What a week it has been! I turned 30 (I have to keep saying it so I can believe it) on Thursday, went “previously owned” car shopping with Mike this morning, and then attended a birthday party in my honour this afternoon organized by Erin. She gave me the nicest hair clip ever from Bargain Harley’s 😉 Oh the hair clip…
Anyway, this is the second time I have sat down to try and formulate some thoughts into what we read this week. I’m telling ya, I seem to have a harder time with the New Testament books because they are SO FULL of instruction and marvelous bits of Biblical goodness that I often don’t even know where to start. I’ll try and touch on one or two things that were most meaningful to me.
I think the first moment I had in reading these chapters this time was something I had already previoulsy underlined at some other time. Chapter 3:16 “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” I’m sorta at a loss for words here because I haven’t been good at “seeing and reflecting the glory of the Lord” lately and that makes me sad. Imagine all I am missing by not concentrating on God’s glory! Imagine what other people might be missing by me not fully reflecting the Lord. I’m not doing my job the way The Father would have me to do it. I don’t remember exactly when I had underlined that passage before but I do remember that I did it so I could work on that and for a time I did. I used to have in my profile write up: “He’s still working on me” and I’m so glad He doesn’t give up on me even when I give up on myself but imagine who I could be if I hadn’t stopped concentrating on God’s glory for a time. What would my reflection be like now? I think I want to find out.
Chapter 4:8 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Wow, what a great thing to tell Christians that have been or may be persecuted. What a great thing to tell Christians who have troubles and trials and suffering. What a great thing to tell Christians. I know this is one of those passages that you hear alot and this time it has new meaning for me. My trials and troubles would pale in comparison to some people I know…but God knows how much I can handle so for me, things that some other people would snuff at, are hard. Everyone has trials and troubles that are hard for them at times. I think for me, this passage was a good reminder because sometimes I give up. Sometimes I forget the Power that is in me that is Christ. I forgot sometimes that God has not abandoned me and I can get back up when I am knocked down. What I need to actually do is give up on myself (the old me who wants to control every thing) and rely on God for the things that make me feel beaten and battered. It sounds so easy…I’m learning. I don’t think I communicated that the way I wanted to but maybe you get the picture.
4:18 “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. I forget this alot, too. I get really caught up in the day to day stuff of life and forget that I am aiming higher. The trick seems to be to make the day to day stuff part of your “aiming higher goal” and I’m working on that too 🙂 I’m trying to imagine Paul saying this to the Corinthians at that time. What an encouraging thing when you are suffering for the cause of Christ. I bet they repeated it to themselves every day so they wouldn’t forget. Maybe that’s what I should do!
6:3 “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,[v] and by our sincere love.” Ok, I’m going to make a comparison here and by no means am I trying to change the word of God but I am trying to apply it to me. I’m not trying to take anything away from the suffering of Paul and his friends at this time. I know I wasn’t alive in Bible times because I couldn’t have handled what they were given. I’m just trying to show myself my downfalls (and you since I am publishing it;) Ok, I need to live in a way where no one will find fault with my ministry and currently, my most important ministry is my family. Do I patiently endure hardships and calamities? Nope. I fly off the handle and try to place some blame. There are days that I feel like verse 5…sleepless night (oh I had plenty of those), gone without food (not for too long, just some meals when Chloe was keeping me on my toes), angry mobs (of children), worked to exhaustion (trying to do it all will do that to ya). So, during those times do I prove myself with patience, understanding, kindness, and sincere love? Nope. See above about flying off the handle. Oh dear, that’s an eye opener tonight. I know these things, I know I’m messing up but being told flat out by God’s word makes me want to stand up and try harder.
Well, I think I’m glad I wrote this. I didn’t think I had anything to say when I started. I can’t stress again how important it is to sit and write it down somewhere.
I am T.I.R.E.D so if this didn’t make sense to you, that’s ok, go read the other ones, I got what I needed tonight 🙂