Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some Of Our Favorites...

So, I got challenged on Facebook today to a "7 Day Scripture" challenge - where you are supposed to post a favorite scripture every day for 7 days.

Knowing I would never remember to do that every day for 7 days - I decided to knock it all out at once - right here!

Picking 7 favorites was incredibly tough for me - like I couldn't post the entire book of James, could I?

So here are 7 pieces of scripture I kinda dig and a little background on what they have meant to us...

I used to worry about things. A lot. Then I met this scripture:

[Matthew 6: 25-34]
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I lived in this verse - almost every single day - for like two years while we were going through infertility and the first phases of adoption...

And finally it clicked (I can be slow). And when it did - worry sort of melted out of my life. I very rarely find myself worrying any more.

I revert back to this one OFTEN when I need a reminder.

Okay - #2 is Psalm 23. Cliche? Maybe. But Awesome? Uh... without question.
[Psalm 23]
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Ever since Meron called my phone and recited this on my voice-mail... I have been hooked.

This scripture brings me peace like nothing else. And why wouldn't it? He is with us...

Let's talk about tongues.
[James 3: 3-12]
"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."
That's kind of a weird verse to have on your list of favorites, I know.

But WORDS are a BIG deal to me.

I have been on the receiving end of some very hateful and hurtful words and I am sure I have delivered my share of them as well.

I think culturally we're a bit wild and loose with our words and we don't think about them nearly enough before we let them fly.

This verse reminds me why we should...

Then there's my main man Amos. Old school minor prophet extraordinaire.
[Amos 5: 21-24]
"I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
Tell us how God really feels Amos...!

Not growing up in the church - I have struggled with some of the seemingly dumb and human things we have done with religion.

I love that Amos doesn't pull punches here and gives us a prophetic glimpse into what God is thinking about some of the ritualistic things we do in His name.

Thankful for these sobering texts that were preserved for us to allow us to try and get it right...

Ahhh Zephaniah. You teeny little book, you. Another minor prophet who touches me in a major way.
[Zephaniah 3: 17]
"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save..."
On my very first mission trip - to South Africa - my good friend Chad was charged with preaching a Sunday service. I will never forget the passion with which he started that message that morning by yelling out "Zephaniah 3:17! He is mighty to save!"

That verse has stuck with me ever since. Because... let's be honest.. He is.

I pray about this next one... OFTEN.
[Matthew 7: 21-23]
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
I pray daily to know Him better and that in return He may know me.

This is one of those verses that fully drives home the fear of God and I feel the full implications of not pursuing Him wholly, fully and with every single thing we have.

This speaks of a moment we will all encounter - one which comes with no second chances and only one outcome.

Lord - I pray that so many of us will know You in a way that allows You to claim us as well.

Finally - there is this one - the one we try to embody and wash over ourselves every single day.
[Romans 1: 16]
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."
Every single day - as much and as often as we can - we want our lives, our words, our actions - our very beings - to point back to HIM.

There is absolutely no shame about the one who saved our souls! We ain't scared to be different and we pray that God continues to give us strength to be willing to stand out from the world and be loud for Him.

So there ya have it - challenge accepted and completed - a few verses that we like, that we pray on and that we try to apply.

What verses do you come back to often?

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