30 day challenge

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:1-3

 

These verses come right after Peter was telling the people to be holy because God is holy, and that because they are born again they need to love one another. It’s like Peter knew the people were going to ask, “How do we do that?” So he explained how.

First they are supposed to put away ALL malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. He could have just said all once and then put the words. But he chose to repeat all several times therefore drawing emphasis to the seriousness of getting rid of all of it. He is saying there is no place for these things in people who want to be holy as God is holy, and who want to love one another because they are born again.

Second they are to long for the spiritual milk, so that they may grow. He likens this to how newborns long for milk. The only way newborns grow is if they get milk from their mom or formula. But they need the milk to grow. So for us to grow in Christ we have to long for the spiritual milk.

Then Peter basically says if you are truly born again then you will do these things. If you have tasted that the Lord is good, these things will be a desire of yours. If you really believe then this will be something you long for.

After reading these verses and studying them, my question then becomes “What does this look like practically?” For me what it looks like is making time every day to spend with the Lord, in prayer, in bible study, meditating on scripture, etc. The more time I spend with the Lord the more I long for more, the more I know I need time with him to grow. And I also know for myself when I’m daily spending time with him I’m less likely to be envious of others, to slander others, to lie, etc. Because the more time I spend with Him, and the more I learn, the more that I want to share with others. The more time I spend with Him the more He comes out in my words and actions. I’m a better parent, friend, sister, daughter, etc. the more time I spend with Him. The more I taste of the Lord the more I see how good He really is.

I know this is not true for just me. I know it’s true for anyone who spends time with Him. So I have a challenge for us in this tidbit, because it’s easy to hear God’s word and then not put it into practice, I’m guilty of it a lot. Let’s not do that this time, let’s put these verses into practice. Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good. For the next 30 days let’s commit to daily spending time with him, whether it’s 5 minutes, or an hour, doesn’t matter. But will you commit with me to making it a priority to spend some time with the Lord every day for the next 30 days?

The 40 days before Easter

I have been participating in Lent since I was in junior high, maybe even before that. But in the last few years it’s taken on a new meaning for me. I’ve put more thought into what I wanted to give up or add-on. I really wanted whatever it was to remind me of Christ death on the cross, to draw me closer to him, to make it about him and not about what I could do. You can read here and here about the things I gave up the last two years and how they drew me closer to the Lord.

This year as I was talking about what to give up or add-on with my friend Jamie. She mentioned that we needed to think outside the box. And I agreed. I wasn’t feeling led to give up any food, and after becoming gluten intolerant after giving up bread last year I wasn’t keen on doing anything food related anyway. I wasn’t feeling led to give up anything really.

So I started thinking about what I could add-on. Jamie and I talked some more and we decided we would memorize some scripture together. And here is what I learned:

  1. When you repeat scripture over and over out-loud to yourself you can have “aha” moments. You know moments where a piece of scripture comes together and you really understand it. Had I not been repeating the verse over and over I wouldn’t fully understand those sections.
  2. You can’t memorize scripture on your own strength. There were a few times where I would read the verse and my brain would say “nope, no more, I’m done.” or “Nope, I’m tired, not doing it.” These moments were really good reminders that my flesh is weak, but God’s strength is immeasurable.
  3. The more time you spend in the scripture the more you see correlations between books of the Bible, the more you understand certain topics, and the more you learn. This doesn’t have to come from memorization, certainly just studying the Bible helps you do this. But because I was memorizing certain verses, those were on my mind and when I would hear a sermon, a song, or have a conversation about the Lord with someone, it would relate somehow or it would expound upon a verse or something.
  4. I’ve wasted a lot of time in the last year and a half… Say what? Well I did most of my memorizing while I was walking my dog in the mornings. I walk her forty-five minutes to an hour most mornings. And while I’ve tried to use that time for the Lord before, I’ve always been distracted or not disciplined, and it hasn’t worked out. But I see now that I can focus and be disciplined with that time. So here’s not wasting that precious time but to start using it for God’s glory!

 

Likeness of God

For the third year in a row I committed to reading through the Bible in a year. Last year I failed miserably at staying with the plan. But this I’m determined to stay with it this year. But with reading through I want to make sure I’m reading it as if for the first time. I want the Lord to reveal to me new things in his word. Things I’ve never seen before, or things I’ve seen but not realized the depth of. As I come across these things I want to share them with you all. So here is the first of many to come.

So as with a lot of read through the Bible in a year plans part of my readings started in Genesis. There are two things so far in Genesis that I want to share.

First is in Genesis 1, which is the creation account. What stuck out to me when reading this is when God comes to create humans he says “let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

This is not news to me. I wrote my advanced writing paper in college about being made in the image of God and what that means. But what was news to me this time is that the text itself emphasizes this. Previous to this verse are verses about God creating all the animals. And it says he creates them after its kind. It says that about all of them. But then he comes to make humans and it’s not after their own kind. It’s after his kind. When something is repeating in scripture and then the pattern breaks usually you should pay attention to what it’s saying when the pattern breaks. The text is drawing emphasis to it. I’ve never noticed that before.

The second is in Chapter 3, the fall of man. We all know the story. The serpent comes to the woman tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit. But what he says is what stuck out to me. He says “You will surely not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (italics added by me).

Wait a minute… The woman was already like God. She was made in His likeness. She forgets all about this. She trades the truth of being in His likeness for whatever fake likeness she will get from the fruit. The crazy thing is, to this day we are trading the truth of God for the lies of sin.

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I.G.I.B #6

Why hello there! It’s Wednesday! And that means it’s “I Guess I’m Blessed” with Stormy Normy time!! As always feel free to join us by leaving a link to your post in the comments!

This week I’m changing up my style a bit. I’m going “I Guess I’m Blessed” Wordless Wednesday style. I’m going to let the pictures do the talking about the things I’m thankful/grateful for, or blessed by. So without further ado…

What can I say…. I Guess I’m Blessed!