The Fool Has Said There is No God | iHeartBible

Psalm 14 can be depressing. No one seeks good. No one does good. We all suck. Blah blah blah…honestly if there is a Psalm to skip….I’d pick this one. But after delving in a bit more to the language of the text and the implications of it….I’ve come to a different conclusion. A more hopeful, albeit challenging conclusion.

Psalm 14

14 1The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one. 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines fool as “one deficient in judgement or sense, one who acts or behaves stupidly…(Biblical use applied to vicious or impious persons.)”

So there are a couple of ways to read this verse. A fool could literally be someone who lacks knowledge and/or commonsense or they could be mean and/or impious. So which is this verse talking about? I say both, but more so the former.

Psalm 14 really addresses all of mankind. It is a Psalm of David but since I believe that the Bible is God breathed, I say this is God talking. And I love that God calls us out. He comes to us where we are…in our doubt, stupidness, anger, corruptness, the list goes on. He tells us our thoughts. How many times in seasons of struggle do we allow ourselves to think even for a moment that there is no God? In doing so, God calls us fools.

Now this is Psalm is straight-up depressing. Basically, David is despairing over the human condition by viewing it through God’s eyes. How easy it is to do this! Just last week my sister mentioned something about how she didn’t want to live on this planet anymore because of how ridiculous people can be. It’s easy to get lost in the depravity of the lost.

But walking with God isn’t supposed to be easy.

It’s tough. It calls for everything you have.

You remember? Take up your cross and follow me.

Yeah. That bit there.

Psalm 14 is our human outlet for disdain. It’s God allowing us the opportunity to whine and moan about how awful the world is and how much we can’t wait for Heaven. But that’s not the end of the story. Be careful not to get lost in “there is none who does good, not even one.” Yes, we are broken people. But we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He makes us light. Which means it is our job to be Light to the dark world we live in.

In Matthew, Jesus tells his followers to be as a city on a hill. Let your light shine! A city on a hill isn’t exactly easy to hide. You are who you are – that is hidden in Christ.

Ladies, your heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first in order to find you.

Gentlemen, from William Booth “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” That is your surrender to Christ.

The Message of Salvation for All | iHeartBible

Last night my husband, his best friend, and I all watched the Creation Debate featuring Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham (Creation Museum/Answers in Genesis). Last night’s debate was a spectacle. One blogger (click to see his article) compared it to Ken Ham having invited some friends (Nye, Naturalists) over to his house (the Creation Museum) to play football, but when Ken showed up to play his 2 hour game, he only had a tennis racquet and tennis ball with him. My view is this: both tennis and football are great fun, but you can’t play them at the same time on the same field. You’ve got to pick! A debate on the viable model of origins could be fantastic but you’ve got to agree on the playing field. And if that playing field is empirical evidence and scientific research? Wonderful. You’ve got yourself an interesting debate. Image

No matter what side of the debate you fell on (or if you fell in the middle like a lot of people) there’s almost no chance you haven’t at least heard about it. Maybe thought about it, had a conversation. Debates are not meant to find the one absolute answer to a question; they are meant to provoke thought and conversation. My twitter was exploding last night during the broadcast. People were thinking, fighting, wrestling, joking, etc…but most importantly, they were listening and responding.

So even though I felt that both sides could have drastically improved their arguments and evidence, I think the people of the world are the ones who won. We were invited into a conversation about origins, philosophy, and the meaning of life.

And as a Christian…

That’s incredibly exciting.

This debate opened up ears, hearts, and minds to something new. This debate allowed millions of people to share the hope of Christ with their friends and families.

Which brings me to today’s verse:

THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION TO ALL

10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Ham’s whole argument centered around a couple points, one of which being that the Bible is the true word of God. Ham is accepting that statement as fact through faith.

As one person on Twitter wrote:

Faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the “substance of things hoped for.” And according to this verse, faith comes through hearing. Hearing about the word of Christ.

We watched the debate online and at one point I noticed that there were over 1,500,000 people watching. According to some news outlets, a minimum of 3 million people watched. That’s insane. Ken Ham preached the Gospel of Salvation at least half a dozen times. He potentially reached 3,000,000 people.

Now I know that not everyone who watched decided to come to Christ, that was not the intention of the debate, but no one can deny the number of seeds that were planted.

God’s word is living and active. It penetrates bone and marrow, flesh and spirit. I have no doubts that God worked in really neat ways through the conversations about Ham v. Nye. It has sparked some really cool conversations within my own household.

For that I am thankful.

While I grow weary of the constant clash between religion and science, I am thankful for a faithful God who uses all things to His glory and His purpose.

Amen.

The Message of Salvation to All | iHeartBible

Last night my husband, his best friend, and I all watched the Creation Debate featuring Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham (Creation Museum/Answers in Genesis). Last night’s debate was a spectacle. One blogger (click to see his article) compared it to Ken Ham having invited some friends (Nye, Naturalists) over to his house (the Creation Museum) to play football, but when Ken showed up to play his 2 hour game, he only had a tennis racquet and tennis ball with him. My view is this: both tennis and football are great fun, but you can’t play them at the same time on the same field. You’ve got to pick! A debate on the viable model of origins could be fantastic but you’ve got to agree on the playing field. And if that playing field is empirical evidence and scientific research? Wonderful. You’ve got yourself an interesting debate. Image

No matter what side of the debate you fell on (or if you fell in the middle like a lot of people) there’s almost no chance you haven’t at least heard about it. Maybe thought about it, had a conversation. Debates are not meant to find the one absolute answer to a question; they are meant to provoke thought and conversation. My twitter was exploding last night during the broadcast. People were thinking, fighting, wrestling, joking, etc…but most importantly, they were listening and responding.

So even though I felt that both sides could have drastically improved their arguments and evidence, I think the people of the world are the ones who won. We were invited into a conversation about origins, philosophy, and the meaning of life.

And as a Christian…

That’s incredibly exciting.

This debate opened up ears, hearts, and minds to something new. This debate allowed millions of people to share the hope of Christ with their friends and families.

Which brings me to today’s verse:

THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION TO ALL

10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Ham’s whole argument centered around a couple points, one of which being that the Bible is the true word of God. Ham is accepting that statement as fact through faith.

As one person on Twitter wrote:

Faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the “substance of things hoped for.” And according to this verse, faith comes through hearing. Hearing about the word of Christ.

We watched the debate online and at one point I noticed that there were over 1,500,000 people watching. According to some news outlets, a minimum of 3 million people watched. That’s insane. Ken Ham preached the Gospel of Salvation at least half a dozen times. He potentially reached 3,000,000 people.

Now I know that not everyone who watched decided to come to Christ, that was not the intention of the debate, but no one can deny the number of seeds that were planted.

God’s word is living and active. It penetrates bone and marrow, flesh and spirit. I have no doubts that God worked in really neat ways through the conversations about Ham v. Nye. It has sparked some really cool conversations within my own household.

For that I am thankful.

While I grow weary of the constant clash between religion and science, I am thankful for a faithful God who uses all things to His glory and His purpose.

Amen.

iHeartBible | Proverbs 16:9

“The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

Solomon was the wisest guy around in his day. I mean literally…I don’t mean he was a “wise guy” but he was in fact a wise guy. I’m not making sense.

Anyways….

This verse can either infuriate or comfort me depending on what’s going on in my life at the time.

Today it is comforting. 8442426502_ecb5bb18e7_b

Notice how the verse uses the word heart and not mind. Fleeting emotions instead of logic and wisdom. I like knowing that I get to plan my life however I want it, but that in the end, God is going to make sure I get to where He wants me to be. That may or may not look like how I originally thought how I wanted my life to look, but I can rest knowing that God has a really cool plan for my life and that he will “establish [my] steps” how He sees fit.

I’ve done some dumb shit in my life. (Pardon the language, but it’s necessary in this sense.)

And I mean like really dumb.

One such instance was when my stubborn pride caused me to almost walk into a marriage with a guy who was abusive and hateful just to spite those closest to me. I wanted so desperately to be right- to prove that I was independent and that I made my own choices- that I almost made the most idiotic decision of my life. But I didn’t.

And I only walked away from that so called “relationship” because God stepped in. It was almost like God was saying, “Okay…I let you do your own thing for awhile. You’ve done some damage. But I will not let you through your life away. And because I love you, I’m going to allow certain events unfold that will cause you pain. But in the end, that pain will bring you back to Me.”

I’m not a believer in divorce. For me there are only 2 things that are viable reasons for getting one: physical abuse (mine was emotional) and adultery.

It just so happened to come to pass that my ex ended up cheating on me.

So, even though it was incredibly painful….I ended the relationship.

I had all these “plans” for my life; I knew what I wanted. Or at least I thought I did.

But God knew better, and he directed my path so that my life would align with His will. A few months after that fiasco, I met the man who would become my husband! And I could not be more happy with how that worked out!

God has a really neat plan.

You have a really neat plan.

But we are not reliable sources of wisdom (see my post from a couple days ago). Only God is.

Let Him work in your life.

You won’t regret it.

So today I will continue to allow God to direct my paths and also to continually align my plan with His plan.

iHeartBible | 1 John 4:19

Day 3 – 1 John 4:19

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen.21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (ESV)

ImageHave you ever been in a room with evangelical Christians and wondered why it sounds like everyone is eating a really good meal??

It’s because of the “spiritual yummy.” It’s the mmhmmm‘s, mmm mmm mmm’s, and hmmmHmm’s. 

Spiritual yummies.

That’s what this verse makes me do.

Lot’s of spiritual yummies.

This is the passage I want plastered over everywhere, on everything.

This verse (19) really hits home for me. We, all people, are only able to love at all because of God’s love for us. And our love is only a fraction of the intensity of God’s love.

The idea of love is something so central to humankind that, to me, it is the closest thing to proof that God exists. From the furthest corners of the earth, Mothers love their children. Husbands love their wives. Friends love each other.

As humans, we are created for community. As God said in Genesis 2 “it is not good for man to be alone, let us make a helper suitable for him.” We are meant to live and love each other. God created us that way! In Jeremiah 31:33 it says, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This verse speaks to how integrated God is in our very bodies. Why are incest, adultery, and cannibalism considered taboo in almost every society? Why are marriage, kinship, and love for fellow man considered normal for almost every society? To me that answer lies in the Jeremiah 31 verse above: God wrote it on our hearts! We have a conscience because in one of God’s many ways of reconciling a broken people unto himself, he inscribed his desires onto our hearts.

So because of God’s love for us and His inscribing that into our hearts we are capable of loving others! But here’s the thing.

You can’t really love God if you hate others.

This scripture uses the example of a brother because it is such an easy idea to grasp. Of course there will be times when you do not like your sibling, but you always love them. For some strange reason it is almost impossible to not love a family member. You have to work at hating someone! And the reason you have to work at it is because it is contrary to how God wants you to live! You will always experience a sort of cognitive dissonance about hating someone if you profess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord because you know that you aren’t loving God when you live in hate.

So please, do me a favor today if you’re reading this.

Let it go.

Forgive.

I don’t know who has done what to you.

But, I do not care.

Forgive them.

Because forgiving your offender in love is the single most freeing and loving thing you can do.

Living in the light of God’s love is the most beautiful experience of life, and it is simply not possible while living in hate towards another person.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor (sibling, spouse, coworker, friend, parent, passerby) as you love yourself.

Stay Smiling! Happy looks great on you (:

iHeartBible | Colossians 3:23

The context for today’s passage falls under the heading “Rules for Christian Households” according to the English Standard Version (ESV).Image

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants,[f] obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,[g] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

I love this verse because of it’s context. After addressing each category of household members (wives, husbands, children, and slaves) Paul goes on and says basically “No matter what you do, whatever your profession, do it with all of your heart! Do it as though you are working for the Lord and not for a human being because you know that you’ll be a child of God as a result. That’s reward in an of itself. You are serving the Lord Jesus Christ!” 

This is a verse I need to remember more often…I have a tendency to get a “holier-than-thou” attitude at times. Especially towards my loving husband when I’m exhausted and/or frustrated. I need this verse to remind myself that when I submit to my husband – that is put his good judgement and leadership ahead of my own pride, I am also serving the Lord. 

I’m so blessed by this passage today….It is definitely speaking words of encouragement to my heart this afternoon. 

 

iHeartBible: Proverbs 3.7

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil.
                                                                       Proverbs 3:7 (KJV)
I Heart Bible

the readings!

Today is the first day of the iHeartBible challenge! This month myself and others will be committed to blogging everyday through the month of February on specific Bible verses.

I confess that I have neglected my love of blogging and my love for Scripture recently, so I’m so pumped to get back into it!

If you decide you want to join us, feel free to steal this image and start blogging! (Also, click on the image to be directed to the founder’s site! She has more info about it!) You don’t have to start today, just whenever you feel led!

Enough of introductions and what not….back to the verse!

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil. 
 Proverbs 3:7 (KJV)

1) I love the KJV, 2) I never thought I’d say that.

Some clarification, I’m currently in a class on the Bible as Literature and our professor essentially assigned us the entire King James Version to read in 12 weeks. And I think it’s fantastic.

But I digress.

My initial response to this verse was to focus on what occurred after the colon: fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Fear the Lord….I’ve always struggled with that phrase. I’ve never wanted to fear God because I was always taught that God loves me and cares for me and wants to take away pain in my life, not cause it. But over time I’ve come to realize that fear has more than one meaning.

In the Oxford English Dictionary the word fear has many many meanings. I looked up fear as a verb and found that in 1611(the year the KJV was published) the word fear was used to mean: “To regard with reverence and awe; to revere.”

Revere God…Be in awe of God. That I can do.

Depart from evil.

Also doable. I mean it’s easier said than done. There is alway a lot of wrong in my life, but everyday I ask God to make me more like Him in my words and actions.

So….fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Got it.

Be not wise in thine own eyes.

Erm…okay.

This is the part that makes me uncomfortable.

I want to seem wise. I want to be wise.

I understand what the verse is saying… Don’t focus on what you think is right and good, but look to God and His wisdom.

That’s all well and good, but the language goes deeper than that. It goes so far to say that I shouldn’t even think I am wise. I need to be fully dependent on Christ. For everything. All the time.

Well that’s problematic….because I don’t always do that.

Because I’m a strong, independent woman who likes to think that she can do anything she puts her mind to.

And I can be that.

With God’s guidance.

I pray God that You make me more like You. I pray that you give me reminders to seek out Your wisdom instead of the wisdom of the world. I pray that I will stand in awe of Your glory and leave behind the sin of the world. Amen