2 Questions to Ask in a Difficult Situation

I love coming across verses that I don’t remember ever reading before. Like today, when I was reading in Mark. The Sadducees were a sect that didn’t believe in the resurrection. That is why they were sad-you-see. (You’re welcome.)

They come to Jesus trying to be argumentative and His response is, “This is why you’re wrong. You don’t know Scripture or the power of God” (Mark 12:24.)

I will always think/act/respond wrongly if I don’t know God’s Word or if I doubt God’s power. This gives me two great questions to ask myself when I find myself in a difficult situation.

1. What does Scripture say about my situation?

2. How would my feelings about my situation change if I truly believed in the power of God?

#bible #biblejournaling #instabible #god #faith #powerofgod #intheword #mysisterskeeper

4 Elements to the Pardoning of Sin

“For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”

I’ve been thinking about what it means for God to pardon my sin. Legally speaking, there are four key elements to a pardon.

1. The person is, in fact, guilty of a crime.

2. A pardon can only be done by someone with the authority to do so. A governor or president.

3. Any remaining penalties or punishment are removed.

4. There can never be any new charges/punishment for the crime that was pardoned.

Maybe it’s the Criminal Justice major in me, but I saw God’s forgiveness in a whole new way. I was truly guilty of offending a holy God. Only He has the authority to pardon my sin. The penalty of that sin (my death) has been removed. No one (enemy / person) can bring the punishment back for the thing that has been pardoned.

#goodnews #gospel #forgiveness #bible #instabible #intheword #god

Prayer Journals

I was going through some old journals – you know, the old school paper kind – and one little phrase caught my attention.

Sarah’s speech.

It was in a long list of prayers. After “Please, Lord, let this baby sleep through the night.” Before “Make me more patient.”

Sarah’s speech.

It would seem like an ordinary, no big deal note. There weren’t any exclamation points at the end. No highlights or underlines. Just two little words – but it was everything to me.

My Sarah was almost three when I wrote those words. Almost three and had not yet uttered a word. It wasn’t that I couldn’t understand her or that she couldn’t say much. She said nothing.

This child who almost died in my womb but was preserved by the Lord was silent and it terrified me. So, I prayed.

Here’s the thing. I don’t remember writing those words. I don’t know where I was or what state of mind I was in at the time. I don’t remember praying that specific prayer. All I know is that, a couple months later, I was teaching my 5 yr old her ABCs when I heard a soft voice echoing me. I held my breath and she continued. A – B – C…

As I looked at the words in that old journal – Sarah’s speech – I wondered, “Did I ever thank You, Lord?” Did I ever acknowledge that I witnessed a miracle? That God had leaned in to hear a prayer I don’t even remember praying, was moved with compassion, and chose to grant me my heart’s desire? That an almost three year old who didn’t speak has become a ten year old who sings and plays guitar.

Can I just encourage you, sweet friends, to keep a prayer journal? You think you’ll remember all the things, but you won’t. You’ll experience miracles and won’t recognize them. It’s good to look back and think, “Lord, did I ever thank You for that?”

#god #prayer #prayerjournal #gratitude #blessed

Two Tips for Studying Scripture

I love that the author of Psalm 119 didn’t just skim Scripture. He stored it up. He hid it. He protected it. He valued it.

He didn’t just put in his head. He hid it in his heart. The place where feelings and intellect collide. The center of everything.

I’m grateful that he told us why he did it. He didn’t want to sin against God. Or lead others astray. Or miss the way.

Two tips for studying Scripture. 1.) Pay attention to connecting phrases. So that, therefore, because, etc. These will often give us the “why” behind the “what.” 2.) Look up phrases in the original language to get a deeper understanding of what the writer was trying to convey. BlueLetterBible.org is a great resource.

#bible #biblestudy #biblejournaling #biblejournalingcommunity #psalms #psalm119 #intheword #mysisterskeeper

Who are your people?

One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. Exodus 2:11

Moses grew up in the home of Pharaoh. He was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Yet, he knew that he was a Hebrew and recognized them as “his people.”

He could have looked the other way. Had no empathy for their burdens. Felt relief that he had somehow escaped the same fate. But he looked upon them and knew that, regardless of where he ate his meals or lay his head, these were his people and their pain was his pain.

It’s easy, when we are experiencing a season of peace or prosperity, to forget that there are those struggling under the weight of heavy burdens. Do we look on them as “our people?”

Do we look the other way? Have any empathy for them? Just feel fortunate we aren’t experiencing the same burdens?

Or do we look upon them as one of us? Broken, wrapped in flesh, trying to navigate this sin-scarred world – just like us? And do we care enough to be angry at the injustices and pain around us?

Don’t hear me say that we respond like Moses did. We’re not going to be hiding any bodies in the sand. BUT, do we identify with the broken and care enough to shoulder some of the burden?

#instabible #intheword #wordbeforeworld #bible #biblestudy #lovethyneighbor #mysisterskeeper #exodus