Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Process of Growth

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence (goodness), and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT)

This list makes my head spin. I gloss over the words, not absorbing their meaning.  So let’s skip the list for now and focus on the statements on either side of it - the instruction and the goal.

In view of all this, respond to God’s promises so that your [full acquaintance with] Jesus will become productive and useful.

‘In view of all this’ summarizes verses 3-4: God has provided everything we need to resist the world and participate in God’s divine nature.

Here’s my paraphrase:

  • Believe that God has provided everything we need to live out our salvation through Jesus.
  • In faith, begin practicing the goodness (moral behavior) that Jesus modeled while also learning more about God (adding knowledge).
  •  Exhibit self-control in transforming old thought patterns and behaviors to align with this new knowledge of God’s character.
  • Even if these challenging adjustments don’t yield immediate benefits, be patient and persist in godly behavior.
  • Increase godly, brotherly love to be love that includes everyone like Jesus did.
  • As you grow through the process, your increased awareness of God and deepening relationship with Him positions you to be truly useful and productive to spread His Kingdom.

A deepening relationship with Jesus positions us to spread His Kingdom. (tweet this)

#SeedsofScripture #Godprovides #relationshipwithGod #transformation

Exciting news! I’ve been renovating my website and a new space will emerge soon.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Conform or Transform?

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.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)

How do we know God’s will for our lives? Three key words jump out from this scripture: conform, transform, and able.

Conforming most often relates to external appearances - looking and acting like others in order to fit in. The scripture says stop trying to fit in to this world because we belong to another kind of world – God’s kingdom.

Transformation involves a fundamental change in our thought patterns which leads to character change. Shifting our thoughts away from the world’s set of standards and toward God’s perspective for living well initiates the ongoing process of transformation.

The world promotes personal happiness through popularity, possessions, experiences and body shape. God says real joy comes from sharing our material wealth and using our time to serve others. Jesus says work hard but don’t strive for status or recognition. He also says that while material wealth provides temporary pleasure, acts of service bring long lasting reward.

We are better able to know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will when we approach life with His perspective.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (tweet this)

In what ways are you conforming to the world?
How can you adjust your mindset to better align with God’s way of life?
Is there a cost to shifting your value system?
Can you foresee the benefit of living in God’s will?

#SeedsofScripture #Godswill #renewthemind #transformation

Exciting news! I’ve been renovating my website and a new space will emerge soon.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Renovations & New Life

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

My husband was recently baptized – the full immersion experience. With powerful symbolism, the believer dies to his old self through submersion and rises from water into a new life in Christ. His baptism prompted thoughts about this new life.

In Ephesians, Paul encourages us to embrace our new life in Christ by changing our attitudes about ourselves, ‘to be made new’ by seeing ourselves as God sees us – beloved, freed and forgiven by Jesus, never separated from God, filled with His spirit and power and strength, and many other promises. These attitudes don’t appear instantaneously as one rises from the baptismal water. Viewing ourselves this way can be a process.

The phrase ‘to be made new’ literally means to renovate. Have you ever renovated a room in your home? If so, you know it’s a process. You also know that demolition comes first and often spreads its mess to adjacent spaces. Slowly the desired result emerges.

Likewise, renovating the attitudes we have about ourselves requires some demolition. We need to remove the lies that we’re unlovable or unforgivable or not good enough. The ‘new self, created to be like God’ cannot emerge amid these attitudes.

Put off your old self & be made new. See yourself as God sees you. (tweet this)

What negative thought do you have about yourself?
Does it belong to the ‘old self’ that should be left behind?
Would God call it a lie and replace it with a promise?

#SeedsofScripture #anewcreation #bemadenew #renovation

Exciting news! I’ve been renovating my website and a new space will emerge soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

They Warned Me It Would Happen

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

They warned me.

They said it would happen.

They said I would get so deep in studying the Bible that I would lose my connection with God.

They were right.

You may assume that a seminary student, confirmation teacher, and Bible study leader has a direct line to God. That’s not true.

You may have noticed that I haven’t dropped a Seed since September. That is true, because my blog thoughts often bloom during my devotions and I’ve allowed my studies to consume that time.

But… I signed up for an Advent devotional because God has been whispering to me - calling me to ‘chair time’. The devotional email reminds me to spend time with God, especially because this season is so important yet so busy. I’m hoping the devotions will help me resist the world’s view of Christmas and refocus on its true meaning.

Emmanuel - God with us.

The Creator of the universe joined our lives on this small planet. When Jesus was born, He entered our world at one point in history and that event defines our calendar, our sense of time. There was a time before Jesus, but we now live in a new era with Jesus. A.D. – anno domini – the year of our Lord. That was quite a year!

God is with us.

What an amazing thought, and yet, I need an email reminding me to enjoy His presence.

Do you need an email reminder? How will you include Jesus in your Christmas preparations?

Will you spend time with Jesus this season? He’s here and patiently waiting for you. (tweet this)

There are so many good Advent devotionals. Private message me if you’d like some suggestions.

#SeedsofScripture #callingyourname #Godwithus #advent

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ah-Ha! Burning from Within

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.  Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.”
Exodus 3:2-3 (NIV)

Ah-ha! The flames appeared from within the bush and the bush did not burn up.

A person ‘on fire’ is enthusiastically passionate about something. You might say I’m on fire for God and one of my goals in writing Seeds of Scripture has been to set your heart ablaze too.

Ah-ha! Only a fire lit from within and fueled by God himself doesn’t burn out.

I can’t light your fire (hee-hee). I can merely let God’s light shine from within me and pray that you will come over and see this strange sight. Are you curious enough to investigate?

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses, Moses!” (Exodus 3:4)

When Moses showed interest, God called him by name. Repeating his name indicated a personal, affectionate voice. God already knew Moses and was waiting for his response. As soon as Moses showed interest, God revealed Himself from the bush.

Are you curious about God? He calls you by name and awaits your response. (tweet this)

Do you know someone who’s on fire for God?
Does it draw you in or push you away? Why?
Would you listen to their experience of Him?

And because I know you’ve been humming:
Come on Jesus, light my fire
Come on Jesus, light my fire
Please come set the world on fire…

#SeedsofScripture #callingyourname #onfireforGod #burnfromwithin