Branded by the Truth

It’s very different.

We are the created ones.  And God’s old relationship with us was broken by our rebellion and sin.  That’s one of the reasons why the Old Testament is filled with violence and gore.  That’s why there was continual conflict and strife between God and humans in the Old Testament.

Sin was in the middle of everything – messing it up.

But God already had a plan to fix this.  He was sending Jesus, his Son, to pay the price of all our sins for all time.  Because of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection, those of us who accept salvation through him can have a personal relationship with God which begins here on earth and extends into eternity.

In Jeremiah, God describes the New Testament relationship that is coming,  ” I will put my instructions deep within them and I will write them on their hearts.  I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son, Jesus, who offers salvation and freedom to everyone.  Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit deep within my soul when I put my faith in Jesus.  I hear the instructions of your Spirit and I love your Word which is written on my heart.  I never really knew what it meant to have your Word etched into my heart until you challenged me to get serious about memorizing it.  I am now branded by your Truth – thank you for making that happen.  You get the credit since I still can’t remember any trivia and I forget my address and telephone number sometimes but I can recite chapters of scripture. 

I am so very grateful that you are my God and I am your daughter – forever.  In the redeeming name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Sword Fighting Class – The Verse and Chapter Numbers Disappear

God has some things he wants me to know.  He has some things he wants you to have an in-depth understanding of – that’s why we’re memorizing.  And it’s here – in the book of James, Chapter 2.   So we begin,

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

Interesting – God’s going to speak to us about favoritism.  What a hot topic in our world today!  He’s got to things he wants to teach us and he wants us to really get this – that’s why we’re memorizing it.  God’s going to use this truth as we go about our lives  – watch for him.  He’s moving.

Some suggestions for how to memorize:

I’ll be writing everything we have memorized down every week – it helps me get most of the words right as I write them over and over.

I also write them on index cards and put them in my car.  Every car ride with me is a Sword Fighting Class, whether I’m alone or not.  I have to say them out loud, too, because otherwise they just don’t stick.  So I will say the new verse several times and then add it to the verses I’ve already memorized and say all of it several times.  Depending on how long the car ride is, I will also start with Chapter 1 and go all the way through at least once a week to review it all and keep the communication channels with God wide open.

I have discovered that one of the huge blessings of memorizing scripture is that the verse numbers and chapter numbers fall away and I am hearing the scripture like it was told to the Israelites back when it was written.  God’s word flows and ebbs so much better without all of the stops and spaces.  It makes so much more sense.

Thank you, Abba Father, for helping us etch your word upon our hearts and minds.

Sword fighting Class- Life and Peace

We are being blessed as we memorize Romans 8 together:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because, through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin sacrifice.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirement of the law be fully met in us who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the spirit.Romans 8; 1-9

‘Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what nature desires but those who live in accordance with the spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

And the next verse:

The mind of sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”

What a great promise!

Life and peace!

I love it!

This section of scripture seems full of long sentences and difficult wording….until we get to this sentence.

Simple.  Direct.  Life-changing!

When our minds are controlled by the Spirit, we have life (like God wants us to have) and peace.

Thank you, Abba Father.

What is Your Offering?

What are we giving to God that goes beyond just a tithe?

Goes beyond money?

Feb 4 b what is your offeringGoes beyond attending worship every week?

In Numbers 7 & 8 we read about the Israelites leaders bringing their offering to God’s altar as it is being dedicated.  Each person is listed by name in the Bible.

What would my list look like if God did this today?

Judy, from the Glasser clan, brought this offering.  Her offering was….

Are we just giving God a minimum amount of our time?

A minimum amount of our money?

A minimum amount of our attention?

God has gotten more of my attention this last year as he has challenged me with memorizing chapters of his Word.

And he has poured out his blessings on me as he has etched his Word upon my heart and mind.  This amount of memorizing has caused me to go to a whole new level of devotion to God and his Word.

And it’s all good.

Every day we bring our offering plate of attention, love, service and resources to God.

How full is your  plate?

We love you, Abba Father.

 

 

Sword Fighting Class – Do Not Wait

We are memorizing Proverbs 3 together and we are getting to the end!  Only God could do this!

“My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the site of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruit of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My child, do not despise the Lords discipline and do no resent his rebuke because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the daughter he delights in.

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies, nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all of her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her – those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

By wisdom, the Lord laid the earth’s foundations. By understanding, he set the heavens in place. And by his knowledge, the deeps are divided and the clouds drop their dew. My child, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. For they will be life to you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.Proverbs 3 to verse 25

Have no fear of sudden disaster or the ruin that overtakes the wicked. For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being snared.

Thank you, God, for helping us memorize Proverbs 3!  Now we are going into a section of ‘Do Nots”  Here are the next 2 verses –

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later, I will have it tomorrow’ when you now have it with you.”

I always like it when God gets really practical and talks specifically about different things we do without thinking that are not good.  He wants us to take our blinders off.  That’s how I see this next ‘do not’ section.

God is saying – “Open your eyes.  Do you ever do this?  You should stop doing it.  It’s not right.”

Withholding good.  Not complimenting someone on something.  Not saying ‘thank you’.  Not recognizing something special about someone.  Not noticing when someone does something for you or for someone else.  Forgetting to tell people you love them.

Telling people to come back later.  When we could help them now.  We could take care of their request now.  We could do something nice for them now.

God is challenging us to be a blessing to others.  Everytime we get the chance.

Please help us, Abba Father.

What Is Your Favorite?

Is it the breastplate of righteousness?

The sandals of peace?Decem 15 2015 what's your favorite

The shield of faith?

God tells us in Ephesians to prepare each day for the spiritual battles that are raging around us by putting on his full armor.

Our struggles are not against the people and problems that we can see.  It seems like it is.  But God tells us that the battle is much bigger and much darker than what we can see.   The evil schemes of Satan fill the spiritual world swirling around us.

This makes a lot of sense to me.  When I see the addictions and sinful, painful choices people make everyday that blow up their families and their lives, it’s clear that Satan is working very hard and he is winning some of the battles.

Each of us are called to fight against this evil every day.  And the wise soldier comes prepared with a full set of armor:

The belt of truth.

The breastplate of righteousness.

The sandals of peace.

The shield of faith.

The helmet of salvation.

And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

My favorite piece of armor has always been the shield of faith.  I can sometimes see the flaming arrows of the evil one coming at me.  But my faith protects me.

As I’ve been more committed to memorizing God’s word this last year, I am discovering a new understanding of the immense power the Sword of the Spirit has when we are well-prepared.  When it’s etched on our minds and hearts, God’s word is powerful.  It’s transforming.

It is an extremely effective offensive weapon to use in pushing back the darkness.

To shine the light of truth where sin has extinguished all hope.

To get rid of the lies that confuse us.

To help us get our eyes off of ourselves and focus on the One who has all the answers.

And to remind us that God has already won the war.  In him, we have victory.  Today and everyday.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class- Preserve Sound Judgement

It’s amazing to see what God can do when we review his scripture day after day.  He writes it on our hearts.  And he talks to us through it….constantly…..guiding our days through these words:

“My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the site of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruit of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My child, do not despise the Lords discipline and do no resent his rebuke because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the daughter he delights in.

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies, nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all of her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her – those who lay hold of her will be blessed.Proverbs 3 to verse 25

By wisdom, the Lord laid the earth’s foundations. By understanding, he set the heavens in place. And by his knowledge, the deeps are divided and the clouds drop their dew.

Great job!  God is so awesome!  Here are our next verses:

“My child, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. For they will be life to you, an ornament to grace your neck. “

Dear Father, we desire sound judgement based on your truth.  We want to be able to discern what is from you and what is a lie.  We ask you to remove anything in our minds that is not true and replace it with your words.  We want your words to guide us, your truth to be obvious in our lives – so obvious that it’s an ornament that graces our neck.

We pray these things knowing that we will receive them because they are in your will for  us.  Thank you, Father.  In the awesome name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

 

Sword Fighting Class – Life!

We are memorizing Proverbs 3 together.  So many great promises from God!

“My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the site of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruit of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My child, do not despise the Lords discipline and do no resent his rebuke because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the daughter he delights in.

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies, nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all of her paths are peace.Proverbs 3 to verse 25

Great job!  Here is the next verse:

She is a tree of life to those who embrace her – those who lay hold of her will be blessed.”

Embracing wisdom = life.

Embracing wisdom = blessings.

And we know where wisdom comes from.  Our Father God.

When we seek him, call out for insight, cry aloud for understanding, search for it as for hidden treasure – God gives us wisdom.

As we take hold of wisdom by memorizing God’s word, we are being blessed.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

 

Sword Fighting Class – In Your Own Eyes

We’re being blessed as we memorize Proverbs 3 together:

My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all of your might and lean not on your own undertanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

As we add this next verse, its interesting to me to see how it relates to last week’s verse:

“Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Fear the Lord and shun evil.”

If I had to tell you one thing that I’ve learned as I’m memorizing God’s word is that my past thinking and judgement had some big holes in it.  Not all of it, but enough that taking this verse literally is very wise for me.  I needed to realize that my thinking was not always in line with God and that I should depend more on God for my wisdom.  Not myself.

As God is etching his Word on my mind, he writing over some old, incorrect thinking and renewing my mind.  Adding his wisdom.

It’s changing me.

Preparing me for the next season of my life.

It’s growing my respect for God’s wisdom and increasing my awareness of evil so I can avoid it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Audio file of my memorization of Proverbs 3 so far:

 

Sword Fighting Class – A Favorite Truth

Its truly supernatural.  We are memorizing Proverbs 3 together and, as we faithfully review these scriptures everyday, God is writing them on our minds.  Such a great way to experience him working in our lives!

 My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Today we add some very popular verses that you may have already memorized at one time.  One of the blessings I am experiencing by memorizing whole chapters is really seeing the context of verses like this – what God is saying in the verses before it and after it:

Trust in the Lord with all of your might and lean not on your own undertanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

This is such an awesome verse.  So much wisdom!

Trust with all my might!  What does that look like in my life?

Don’t make decisions based just on what I already know, my own wisdom and knowledge – what does that look like?

Always acknowledge him – I think that answers my last question 🙂

If I always check in with God, trusting him in all situations, constantly keeping my eyes on what he has told me and where he is leading me, I will be walking down the right path.

Thank you for how clear your directions are in your Word, Abba Father.

Audio file of my memorization of Proverbs 3 so far: