Saturday, March 18, 2023

Open My Eyes ... : Palms 119:18

Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful words of Your Law.  Psalms 119:18 (NASB)

I love this verse, in fact it's my memory verse for the week. As I've worked on memorizing it, I've thought about what it was saying ...

Open my eyes ....  to unearth, discover, uncover, reveal

that I may behold ... take notice of, see, acknowledge, regard, pay attention to, consider

Wonderful words ... marvelous, surpassing, distinguishing

of Your Law ... Your Word, God's Word

I've also turned it into a prayer ... Open my eyes, O Lord, open my eyes to what Your Word teaches.

Bible study is so important in my walk with God.  Satan never makes it easy though, the temptation to, "do it later" is always lurking around just waiting for the opportunity to be used.

I read the following prayer in a Bible study I'm doing, God of All Comfort by Cindy Colley, that helps me combat the 'do it later' temptation.

"Father, help me to crave Your word and to overcome all the obstacles that are in my way of faithful Bible study."

I have this prayer written on a small post-it-note and washi taped in the front of my Bible.  I want to be reminded to pray this every time I have occasion to open my Bible. I'm also posting it on my refrigerator door and in a corner of my bathroom mirror.

You just gotta know that this is a prayer that God is delighted to answer!  We must do our part though, it looks like this ... the more we study, the more we want to study!  It starts out as a habit, then turns into a longing!

May you be blessed by what you’ve read!

patsy @ From This Heart Of Mine

(c) 2023 by Patsy Norwood.  All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Peace That Passes Understanding

I’ve mentioned before the scripture writing study I am participating in, and yesterday's writing had us beginning with the book of Philippians. 

As is my routine, after I write each day's scripture to look back at the comments from group members on the previous day's writings. 

This morning I looked back on the comments from Philippians 1:1-4 and found such encouragement that I felt compelled to share it.  I hope it blesses you as much as its blessing me …

Peace that Passes Understanding

Paul is in prison in Rome being persecuted for Christ’s sake, yet he possessed a peace that passed understanding.

Philippians 4:7 … And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That peace comes from being in a right relationship with God and from the knowledge of His Word.

Romans 5:1 … Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Because we are in a right relationship with God, He is with us.

Romans 8:31-34 …  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?  God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather Who was raised, Who is a the right hand of God, Who also intercedes for us.

Because we are in a right relationship with God, He cares for us.

I Peter 5:7 … casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Because we are in a right relationship with God, He protects us.

I Peter 3:13-14 … who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.  And do not fear their intimation, and do not be troubled.

This was so comforting to me this morning.  It’s my prayer that I make choices that will keep me in a right relationship with God.  I’m going to mark this brief study in my Bible as a reminder that my choices do matter and as a reminder of just some of the benefits of being a child of God.

May you be blessed by what you’ve read!

patsy @ From This Heart Of Mine

(c) 2023 by Patsy Norwood.  All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Widow of Zarephath: Part 3

When we left the widow in part 2, she had encountered Elijah at the entrance of the city gate where she was gathering sticks to prepare the last bit of food she had for her and her son.

Elijah had just made a request for a cup of water and a piece of bread from her and she had bared her soul telling him that she was just now gathering sticks to prepare the last food she had for her and her son to eat and then die.

In verse 13, Elijah picks up the conversation … However, Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said. Just make me a little bread loaf from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.

Time Out!  Providing water for Elijah was one thing but giving him dibs on her last morsels of food ‘first’ was quite another.  Do you think she thought about what that would mean for her and her son?

Do you think it even registered with her his first command of ‘do not fear?’  As a mother, I can tell you that my first thought would have been for my child.  How could you not ‘fear’ in this situation?

Here is a pagan woman who has been instructed by God to take care of Elijah … all she knows about the God of Abraham is what she has heard.  This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ for the widow, do you think she could have struggled with the reality of it all?  Do you think she could have questioned herself over whether God actually made the command or do you think she might have entertained the thought that she could have been so distraught over her situation that she had imagined God’s command?  In times of great duress, our minds can make us question everything.

Maybe Elijah could sense her possible inner turmoil for this is what he said next in verse 14 … For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil become empty, until the day that the Lord provides rain on the face of the earth.’”

Do you think the widow had an attitude of ‘what have I got to lose’ or do you think she could have struggled with putting Elijah’s request first?  Elijah tells the widow some pretty remarkable things regarding her food supply, do you think she had trouble believing him?  Do you think she struggled with Elijah’s assurances?  This was surely a time of inwardly questioning a faith in the God she knew little about!

15 So she went and did everything in accordance with the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bowl of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.

We see that if she struggled with her inner thoughts, she didn’t dwell on them long, but instead made the decision quickly to trust him and obeyed.

Can’t you just feel the amazement that the widow surely felt as day after day, meal after meal, the flour and oil never ran out.  What a faith building time for the widow!  Do you think the widow shared what was happening with others?  What a witness that would have been for God if she did.

As Christians today might our witness be helpful to others simply by sharing what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of those we know?

I’d love it if you’d share any take-aways or insights you have over what we’ve studied in this lesson.

May you be blessed by what you’ve read!

patsy @ From This Heart Of Mine

(c) 2023 by Patsy Norwood.  All Rights Reserved.