Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm a Beggar

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible. This is an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I notice I haven’t said much about what I’ve read so far in the first books of the Old Testament. I’m sure I will eventually but at the moment Genesis and Exodus, and now Leviticus, seem more like a valuable history lesson rather than a guiding life lesson to me. As I understand it, the Old Testament foreshadows what was to come with the New Covenant. This may be oversimplifying the case and I certainly don’t mean to minimize the first five books of the Old Testament, the Foundations as I’ve heard them called, but man, it can be labored reading. I’m glad the daily devotional Bible gives me glimpses into what’s to come – the poetics of Psalms and the wisdom of Proverbs (I used many verses from Proverbs to shape my thinking when writing my first book).

Speaking of Proverbs, today I’m thinking about a passage I read last night (2:1-5) : “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commandments within, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

They say New Years Resolutions tend to be broken within a few days of making them. Today is the 13th day since my resolution to read the Bible every day and capture my thoughts on what I read this blog. I’m not even tempted to turn away from this resolution, the only one I made this year, and nearly every day I read something like this passage in Proverbs that keeps me motivated to stay faithful to my resolution. If only dieting was so easy!

And while I’m working to understand and then live the word of God, I’m also thinking about the passage on which our lesson last Sunday was based, Romans 8:23 : “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

How many times have we heard the question “Why does God let bad things happen?” I’m nowhere near prepared to answer that question with authority, but I confess to having asked it at different points in time in my life. I’m inclined to think (because I can never walk away from a question) the answer is bad things happen so that good things may then come. I admit that is a tough answer to comprehend, especially if you have just had a bad experience, but think about it. If life were perfect all the time, what would give us reason to be grateful? And, finally, we must look at the important phrase in that passage “to those who love him.” Maybe the point really is good things happen to those who love Him. All the more reason to love Him even more, yes?

In closing for today, I’ve also noticed that the more I read the more I include in my prayers – I ask repeatedly for strength of heart and character, lasting health for me and my family, wisdom and guidance in all my dealings, good relationships with those I meet, and forgiveness. Just as the preacher said, I’m a humble and unworthy beggar, but with good motives and intent.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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