The Rebelution The Modesty Survey

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recycling God's Word

Around the internet, I see a lot and I mean A LOT of recycled jokes. There are memes, photobombs, and fails. I see people posting the same image or story on Facebook a lot. I'm thinking, "I have seen this image or story far too many times to count!" Yes, it get's frustrating. It's almost like people don't know how to be original any more. At least that is my personal opinion. I sit in church or school albeit a religion class and hear people complain about how they have heard this a million times! Why do they have to listen to this again? I heard a boy about 11 whisper to me in Sunday School, "This is so boring!"People really turn their ear off to Bible stories or passages because they "know it by heart."

I have noticed more and more that we think everyone is "recycling" God's word. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, if I remember my Bible correctly, it says in Isaiah 55:10-11, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

So, if I am reading this correctly, God's word will never return empty or void! I am not encouraging someone to "recycle" past sermons but rather to revisit those passages. I know there are some pastors who take sermons they have preached 20 or 30 years ago and preach them again. I think that is a bit of a gray area from the standpoint that you can preach the same message and have a different conclusion or hear the same message and get something different out of it but preaching should be lead by God. You shouldn't run out of ideas and then have to use past sermons because the Bible is full of lessons to learn. I have read my Bible several times and am always refreshed when I read a passage and something brand new jumps out at me! That's exciting!

I understand that it get's discouraging sometimes to read the Bible whether it be because you don't want to or like I said, you've read the passage over and over again for a Bible study and just have beaten it to death and really are not expecting to take anything brand new away from it. This is why we as Christians always have to have an open heart and mind while reading God's word. If you don't, it's as if we're reading just some book that is merely for pleasure than to grow in Christ. So, the next time your pastor preaches a sermon you heard a thousand times or you come to a passage you know by heart or those genealogies in the Bible, don't turn the preacher off or skip those passages, listen to God and keep an open heart and mind. God will speak to you. I guarantee it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tough Times

I lost my job this past Friday. My boss let me go over the phone. In short, I was pulled into her office after a meeting and was sat down only to have explained to me that I apparently falsified information. I believe sincerely it was set up and she wanted me out. It is in God's hands and quite frankly, I am glad I am out of the hospital. There were many things that were hindering me from really following God and allowing me to draw close to Him.

This entire job loss, though, was really a test of my faith. I was doing an exegesis paper for my OT class. I selected my paper on the binding of Isaac because I thought it would be simple. God had other plans. You see, this paper was due Thursday and the meeting I had was that night. While I was working on the paper, I got a call from my boss. She told me she wanted to talk to me. I was freaking out wondering what was wrong. I finished the exegesis paper, turned it in, ran into a teacher who I absolutely loved because he was so kind and generous, and went to my last class for the evening never really thinking anything of the paper or the teacher. I was, however, panicking because of the phone call. I went to the meeting, my boss talked to me, told me the story, and I went home. I told my parents what happened and we prayed. As soon as I started praying, the gears started to turn. I thought of the paper I just wrote. I thought about how much faith and trust it took for Abraham to take Isaac, his ONLY son, as God puts it "your only son whom you love", and put him on the altar to sacrifice him. No questions asked. Only, faith, trust, and obedience. Awesome. I was literally blown away as I was praying and all I could think about was how blessed I was. God gave me the strength to really focus on the tasks at hand. He gave me the faith and I trusted Him. I obeyed Him. Has it been rough for the past several days getting grips on reality? Of course! Do I worry about my coworkers and what they think of me because I am gone? Of course! I really don't need to because ultimately, God knows best. For that, I am humbly grateful for His understanding, mercy, and grace.

God puts trials into our lives to make us stronger, to increase our faith, our trust, our obedience. Don't look at the bad times as punishment as the world says we need to. There are countless stories in the Bible about God's children having their faith and trust increased from Job losing everything and his friends trying to make him doubt God to David, the man after God's own heart, and the many tragedies that he had in the Bible. Never give up on God because He never gave up on you.