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Thursday, April 21, 2011

OT Glimpses of God's Nature - P.S. it wasn't supposed to get this long... =)

If you have free time tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday, we are sending teams to volunteer in the Four Oaks area. They are meeting at the church at 7am. Or if you are a late riser or can’t commit to a day of hard labor, you have an opportunity to help with lunch. We are meeting at the church at 9:30am tomorrow (Fri) morning. We will make sandwiches and deliver them to Four Oaks for the volunteers and victims. The GA’s and Acteens and Teen Boys classes baked cookies and bagged them last night. They did close to 200 bags! And I was THRILLED to get to help eat the scrap cookies that did not make it! haha …Ran out of weight watcher points for the day…but the taste was worth it! I’ll run it off tonight =) It was the strangest recipe…cookies from cake mix! I will include it if you are interested in mass producing cookies at a low cost…

1 box of cake mix (chocolate or vanilla or any flavor really)
1 egg
¼ oil
¼ water
1 cup of whatever you want to mix in…m&m’s, pecans, white choc chips, peanut butter chips, etc. (the m&ms were my favorite)

Mix well and drop onto greased pans and bake (I guess at 350).
They were SOOOO good!!!

If you are visiting this site from another church or if you do not have your own “home” church…we welcome you to come along to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Just contact me and I can hook you up with details.

It is so hard to understand mass destruction and devastation in times like this. I stumbled across a scripture that gave me peace and comfort. I wanted to share it but first to preface it with a disclaimer…I am a firm believer that we are living as the New Testament Church and therefore are covered by promises in the New Testament only. I don’t believe we can claim a promise in the Old Testament because we are not bound by the OT Covenant. (Praise Him for Jesus!) But I do believe that we can claim promises about God and His characteristics from the OT. Because God is never-changing…He is the same God from Genesis to Revelation…He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So I believe anything the OT says about God or His character we can absolutely claim. So anytime I “claim” something OT…please know that I am not claiming it for me…but claiming it about God or His nature. Before I get to the scripture I have an example that might be clearer…or maybe just rambly…cause y’all KNOW that I have A LOT of WORDS!!!!!

Jer 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. A lot of people claim this as a promise to them from God…and I did too for a while. But now when I recall this verse (cause I memorized this one…*wink*) I believe it is telling me about the nature of God…not a direct promise to me. The Lord was speaking to the Exiles in Babylon, not to New Testament saved by Grace believers. I absolutely believe this verse tells us that God’s nature is not to harm but to give hope…and to me we can claim that as part of His character and His nature. Does that make sense to anyone? Maybe not…maybe I am missing something big…but it is what I believe in my heart.

So anyway…a few weeks ago I stumbled on Lam 3:31-33 which is an OT poem written in mourning of the fall of Jerusalem due to sin. I think it was God’s perfect timing that I stumbled on it before the weekend disaster. Normally I don’t spend any time in Lamentations other than the once a year reading through the Bible because honestly, it is kind of depressing and poetry has always been difficult for my “small town, country girl self” to see, I am not very well rounded…but I make some mean homemade jam! =) ask my kids!

Lam 3:31-33 “(31) For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. (32) Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. (33) For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
I get peace of mind from that scripture. Peace because I know through ANY grieving that His nature is to show compassion because His love is unfailing! Here is how I break it down:

Verses 31 and 32 are OT verses I can hold onto to give me a glimpse into the nature of God and how He loves and cares for His people during grievous times (I think we can say “His people” because the book of Lamentations is written to the people of Jerusalem who were God’s chosen people)!

And going further with that…since I am one of God’s people under the NT Covenant, I see this as possibly pointing to the Savior coming to redeem me so I will not be cast off from the Lord forever because verse 31 says that “not casting off His people forever” is part of His nature! In fact it makes me think to a NT promise that I claim daily!!! John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand”. Praise Jesus that one is for me! Learn that one girls…that one is important to have in your arsenal to fight satan!

I wanted to leave this last verse in my break down so you would not think I was picking and choosing the feel good scriptures and ignoring the sobering ones! You must remember that Jerusalem has been punished for their sins, so I don’t believe you can apply verse 33 to a natural disaster or anything other than a clear direct result of sin (which I do not believe is always the case with the mass devastation of a natural disaster). But to me verse 33 gives us a glimpse of another part of God’s nature, it implies He will absolutely punish for sins… not because it is necessarily His will and enjoyment to do it but due to our free will to sin and need punishing!!! I think it implies that His will is for us to remain blameless and pure and therefore not need punishment! (see Phil 2:14-15) Again…Praise Him for JESUS!!!!

So in short (hahaha like that will ever happen) taking this segment of scripture and wholesale applying it to today’s world and circumstances to me would be incorrect, but taking this scripture and learning from it pieces of God’s nature is ok…I think that is what He intended when He formed together His complete Word for us to use as a guidebook – to learn all we could about His ways and characteristics. How else can we imitate Him? When you find nuggets in the OT that show you glimpses of God’s nature and character…write it down…and share it with me…I am such a nerd that I absolutely LOVE making these types of discoveries in the OT!!! I never thought I would be an OT girl…but I can’t get enough!

Ummm…yeah so I really meant to keep this short…but if you read often you know…it just ain’t in me! lol Sorry to be so long winded and I am sure incoherent…it’s just the way my brain jumps around! Sometimes I cannot even make a clear sentence I am so hyped up! But I love Jesus and I love God’s Word…and I know He can make anything transparent if He chooses! And if He chooses not…maybe you at least got a giggle in here and there =)

Be a blessing today…love you girls! Holler if you want to meet up with us and help in Four Oaks.

In Him
Kristy =)

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