Bible Studies, General Recovery

Behold, I Will Do A New Thing! - Genesis 1 StudyPremium Content

Several aspects of these verses in Genesis struck me in a powerful way, and for several reasons. However, they are all related, and so I want to attempt to tie them all together in this post.

The first aspect of this Scripture that really spoke to me is in Genesis 1:2, when the Lord says,

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Have you ever felt lifeless, without energy, kind of like a worthless "formless," lump on a log? I know I have. And, quite often, I still can find myself in that place if I do not watch my thoughts. I can feel totally powerless to do anything positive about my life and my circumstances.

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Making Choices

Romans 6:16-18 NRSV
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

The Lord has been talking to me a lot lately about how I make decisions. There has been instilled within me a strong Puritan work ethic: God only helps those who help themselves. And while I do believe that Christians are commanded to work and to work hard (and often), I think that my own worldview has been corrupted with the idea of American self-determination.

Romans is an interesting book. Of all the books, this is the one that is the least personal. All of Paul's other epistles are letters written to churches with whom he had personal relationships, but the letter to the church at Rome was written to people he had never met. Thus, Paul takes the time to outline the doctrines of Christianity. In essence, this--even more than the other epistles--is a book of the Bible written to us for this time, a church which Paul never meets and a church which desperately needs the anchor of correct Christian thought and practice.

Attributes of Thankfulness

Colossians 3:12-17 NRSV
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

November, traditionally in America, is the month where we turn our thoughts toward being thankful. One of the things I’ve been enjoying on Facebook are the many who are daily listing the things for which they are thankful. In a cynical world, thankfulness silences the critics and raises one’s spirit.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Job 42:7 MRSV
After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job was a righteous man, a man who loved and served God with all his heart and might. He was a man who had prospered in an earthly sense, owning many flocks and having twelve children. He also was a man blessed with good health. All of this God allowed Satan to take from Job. Job’s life went, in a matter of days, from being comfortable and happy to being alone and miserable.

There is a saying: Bad things happen to good people.

Where have I come from and where am I going?

Psalm 119:73 NRSV
Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

Where have I come from and where am I going?

Life is Messy, Sloppy, Sometimes Miserable

Isaiah 43:10-13
"But you are my witnesses, O Israel!" says the Lord. "And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it -- I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God," says the Lord. "From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions" (NLT).

Forgiveness, Grace, and Sin

Romans 6:1-2, 6 NSRV
Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?... We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

Learning Not To Take OffensePremium Content

According to John Bevere in his book,The Bait of Satan, the bait of taking offense is the number one trap that the enemy – Satan – sets for Christians. And the closer the relationship between the people involved in the offense taken, the deeper the wound and the deeper the offense, as seen in the depth of David's suffering when he expresses his suffering after being betrayed by one near and dear to him in Psalm 55:

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Are You Choosing to Serve a Second Master?

When I was growing up, there was a TV show that my family watched called "I Dream of Jeannie." In this show, an astronaut (Tony) found a bottle and in it was a blond-haired genie named Jeannie. Tony would wish for something (or Jeannie thought he did), his wish would be granted, and then the problems began. Of course, like all Hollywood sitcoms, all came out well in 30 minutes (or less). But I wonder how many of us wish we had a genie’s three wishes . . . and if we did, what would we wish for?

1 John 2:15-17 NRSV

Can You Love in the Midst of Hate?

1 John 2:9-11 NRSV
Whoever says, "I am in the light," while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.

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