His divine power has granted to us
all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us
to his own glory and excellence,
by which he has granted to us
his precious and very great promises,
so that through them
you may become partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped from the corruption that is in the world
because of sinful desire.
II Peter 1:3-4 (ESV)
This is the last of our weekly one-sided meetings. Next week you’ll get the chance to express yourselves:) I’ll have a link and you can tell us on your blog or facebook how this Scripture or memorizing it in general has affected your life! If you don’t have a facebook page to link to, you can go to my GrittyGrace.com page and make comments after you “like” the page. That is, if all the technical aspects work as they are supposed to!
Today, I’m going to “preach” a little to myself. You can listen in if you want. I’m going to follow along on themes we have discussed this past week as well as reinforcements that came up yesterday in Sunday School, called Sunday Seminars at this church, and the sermon. A lot of it has all been swirled around in that blender called my brain so I’m not sure any of those who had input will recognize it anymore…especially after it all gets edited down!
Themes in my head are as follows: putting into practice what I know to be right; learning to identify my own excesses in the light of the poverty of the world, not those who are wealthier than I am; having a desire to care for those who are less fortunate; realizing I can’t look at a person and know their value except as they are made in GOD’s image; understanding how my being inconvenienced in caring for the poor/downtrodden will affect the way I live, eat, cook, spend my money; realizing I don’t really want to change THIS much!; continuing to not only recognize my heart idols, particularly my personal favorite, the Goddess of Comfort and Ease; not only recognize my heart idols, but deal with them in ways that were commanded in the Old Testament, get rid of them in radical ways because they are to GOD like the sin of adultry is to a marriage!; realize that racism is still a problem in the USA…not in ways the media likes to paint, but it is still alive; understanding that I needs GOD’s wisdom to deal with it as well as wise people from other races to give me input; realize that racial prejudice does not just affect one race; it affects every race…because all of us make determinations about each other based on what we know of another person’s race or ethnic origin; recognizing that I as a white, middle class woman have absolutely NO natural desire to talk about a topic such as race or poverty and would rather be completely silent! …especially since my views don’t fit any of the politically correct veiwpoints!
In our Old Testament Survey class yesterday, of all places! I was clobbered by Will Spink and ultimately the Holy Spirit! Martha, you do a great job of identifying your idols, but when are you going to actually go to work on anihilating them? of seeing them the way I do, as someone who is interfering in our “marriage”? an interloper? as someone or something that is competing for your affection for me? cf.Amos 5:21-24, Micah 6:6-8.
Yes, for starters, you have moved. Talk about getting out of your comfort zone! Now, we’re ready to talk about some more substantive issues! OK, I’m listening.
I plunked this amazing writer Lisha Epperson into your life. Pay attention to what she has to say. Listen to her heart! Don’t make a bunch of logical arguments, listen to her and hear her heart. She lays it out for all to read. The purpose of her blog is not to mend race relations. It is for moms who have suffered from infertility, have adopted and some who have eventually had their own child as she did.
But at times like now, her view of recent events that seem so clear from a judicial viewpoint, take on new meaning when seen through her eyes. It was an overflow of her heart!
Stick with the book you are reading…and the group you are reading it with. Some of them work in a community of poor people. Find out what there is to do, some it can be done through your church. Learn to eat more healthy foods, live a lifestyle that stewards GOD’s world more effectively, and get back to exercising so you can care better for the body He gave you.
And you won’t believe what the sermon was on yesterday! The text was Galatians 6:1-6. But much of the sermon referenced back to the Good Samaritan, cf. Luke 10:25-37. One of his points was that the one who is aware that he has been rescued (the Samaritan who had been left out/avoided much of his life!) will be more likely to rescue others…unlike the religious pharisee or Levite who passed by and didn’t want to become unclean by someone who might already be dead…and thus unable to carry out their religious duties!
Knowing the pain of being left out, unloved, unwanted, avoided, without resources or money…puts us in touch with pain and if we don’t become bitter, by the grace of GOD, we develop a compassion for others rooted in our pain. It is a gift to be given and shared. Interestingly, in terms of percentages, those in the lower middle class income bracket give the highest percentage of their income to help others. They have experienced this pain. They know what it feels like. No wonder they want to help!
You know, that is more than enough for today. I think I’ll stop here for now. Hope you have a good week as you put into practice, with GOD’s divine power, the things He is teaching you to do.