Posts Tagged ‘Scripture’

Standing Still in The Word

I experienced one of those “kaleidescope-moments” while I was in the word this week.  Kaleidescope.   The definition I’m using here – a continually changing pattern of shapes, scenes and colors.  Have you ever felt that way before?  Like the whole world around you is just flashing from one thing to the next while you are caught up in a single thought or revelation, not caring about the things around you that are vying for your attention?

The world is that way.  It fights for our attention.  It is aggressive sometimes.  It’s hungry to occupy our thoughts and monopolize our focus. Sometimes I feel like the world and The Word are such polar opposite things.  The world is demanding.  The Word is patient.  The world is ephemeral.  The Word is ethereal.  The world is unreliable.  The Word is trustworthy…true…truth.

To best explain how The Word stopped the world for me in that moment, join me in the scripture – John chapter 11.  This is the chapter in which Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead.  We were discussing this in Sunday School, noting how this is often considered the lead event that started the whole domino effect of events leading up to the crucification of Christ.  Imagine, being there when Jesus called for him to rise, “Lazarus, come out!”  Imagine!  What were the people who were gathered there saying?  What were Lazarus’s first words?  Were people scared?  Did anyone faint?  How many people accepted faith in Christ at the first hand witness of that miracle?  So, so many questions.  Now you’re with me.  We’re at an awesome place where Jesus has done something he had not done before.  Sure, he has brought people back to life again, but not after four days.  FOUR DAYS!  Don’t you believe Jesus can do anything?  I do, too.  Which is why I’m so excited to be studying this chapter.  It’s not just a story – it’s real.  This really happened.

And here it is.  Begin reading in verse 45.  Many Jews went out to see Mary, thinking she was going to the tomb to mourn.  They saw what Jesus did.  Many came to faith.  Some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus did.  Well, it wasn’t long before the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting.  They were not happy that many were accepting faith in Jesus….so….they said:

John 11:48

“If we let him go on like this, everyone will have belief in him…..”



The world stands still.  All is silent, as the past events catch up with  current life and our immediate world.  Imagine.  Imagine! Imagine a world in which everyone had belief in Jesus Christ.  The days of the Pharisees catches up with the current events of today’s persecuted church.  Jesus was persecuted back then, and today, persecution continues.  The Pharisees and chief priests were afraid of people having faith in Jesus.  “If we let him go on like this, everyone will have belief in him…”  That just blows my mind, because this very same thing is happening today.  I’m thinking of Pastor Youcef, and the Iranian government that has imprisoned him because of his belief in Jesus Christ and has been threatening to end his life since 2009 if he fails to recant his faith.  Pastor Youcef is not denying Christ.  Through isolation.  Through torture.  Through temptations.  Through things I could never even imagine, Pastor Youcef remains faithful and steadfast for our Savior.  The Pharisees were afraid.  They had fear.  They were selfish and didn’t want to loose power or prestige.  What are the people who are threatening Pastor Youcef afraid of?  Could it be the same things?

Jesus tells us in John 15: 18-21:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

Absolute stillness.  The Word is truth, and the truth has connected with me in a  very real way.

Praise God for the blessing of your son, Jesus, and for the gift of scripture to help teach us, direct us, and remind us of the path that was planned for us before we ever were.  Thank you, Father, for the blessing also of living in a place that allows for freedom in worshiping you, and studying your Word.  There are so many, Lord – too many – who do not have the same freedoms, yet, they risk everything, including their lives, for a glimpse into your Word and in sharing your light with others.  Father, I lift up my persecuted brothers and sisters and pray for their protection, for your peace to continue to be evident to them, and for more than anything, Father, your will to be done through their lives, as it is to be done through ours…through mine.  All this I offer and ask in your son’s precious, sweet name.  Amen.

I’d really like to hear about a time when The Word stopped you in your tracks and gave you a “kaleidoscope-moment”.

His Word Is Alive!

A few months back when I started this blog, my first post was the story behind the name, The Toenail.  I didn’t have scripture to back up what I was experiencing and longing for “in real life”, but I heard God’s message loud and clear:   We are all important to the Body of Christ.

Yesterday, several months after creating this blog, I came upon scripture that revealed this very same message.  How cool is that?  How I came across it is even “cooler”.  The devotion that I read (most every day) from our church referenced 1 Co 3:13.  Immediately desiring to see what the word had in store for me, I turned to Colossians 3:13.  This scripture reads:

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Then it continues in verse 14: “And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Hmmmm.  This is great scripture – and the subject of forgiveness is always a dear one for me – but it had absolutely nothing, from what I could tell, to do with the devotion I had just read.  Then I noticed that in my devotion book, the scripture had a “one” before the initials Co.  I didn’t have a first Colossians in my Bible.  I wondered why the devotion book had placed the “one” before the initials.  Not even thinking that I could be wrong, I asked my son about it.  I’m so glad he doesn’t judge me for not knowing the abbreviations for the books!  Apparently Co stands for Corinthians, of which there is a “one” and “two”, instead of for Colossians.  So next, I turned to the correct referenced scripture.  It reads:

“…his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”

Okay, this makes more sense with the devotion, which was about “doing what you’re supposed to do”.  Still, the conversation with my son continued, as we shared about different parts of 1 Corinthians that we have studied.  That’s when I came across the scripture – THE scripture! – the message God had so clearly revealed to me months earlier when I was doubting my significance in the Body of Christ.  1 Corinthians 12 verses 12 through 31 are so exciting to me!  It’s beautiful scripture.  Look it up!  I’m so thankful for God’s perfect timing in revealing things to us.  Had I been shown that scripture months ago, I may not have started this blog.  But because of my experience and wondering how God can use “little ole me”, He has shown me personally, allowing for the creation of this blog, and has now validated His message to me in scripture.  That is so cool!  His word is certainly alive!

Shark Teeth

Beachcombing one Saturday morning on the shore of Topsail Island, I realized something pretty cool.  As I walked along the abundant crush of seashells and things, my son walked a few feet behind me, on the same path.  Every so often, he would say, “Hey mom, you missed this one!”, “I can’t believe you missed this one!”, or “Are you wearing your glasses, because you missed another good one?”.  NO, I  was not wearing my glasses, and I refuse to think that my 40+ years had anything to do with my overlooking the big ones. Then, clear as my vision is from behind those prescription glasses, I heard my Savior say:

“As you and your son are looking at the same sandy shell bed, searching for the same thing, you each find exactly what you were intended to find at exactly the right moment.”

Jump back!  What an awesome teacher our Savior is.  This is exactly how it is with His word!   We can read the same scripture or hear the same message and get completely different rewards from them.  Or, something that may speak to my heart with great significance or result in a clear understanding for me, may speak to your heart differently.  We see in the word what we were intended to see at exactly the moment we were intended to understand it.  Isn’t that cool!?  Have you ever been exposed to a particular scripture repeatedly before, but it never jumped out to you and stuck?  And then, one day, hear the same scripture and all of a sudden, you ‘see’ it for the first time?

Praise God for being with me on the beach that morning and revealing to me the significance of our different “eye sight”.