The Vision Beyond

Hebrews 11 (From Bible Gateway)

[ Faith in Action ] Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

 

Sometimes it can feel very lonely in this world. We go through things that challenge us on a spiritual level. People let us down and we disappoint ourselves too. This world is a temporary place and no one can escape that reality. We will only truly understand the afterlife, after our earthly life ends. The times that I have struggled the most have brought me back to the scriptures. There are so many stories about people like you and me navigating life in wonderful and terrible circumstances. Paul makes a great statement when he says, I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:11-13 

I’m reading through Exodus right now and I find it comforting that God guided the Israelites through the desert.

“21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”  Exodus 13:21-22

God also gave the people food to eat and water from a rock. He made sure that their basic needs were met because he knew that was very important. When I’m feeling lonely it helps me to remember that God doesn’t forget about our needs.

When looking at Exodus 23:20-30, it is clear that God blesses us but he is responsible with his blessings. He knew the Israelites could not handle all of the blessings in the land because it would overwhelm them. Instead, he gave it to them little by little because he knew that was the best thing for his people.

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Look for the Light

Psalm 112[a]

1 Praise the Lord.[b]

Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.

2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.

6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

 

 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.
Even in darkness, we can find the light. What I put out there comes back to me. If I am full of grace, love, and generosity, it will come back to me.  It is so tempting to say whatever I want and with hold grace from people at times. I have to remember that some of those people who don’t show me grace are the ones who need it demonstrated to them the most.  That it challenging!
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
I can have security knowing that God is working out the details. I don’t have control over much of what happens in my life so why do I stress over it?  Peace is a much better attitude to embrace. My energy is better spent on helping those in need.

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August 2, 2013

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I have been doing a scriptural study on praise and worship because I think there is such a misunderstanding and disconnect in our churches today. I’m seeing more and more that there is so much around us to distract us from our spiritual self which affects our ability to worship God. I absolutely love technology and its many applications but that can be a huge “zombie” creator. I just think we need to be the masters of it and not the other way around.   1 Corinthians 6:12- “Everything is permissible to me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible to me but I will not be mastered by [ANYTHING].” 

We were all created to worship something, so we will. The question is do we want to worship someONE who loves us or someTHING that will perish with time?  

Psalm 71:8  “My mouth is filled with your praise and with your glory all the time.”  

Colossians 4:6a  “Let your conversations be always full of grace…..”  

These scriptures remind me that I am Gods creation and I have such an incredible opportunity to be a channel of grace and grounding for people. I get so self absorbed that its easy to forget this when someone is rude or inconsiderate to me. It takes wisdom and grace to see that the person who is acting this way is probably being mastered by something negative in their lives. There have been many times when I have allowed negativity to rule me and it does affect the people around me.

James 3 talks about controlling your words and your anger.  James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. 

I try to imagine what the world would be like if we all treated one another this way.  

Rumi wrote,  “Raise your words not voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.”  

I do not have control over much in this life, I could die today or tomorrow but I do have control over my attitude and the way in which I choose to interact with Gods creation. Nothing is ever for certain, it can all be destroyed or lost. The only thing that cannot be lost or destroyed is the love that my creator has for me. 

Romans 8:37-39     “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”     

Nothing separates us from Gods love, however we have to choose our creator because our creator has already chosen us and will not force us to love. Love can only exist in a willing participant. 

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