As a wife and mother it's mind boggling to think of how many times I've asked a question directed at one of my girls or my husband.
"What sounds good for dinner?...
When do I need to pick you up from practice?...
Do you have your homework finished?...
Have you taken time to make the dinner reservations?"...
OK, these are just a few minor examples from everyday life. A conversation with another person almost always includes a few questions being asked. Unless we are control freaks or dictators we all know that questions are important and then the value of a "response".
The Oxford Dictionary gives the definition as " a reply or answer...reaction or comeback..feeling, movement or change... accountability, liability...effect, result, consequence."
I want to take a closer look at this word "response". There are a lot of words that are derived from this one word... respond, responsible, irresponsible, responsibly...you get my drift. When we ask a question we are always looking for a timely "response". Yes, we want an answer from the one to whom we a asking the question. If we don't get the answer, we may feel compelled to ask again...and again... But what if the question goes unanswered...do we continue upon deaf ears or do we walk away?
I told you last post that God had been seriously asking me to make some changes in my life. He would bring up the subject and ask...politely. He continued asking...proding...reminding...but my "response"? I had been giving Him excuses.
Sometimes God gives me a date; a day in the future to put on my calender. Like a date that you circle, put a star next to, or outline in red. There have been lots of them, and for almost every "date" I have been given, something always takes place of importance. Well, He gave me a date in March, and I was excited. What would happen on that day? I was of course thinking along lines other than what was coming. I'd been praying about getting in better physical health, (that's always on my mind) but I was hoping some kind of miraculous thing would happen to me to all the sudden start this change. Yep, I wanted some kind of miracle, because I didn't think I could do it myself. It was easier to hope for a miracle than to take the "responsibility" to do something myself. I didn't want to make a change...be accountable..or face any consequences.
We all probably have favorite scripture that has really spoken to us over the years. "Life Verses" I've called them. Ones that can speak to you over and over, and often result in those amazing "Aha" moments. Romans 12:1-2 are those verses for me.
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Did you read the scripture? think of "spiritual act of worship" as our response that God is looking for.
Just so happened that my daily Bible study time has been in Romans. I don't read to read. I know there are lots of good program schedules that tell you how to read the entire Bible in one year. Those have a purpose I'm sure...like maybe just getting you acquainted with what actually the Bible is all about. But if that's how you "read" and study the Bible then let me tell you that you may be missing what God is trying to share with you. "Volume of scripture" should never be our reason for opening the Bible. Let God lead you on where to focus. That is one of the ways He speaks to us.
So that date?...it came and went...swoosh...nothing...nada...sound of crickets chirping.
The next day I asked God what had happened to my "red letter day". That's when I heard Him tell me about the decision that I was going to have to make. a big one. a life changing one. one that my future depended upon. And I knew that this time I would have to give a "response"...not an excuse...to God.
to be continued...
love in Jesus,
I always love to hear from you in the comment section...so does everyone else. Has God been asking you something? What was YOUR response?
Leaving us hanging there sweet one. I have been studying Colossians, a book I have never studied before. Also have been studying in The Message version of the Bible which is different but kind of cool. Should it be cool? I don't know but I like it and think many people who have never read the Bible could read it easily. hugs, oliveReplyDelete
i'm very new at reading the Bible...i never 'studied' the Bible when i was growing up...i've been given a 'daily' bible by a friend, so am following that format. it's ok for this first time. at least i'm reading... my husband wants us to get a good Catholic Bible at the Mustard Seed store here in our town. i'm looking forward to that!ReplyDelete
Hi Linda, so glad you left a comment. I agree, a daily Bible to get you started is a great idea, my thinking (and experience) is that there are many churches and pastors that promote their congregation to read thru the Bible each year. this can turn into a "have to do it" scenario where we are just rushing thru the scripture to get it "done" for the day, and that misses the point of Bible Study. If you're on some sort of schedule be sure to give yourself enough time to really "ponder" the verses. Sometimes God has me on the same few verses for a week or more, just for me to squeeze out all the meaning and application to my life. My advice, take your time and ask God to reveal Himself to you as you read.Delete
Thank you for sharing. For the longest time, I just didn't know where to "start" when reading the bible. I tried studies, books, and so on...but it didn't click. I didn't get. Didn't understand...But then, I signed up and a year-long study of the books of Acts. It was very slow-paced. It was baby-steps for me (and I needed it!).
I'm a "back-story" kind of gal. I always want to know a whole lot of info (that most likely no one would even know...) before the study would start. Or I want the history before the study would start...and luckily, my teacher understood. She said I was the type of person who wouldn't watch a movie without reading the back of the DVD cover first...and she was right!
I am the person who, during class, while learning about Paul, I would be just amazed about all that he went through ( and learning for the first time), I would say something like, "Can you imagine how much his sandals must have rubbed his feet after so much walking??" Or, "I wonder if Paul just felt like slapping the heads of some of the leaders because they were just so stupid?" Or, "I wonder if Paul had a favorite food....?" Basically, because the study was so long, I began to see him (and others) as a whole person with real feelings, wants, and needs.
But mainly, there was no rush. The point is, I really got to know some the people (for the longest time, I used to call them "characters") in the bible and really felt like they were friends. And I felt such sadness and confusion over the stoning of Steven (I think I got the name right....not good with names)...and I felt such happiness to REALLY understand that God never left us, but is in us with the Holy Spirit. So, from that experience, whenever I open the bible now, I do open it with a sense of adventure, as in....what will I learn today, or who will I visit? And I am always glad that I got to know those people in the bible on a personal level.
I am currently studying the Proverbs 31 Woman and how is it possible to live a life a that matters more to God than to what matters to the world. I'm not where near 31 Woman....maybe a 21....got a ways to go...hahaha. But it is journey.
Proverbs right now has been a very helpful guide for me these last few months...
Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.
My defining moment in Bible Study was when I studied Abraham, then read a book by Henry Blackaby called "Created to be God's Friend" about the life and calling of Abraham. something inside of me woke up. My Bible time and studying and my whole outlook in life changed. You're blessed by having a curious mind and personality, E. something God has totally gifted you with. It enables us to see beyond the words into the hearts. Too many people are ok with the status quo of Bible reading. I was there once, too. I always tell people if their study time and Bible reading is "ho-hum" to just ask God to speak to them thru His Word. He is always so happy to oblige us! xoDelete
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I'm learning that it all boils down to obedience. Yikes! I did a 21 day fast in February. I fast from my blogging and facebook and coffee, caffiene and sweetner. God has been dealing with me again about laying down some things. Your post really spoke to me. I'm glad I found this. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I think Debra, we are all so fortunate that you had your defining moment and now are helping all of us to help ourselves define our moment in our own ways...that is your gift, I think. I like the title of the book you mentioned...the title alone says a lot. Just today, Randy and I had a big problem beyond our knowledge that caused him great worry. As he spoke, I silently asked God to give me the right words...and I didn't have the right words...so I asked, "you want me to pray so we can figure this out?" Because we both knew we just did't have the answer, but God did. And as our day went on, it ended better than it started. Not with a solution yet, but not feeling so helpless either. And that is what a friend is for...to be there to help out.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminder that God is really wanting our friendship as much as we want His.