Thursday, January 15, 2009

Do not be Anxious for Anything, Take your Petitions to God

Today I find Philippians 4 much comfort, it is one of the readings for today. First though lets start again with this weeks bible verse

Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wastelands."

I want to start today by sharing some Thanksgiving. Often it is so easy to dwell or think on the things that are troubling us and we sometimes forget what to be thankful for, or what we are thankful for. Mine generally revolves around family. I think mainly because that is normal and we are so incredibly close. My middle son Zekaryah has made a placing in the Rodeo Art contest, they will judge this Friday and Saturday they will share at the High School what place went to who. They judge 1-3 place then the rest are just finalists. It is still exciting. My son Jakob won 3rd place for district for 6th grade last year in the general contest, not rodeo art. Speaking of Jakob he has good news of his own that he shared with me this afternoon. He is in a Food and Nutrition class, he will be the head chef on cooking day. The food they serve will feed the teachers and staff that day. They will be making a Noodle Stir Fry he says with beef or chicken and some veggies. He is not excited about making this dish. He would rather it be something like Spaghetti, but he is excited to be Head Chef. He loves to cook. And has done some crazy things lately on his own. I am also thankful that Paul might have overtime Saturday. We could really use it. Mekenzei also will be able to go to school tomorrow. YEAH GOD! She has missed all week.

So on that note lets get to today's reading

Genesis 4 , Proverbs 1 and Philippians 4

Genesis 4 begins with the births of Cain and Abel - a typical Sunday School lesson over any denomination. An example of sibling rivalry and sin at its core really. I think of how often my children think we might favor one over the other, or so and so got to do this why didn't I. I have myself felt that as a young child and even adult. All stems from sin- the idea that we compete with another person. I think what is sad in this case is that Cain felt God looked at Abel with greater love, respect etc. I know from reading the bible that God does not love anyone of us more than the other. He is pleased with each of us and the talents that we use that He has given us. He does want us to use our talents whatever they may be, to bring Him glory, to spread the Word about his Son to others so they too may believe. I know he does not want us to sit and not use what He has provided. God already knew the answers to his questions. He knew why Cains face was downcast, Knew why he was angry, he knew where his brother Abel was. What he did not know is what God's decision was going to be because of His actions. What a wonderful thing that we live in a time where Christ has already come and died for our sins. Can you imagine the punishment that each one of us might encounter for our sins. We are forgiven in Christ. I am not saying we should go and commit sin. We should try to keep our ways right, and we should ask for forgiveness for those things in which we fall short. It is interesting to me that in Genesis 4 it ends with many births and genealogy but the most important part is that Man begins to call on the name of the Lord. Something to think of is, when is the last time you cried out to God for any reason at all? The fact that we even have the ability to have someone care for us and someone to cry out to, should be all we need to remember to do so. If there is something that weighs on your heart today, I challenge you to make your petition and leave it at Christs feet.

You can read Genesis 4 for yourself at this link

The next reading for today is Proverbs 1

I know I have read Proverbs before, just a couple years ago when I did the read the bible in 90 days challenge. What an experience. However I will admit that it took me 4 months instead. My sister and I had done a great deal together while she was visiting for a summer, then I finished the rest on my own. I do not recall reading this though. Even through all the reading I did, some things stand out more than others. God explains to us the purpose of the Proverbs. I find that very interesting.
Prologue: Purpose and Theme
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-
6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

I think it is a way for God to warn us that while he gave us the Bible as a way to follow Him and what is right it is not for us to take apart each little bit and try to understand it in a way that would lead us to harm. I think rather it is to give us example so that we can learn from it and lead better lives. I have had times in my life where for example I have prayed for patience. I often find that to be a problem as he does sure spread out those problems in order for the sandpaper to edge away at me and shape and mold me to have more patience, but it sure doesn't feel like it at the time. In the same way I think we should read the bible, often I think, so that we might gain insight into His Word and how it affects us in that moment. I think a verse might speak to us differently from one time to another depending on what we are going through, thus the discerning, guidance, learning etc...

I also as a parent find the next verse of much importance. It is one in which tells us basically to be that example for our children. Be the one to lead prayer at meals, prayer before bed, read our bible and have quiet time with the Lord, teach our children how to obey God's ways by obeying them ourselves. For example something simple like teaching them not to steal or slander others. I think nothing bothers me more then when they talk about other people, especially when it is talk that is not good about another. That is one rule that I have that is pretty firm. But in order for them to follow this next verse, we need to set that example that is good for them to follow. It says, "8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. "

There is much good news in Proverbs one, a promise that I see is this,

33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

I think that is very easy to follow, if we are in Daily time with God, if we are seeking Him and trying to follow His ways, which would be much easier if we are praying to Him too.

Here is the link to Proverbs 1- since it is so long I did not list it here.

The next reading is from Philippians 4. There are many verses within this chapter that I have clung to at different times of my life. I am sure you are no different. One that my mother in law quoted to me often, one that my mom also quoted to me often.

May these verses you read give you comfort, bless you and inspire you in your time with God.
4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8-9 whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

11-13 I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

There are many promises within Philippians 4, I pray that my time with you today has been something that you have enjoyed. I pray for your circumstance. God knows where you are in life, he knows your need. I pray together with you, as he says where two or more come together, to petition with one another to the Lord. He hears your need, whether it be money for bills, job uncertainty, something with a family member, or for yourself maybe needing healing from pain. I pray that God will bless you and heal you, I pray that He will provide your need. I thank Him for the opportunity to be a vessel for you and to speak his word with you today.
Remember you can do all things through Christ that gives you strength.

1 comment:

  1. I love this one: 11-13 I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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...



Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24