and she said, “THAT’S IT!” She whipped into an off-street parking spot, I jumped out and went up to the door, only to see a sign that said, “CLOSED FOR THE MONTH OF JULY.” What?! NO WAY!!! You are kidding me! I got in the car, told my sister, and we cracked up! Only we would get into the car to go to a town of 350,000 people looking for a small resale shop having no idea where it was. We still laugh about it today.

Do you ever feel your life is like being on a road trip and you don’t know the destination or which way to go? God doesn’t give us a map with a big X showing us our full journey with road blocks, construction, and other obstacles clearly marked. How are we supposed to know what journey he wants us on? Does our path ever change? How do we get where he wants us?

May I suggest using GPS–God’s Provision Steering. Jesus has gone ahead of us and prepared all we need to arrive in the Glory of God. “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) I can only know what God wants for me, if I am in communication with Him. We communicate with God by prayer and reading His word. I verify my understandings of what God is showing me by seeking counsel from biblically-sound pastors, elders, and siblings in Christ.

Our paths and purpose do change from time to time. It is rare that our journeys are on a single, long straight road with no turns, hills, valleys, or obstacles. For each season of our lives, we may have a different route and purpose. Each of these routes have something in common with the others. That commonality is our specific gifts that God has given us.

Each of us have been blessed with a gift or an ability that shines God’s presence through it. For me, it’s a passion for people, a great sense of joy and laughter, and a discerning eye. As I go through each day making decisions and interacting with others, I try to concentrate on living life for God, using my gifts to shine His grace through me. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

There have been many times in my life when I have not stayed on the path God had set before me. There were times I stopped going to church, stopped studying God’s word, and stopped engaging with other believers. At those times, I found myself struggling as if I was fighting with someone all the time. Each time I wandered, God so gently guided me back. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11) I didn’t always realize it as it was happening; but once back in his arms, I knew it was where I needed to be. It becomes easier to stay on the righteous path as I mature in my relationship with Christ. The temptations to live in the world that are all around us each day bring speed bumps, potholes, construction zones, and detours in our lives and break down our efforts to live in Christ publicly.

Just as you need to make sure your car has what it needs for a road trip, you need to make sure you have what it takes to endure life’s journey. We need to have the daily fuel of God’s word, using his GPS to find the path he has laid down before us. We need regular maintenance checks to make sure we are running as we were designed to. And, we need to make sure we are ready to be used at all times.

As I pondered the subject of life’s journey, I studied God’s word and found comfort in these truths:

• “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalms 16:11)
• “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths.” (Proverbs 1:15)
• “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17)
• “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and please 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. The you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
• “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)
• “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

Where does your journey lead? Is it the path you are called to be on? Seek God, and you will find where you are to be. Set yourself on studying the Bible to see where God is leading you. If you need help in this, you can send us a message, seek counsel from elders or Pastors of your local church, talk with brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray. Let’s join together on a journey with God.

What are some verses you have found helpful as you try to follow God’s path for your life? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Where Does Your Journey End?

What is life’s journey? Do the events in our lives matter? Does life just end?

These questions came to me when more than one person I knew passed away in the first couple weeks of June. As I drove the 45 minutes to my brother’s home the day his dear wife passed away, I saw these questions as clear as day. I had to stop and capture the scene pictured here. I knew then that God wanted me to share my thoughts with you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Some think that this refers to focusing on our lives instead of where we are once we pass away. Others think it’s a bit smaller and say that each event in your life doesn’t matter nor does where you end up. They believe it’s the fun you have while meandering through life, living in response to events instead of living purposefully to obtain an end goal. I’ve lived both. Prior to being a Christian, I was in it for me. Now I live my life for Christ. It changed my perspective on why we are on this earth and where we go when we die.

“May we live here like strangers and make the world not a house, but an inn, in which we sup and lodge, expecting to be on our journey tomorrow.”
–Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon said, “May we live here like strangers and make the world not a house, but an inn, in which we sup and lodge, expecting to be on our journey tomorrow.” Using Hebrews 13:14 as my basis, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come,” I think that Spurgeon is NOT telling us to be strangers among ourselves but telling us to not make this world our home.

If this world is not our permanent home then there must be another that is. God has created a place for each of us to spend eternity. A glorious home at his right side. But entry into this home is not granted just because you pass away. There are requirements that grant you entry:

  • The first of which is humbly realizing that God is the Creator of all.
  • Believing that he sent his son to be a sacrifice for our iniquities, leading the way for our own redemption and entry into an eternal life with Christ. But you have to do more than just believe.
  • The key to life with Christ is to ask our Father to cleanse you of your sins, replace it with his love, and be the LORD of all in your life. Once you have done this, you have access to the Holy Spirit who guides you on the path that God has made for you. You now are able to see your iniquities, ask for forgiveness, turn from those ways and live a purposeful life glorifying God through it all.

These scriptures tell us that there is life after death and life on earth has a purpose, a goal:

  • John 14:1-4: “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.'” 
  • Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
  • Philippians 3:20-21, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Have you secured your relationship with Jesus?

Our life here on earth is like dew on a lawn, lasting such a short time, then gone with the morning dawn. You can plan for your eternity now. Have you secured your relationship with Jesus? If not, I hope these passages have encouraged you to invite him into your life. God has created a place for you in heaven. Jesus is waiting there for you. If you need more help to connect with God, send us a message or reach out to your local church.

#journey #story #life #road
#lifesjourneywithjesus

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Foolish or Faithful

This year Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day, and now Easter will fall on April Fool’s Day. Two Christian holidays overlapping two non-religious holidays. This year I can’t avoid talking about the irony of Easter being on what the world celebrates as a day for acting like a fool.

Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the source of our faith. It is a day of faith and love. At almost the opposite end of the spectrum, April Fool’s Day is a holiday giving opportunity to play pranks and jokes on people, a day of fools and folly.

Christians celebrate Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This is why it changes each year. We don’t have an exact date when Jesus died on the cross, but we do know that his death was on a Friday around Passover which makes three days later the Sunday after the vernal equinox full moon.

The origin of April Fool’s Day is debated. Some people believe that it dates back to 1582 when France switched to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian calendar. On the Julian calendar, New Year’s day was celebrated around April 1 and with the Gregorian it was changed to the current date of January 1. When people celebrated the beginning of a new year on April 1 that year, they were called fools. And you could say the rest is history.

So now that I have the when explained, I want to talk a bit about what Easter is and why it is marginalized and commercialized by so many. I believe 1 Corinthians 2:14 explains it perfectly. It states “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

In contrast to “the person without the Spirit”, a person with the Spirit is a born-again Christian. Someone who has been sealed by the Holy Spirit because they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God has the Holy Spirit speak to us to give us his wisdom and guidance as told in John 16:13-14 (Jesus speaking), “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”

Why do some “not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God”? In my experience the things of God have been the exact opposite of my selfish desires so I considered them utter foolishness. I thought why would I want to do something that would get me nowhere, give me no credit, and give me nothing tangible? I was fooled by the commercialized fun of April Fool’s Day and the sweet treasures of the Easter bunny. The bigger the trick the better the fun. And I didn’t know anyone who didn’t love to be the “winner” by finding the most eggs and getting the biggest basket with the best gifts.

Then somewhere in my 20s I started wanting something more. I started questioning if there was more to this man they call God. Being raised by parents who only followed a worldly religion of celebrating commercial holidays, I was only exposed to the storybook fantasy of a god who swoops in and saves the day. I soon found myself disappointed and lost when my sinful actions took over my life. I questioned the purpose of life. I began to regret the wasted time I spent living for myself.

I became a Christian in my 30th year of life. That’s a LOT of years following only my selfish desires and having little regard to how I achieved them. I started accepting the truths of God because I was able to discern them from lies but only after I accepted that life on earth was hopeless without the guidance and wisdom from my Creator. I began to realize that I was trapped by thinking I was a pretty good person and didn’t need anyone telling me any different. This selfishness was holding me back from healing from past hurts, overcoming strongholds, and most of all, it was keeping me stuck in sin. But as Jesus said, the Holy Spirit guided me through the muck and showed me that life is beautiful when you give it to God.

I am beyond thankful that God captured my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect by any means. I still do foolish things but I have hope because Christ died on the cross, and God raised him three days later to then ascend to sit at His right hand. Why does that give me hope? Well frankly because I lived a full life without God as my savior and through his grace I survived. It is only because of God’s grace that I am alive and able to share my life with others. God is my father, Jesus is my savior and the Holy Spirit is my guide.

This Easter I’m guessing there will be parents pranking their children with tricks in their baskets. I pray that there are even more parents that glorify the name of God by sharing the true reason we celebrate Easter and how we can honor him for his sacrifices.

So how about you? Will you be foolish or faithful? I leave you with the encouraging words from 1 Peter 4:1-2, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of his earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

 

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/april-fools-tradition-popularized

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Love in Adversity

Love. Not your typical romantic St. Valentine’s Day type of love but the love that should be shown to everyone. Proverbs 17:17 states “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Both terms of a friend and a brother are referring to a fellow Christian, someone who has already committed themselves to follow Christ’s example. Our command is to love. This verse tells us to love AT ALL TIMES, not just when it feels good. It’s telling us we are born for those tough times.

I was struck by the simplicity and complexity of this verse. Who would ever think that there is a time when a friend would not show love? Well, it’s in those times of adversity when people fall short. It’s very apparent that people all over the world struggle with this type of love. The news is drenched with anger, hatred, and evil. For the average person in every day relationships, I don’t think it’s generally done with an intent to harm. It’s more likely that the person doesn’t know how to show love in that moment. Uncomfortable situations are just that–uncomfortable. Unless you are a nurturing person by trait this does not come easy. You have to think about it. You have to make a conscious effort to show you care about the other person.

I am convicted to be more aware of when I am falling down in this area. I want to be looking for those times when someone is struggling. I want to be the person that steps in and fills the need that they may not even realize they have. Maybe it’s providing a meal for someone who’s been ill or recovering from surgery. Maybe it’s watching the children of a single parent so they can have a much needed break. Or maybe it’s a handwritten note of encouragement.

Will you join me? I pray; Lord, I praise you for giving us the Holy Spirit to show us where we need to be. I pray for each person reading this prayer, that our hearts are softened to hear your still small voice. Please bring people into our paths that you want us to lavish with your love. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 17:17

Let us hear from you: Share ideas on how to show love during difficult times.

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Finding Conviction, Comfort, and Clarity in Discouragement

Do you ever find yourself discouraged and at a loss for what to do next? I found myself there a few weeks ago. The stress built up on all sides of me; work, family, marriage, and my health. As I tried to find answers to problems, solutions to puzzles, and the way out of troubles, I only came up with dead ends and more frustration. I was discouraged. I was losing hope and the courage to stand on my convictions. I was on the edge of giving into defeat.

I shared my feelings with a dear friend of mine. She brought a great perspective to my situation. She challenged me to ponder the thought that I was discouraged because I had the wrong focus. Was I looking through the wrong lens? As we discussed my hardships, dead ends, and frustrations, it became quite evident that I was out of focus! I was completely caught up in what I wanted, what I needed, and what I thought I didn’t have. What was the common thread there? It was I.

My friend encouraged me to focus on God our Father instead. I was brought to Psalm 73:21-28 (ESV), 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, Colossians 3:1-17 and Hebrews 12:1-3. I meditated on these for days; Praying, Reading, Listening. I became refreshed, renewed, and reassured that I just needed to switch my view from internal to eternal. Psalm 73 mentions the eternity that gave me the conviction to stand strong on the promise of God’s faithfulness. I found comfort in knowing He is my refuge. And I found clarity in what I first thought was unanswered problems. The struggles dissipated as I loosened the grip on my impatient and foolish desire to be in control. God knows what we need before we even think a thought. Why should we not trust his lead? He created the world, He created us with his own hands and breath, and He wants to bring us joy through his glory. Our hearts can keep the faith that all will be for the best when God is in control.

In the verses from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”, God calls us to share such experiences. I encourage you to read the rest of the passages in 2 Corinthians to learn more of God’s comfort and how when we share our comforts we are strengthened to continue through the trials. I hope you find encouragement though my journey. May God bless your path as you follow his lead.

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Retucking My Foundation

Stone and brick home foundations develop cracks, loosen and crumble if not maintained. They need regular inspections, testing, analyzing and sometimes retucking. If there are cracks or deteriation in a foundation it allows rain & pests to get in and cause damage. If this damage is not taken care of in time, the damage can be irreversible. Retucking is a construction process that stabilizes a damaged foundation. The old, cracked and crumbling mortar must be scrapped out and replaced. This reinforces and stabilizes the foundation. It will now be able to withstand bad weather, pests and time.

So, why am I telling you about construction techniques? I believe there is a great correlation with our lives. If we allow our foundation to weather, deteriorate and crack, the enemy will be able to get in and destroy. At first, it may not be visible to the naked eye. We can mask over the damage to hide our imperfections. Over time the cracks get bigger and our ability to stand against the storms of life decreases.

My 2017 seemed like it was a year and a half long. My year had so many troubles, hardships, and tragedies most would have run as far as they could in the opposite direction. Why didn’t I? What kept me from doing what so many told me I had the right to do? It was my Lord, my Father, my God. He was my rock. My solid foundation.

I must confess it has not always been solid. There was definite damage. The cracks had been there a long time. I was hiding behind serving in the church, facilitating bible studies, and attending small group studies and prayer meetings. I’m not saying that these things are bad and only mask your real life or even that I knew that is what I was doing. I only want to point out that if we are not careful, we only allow God in on the surface of our life.

Just like a stone or brick foundation of a house that has damage, My life needed to be retucked. I didn’t even know it! But last February, God took a hold of my heart and breathed new life into it. I, for the first time, TRULY believed He loves me. All of me.

“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” – Ezra 3:11

This verse is about the Levites, God’s chosen people. After a better part of a century of hopes and desperation, anguish and resentment their hope was restored. The Levites were overjoyed, singing praises to the Lord. Like the Levites, I sing praises knowing God’s mercies fail not. Is God your foundation or is he a cover up? Make time for reflection and inspect your life. Look for areas where the enemy is getting in and creating havoc. I am so glad I did and allowed God to stabalize my footing. I was able to withstand the storms and see the rainbow on the other side. I pray the same for you in 2018.

Blessings.

 

Bev Pomering has been married to her husband, Terry, for over 20 years. Their family includes two teenage boys and two dogs. Bev describes her home as anything but quiet. She works as an administrative assistant in the medical field. In addition to being an avid crafter and gardener, Bev is also active in her church where she focuses her talents on Women’s Ministries.

 

 

credit to
http://www.biblegateway.com NIV Coffman, James Burton. “Commentary on Ezra 3:11”. “Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament”. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ezra-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™