February 20, 2016

Humility and Gentleness

Today as I was doing some studying of the book of Ephesians, Chapter 4 I got hung up, pleasantly, at verse 2:

"Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowances for each other's faults
because of your love."

In this verse, those words, "humble" and "gentle" grabbed my attention and so I did a little Greek word study:

  • "humble" - "not pushy", "happy and content when we are not in control", "modesty", in the English we could say "unassuming" "give others credit".
  • "gentle" - "meekness, humility, humble"...I found it interesting that the two words, humble and gentle in this one verse have a similar meaning, almost as though they are synonyms, but then the word meekness was also present in the definition.
  • "meek" - "the positive moral quality of dealing with people in a kind manner, with humility and consideration".
I don't know about you but there are some people in life "sandpaper people" they just rub me the wrong way...but I've learned over the years that I too am someone's "sandpaper person" and that we both serve a purpose in God's plan, we are sanding each other's rough spots to smooth. But it's still hard at times isn't it?  To always be humble and gentle, considerate of others.  Always...in world that only looks out for self?  

Yet Paul writes in verse 1, "Therefore, I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God."  The Lord calls us to walk in a way that is not pushy that is considerate to others.

Revelation 2:4-5 tells us that somewhere along the way the church of Ephesus looses it, they "don't love me (Jesus) or each other" as they first did.  Jesus says to them "Turn back to Me..."

I pray for the Church now, I, like Paul, beg that we will all turn back to Jesus, to that first love, that on-fire excitement of knowing Jesus and that we will all lead a life worthy of His calling.

All Scriptures taken from The Daily Walk Bible, NLT, Tyndale
Greek word definitions from Zondervan Exhaustive Concordance


No More Crumbs...

This morning I was reading Job, the last chapter where Job worships God. Reading it from the Message and Job says to God:

"I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all first hand - from my own eyes and my ears! I'm sorry--forgive me. I'll never do that again, I promise! I'll never again live on crusts of hearsay or crumbs of rumor."

As I read that I thought this is why we need to stay in the Word each and every day. We don't need crusts of hearsay and crumbs of rumors from the people around us. We need to be in the Word of God reading His words to us, seeing His words to us, that's how we now get Him first hand.

Lord God I praise you and I thank you so much for your Holy Word, for your Holy Spirit that indwells the Believer and for the freedom, privilege and the responsibility to be in Your Word that we will know You and that we will understand You more and more each day.

I praise You God because You are God and I am so thankful that Jesus reconciled You and me.

February 3, 2016

He knows...

Last night in our small group study time of Ephesians 3, the question was raised of why God chose that time to reveal the mystery to Paul. We mostly landed on the concept of God’s timing.

This morning in my time with the LORD the reading took me to the book of Exodus and a verse stuck out to me. Reading Exodus 2:25 in the the New Living Translation:

“He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”

I looked into other translations of the same verse and the wording is “concerned about them” (WEB), “understood” (MSG), “the time had come for their rescue” (TLB). What I found very interesting and so GOD is a footnote on this verse in the The Living Bible, the literal translation of this phrase is that God “knew their condition”.

I love that He knows our condition and that He does indeed know when to act and what that action should be, in the case of the revealing of the mystery in Ephesians 3 we’re looking at action that is good and for our good.

Yet, I dig further into my thoughts I think of the things that pass through His hands before it comes to us that aren’t so good yet are good for us. The addict that finally hits rock bottom and realizes the only way out is Up. The loss of some “thing” that causes a struggle when it’s first gone but then shows it was being held too tightly and taking us from what matters above all, taking us away from The All.

I love that He knows our condition and that He will act accordingly, timely. Old Testament, New Testament, He knows us, He always has, He always will, He knows what we need and as we talked in our time last night He knows when we need Him, indeed, He knows the best “time to act”.