Saturday, 30 June 2012

The greatest love story ever written

It’s no secret that I really appreciate bible teacher Beth Moore.  In fact I was actually hoping to call my daughter Beth (or a longer version of it), after my wonderful Grandmother, but I didn’t have a girl and Beth is hardly a good name for a boy!! I also appreciate Kay Arthur and Elyse Fitzpatrick. Each of them are a huge blessing to so many other women. They talk about the ‘promised life’. I trust you read correctly because it is the ‘promised life’, not the easy life.  Life isn’t easy, and as Beth Moore often says "easy doesn’t mean good and hard doesn’t mean bad".  We all have the opportunity to live our promised life on earth, a life where you reach your potential and follow the best path.

All these women inspire me because their lives and writings are grounded in God’s Word.  Their love for God’s Word is contagious. It wasn’t long ago I found the Bible more of an accessory on Sundays than the living Word of God.  Sadly, I probably wasn't the only one dusting the top of it before church. I can’t describe or put into words the impact it has on my life and the lives of others I know.

Why am I telling you about these women I admire and whose books and studies I purchase? Do they have me on commission? No sadly, as I’d make a bundle off just what I buy! I’m telling you because of what Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman) sharpens another.”  When my life was filled with the daily grind, pointless social media sites and very average TV every night, my light and life were dull.  When I filled my life with studying God’s word, the world, my attitude and how I view things changed and became brighter.  I take no credit. All I did was sign up for a bible study. It was God who did something so special for me. I was so undeserving but I am just so grateful for His love and His grace in His gift of salvation. 

I feel somewhat sad at how I settled for average with God or even way below average if I’m really honest with you, instead of growing in my knowledge of Him.  It’s like tasting Lindt Chilli Chocolate for the first time. From then on you are ruined for any other chocolate.  No I’m not on commission for Lindt either, but do highly recommend it!  Once you have had a taste of the ‘promised life’, how can you possibly settle and go back to an average or below average quality of life?

For iron to sharpen iron there has to be contact between the two. After a chat with a friend at church one Sunday morning, I realised ever so clearly that I had become isolated and insulated. She asked me straight up who I was connected with?  I didn’t have to think long, before I realised, no-one.  So I got connected!!  I now belong to a weekly women’s bible study group. Weekly (or more if needed) I meet with a friend to pray. I have also joined with 4 other women in a small group. I am part of a mentoring program within my church, mentoring and being mentored.  I do studies offered by my church when available. I meet with God privately for ‘us time’ at least once a day and I do my own personal bible study daily. I got myself some iron. They are sharpening me and hopefully through Christ I am sharpening them too. With all that going on, when could I possibly fit in much TV anymore! 

I have no credentials. I am not scholarly. I have not gone to Bible College. I am not one of those obviously gifted individuals that you can tell God will use.  I am a little quirky (that’s a nice way of saying odd). I’ve been very destructive at times.  I’ve hurt people I love. I’ve constantly got my foot in my mouth, (which has made me very well practised at apologising). That’s who I am, a work in progress. Aren't we all?  It’s like this. I want you to see that God is seeking after you and you don’t need to be anything special before you begin your search for Him.  God takes you as you are, just like He called the disciples from their ordinary working lives to follow Him. We don’t need to get it together for us to seek Him. Once you “Taste and see that the Lord is good” Ps 34:8, you won’t want to go back.
We can be ordinary, because God is extraordinary. Getting to know how extraordinary He is, is very compelling.  The Bible is big and contains many amazing themes, but ultimately it’s about God’s love pursuing us. He is like a lover after the one He desires.  His Word is a love story in graphic detail, violent in places, tender in others. You can’t find a more passionate account of love and it’s God’s for you.

I pray that you will want to know God’s passionate love for you. He wants you to get hungry, ravenous for His word, because it will change you. If you want to know how life changing Jesus can be, Saul the hunter of Christians and hater of Jesus became Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ who said “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21 – enough said!

I can gratefully testify that average TV, full of advertising, is out and the bible is in!! Let the iron of God’s word sharpen you. Join a group and let the iron of other peoples encouragement and counsel sharpen you. Find out what is happening in church and get involved. Don’t let the fact that the bible seems so mysterious and complex, scare you away from it.  I’m no intellectual, yet the Holy Spirit has revealed things to me.  He will to you too, if you ask Him. Dive into the ultimate love story ever written.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Ing. Love those authors too. xx


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