Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Welcome to Tuesday's Together in the Word. We are a group of women reading God's Word based on a reading plan posted on DeeDee's website. We share a nugget or three about what we've read. I would encourage you to jump in - no need to start at the beginning, just jump right in and read with us. Be sure to link up over at DeeDee's and share your gleanings with us, too. This week we read:
  • 2 Peter 3
  • Psalm 39-41
  • Proverbs 10
  • Galatians 1-3
Standing the Test of Fire

"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him." ~ 2 Peter 3:11-14 (NIV)

What are the holy and godly lives we should be living?

We are consecrated to God and should live lives set apart for Him. We are to be different than the world, despite the discomfort that can bring.

The Greek word for godly is eusebeia, which means:

1) reverence, respect
2) piety towards God, godliness

While we consider friendship with God as a great part of our lives, we should remember to reverence and respect Him.

The way we conduct our lives should reflect honor and consecration for Him. Are there things we are doing or watching or reading that will stand the test of the coming fire that will cleanse the home of righteousness in which we will dwell? If so, that's wonderful. If not, we need to consider weeding them out now. We can control what comes into our homes through television and books and other forms of media. Is it holy and pleasing to God? If not, why are we interested in it? There is no sin in Heaven. We cannot take the things that are pleasing, yet dishonoring to God, on this earth to Heaven with us. They will not stand the test of the fire.

Being spotless, blameless and at peace with our Creator is a high call to holy living.

The Greek word for spotless is aspilos. It means:

1) spotless
2) metaph.
a) free from censure, irreproachable
b) free from vice, unsullied

What vices grip us today? I have one that I know I need to let go of and I am working toward that. I want my body to be a pleasing temple for God and I don't want to malign His Word by abusing my body with things that are unhealthy. Nictotine and the other carcinogens found in cigarettes will surely damage my body. I want to stop before they have that chance, but more than that I want to honor God by stopping smoking.

A Helping Hand

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. " ~ Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

How precious is our Lord to come to us at just the right time and bring us out of the depths we are in. It's hard to wait patiently during times of crises, but God is faithful. He will use these times for His glory and lift us out of the mud and mire, the sinking place, and place us back on terra firma where we can praise His holy name. I love the honesty I see when I read of struggles others face. It gives me hope as I face struggles of my own. I am moved more closely to God as I see how He works in others lives and pray that as I share my own struggles, others will move toward God, reverencing Him and putting their trust in Him.

"I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly." ~ Psalm 40:10 (NIV)

One of the best ways people learn is by example. We should never conceal our love for the Lord and what He has done for us unless He prompts us to. I believe there are times that the Lord wants us to be discreet in matters so personal that it should remain between the Lord and ourselves; however, 99.9% of the time it is to God's glory to proclaim the love and truth of God, speaking of His faithfulness to others.

How do you choose to share His love? I often speak of it with others, I email about it, blog about it, and praise Him for it.

My Uncle Jimmy is battling for his life right now. He has malignant melanoma and is undergoing biochemotherapy, a treatment that is unpleasant, to say the least. Yet he and Susan remain faithful, recounting how the Lord is blessing them through doctor's visits, the written Word and through certain authors of books they are reading. Were they not to share what God has done, others would lack hope. I know my own problems have been put into perspective. The illnesses I suffer are nothing compared to what he is going through and I feel remorse at having even mentioned knee pain. Oh please! I am humbled. Truly humbled at how God is working through Jimmy and how he is seeking for God to be glorified. Jimmy will tell you it's not about him. He'll point you to the author and finisher of his faith, Jesus Christ our Lord. May I learn from him and do the same.


"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." ~ Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)

This verse speaks for itself. There is so much room for sin when we just chatter on endlessly. Gossip and slander can find their way in. Must we tell everything we know? What are our motives when we speak? The weight of our words does matter. The Lord is really dealing with me about holding my tongue. It's a learning process. I'm learning to listen more and speak less. I want to honor God with the words that I do speak, and I find that when I chatter incessantly I am bound to slip up and, well, sin.


What I found running through my readings this week was that I should honor God with my way of life and the words that I speak.



Jennifer said...

Great post, Laurie Ann!

I need to take inventory more often about what is brought into our home through the TV and internet too. I am sure there is always room to do a little more housework to be pleasing to God.

I think I'll jump on in with the weekly reading whether I participate in writing a post or not.

Have a great day, my friend!

LauraLee Shaw said...

I believe there are times that the Lord wants us to be discreet in matters so personal that it should remain between the Lord and ourselves; however, 99.9% of the time it is to God's glory to proclaim the love and truth of God, speaking of His faithfulness to others.I love this, Laurie Ann. YES!!!

I share His Word every way I can. Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, at kids' school, on stage at church, my neighbors, through acts of service...not bragging...still have Soooo much more I need to be doing, but you've just motivated me further! thanks, sis.

Denise said...

Wonderful post.

Linda said...

Laurie Ann,...Bless your sweet heart for sharing this.

One of my struggles is wanting to lose weight and be more disciplined again. Smoking,... over-eating,...whatever it is, we all struggle. I have never smoked, but I have had a weight issue off and on for many years. Both are not healthy.

I pray that God will help us as we make our commitments.

The storms of life are hard to face alone,...but your uncle is facing his by the grace of God, and in His power! How wonderful.

Thanks for sharing all of this.
God is so faithful! Amen?

Love in Christ,
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Laurie Ann...thank you for always speaking truth so boldly. We do need to reflect on how we spend our time and what we focus our attention on...are we pleasing God with the way we live?

So true...thank you for the reminder.

Prayers for you and your family...

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...Another FULL
STUDY of your Bible Readings this week! You are so gifted & richly blessed & bless us with your wisdom. So how are you doing with
your difficult challenge to surrender? Are you making headway?
I pray that the Holy Spirit fills up that need so you don't have to
continue doing damage, may you find His strength to battle the desire.
Beautiful WRAP UP...someday I'll conquer Proverbs 10 also.

A new resource for your WORD Studies: this was for 2Pe3:11-


Thanks again for your walk through yesterday! WOW!!! once more.

Melinda said...

I did an exercise a few months ago where I took stock of everything I did and thought for an entire day. Not a special day, just a typical day in my life, and at the end of the day I reviewed the list and marked everything as either pleasing to God and within His guidelines for my life, or not. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. The most profound thing was that it wasn't really any "big" things that I did or thought about that were sinful, but so many "little" things, things I often didn't even pay attention to. Lots of weeding has been goingon my spiritual garden since then, some by me and some by God.

DeeDee said...

Thanks Laurie Ann.... we are to live lives set apart for Him... thanks for your post to us today.
Sweet Blessings

Meredith said...

I love the way you break it down and then wrap it up. Teaching truth is an excellent example--thank you for sharing what your heart saw this past week!