Monday, October 29, 2012

Hello Morning! Week 11

Wow!  Week 11!  We are on the home stretch of this study.  Only three more weeks, and this Hello Mornings! Study will be complete.  There seemed to be such a slow moving start to the study that I find it hard to believe we are nearing the end.  

With the initial read and study of the passage (I Peter 4:1-11), there seems to be so much to wrap my brain around and process, yet I am excited about what is there for me to glean this week.  Today I especially appreciated verse 11.

". . . If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things might be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen."

I am at a point, where I sense a particular opportunity opening and yet, I hesitate -  should I really do this?  can I do this?  I know that I can work in the ability God has given me, and commit the results to Him!

One practical aspect to the routine of this Hello Mornings Challenge has been the habit of clearing my desk.  I know that ladies often comment about doing their morning Bible study in their favorite chair or sitting comfortably on the sofa.  I have found if I am too comfortable, it is way to easy for me fall asleep again once I am settled in for my study and prayer time. That combined with that fact that I have been using some computer resources in my study (depending on how much time is available before I need to face the more urgent matters of the day), I have been sitting at my desk for my morning study time.  One day sort of by accident, I discovered a new way to make my approach to this early morning habit a joy.  I had gotten my desk fairly well cleared of pressing projects, and it was looking rather neat, so on a whim as I went to bed I put my study notebook and Bible out front and center of my desk work area.  The next morning, as I approached my desk for study, there they sat ready and waiting to greet me.  What a grand feeling it was!  What a great way to start my morning and a great encouragement to me to actually sit and do my study!  

And so was born a new habit and an addition (and motivation) to my evening routine.  I am still working to make this step a solidly consistent part of my evening routine, but the days I do, the reward is the happy greeting of "I am ready for you" the next day when I sit to study.  

I am praying for you, Reader, that this week, that you too will find a happy motivation in the life you are seeking to establish.  May your reward be the discovery of one small joy in what you face each day.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wrongful? Suffering

So often when we are wronged or we feel that we suffering unfairly, we think that no one else understands what we are experiencing - no one else has suffered the wrong that we are suffering.  "Christ . . . suffered . . . the just for the unjust."  I Peter 3:18a.  Not only does he know and understand our situation and how we feel, for He is, well, God! but Christ too suffered unjustly when on earth.  

On Monday, when I first read through this week's Hello Mornings study passage (I Peter 3:18-22), I got stuck in the comments about Noah and baptism and it's relation to salvation.   Throughout the week, I have not done well with staying in the I Peter study.   I have done a lot of praying and "sitting at the feet of Jesus", but it has been through other avenues and not my Hello Mornings Study. Then this morning, having some "extra" quiet time, I intentionally went back to the I Peter study thinking I should study the passage a bit more before we move on to a new week and new section of Scripture.  Verse 18 just jumped off the page of my Bible!  

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"  

Christ suffered unjustly, but not just because of a misunderstanding or someone's hurtful actions or words, but by willing choice that He through the shedding of His blood and death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead, might provide a way to bring us into the presence of God the Father! Our sin (the pride of thinking we don't need God and setting ourselves up as gods and all the resulting actions and thoughts that come from that) separates us from a relationship with God. Christ died to bridge that separation. 

All the just and unjust difficulties or pain that I may experience in my life does not stand in the face of the suffering Christ bore for me (for everyone).  How dare I complain!  The difficulty is still difficult, that does not change, but my attitude of "woe is me" really has no place!

"Thank you, Father God, for the joys and the pains of life."