I am so excited!! :) I am about to embark on a journey. Well, it's really NOT a journey. It's more like I'm about to take on a task ... all. by. myself. Actually, I'm never alone. God is always with me ... leading me, guiding me, and even at times I picture Him wondering, "Ok, daughter. I Am right here. Where did you go? I'll wait for you to regain where your focus needs to be." Seriously. I do imagine that He says that from time to time about me and my "I think I got it under control" or the "Oh I can do this" -- but I forget, I can do NOTHING with Christ. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Absolutely Nothing.
Hebrews 12 (New International Version. I prefer King James Version, but for level understanding, I chose to write the scriptures in NIV)
"1.Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
-- I need to pause right here. As I mentioned above. Sometimes I think I have it all under control. I don't. Let me be honest here. If it weren't forJesus, I'd be lost. Literally. Going to hell. Lost. Failing in my classes. Losing. Failing as a mother, a wife, and everything in between. I'd be so far lost it'd be terrible. No person would be able to find me in the thick of my OWN will. My own wrong doing. My own troubles. The only ONE who can and has and continues to lead me and guide me is Jesus. I have to continually 'throw off' those things (pride, selfishness, aggression, etc) which are not pleasing to to Him.
Ok ... we're going to continue with the Scripture .............
"2.Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
-- He did this for you. Jesus did this for me. He has done this for EVERYONE. Have you accepted it? Your salvation? The Crown of righteousness? Yes. Jesus has called YOU to a life of righteousness. No matter what you have done. No matter how far away from God you THINK you are. You're not.
"3.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4.In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5.And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son [daughter], do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6.because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son [daughter]."
Here comes a part in scripture where many people, even Christians, feel, "Well, if God loves me, then why are 'bad' things happening to me?" Or here's a saying that you may have heard ... "If there's a God, then why are bad things happening?" If you're a Christian, and bad things are happening, sometimes it's not for your own good, it may be for the good of those who are around you or who may come in contact with you at some point. If 'bad' things are happening to you and you're a Christian, it's for your benefit, your good. God may be trying to work something out of you that is of no benefit TO HIM.
7.Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8.If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
-- Oh man! So count it joy (even though it may be hard to do) when you're going through hard times. That doesn't mean you'll ALWAYS go through trials. You'll have seasons in your life where things will be 'smoother' than at other times. When I haven't had a trial in my life for a while, I'll start to ask God if I'm doing things right or if He's pleased with me. There's nothing I want more than to please my Heavenly Father! :)
9.Moreover, we have all had human fathers who have disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
-- Notice, that this isn't a question. This is a statement. Actually, it's more of a command. If we can respect our parents for them disciplining us and still love them for it, then why is it so hard to accept the discipline that God gives? Notice that if we aren't being disciplined (steered in the RIGHT direction, on the straight and NARROW), we aren't HIS children. That's a scary thought!!
10.Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for OUR GOOD, that we may SHARE IN His holiness. 11. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace FOR THOSE who have been trained by it.
12. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13."Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
-- How bumpy is the road you're on? And I'm not talking about the trials that come our way as part of being God's children. I'm talking about those things that we continually put in front of having or deepening a relationship with Jesus. How bumpy is your path? Strengthen your arms (and hands) through praising Him. Have you ever simply lifted your hands, pointed to the sky, and said, "I love You, LORD" ... have you ever? Maybe now is the time. What about your knees? Have you prayed on your knees? Okay, some may have troubles getting on their knees. But when was the last time you prayed and talked to Him WITHOUT asking Him to give you this and give you that? Talk to Jesus AS your BEST FRIEND. You can tell Him everything. Even though He knows everything, He still wants to hear from you. It's like my relationship with my mom. She pretty much knows everything that goes on in my life, but we still talk, and even talk about what she already knows. :)
"My son [daughter], pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words. 21.Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22.for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's [woman's] whole body. 23.Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 24. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25.Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. 26.Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. 27. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil"
Sooo ... God evidently had another plan for me when I sat down to write a blog about the new task (craft) I'll be undertaking (I'll blog about that very soon). It was to give you a Word -- HIS word, from scripture. I hope it has touched your heart, dug deep into your soul, and taught you something that you didn't know about the Holy Scriptures of God. :)