This Week in Scripture; humility and gentleness?

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. - Ephesians 4:1-3

For some Christians, doctrine is most important. For others, peace and unity are their battle cries. Why not have both? Correct doctrine and peace can be achieved, if a person strives to allow the Holy Spirit work in him or her (Not necessarily a choice to let the Spirit work, but more along the lines of realizing the depth of the person's sin and clings to the Father for deliverance of said sin; thankfully, He gave us such deliverance.).

Do notice that we're to be humble, gentle and patient with one another, and more than willing to maintain peace and unity in the Spirit. This doesn't mean that we're to accept heresy, but the "minor issues" (Baptism, in Reformed circles, is a hotly debated topic, but can be put aside for wonderful fellowship amongst Baptists and Presbyterians. Some of my closest friends hold fast to Reformed Baptist beliefs; they're also quick to edify and correct me on essential doctrine, such as the Trinity. I am blessed to call them friends.); this falls in line with another set of verses that admonish us to be gentle in our responses (1 Peter 3:8-16).

We really should be humble and gentle with our brothers and sisters, as well as unbelievers; who knows how the Lord works in the hearts of man? We certainly don't and we shouldn't usurp God in that regard. In the meantime, gentle answers do turn away wrath and kindness does feel as if burning coals are heaped onto scoffers' heads. That shouldn't be our goal, however; our goal is Christ.


This Week in Scripture; count it all joy!!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4

The first thing a person does when he or she has been attacked for their personal beliefs is to complain about it (Don't deny it; I've done it a time or two myself!); either that or snap right back at the attacker, causing an argument that will never end (That in itself is a pain.).

I have a challenge; instead of fighting back (with your tongue or your fists) and instead of complaining, we should consider a different tactic: Thank God for it!

It sounds completely odd, but hear (read?) me out: What the world finds to be a strength isn't necessarily what God wants us to do; we can be treated as heroes for beating up a bully, but we still assaulted someone who is in God's image. We can always be generous with our money, but it really isn't our money to begin with (It belongs to God.) and our motive behind the generosity should be considered. While psychologists encourage married couples to have fantasies regarding other people, God says that our desires are for one another alone and not to defile the marriage bed.

That said, no matter what we do, we'll always be the world's adversary since we claim Christ's righteousness as ours. Rejoice in the fact that you are different and, most importantly, that God is your God and He has called you to be His. We don't lack for anything because God provides our needs (See v. 4.); our faith is strengthened when we trust God more.

Praise God for such wondrous things!


This Week in Scripture; Your throne is forever!

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness. - Psalm 45:6

While I love the idea of God being a fortress, a shield and a resting place, I'm also comforted in knowing that His reign is forever! It has no end! It'll never cease to exist! He'll never be an ex-God! (I like Monty Python...at least the first season; the rest is rubbish.)

I, as well as a lot of Christians, take comfort in knowing that God is sovereign and will always remain so; He has things under control and will never lose control. Do we know of anyone else that can claim that? I don't.

Glorify God and thank Him especially for His sovereignty.


This Week in Scripture; walk humbly with your God!

“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:6-8

If it's one thing that saddens me, it's that I sometimes don't walk humbly with God; I end up trying to leave Him in the dust! He is, after all, a holy and righteous God and I'm a sinner (saved only by His grace). I sometimes am foolish with my time (Spending it on a game rather than studying the Word!) and my patience (Losing it with Bee instead of keeping calm and remaining patient.), so a reminder to walk humbly with my Lord is always a blessing for me.

Even when you do fall down (Sin.), you can still stand up (repent) and keep walking (becoming sanctified) because we are clothed in Christ's righteousness.

Do pray for me for the next couple of weeks: I'll be preparing some music (vocal solo) to sing during the church's offertory; pray that my voice doesn't give out and, most importantly, that God is glorified.

May you walk humbly with your God this week!


This Week in Scripture; my God I will trust.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." - Psalm 91:1-2

(Even though the Scripture memorizing challenge is over, I'll keep going on; honestly, I could use to learn more Scripture!)

I guess I have the idea of God being a refuge and fortress stuck in my head; the only Constant in this life (and the next) is an unshakeable, unmovable, holy God that serves as a refuge and fortress! We all can use a little more stability in our lives (I know I do; it certainly eases the stress and pain of moving constantly.) and God provides that in spades.

While it may not appear that our lives are stable (In fact, life could look more chaotic and haphazard.), our souls are at rest.

A hymn that I love to sing is "It is Well With My Soul"; it was written by Horatio Spafford, after the loss of his children (They were on a ship that had sunk; out of his family, his wife survived.). The following verse in particular stirs my heart:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

With the various trials that come our way, we have the assurance that Christ shed His blood on our behalf and that we're able to abide in His shadow.


Happy New Year!

Today is a brand new start; it's a brand new year! Yay for 2012 being upon us!

I heard a thought-provoking sermon today, courtesy of a Navy chaplain who is due to deploy with his Marines in a few weeks.

One thing that was pointed out was this: Would you make your New Year's resolution to be working on your sanctification?

I thought it was a good idea and it is something to work on (My relationship with the Lord always needs tending; occasionally, a little pruning here and there doesn't hurt!), so I pass it on to you.

Work on your sanctification this year; make this year a year of living for the Lord's will.

I'll continue to post verses that I'll be memorizing and to bring up various things that catch my eye.