Wednesday, January 13, 2010

more than words.

The Scriptures are more than just words. They have meaning and inspiration that goes beyond just black (or red) ink on a page.

I have several Scriptures on my Facebook page. And sometimes, I myself, forget that they are more than just words that are meant to be read. They are words that are meant to be lived.

Religious views: i consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord

This is part of Philippians 3:8. Philippians is one of my favorite books of the Bible, because it is about rejoicing always, even in strife and pain. Paul was in chains when he wrote this letter, yet he was still able to testify to the gospel of God!

I chose this verse as my "Religious view" because nothing in this world could ever outshine or outdo Christ Jesus. When I lose myself, I gain Christ! If I choose something (be it money, power, or "stuff") over God, it ultimately leads to my destruction. I've experienced the "chains" of choosing things above God. I've experienced the pain of putting God second (or third, or even fourth) to the pleasures and desires of my sinful heart. But God showed grace and mercy and unconditional love and I am (at least, I try to be) fully aware of the heart of God and I try to lose my impatience, need-for-control, self-sufficient, manipulative ways in order that I may lose myself and gain knowledge of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." -- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

I read this verse during a particularly difficult emotional stage in my life. I was struggling majorly with keeping my focus firmly on God and not letting Satan overtake my heart and leading me astray from Christ. It's a reminder to me that whenever I feel like I may be tempted to stray away from the light, to be on my guard, stand firm, and be courageous and strong. God's got my back! It's also a reminder that in all I do, to do with with love and in love. It's not enough just to do a good deed. The heart of the matter is what counts and if it is not filled with love and if love does not surround the action, what good is it?

"I have told you these things so in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." --Jesus, John 16:33

Again, another verse read during the same emotional "rough-patch" I was encountering. I was really searching and struggling to find peace amidst the pain and depression I was battling. But Jesus had to endure so much more pain than I will ever have to encounter. But He did it for sinners like me. He did it so that I may bring Him glory, therefore finding the peace, strength, comfort, and solace that I desire and need. Jesus overcame the world: for me! :)

"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." --Paul, Acts 20:22-24

I read this verse at some point during the summer of 2009. I was really astray in my walk with God and this verse helped me shift my focus back on God. And even though, it was only a momentary shift, it still speaks to me today about the importance of not only keeping my faith, but also standing firm in it, even when it's a tough road to tread.

Paul was facing hardship after hardship, prison, and even death! But he stood firm in his faith and about preaching and spreading the gospel of Christ. He knew that his life wasn't his own, that it was for God! I want to live these words out! I want to know that even if I am faced with rejection, hardship, pain, etc. that I will stand firm in my faith and knowledge of God and will continue to testify to the wonder and grace of God!

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future'." -- Jeremiah 29:11

One of my all time favorite verses. Hands down.
No matter how much pain or how many tests and trials we are facing, it is all part of God's glorious plan for us. God has amazing works to do in and through us, and I take heart in that by keeping this verse etched on my heart.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior." --Isaiah 43:2-3 NKJV

I read this verse in a one-month devotional entitled Promises & Prayers for Times of Uncertainty. It was a very stressful time and I just really needed to be comforted and clothed with God's word. I read this verse and knew that God was always with me. The poem Footprints entered my mind...Another reminder that God never leaves or forsakes us. It is in the hard times that He carries us and protects us.

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him he hears their cry and saves them." --Psalms 145:18-20 NIV

I also read this from Promises & Prayers for Times of Uncertainty. It was around the same stressful time mentioned above. But it encouraged me to stand strong in the Lord, to trust in Him and pray to Him fervently. I knew everything that happened would happen for His purposes and plans during those times. That particular time in my life, I was able to fully surrender control of my life to God and He came through, just as He promises.

There are far more Scriptures that are etched in my heart and soul. There are reasons and feelings and emotions so numerous that I could fill up multiple blogs and I still would have more to say. But I want for my blogs and the things that are written and printed on Facebook to have more meaning than "just words". I want them to also be etched in my heart and in every aspect of my life, be it school, work, worship, everything. (The whole idea of overflowing: Inspiration. Words are powerful, but only if they have actions to back them up.

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