Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
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What’s for breakfast? ~ Some food for thought on hardship ~ study
Okay, so this is a morning (breakfast) kind of thought for some of you who are already asleep (like me) :) ~ So, I was thinking more about what I posted 2 status messages ago - on following Christ, and enduring the hardships that come with it, with cheerfulness of course.. ~ Ok, so to the verse (see below)
There is just TOO MUCH good stuff here - I mean many gold nuggets, than I have time to post here - read it yourself (a couple of times, hopefully. ~ It's rich!) And then, I plan to share a few study thoughts I've been pondering... ~ :) Sound good? Yes...! :)
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.' If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness." ~ Hebrews 12:1-10
* pausing for emphasis - shhh... meditating on Scripture in process ~ :) *
It may just be me, but out of that whole rich passage, one phrase jumps out at me and talks to me, where I'm at - daily: "My son [and daughter], do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom He loves, He chastens..." ~
Do not despise the chastening...
Do not become discouraged because of the chastening...
Can I tell you, those are both very hard to do! It's much easier to complain, and ask for the trial to go away. How much more radical to request those trials that we might grow more quickly and stay in His presence more often, longer and become more spiritually productive? But, alas, that is too radical for many American Christians... or is it? :) Think about it. It's what I do, and yes there is a verse on it that I claim and try to pray often - "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich..." (Revelation 3:18).. but, I got off topic for a second.
So, since God is right, and all the tough times He arranges for us are for purifying our us and our lifestyles, then it makes sense that we should neither despise His tough-times, nor become discouraged because of them - as though the sky is falling and the world is being dissolved... So, with those 2 options out of the way, and not available as good choices (but really bad choices that we (yes me too) need to learn not to do), what is a (or the) good choice? ~ James answers that: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." ~ James 1:2-5.
I can tell you, personally, that I'm finding this to be an amazing option. Actively, engaging and learning through the trials, spending quality quiet time alone with Him, my conscience and His Word, and coupling that with choosing to rejoice in these lessons and trials ~ I can't put words on it. It is by far the best choice I have tried, and how I long to and desire to learn it more, so that it becomes the only thing my heart chooses.
So, I share some of my footsteps with Christ, lately. Hoping and praying they inspire yours too! ~ your bro/friend, and a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH