Wednesday, February 25, 2009

just to add on...

"The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that i may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
"The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary, he wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

The Lord God has opened my ear, and i was not rebellious, i turned not backward.
The sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.

I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
i hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; i did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me; therefore i have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and i know that i shall not be put to shame."
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. therefore have i set my face like flint, and i know i will not be put to shame."

Isaiah 50:4-7
(NIV) and (ESV)

I saw this scripture later on today and for some reason it just got to me, and I've been showing it to everyone i can :P

I think it speaks to me a lot because i feel like my role in the church will eventually deal with teaching or at least include that. Obviously Isaiah also had a part to do in that role for Israel and was not popular because of it. But even though he had to go though mockery and beatings and hard HARD times, he still did not back away from the truth he knew was right! and it was all because he knew he answered to a higher authority. God gave him the message for Israel to hear so went on and gave it and took crap for it because he knew God will always be behind him- the Lord never leaves his people, even through the hard times. You just have to stay true to him and his word and he will deliver you.

I think that's what some Christians feel like that's how God operates; that He is only there for the happy times. but God is there for the good, bad and the ugly- i mean, if there were only mountain top moments, then you wouldn't grow! it's only when we go through the wilderness do we start learning more about God and his Love and how amazing he truly is.

Isaiah understood that, and it is because of this understanding, he was able to find the strength needed to carry on God's message for Israel.

It is echoed in Isaiah a lot but when we come out of the desert (meaning really hard times; when we don't seem to be feeling God that much or at all) after pushing through the doubt and frustration by still doing our devotions and prayer, we just can't help but Glorify God.
We can't help but say "Thank you God for letting me get through that! I couldn't have done it with out you..."

Peace be with you : )

What is required

"This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.'"
Isaiah 48:7
~I feel like God was answering me when i came across this scripture this morning. It was kind of like a 'Tabby, don't worry about it, i'll lead you where you need to go'. Sometime it's important for us to remember that God knows what is best for us but more than that, he teaches us what is best. He also directs us to the best solution as well.

What makes Christianity a belief that you cannot find in the rest of the world is that it requires you to give up the idea of trying to 'earn' your way to heaven (or paradise or Nirvana or whatever you call it). To believe in God and his son Jesus requires you to give up the little control you believe you have on your life and let God drive the steering wheel from now on. There is no pray X amounts of times or give X amount of money or mediate X amount of days- there is only the "God, i from now on acknowledge that you control my life and that no matter what i do i will always fall short of you holiness. With that in mind, i will still strive to be more like you and to keep myself dwelling in your righteousness so that some of your holiness will shine from within me. I bring death to my flesh and birth to your holy spirit dwelling in my soul"

Therefore, the only requirement there is for Christianity is Faith- which is defined in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

When one becomes a Christ follower, he or she is as certain that there is a God as the ground beneath the feet or the air that one breathes. This does not mean that there wont be doubt or questions of or about God, sometimes you will even doubt your faith if it get really bad, but the truth is that you still have that initial faith that keeps you from turning away from Him and his word.
Going off that, the only way one can have faith in someone, is by knowing that someone. We know God by praying to him and reading his word. Think about it like a best friend.

The person who you consider a best friend is someone who you know everything about. You know what they hate, you know what they love, you know what annoys them, you know what saddens them, you know their accomplishments and what they want to accomplish- you know everything about them and you do that by getting to know them!
If i sit next to the same girl in all my classes and never speak to them, then i could never in any instance call her my best friend- because i don't know anything about her. Same with God. In order for me to have faith in him i need to know who he is. In order to let that faith grow, i need to know more about him.

The more we read the bible the more we see why God is so amazing and the more we love him for it.

As a side note, i think i'm going to go over Hebrews again after finishing Isaiah because Hebrews makes A LOT of references to Isaiah. Idk tho, we'll see : )

Other scripture that i found quite interesting today:
"Therefore, I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, 'My Idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them'"
Isaiah 48:5

"If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea."
Isaiah 48:18
~just a side note on this as well. This is why it's so important to listen to God when he tells us to do something- i mean when he shows us in big fat letters and flashing lights that this is what he wants us to do. Not listening to God can be devastating and may take a lot to recover from. But do not think that he'll just leave you there to sulk in your own misfortune, if you ask for help He will answer you. I can't exactly remember where it is but my father always says it "In the day of trouble, call upon me and i will deliver you and you will glorify me" (i think it's in psalms somewhere...). Just look at the history of Israel, time and time again, The nation did not pay attention to God's commandment but God never left them- God never leaves his people.

"'There is no peace,' says the Lord,'for the wicked'" Isaiah 48:22

"He says: 'It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
Isaiah 49:6
~Obviously speaking of Jesus. This is a foreshadowing of the destiny of Israel, to help be a light to the Gentiles (the non Jewish peoples). It is fulfilled when Jesus, a Jew, is born by Mary. But through Jesus' disciples, the preaching of salvation to the Gentiles begin (a little from Peter but mostly Paul); and i must say, thank you Lord for doing so!! :D

"to say to the captives 'come out' and to those in darkness, 'be fee!' They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill."
Isaiah 49:9
~I just put this here because one day, after church back home, one of the ladies came up to me and said that she felt God wanted me to hear this scripture- i'm not sure exactly when it will hit me as something that opens my eyes but i make note of it every time i pass by it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A cry for direction.

There's a lot going through my mind
Old angers and resent that i cannot shake off
why can't I move on?
i want to move on...

In one sense i want Love to overwhelm me
but on the other hand what good is love if you first don't experience hate?
Lord you have calmed my soul before
You have quieted the lion in me
Help me to move on
I need to move on

Lord tell me what to do!
should i say something?
Should i continue to sit back?
I want to Shout from the hill top!
and deliver a righteous slaughter
but maybe my heart isn't in the right place
Maybe my mind isn't ready yet
God, you know i hate sitting back...

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the Lord do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7

"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I the Lord created it."
Isaiah 45:8

"Woe to him who quarrels with his maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'what are you making?' Does your work say, 'he has no hands?'
Isaiah 45:9

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and i will carry you; i will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the Modern Idol

Today is a Sunday. And i feel like it's a good time to start a blog that will be solely dedicated to my faith and to my God. As i have said in one of my more recent entries (in Jabberwocky i mean), God has definitely laid on me the importance of reading his word consistently and daily. And as i said in that entry, i feel like one way to encourage me to do my devotions on a, hopefully, daily basis, is by writing down my thoughts about what i have read and just get out there what i'm reading about.

JUST SO YOU KNOW-i'm not trying to make a point, i'm not trying to start any arguments. If you do not believe or are getting upset with whatever i write here then you always have the option of just exiting the screen- no big deal. This is just another form of journaling but i am giving anyone who wants to the option of reading my thoughts.

I'll probably end up rambling about life as well from time to time but i suppose that's what makes it interesting. :P. And with that, i will start


Right now i'm going through Isaiah and it's taken me a long time, mostly because i've kept my bible closed for most of last semester *oops!* BUT i'm trying to get back into the groove!
It's amazing how many ways the devil can distract you right?

Anyways- i'm going to start with Friday (cause yesterday and today didn't exactly work out...)

I read through Isaiah 43 and 44 and some parts of just blew my mind...
Isaiah 44:6-20 talks about idolatry and about how it makes absolutely no sense. When a Carpenter is making an idol, he's the one that cuts the wood and carves it and it's just a man making something that is 'holy.' God forces us to see that there is nothing special about that piece of wood. If the scraps are jut going to be used for everyday things like food and heating up a house, then what makes that other part of the wood holy?

This section i like the most:
"From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, 'Save me; you are my god.' They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, 'half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?' He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, 'Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?'"
Isaiah 44: 17-20

Usually when people of the Church talks about idolatry, they start talking about how today we kind of worship, instead of wooden or metal figures, materials like money or clothing or even other people. However, this passage made me think of something just a bit different.
In our day and age, it is popular to kind of make up your own idea what kind of God is up there, how spiritual things work out, if it's a god or multiple gods up there or if there is a god at all or if we are in fact the gods, etc. etc. but I feel like we can understand this 'customized religion' thing in the way that God explains idolatry. bare with me-

I am a human with very little control over the things in my life, let alone a spiritual realm, how can i just decide on who or what God is? a personalized religion is a conclusion that one comes up with by themselves. It is a worship of something that one creates in their own mind- what's so holy about that?

Another section of my reading i liked a lot:
"Yet you have not called upon me, o Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense. You have not brought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished no me the fat of your sacrifices. but you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses."
Isaiah 43:22-24
~This one speaks a lot to me right now. I mean i haven't turned away from God by any means but i have been cruising for a while now. I haven't grown a whole bunch or prayed too often (only for stuff i need) and i havent been keeping up with my devotions lately- it's bad. And knowing what God has in store for me makes it even worse because i know i cannot help others and use my gifts for God's kingdom if i decide not to stay in his word daily. You cannot be an effective christian and decide that you are going to stay fully devoted to God when you feel like it. I have to be consistent and i need to really push myself to do so.

these next few excerpts are just scriptures i found that i liked as well:
"...Fear not, for i have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
Isaiah 43:1(ish)
~Somewhere in Ephesians 2-3 there is a reference to how we belong to God too so you can look that up if you like (unless i'm wrong...but that's ok because Ephesians is a good book as well :P)

"When you pas through the waters, i will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43: 2

"The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise" Isaiah 43:20-21

"....I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God." Isaiah 44:6(ish)