This week's memory verse:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." --Romans 8:28
As you read this today, I am praying that God will open your eyes and show you where he has been at work in your lifetime, even when you were unaware, or even when you were unbelieving.
I must admit that sometimes I don't enjoy reading some of the old testament. It is so heavy and many times hard to understand. But, it also can be exciting and intriguing as well, with plot changes, mysteries, sex, betrayals and battles that might rival any modern day novel. There are a lot of lessons to be learned by reading the old testament...it is part of our history. When you take lessons from the past and put them to use in the present, I believe you are really benefiting from those who went before you.
I found out today that the root word for Deuteronomy, "deutero" means repetition. The book of Deuteronomy tells the story of the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt, Moses leading them out of captivity, their 40 years in the desert, and their arrival into the promised land. What do you think "repetition" has to do with anything? I think it might be that the Israelites kept making mistakes along the way, but it could also mean that these mistakes were bound to be repeated by future generations...us. Are there lessons we can learn from the mistakes of the Israelites?
Read Deuteronomy 8:1-2. Why did God lead his people out of Egypt and into the desert? God kept pushing them to their limits and testing them so that he could see what they were made of...whether they would keep his commands or not. God knew what was in their hearts, but he needed to make sure THEY KNEW!
During their LONG journey, the Israelites learned several things while in the wilderness that long...
* God provided them with food when there was no food
* They learned to rely on God for everything
* Their clothes did not wear out
* Their feet did not swell during all that walking
They needed to be reminded that God was there and would provide for them.
Can you think of times in your life when things got very hard and you HAD to turn to God for help? Sometimes it takes a hardship or difficulty to get our attention. I don't necessarily think God CAUSES those difficulties...many times we do that ourselves...but he sure does USE them to teach us and remind us.
I can think of many times like that in my life. When my dad got sick with cancer and we were still trying to run the farm. It was very hard to be losing someone you love that much AND be responsible for doing something that you didn't know that much about. Dad was our world...he made the big decisions, he led us to make big decisions in our own lives. When he was gone, we had to learn to lean on God to help us with those kind of decisions, and let God lead us to rely on him.
I also think about Tom's accident a few months ago. At that point in my life, I was pretty grounded in God and thought I did a pretty good job of relying on God every day. But, I learned how much God is REALLY looking out for me and my family. I truly believe he reached down and saved Tom's life, and I believe he sent angels, in the form of friends and family to comfort, support and love me and my daughter. There was a lot of prayer going on during that week...Even though it was a very difficult time, I am grateful for it as it taught me many new lessons about God's grace and loving guidance.
I have said this many times before, I get frustrated with the stories of the Israelites...repeatedly, they see God's miracles right in front of them, and repeatedly, they forget and do their own thing, forgetting about God...until another tragedy strikes. Hmmmm....and we wonder why Deuteronomy means "repetition???"
Don't you think we are like the Israelites? We go on about our business, doing our own thing, not really thinking about God...until something major happens and we cry out for God to save us or help us through.
I was drawn to the First Place 4 Health program because of the weightless aspect, but I have gained SO MUCH MORE than losing a few pounds. Through the daily Bible study, I have learned to strive to keep God in my life and in my decisions every day. This blog is my way of journaling my own feelings related to my Bible study, as well as a way to share my faith with others. God is using this activity in my life to teach me more about himself and is helping me to "tell the world" about him. I believe that I am benefitting from this so much because I have opened my mind and my heart to what God can do. Is your heart open? Do you want it to be? Remember times when you reached out to Go in hard times. Reach out to him now, even if things aren't that bad. Learn to lean on him every day...not just the hard times. You will see how much closer you get to God. Learn from your past...see how God carried you and will continue to do so in the future.