Lent 2018 assignment

This is posted by Nathan Hershberger for Joy.

Job 14:1-2 A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last.”

Confession first: I’ve not spent much time in the book of Job. I wonder if you are anything like me? It makes me uncomfortable. In all honestly, so much of the Old Testament can be challenging to me in this way. However, if I look at the Bible comprehensively, I see that the Old Testament is pointing us to the New, to Christ! So, although I am no expert in Job, I am a follower of Christ, and I think even Job’s words in this passage are giving us a full glimpse at God’s story and the Good News for those who have “ears to hear” it.
As mortals, “born of woman” it feels like Job is taking us back to the beginning, to Eve, the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). However, this birth does not bring us eternal life. Just as Adam and Eve fell from God’s eternal paradise, we are destined to do the same, unless. Unless we are born of water and the Spirit. Jesus gives this clear instruction to Nicodemus and to us in John 3:5, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Two categories, a very important distinction.
This distinction is important as we continue in the passage. Life is “few of days and full of trouble”. Whether we live to one or one hundred, our days in this life are short and with each passing year seem to go by faster and faster. Short and hard. Job certainly new this. We know this. For those who are born of the spirit, it is good for us to acknowledge and give thanks to God for His many ways of helping us through His provision and presence. We also have the gift of life eternal, that begins now as we walk with God, and continues into the next life.
That mortal life “withers like a flower” again is a distinction between life in the flesh and life in the spirit. While life in the flesh may allure us, it’s attrativeness will not last. Life in the flesh will wither. It is only life in the spirit that will sustain us. If we connect this to 1 Peter 1 24-25, “’For all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ That word is the good news that was announced to you.” Only Christ’s redemptive work on our behalf will remain when all of the flesh has withered away.
While shadows obstruct light, just as sin obstructs our communion with God, Christ is the source of light, and He is everlasting. Job again is pointing us to Christ and to life everlasting that is found in Him. Christ is our connection to communion with God, now and forever.

Hiding the Word

I was assigned another devotional for lent at church so I wanted to post it here too. Also, Joy did one that I will pay for her and the later I will post the one I wrote in case she didn’t have time to write hers up.

Psalm 119:11I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.”

This verse means a lot to me. I remember hearing this verse growing up in AWANA, and we try to recall it around our house occasionally. It could be easy to see this as a legalistic command to memorize scripture or else you are a sinner, but it is so much more.

I can remember times (particularly in college), when I would be on my own and thinking about something. I would likely have the radio or CD player on while I was fretting about something. And God would let me hear the lyrics to a song in a way that would bring peace more than any of the regular thoughts stewing in my head.

This verse reveals a truth to make that kind of experience more likely. As I study Gods word, or even more when I memorize it, my mind is shaped to think about things or in the ways that help me glorify God. Much like when I would listen to the radio in college, the Holy Spirit calls scriptures to mind more readily when I have memorized them.

Sometimes this can be comforting, sometimes it is convicting, but generally it will help me be centered on Christ. This devotional assignment is a good reminder to me, in this season of Lent, to see what scriptures I may need to review or what I may need learn new.

— this will be in the 2018 Lent devotional emails from HarmonySTL.org. I assume that they will have a signup for that. If you want the emails. If not you can just contact one of the staff and they can get the whole thing to you

Notes from a meditation recommended by church

This post is because I just would like to get a post out, and I thought that this was a good thing.  My blog is just for sharing thoughts and hopefully getting actual feedback (not just spam).

This was the prompt

  1. Take a walk or go outside pray through the apostle’s creed.
  2. Read Hebrews 11:3
  3. Observe: Identify  three things in nature that inspire or make you aware of God the Creator
    1. plants are fed by sun, air and soil amazing that God developed solar power for living things and amazing that he made
    2. A sun in space and inconceivable distance away that burns so brightly that we all live from its energy.
    3. God made living things in such a way that they can reproduce themselves and not only continue life but also develop more and differently than in the first place.
  4. Journal/Meditate: What do these things tell you about who God is?  What do they tell you about who you are in relationship to God?  Do you spend enough time looking for God in the world? Why or why not?
    1. Plants show that God is able to design great engineering that not only sustain but also propagate
    2. God provides what is needed in ways we don’t always recognize and he is very powerful
    3. Community is important:  plants may not require other plants to propagate but God designed us promote our species to depend on others to reproduce.  This reinforces the idea that it is not good for man to be alone.

So what this tells me about who I am in relationship to God: I am provided for many plants make food for me – I am not as smart as God, but he does provide us brains to learn how to make progressively more use of all he has provided.

He wants us to work together so much that he built family units into the design as a natural car grouping -> He made caring for others biologically rewarding

I could stand to take more time to recognize God’s hand working. I might be able to connect with him if I would seek him more.

*This is not a comprehensive discussion of what could come from that so I would love to hear other peoples thoughts, too.  I am not going to edit this before I post it, but I may go back reread it and fix it later if there are glaring grammar grievances