Measuring My Faith ~ A 31 Day Post (day 25)

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What is FAITH?

If you look in the dictionary to discover what it is, you will find things like:

confidence or trust in a person or thing…..belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion…..the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.

The word FAITH appears in the English Standard Version of the Bible 475 times.  It’s important.  We learn that in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School when we are very young.  We know that God is FAITHful to us.  And we know that part of being a follower of Christ means that we are FAITHful to God.

But how do I measure up?  This 31 day series has been an outpouring of my heart sharing things I’ve learned in my walk with the Lord over the years.   Over the last year, I’ve learned that sometimes my FAITH is not as strong as I know it should be.  Oh, I can talk the talk.  But sometimes when it’s just me and God, I’m have to admit that my FAITH waivers.  I doubt and so I tell Him so.  I let Him know that I just don’t understand.

I love the devotions found in My Utmost for His Highest.  Over the past year, I wrote down a few excerpts from the book.  Take a look at what Oswald Chambers had to say about FAITH.

..the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven to us as trustworthy in our own minds…Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him – a faith that says, “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.”  The highest and greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is – “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.” (Job 13:15)

Let me clarify that I do not feel “slain” by any means.  But I do have things that have crossed the journey I am on that are just hard to swallow.  I’ve thought a good bit about Chambers’ statement, “…God’s character must be proven to us as trustworthy in our own minds…”  Why, when we know so much about God, would we need His character proven to us?  And more importantly, why do we need it proven over and over again?  It’s like we get it, and understand it, but once we are through one obstacle we need that proof all over again when the next thing comes.  Being reminded 100, or more, ways that God is FAITHful should be enough.   Kind of reminds me of the children of Israel!

I’ve mentioned the website Love God Greatly before in my writing.  In one of the studies that I did through their site, I came across the statement, “How we act reveals what we think about God…”  It’s true.  If the gospel has changed our hearts and minds…if we believe that God is who He says that He is…if we have confessed that we have FAITH in Him…then our actions should reveal that. 

I titled this post “Measuring My Faith”  because I’ve been really looking at and thinking about it a lot lately.  I have FAITH.  It’s part of the core of my being.  But is it seen in and through me by those around me?  I had a Sunday School teacher once that said, “you may be the only Jesus that others see.” (I’m not sure who originally coined the phrase.)  Though I didn’t fully understand that in the 4th or 5th grade, today, I do.  My faith, and how I live it out, reveals who God is to me.  That’s in good times and bad.

How about you?

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!


 

 

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V is for ………

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Verses

 At the beginning of 2013, I began trying to memorize 100 Verses in 2013.  This was based on a challenge I saw on Facebook with Learning at His Feet and on the book 100 Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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I should go ahead and admit failure up front.  Somewhere in the midst of homeschooling, violin lessons, ballet, children’s choir, Awana…….well, I am sure you get the idea…in the midst of all of those, I slacked off and just didn’t memorize very many.

It’s not that I don’t think it’s important, I definitely do.

There are so many wonderful verses in the Bible but here are a few that have become my favorite over the years.

Philippians 4:6-8 (ESV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Romans 15:13 (ESV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

1 John 4:12-15 (ESV)

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

I could list so many more that have impacted my life over the years .  What a great privilege to be able to read God’s Word.  What a blessing that the Lord saw fit to create us with the ability to memorize and hide His Word in our hearts.

Join others over at Ben and Me as we are “Blogging through the Alphabet”

Joy to You!

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Meditation for March 11, 2013

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In my past life — before becoming a full-time, homeschooling mama — I worked as an an Interior Designer.  That was my major in college and I spent my career working in commercial design so that meant a lot of space planning and a little bit of creativity.  It was still fun.  There were still multiple spaces and rooms to consider that had purpose and meaning and needed to function as their design was intended.   I didn’t often get to select fun colors and patterns and artwork and rugs and drapes, but I absolutely love to look at furniture and art and rugs and accessories.  I like to look at floor plans and imagine how I could decorate them. I could watch those home and garden shows all day long.   Sometimes I look at a house and think of how to make it more to what I think I would like or need, how it would better serve my family. 
 
This week’s verses for the 100 Verses in 2013 Challenge make me smile.  Especially the second one; it seems right up my alley.
 

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Why?  Because it’s about my eternal home.  A home that’s being prepared for me.  A home that will be exactly what I need.  It is so exciting to me that the Lord is preparing that for me.  The first verse also speaks to me reminding me not to let my heart be troubled.  How?  By believing in Him.  Believing that He will do what He says He will do.  That is comforting for me.  
 
Joy to you!

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Meditations

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1 John 5:11 – 12
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  
 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
 

These are the verses that I am working on memorizing this week in the challenge to memorize 100 Verses in 2013.

Aren’t they powerful?

Especially at this time of year as we prepare our hearts for Easter.

The eternal life that I have is because of Jesus.

Because He came.  

Because He was willing to take on the sin of the world.

Because He died.  

Because He rose from the grave.

I am so thankful for this gift from God.

Joy To You!

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I Needed These 2 Verses (100 Verses ~ Week 8)

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Do you ever read (or hear) a verse — or two — and know
in the very deepest place of your heart
that God orchestrated that reading…that hearing?
 
The verses to memorize this week for the 100 Verses in 2013 Challenge are just that for me.
 
     hebrews412       hebrews416
 
You see I know first hand how words can hurt.  How they can divide and judge.
Only this kind of dividing and judging was from me and my sharp tongue.  
Surely my words felt as though I was coming at the recipient with a double-edged sword.
 
I also know first hand how the grace and mercy of God can cover the hurt.
Can allow forgiveness to be asked for and to be given.
 
Without getting too personal (you will just have to trust me on this one),
I have been an absolute basket-case for over two weeks now.  
Feeling like EVERYTHING was standing on the tip-end of  every nerve in my body.
I was feeling like I would explode any minute.
 
There was no patience,  no tolerance, no grace from me.
 
It’s better now.  I’m feeling more like myself.  
Today, I opened the verse schedule to see what I would be memorizing this week and there were the two verses that I needed.  Thank you Lord for the gentle reminder.  Thank you Lord for convicting me.
 
I already knew it.  Memorizing, meditating on God’s Word will do that to you. 
But the reminder, for me, was necessary.
 
My ill words did “cut”, they did hurt.
I had to ask forgiveness.
I had to ask for mercy and grace.
From my family and friends.
From my Heavenly Father.
 
I praise Him for His Word being active and alive.
I praise Him that His Word does judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I praise Him for His grace and mercy.
 
Join me again, and others, as we journal about memorizing 100 Verses in 2013 over at Ben and Me.
Joy to You!
robin2

Benefits of The Word (100 Verses in 2013 ~ Week 6)

 
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I know it’s not Monday anymore but I still wanted to write my “meditations” post AND I just love the photo of the cross.  It reminds me that meditating on God’s Word will cause me to look to the Lord.
 
It’s hard to believe that we are already in week 6 of memorizing 100 verses in 2013.  Last week was very busy so I must admit that I have not mastered the 2 verses that I was working on.  No worries though, I will just keep at it and add this week’s to them.
 
I mentioned in previous posts that I am reading the book 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart as I take this challenge to memorize the verses listed in the book.  You all will likely get tired of hearing me say that the book is well worth reading, but I can’t help it,  I just think it bears repeating.  Anyway, in my reading this week Robert Morgan is giving tips on how to memorize and how to relate the verses to each other.  He also mentions benefits of knowing God’s Word.  One thing that he said that has really stuck with me is,
Bible verses represent the most healing, clarifying, bolstering, uplifting data we can insert into our brains.
 

Then, last week, while our internet was down and I couldn’t access my daily reading plan through YouVersion, I read Psalm 119.  As I was reading, I noticed that it lists many benefits of the Word of God.  Here are just a few of those benefits?

  • My footsteps are established (133)
  • That I may live (116)
  • Gives light………understanding to the simple (130)
  • Is my delight ….. my Counselor (24 & 92)
  • My strength (28)
  • Keeps my way pure (9)
  • Produces a reverence for God (38)
  • Comfort in affliction (50)
  • Revives me (multiple verses)
  • Deliverance (170)
  • Good discernment and knowledge (66)
There are more but the one I like the most, which happens to be one of the verses I am to memorize this week :
  • Psalm 119:11 — I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Isn’t it cool that God spells it out for us? He lets us know that if we meditate and memorize His Word we will benefit in many ways.

The other verse for this week is:

  • Joshua 1:8 ~ Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
 
There’s another benefit.  Prosperity and success.  This is not material prosperity or worldly success but rather these things as God measures them.  That is my prayer.  For myself.  For my family.  For my friends.
 
Thanks for joining me in my journey to memorize scripture.  I hope that you will hide a few, or 100, scriptures in your heart.
 
I am linked up with my friend Marcy over at Ben and Me.  Won’t you join us?  Click over to Marcy’s site to read how others are also taking this challenge.  Or click on the button below to visit Learning At His Feet, the site where the challenge started.
 
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Joy to You!
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Forsaken!

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We are entering Week 5 of the challenge to memorize 100 Verses in 2013.  I am diligently (that’s my “word” for the year) working on learning the scriptures that are outlined.  I am still reading the book 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart  that this challenge is based on.  It’s so good; I could — and may one day soon — write a post just about the book.  But right now, I’d like to talk about last week’s verses.  Both verses came from Romans.  They were:
  • Romans 5:8 — But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 10:9 — That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
I’ve heard these for years but never really learned them.  Never committed them to memory word for word.  NEVER really knew where to find them in the Bible.Anyway, in my quiet time one morning this past week, as I was reading in Ezra 9 and the word FORSAKEN jumped off the page.  I immediately thought of the two verses in Romans that I was working on memorizing.  Ezra 9 talks of God not forsaking the children of Israel in their time of slavery.  It tells that He extended His steadfast love….gave His protection to the people.  And Romans tells us that He loves us, that He saves us.

I began to think of how I so often forsake the Lord with my actions and attitudes. And yet, He has not forsaken me.  I am not one to get into controversial issues, but I believe that it often seems that our nation, even the world as a whole, has forsaken the Lord.  And yet, He has not forsaken us.  The two verses in Romans reaffirm/confirm this.  He provided a way out of our sin.  He loves us.

I feel like I am rambling on and on…….I apologize but I just can’t get into words what I am thinking or how I feel but I do know that God loves us.  He will never leave us or FORSAKE us.

Thanks for letting me share.   The verses for Week 5 are:

Romans 10: 10 ~ For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified,
and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
2 Timothy 3:16 ~ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness . . .
 
 This post is linked with my friend Marcy at Ben and Me as I journal about my goal to memorize 100 verses this year.  Please join us in memorizing or just for encouragement in God’s word.     You can also join in the challenge by clicking the button below to visit Learning At His Feet.
 
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Joy to You!
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