Monday, April 2, 2012

The Word that Changed Me

Many things happened in 1998 that changed my life. I said "yes" to going to church for the first time in a long time and "yes" to letting Christian women into my life to teach me the bible. I would say "hit the road" to my boyfriend of two years who decided not to follow God and "goodbye" to my old way of living. It was a whirlwind of change...and though the above descriptions sound simple it was HARD change.

I have deep convictions now about God's word. Looking back over my years as a Christian, the bible has been the BEST foundation. A lovely woman named Simone studied the bible with me and during our first bible study she shared scriptures about the Word of God. At the end, she asked me a question, "If you read scriptures in the bible that tell you to live your life differently than how you are now, will you try to change and follow what God says?"

My simple answer of "yes" to that question was the first step toward a brand new life. For example, during a following study we read 1 Cor. 13: 4-8a and I was challenged on if my boyfriend really loved me. How could I say that he did when it was so obvious that nothing in our immoral relationship reflected what God says love is?  But how dare anyone say he didn't love me? In fact I was so mad, I contemplated throwing her out of my house! But as we sat there together silently, I came to realize that the fact was she wasn't saying it...God was saying it and she was only showing me the scriptures. So God brought me back in that very moment to my own spoken word. Would I change my life if I saw it didn't match the bible? Was I going to be a woman of my word? I had to be! I had to change! Dear reader, this continues to make all the difference - no matter what has come up in my life.

Clinging to God's word is what has helped me come to convictions about all kinds of things from: what a true follower of Jesus is, or why we must get baptized and understand what we are doing, to how powerfully God brings us near him through Jesus' death on the cross and what a true church of believers looks like in God's eyes.

In a world full of pride and religious confusion, only clinging to what God's word says, (ALL of his word and not just picking or choosing scriptures that make me feel good) has kept me faithful and grounded. So I have a few verses below for you to read and consider, no matter where you are in your walk with God. I pray your heart will be open to soaking them all in deeply. :)

Luke 11:27-29: As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Word of God Study

1.    2 Tim 3:16-17 Usefulness even today.

2.    Hebrews 4:12-13 (2 Peter 1:20-21) Relevant to your life.

3.    James 1: 19-25 "Do what it says!"

4.    Mark 7:1-13 Human traditions vs. obeying God's word.

5.    1 Tim 4:16 We must have both right life & doctrine.

6.    John 12: 44-48 God's word will be our judge in the last day.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV84)
This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

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