God is Kind, But He’s Not Soft

“And when this letter arrived in Rome, hardly anyone read it, certainly no one of influence. …And yet in no time, as such things go, this letter left all those other writings in the dust. …The quick rise of this letter to a peak of influence is extraordinary, written as it was by an obscure Roman citizen without connections. …He takes logic and argument, poetry and imagination, Scripture and prayer, creation and history and experience, and weaves them into this letter that has become the premier document of Christian theology.” The Message Introduction to Romans

The letter to the Romans changed Rome. We are all like the Romans – in desperate need of God and completely oblivious to that fact. We all start at the same place.

Romans 3:9, “…Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners.” The Message

God doesn’t leave us like He found us. He doesn’t abandon us. He walks with us in this new life.

Romans 2:4, “…God is kind, but He’s not soft. In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” The Message

We think we have to straighten everything out on our own. We don’t – He does.

Romans 3:6, “…How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 3:28, “What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. …” The Message

We are righteous because God says we are. We inherit this gift; we don’t earn it. God speaks, we believe, miracles happen.

Romans 4:17-18, “…Abraham was first named a “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. (18) When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

“God has a personal plan for your life called ‘His Will.’ But you can’t just play defense, you have to play offense. You can’t just do nothing wrong, you have to do something right. You can’t just follow the rules, you’ve been called to follow Jesus….”  “All In” by Mark Batterson

It’s time to play offense! We are all changing and change is hard.

6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient 

  1. Make a plan – Plans create a roadmap…through the stress…of change.
  2. Ask yourself a lot of questions – ‘Questions can virtually rewire our emotions, thoughts, and behavior.’ Psychologist Marilee Adams
  3. Take small but steady steps forward – Continuous improvement…steady movement forward…to make changes, monitor the results, and then adjust.
  4. Get rid of doubters – Share your plans and dreams…with people who are wiser and more experienced.
  5. Develop new, better habits – Replace an old habit with a new one.
  6. Grit up – It isn’t your problems that define you – it’s how you react and recover from them.

“…the unknown forces us to adapt to new circumstances. ….where we can develop new talents and strengths.”

“6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient,” by FBI Agent LaRae Quy

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Quit Focusing on the Handicap

“Wow, you are really beautiful!”

The waitress was looking at me? Stunned, I fumbled for a response. I mumbled, “You must like curly hair.”

“Yes, I really do!”

I went to the bathroom because I wanted to see what she saw. I saw dark circles and not-so-youthful skin.

“I don’t get it, Lord. I don’t see beauty.”

“I see it. You are beautiful to me. You see the cracks, she saw the light coming through the cracks. The beauty is in the light. The Light is Jesus living in you.”

* * * * * * *

Have you ever wondered by some elderly people seem to glow? While others seem to shrivel up? They both sport wrinkles and gray hair. What is the secret?

The Light. After years of serving Jesus, their fire consists of red-hot coals. Coals glow. Coals can cook food without burning it up. Coals can warm a room and start a fire in the dead wood.

We all have “cracks” – weaknesses, scars, or handicaps. If we concentrate on our “cracks” we miss the light shining through them.

“2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “Then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. …I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. (10) Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” Martin Luther

* * * * * * *

“If the heights of our joy are measured by the depths of our gratitude, and gratitude is but a way of seeing, a spiritual perspective of smallness might offer a vital way of seeing especially conducive to gratitude. Those child photos, that wonder I experienced firsthand through her eyes – ‘How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it!’ – was that it? I had just held evidence of it. The joy of small that makes life large. Hadn’t I personally experienced it before too, that vantage point that gave a sense of smallness before grandeur? At the lip of the Grand Canyon, peering into the carved earth, the vastness of the hewn and many-hued chasm.” “One Thousand Gifts” Ann Voskamp

  • This is why we go to the ocean. It makes us small in its vastness.
  • This is why men go to sea for years at a time. Seeing only the ocean everywhere they look, makes them small.
  • This is why we hike to the top of a mountain. Seeing for miles makes us small.
  • This is why we love to fly. Seeing people reduced to the size of ants makes us embrace our smallness.

I returned to our table in the back room. We chose this restaurant on a whim. The only available tables were in the farthest room. We had finished our salads and still had not been served our drinks.

I’m sure the waitress complimented me to make up for the lack of service. She apologized. And even left a pitcher of sweet tea because that is what we were drinking.

I told my kids, “That waitress must be a drama student at the local college. It’s Father’s Day, and since I didn’t cook, she assumed I would be paying.” (Why can’t I just accept a compliment?)

But this was not a planned dinner, only two of our children were there for a visit. We decided at the last-minute to go out to eat.

I had offered to cook but we are in a heat wave. David didn’t want to warm up the house anymore with cooking.

The food was not the important thing – the visit was. You cannot put a price on time together. You don’t really appreciate its value until you are apart.

David teased me as he put down the tip. “Hey, didn’t I pick up the tab on Mother’s Day, too?”

I quipped, “We picked up the tab on Mother’s Day and we picked up the tab tonight!”

2 Corinthians 12:14, “Everything is in readiness now for this, my third visit to you. But don’t worry about it; you won’t have to put yourselves out. I’ll be no more of a bother to you this time than on the other visits. I have no interest in what you have – only in you. Children shouldn’t have to look out for their parents; parents look out for the children.” The Message

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Right-Living, Right-Giving Fathers

Five Fatal Mistakes Fathers Make ( from the life of Lot)

  1. Selfishness – Lot chose money over God, he chose the land with the best prospects, Genesis 13:10.
  2. Bad Environment – Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, Genesis 13:12.
  3. Expectations – Lot moved into Sodom and thought he could change it, Genesis 14:11-12; 2 Peter 2:6-8.
  4. Example – He thought his family would listen to his words, not watch his lifestyle. When the angels arrived in Sodom, Lot was on the council sitting at the city gate, Genesis 19:1. When Lot told his sons-in-law the Lord was going to destroy the city, they laughed at him, Genesis 19:14.
  5. Entrapment – The world entangled Lot and his family. He knew the city would be destroyed, but he lingered. The angels had to grab the hands of him, his wife, and 2 unmarried daughters to pull them out of the city, Genesis 19:15-16.”

“Wear the Shoes You Want Filled” – Pastor Monte Knudsen,

June 17, 2018

* * * * * * *

2 Corinthians 9:9, “As one Psalmist put it, ‘He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.’ ” The Message

Paul was quoting from Psalms 112. It describes the attributes of a godly parent.

Psalms 112:1-9, “Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish His commandments, (2) Their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright – how blessed! (3) Their homes brim with wealth and generosity that never runs dry. (4) Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice! (5) The good person is generous and lends lavishly; no shuffling or stumbling around for this one, (6) But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. (7) Unfazed by rumor and gossip, heart ready, trusting in God, (8) Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, (9) They lavish gifts on the poor – a generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life!” The Message

There is a connection between right-living and right-giving. Paul consistently addressed a financial offering for the church in Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 9:1, “If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself.” The Message

* * * * * *

“This collection for the Jerusalem church seems to have originated at the so-called Jerusalem council (Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-10). While the apostles and elders of the council agreed that Paul could pursue his mission to the Gentiles, they asked that he ‘remember the poor’ (Galatians 2:10), indirectly referring to an offering for the Jerusalem church. The collection, therefore, stood at the very foundation of Paul’s missionary work.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Which shoes do you want your children to wear?

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Don’t Frustrate God’s Work by Showing Up Late

Guilty. So guilty. Many Sundays the service didn’t start on time because I was late. I never left enough time for spilled milk or missing shoes. It seemed every Sunday there was spilled milk and missing shoes!

I tried covering my guilt with jokes:

“I’m the only piano player – you can’t start without me!”

“I’m not late – I’m making an entrance.”

But I was late and buried in guilt. Saturday’s verse showed me how deeply my tardiness hurt.

2 Corinthians 3:3-6, “Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated – or not – in the details. (4) People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly…in hard times, tough times, bad times; (5) …working hard, working late, working without eating; (6) with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love.” The Message

I’m grateful the Pastors and God always forgave me. But after a while, God moved me away from the piano bench. I thought it was permanent.

To say it jarred me was, to put it mildly. The doctors said, “Don’t leave your house without Prednisone.” (You can only take so much Prednisone before the risks outweigh the benefits.) After that pronouncement, I had a choice to make.

2 Corinthians 7:9, “Now I’m glad – not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from Him. The result was all gain, no loss.” The Message

I turned to God chose to start over. I got out my lesson books and started on page 1.

“This is up; this is down.

Let’s go up and down.”

I played every day with only God hearing – for 7 years! God had a plan all along. The first time I met the FCOC Satellite Coordinator, Rick Brecht, he said, “I see you playing on our worship team.”

I laughed and replied, “That would take a miracle and a grand piano!”

I didn’t get a grand piano. But a year later, I was playing a keyboard on the worship team.

I’m never tardy, but I have so many more areas that could use improvement. Paul listed some pretty tough guidelines:

  • Stay at our post
  • Alertly
  • Unswervingly
  • In hard times
  • In tough times
  • In bad times
  • Working hard
  • Working late
  • Working without eating
  • With a pure heart
  • A clear head
  • A steady hand
  • In gentleness
  • In holiness
  • In honest love

It’s like I told Melissa before church yesterday. “We don’t clean ourselves up before we come to Jesus. We come to Jesus and He cleans us up.”

Jesus works little by little and He never stops. He keeps working with us until we die. But each day, we look a little more like Him.

What was my assignment for Saturday? Get ready for church. God means more than just picking out an outfit.

I practice and pack my music in my bag. I pray for the service, worship team, ushers, greeters, and children’s workers. I ask for anointing on the sermon and worship service. I request converts. We don’t want to make noise; we want to make a difference.

God answered those prayers and more! I saw a breakthrough yesterday. Steven Furtick reminded me a breakthrough does not mean the battle is over. We are fighting for souls here.

“The breakthrough does not eliminate the battle. …the only thing the breakthrough is going to do is put you in the position to fight the battle. But the good news is – it’s already won!…” “Breakthrough is Overrated” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Brightness We Carry

We are in a heat wave. It’s in the 90’s and will stay there for a few more days. When you add in good old Iowa humidity, it turns the county into a sauna. I heard the heat index could go up to 113°! (Yeah, I’m not going anywhere today.)

I had my houseplants clustered in front of my big window. The last heat wave sunburned some of the leaves. I moved them back to the corner. I turn them each day to let the light reach all sides.

Early in the morning, I open the sheer curtains. I want the plants to get unfiltered light. (My plants survive even in a dark corner.) Then I wait for the sun.

When the bright, sunlight reaches the windowsill, I close the sheer curtains, blinds, and drapes. I want to reflect the heat back outside. After lunch, the tree blocks the sun’s rays and I open them again.

I remember when my granddaughter was small she loved playing peek-a-boo behind the sheer curtains. She did not like it when I closed the drapes. Once, I agreed to open them – on a hot morning. Fifteen minutes later, it was 80° in my front room! The air conditioner could not keep up. Then she understood.

My window is almost floor to ceiling and covers over half of the wall. It lets in a lot of light – bright light – and heat! It’s the heat I want to avoid.

Light can play tricks on your eyes. I was in the bathroom and noticed a skeleton-key-shaped keyhole in the tree. By the time I got a picture of it only part of it remained. Pulling the sheers aside, I could clearly see it was just sunlight on the bark.

God is light, (John 1:5). Viewing Him through our filter, or curtain, we see things that may not be there. We need to push aside our preconceived notions and church clichés to really see. The only filter we need is the Bible.

God is also a consuming fire, (Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). That’s why we describe new Christians as “on fire.” I want to stay “on fire.”

God doesn’t just dump fire on us. We have to seek it – look for it. Just like I keep checking the windowsill to see if the sun has touched it yet.

 

* * * * * * *

On the last night of Faith Conference 2018, Marion Dalton spoke about being “on fire.” He told of heating a sword in the coals until it glows. Then the sword takes on the properties of the fire. If you drop a paper on it, the paper will catch fire.

“The fire of the Holy spirit burns away stuff we don’t need. …Wildfire is better than no fire. …Wildfire is moved by the wind – out of control. …When God’s anointing is transferred – it transforms. …Matthew 3:11, ‘…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’ …Being around the fire is different from being in the fire. …Is our church growing [in the fire] or collecting [around the fire]?” Marion Dalton, Faith Conference 2018, June 13

The fire is burning in me. I don’t know if you can see it. Like the big window, I want to let in light and heat. Not like the sheer curtain – making you see things that aren’t there.

2 Corinthians 4:7, “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us…” The Message

* * * * * * * *

“Faith is to be experienced in the midst of ordinary down-to-earth living.” Elisabeth Elliot

I read my Bible and pray every day. I don’t always feel God’s fire. There is another avenue – praise and worship. God inhabits the praises of His people, (Psalms 22:3). Listen to a “Passion,” Hillsong, Bethel, or Worship Central video on youtube.com. Sing along and open your heart to God. This song always gets my fire burning!

Remember – God’s fire is for His children. Are you right with God? If you are unsure – click on the “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.”

2 Corinthians 5:20, 21, “…Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you. (21) How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” The Message

If you are saved and just not feeling it, you don’t have to start over. Ask God to forgive you for anything that sidetracked you.

Christianity is a river. We step in the first time by believing in Jesus Christ. If we find ourselves beached, we brush ourselves off and dive back in.

Sometimes, we are beached by good things. It’s a good idea – a great idea! But it takes you off the path God set for you. You find yourself stuck, bogged down, burned out. You are on the wrong path. Get back in the river!

“And not every good idea is a God idea.”  “When Following God Doesn’t Make sense” Stephanie Shott of themominitiative.com posted atthepicketfence.com

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

They Left…Full of Life

“For anyone operating under the naïve presumption that joining a Christian church is a good way to meet all the best people and cultivate smooth social relations, a reading of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence is the prescribed cure. …they bucked his authority – accused him of inconsistencies, impugned his motives, questioned his credentials. They didn’t argue with what he had written: they simply denied his right to tell them what to do!” The Message Introduction to 2 Corinthians

Some things in the church haven’t changed…

Acts 20:7, 9, 11, 12, “…Paul addressed the congregation. Our plan was to leave first thing in the morning, but Paul talked on and on… (9) Eutychus fell sound asleep… (11) …And went on telling stories of faith…On that note they left… (12) …full of life…” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Corinthians 1:6, 7, “…Your hard times are our hard times. (7) When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.” The Message

…preachers still go on and on sometimes. People still fall asleep and we still hear stories of faith. But those who come to church leave full of life.

I remember asking my grandmother if she attended church. She replied, “No, we didn’t have church clothes.” She had 13 children and just keeping them clothed during the depression was a feat! That is one of the things that has changed in churches.

Acts 20:33, 35, “I’ve never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion…. (35) …work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. …You’re far happier giving than getting.” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Corinthians 1:24, “We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.” The Message

You no longer need fancy clothes to attend church. The church is not just for the wealthy. It is a place to help the weak and learn the joy of giving. (You can’t out give God.)

There is no longer someone looking over your shoulder to enforce the rules. We all look to Jesus. God has children, not grandchildren or other relatives.

“Life never passes us by – when we keep passing everything on. …And koinonia is not only supposed to characterize the whole church – koinonia is supposed to be who we are – our whole character: Sharing in the life and suffering of Christ – and sharing in the life and suffering of His people.”

“Winners Know How to Spell This Word” Ann Voskamp

Are you running on empty? Come to church!

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Nothing You Do for Him is a Waste of Time

“Pam, do you need anything at Wal-Mart?”

I opened one eye and mumbled, “Toilet paper, ammonia, and milk.”

I groped for my glasses. They weren’t on the shelf. I felt around on the floor. No glasses.

I stood up and turned the lamp on. They were on the top shelf. I must have fallen asleep with them on again and David put them there.

I put them on and shut off the light. I was at the end of the bed when David came back. He leaned over the bed and whispered to the pillows…

“There’s a third of a gallon of milk left. Can I wait until tomorrow to get it?”

From the end of the bed, I said, “Sure. Who are you talking to?”

He straightened up and said, “You!”

“No,” I replied, “you were talking to a little red pillow. Why didn’t you just check the grocery list?”

“I didn’t see one.”

“I wrote it on a neon yellow post-it note. It was hard to miss.”

He left for Wal-Mart before work, and I went for coffee. I made 2 cups and filled the stainless-steel water bottle. I opened the refrigerator and realized it was still in my hand. The cream I meant to put away was on the counter.

“I wanted to sleep in today, God.”

He replied, “You did! It’s 7:30 a.m., you got 3 extra hours.”

We both were up early yesterday. I was trying to catch up on my writing. David was practicing to play the drums…on the desk…using pens as drumsticks.

He shaved at noon. He only had 15 minutes to drive home from work, shower and change clothes. He drove the speed limit and we were 1 minute early for practice. Whew!

It was the last night of Faith Conference and we were both scheduled to play. It was the 4th night of getting home after 9:30 p.m. to eat dinner. We are a little tired.

Faith Conference reminded us of how short our time here on earth is. The signs everywhere point to Jesus’ rapture of Christians. We all have jobs to do. God keeps track of when we show up to do them.

1 Corinthians 15:34, “Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these. Aren’t you embarrassed that you’ve let this kind of thing go on as long as you have?” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 15:58, “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourself into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.” The Message

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

Go After a Life of Love

Reading through 1 Corinthians 13, I thought, “Wow! Dr. Larry Hutton preached on this!” 

God spoke to my heart, “I’m glad you understand these verses better, but I have something just for you. Dig deeper.”

God doesn’t want us to just pass along what we heard in a sermon. He wants us to share what we learned personally. That being said, here is what I learned on Sunday:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. (2) If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ‘Jump,’ and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. (3) If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” The Message

* * * * * * *

  • You could give everything away and not walk in love.
  • You could speak in many languages, earthly and heavenly, and not walk in love.
  • You could have faith to move mountains and not walk in love.
  • God gave me the faith and it works because He loves me.

Dr. Larry Hutton, Faith Conference 2018, June 10

* * * * * * *

1 Corinthians 13:13, “But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation. Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Faith is working, love is laboring, hope is patient, 1 Thessalonians 1:3. …Hope is the engine, faith is the gas, love is the frame of the car. The car needs all three to move. Faith doesn’t work by walking in love. We were not walking in love when we used faith to believe in salvation.”

Dr. Larry Hutton, Faith Conference 2018, June 10

Here’s what I found when I kept digging:

1 Corinthians 14:1, “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it – because it does. Give yourself to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim His truth.” The Message

Am I using all the gifts God has given me? Am I proclaiming the truth? How do I know I am living a life of love?

1 Corinthians 14:40, “Be courteous and considerate in everything.” The Message

* * * * * * * *

“With the time we have left, let’s be all in. Let’s be wild; let’s be radical! …Pray more than we’ve ever prayed. …Walk with God. …What’s your heart saying to you about the will of God for your life? What’s the Lord spoken to you about what you are to do before He comes back? …He wants you to help your neighbors. He wants you to be unselfish. …It’s called thoughtfulness.”

Rev. Joseph Morris, Faith Conference 2018, June 11

Joseph Morris Weekly Update

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I’m Compelled to Do It

June 11

Sunday was our family reunion. Of the 14 siblings, I have 2 uncles and 1 aunt left. (Grandma had 2 sets of twins.)

Now my 47 cousins and I have children and grandchildren of our own. Each year we have to stand, introduce ourselves, our family and tell what we do. I said I was a blogger.

A little later, I talked with a cousin whose daughter has a blog. It’s a mommy blog that I actually follow. He said she gave her son $50 from one payment because she used his picture. Then casually asked if I made much money.

Nope. Zip. Zilch.

I explained that my blog is different because I don’t use ads. I actually pay to keep the ads off. Somehow, every year God provides the money – eight years in a row!

Then why do I blog? I’m compelled to do it.

This week is Faith Conference. We had a service Sunday morning and Sunday night. We got home at 10:00 p.m. and ate leftovers for supper. The same day of the reunion…in 90° weather.

You would think I could sleep in on Monday. No, I was up at 4:30 a.m. I needed to write what God showed me – no matter how embarrassing!

1 Corinthians 9:15-18, “Still, I want it made clear that I’ve never gotten anything out of this for myself, and that I’m not writing now to get something. I’d rather die than give anyone ammunition to discredit me or impugn my motives. (16) If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t! (17) If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? (18) So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses!” The Message

I thought I was the only one living this way. Then I read an email from familylife.com.

“Over the years, we’ve experienced God’s provision in hundreds of ways. Every paycheck is hand to mouth…His hand to our mouths! Even now, He melts our hearts as we find Him knowing our situation, understanding where we are and moving with faith-power to supply our genuine needs.” “Lacking Nothing,” Moments with You, familylife.com

I don’t receive paychecks, but God’s hand has filled my mouth abundantly. Just ask my bathroom scale. I swear it trembles every morning when I step on it. It thinks it’s a bank account and keeps adding interest.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Not Bound

I hit publish yesterday and then read something in the Chronological Study Bible. I felt I should have included it. I went back and typed it in. But many read my posts from their email and the changes are not sent out. This is important enough to merit a second post.

1 Corinthians 7:11, “…a wife must remain single or else come back and make things right with her husband…’ People quote this verse to keep spouses in abusive relationships or after infidelity. They endanger their health by remaining with a promiscuous spouse.

In 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul talks about spouses that are “not bound.” When they came to Christ, their unbelieving spouse abandoned them. Infidelity and physical, verbal, or emotional abuse are signs of unbelief. Some abandoned their marriage years before they packed their bags.

1 Corinthians 7:15, “On the other hand, if the unbelieving spouse walks out, you’ve got to let him or her go. You don’t have to hold on desperately. God has called us to make the best of it, as peacefully as we can.” The Message

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Using the phrase ‘not bound,’ Paul was echoing the exact language of ancient divorce contracts, which spoke of marriage as ‘binding’ a woman to her husband and divorce as ‘loosing’ or ‘freeing’ a woman for remarriage…Ancient readers would have understood ‘not bound’ as Paul’s permission for an abandoned person to remarry.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

You were not abandoned – God freed you!!!

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