Feb 22, 2010

Yahweh-Yireh, Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD Will Provide

Studying the Names of God with Yolanda at Joy Comes in the Morning from the book LORD, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur. I am also studying from the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler.

Whenever the Name Yahweh (LORD) is compounded with another another name it gives us insight into the very essence of God's character. The Name Yahweh-Yireh means The LORD will Provide. Yireh is derived from the word rach which means "to see". Because God sees the past, present, and future, He is able to know beforehand what our needs are and therefore make provision for all that we need. I found it interesting to learn that the English word for provision is made up of two Latin words that mean "to see beforehand".

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." Genesis 22:10-14 (NIV)

The first use of this Name is in Genesis 22:14. Kay makes the connection between this account in Genesis 22:1-14 with the sacrifice that God made of His only beloved Son for our sins. God had told Abraham to go to Moriah to sacrifice his son. This is very near the place where Jesus was crucified. Abraham placed the wood for the fire on his son's back to carry to the alter. Jesus carried His cross to the place where His sacrifice took place. In both instances Yahweh-Yireh provided salvation. In the first instance He provided a substitute sacrifice, in the second instance He provided His own Son as the final sacrifice. Abraham's son was spared, Yahweh's Son was not.

...and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Genesis 22:16-18 (NIV)

From Genesis 22:16-18 we see that it was because of Abraham's obedience to Yahweh that he received Yahweh's provision. In order for Abraham's descendants to be as numerous as the sands on the seashore, there had to be one grain in place. That one grain was the very thing that Yahweh asked of Abraham. Even though it made no sense at all, Abraham trusted Yahweh enough to relinquish that one grain. The only visible hope of the promise being fulfilled. It was his trust revealed in his obedience that brought the provision.

What does the Name Yahew-Yireh speak to my heart?
Yahweh looks ahead and prepares His provision for my needs, but He is not obligated to provide. He expects my obedience, for obedience is the means by which my trust in Him (Faith) is revealed. My part is not to worry about whether or not God will keep His part. My part is to trust and obey.

Oh Yahweh-Yireh, please help me to walk in absolute trust and obedience to you. In Jesus Name ~ Amen

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. Psalm 111:5

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5

What does the Name Yahew-Yireh speak to your heart?

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 18, 2010

BIBLES and a book

This week we have been looking into the process of Bible translation and how important it is for a translation to be as close as possible to the original writing. We need to keep in mind that the original writing was the inspired Word of God. All translations after that are not a re-inspiration from God, but mans efforts to translate the original text into other languages. Hopefully they are the prayerful efforts of many people carefully attempting to preserve God's Word in the process of the translation. Sadly that isn't always the case which is why it is important for us to test new translations for ourselves and compare them to sound Scripture that we know to be in keeping with the original text and it's meaning.

Over the last several months I have been doing a lot of research and comparison of Scripture and my mind is overwhelmed with information. Far too much for me to possibly include all of it in this post. With my study of the Names of God and this study of Bible translation coming together at the same time I have discovered a greater love for and interest in preserving The Word of God.

In the process of Bible translation we have learned that it is a process that involves many people and many checks and balance systems even to the point of translating the new revision back into the original language by and independent translator to ensure accuracy. No Holy Bible is authored by a person. But there is a book on the market, authored by one man, that is being marketed as a Bible. It has sold billions since it was introduced and Christians are rapidly and abundantly replacing the Holy Scriptures with quotes from this book. Stay with me here as I provide verifiable facts and not opinion about this book. If you want to hear my opinion then I will be glad to write a separate post for that. :)

The book The Message written by Eugene Peterson is not the Holy Bible, it is a very loosely paraphrased version of the Bible with many additions and subtractions from the original Word of God. Before we go any further lets look at some definitions.

A translation is a rendering of the same ideas in a different language from the original.
A paraphrase is a free rendering of the sense of a passage in other words, usually in the same language.
A version is a translation, esp. of the Bible, or else an account of something illustrating a particular point of view.

Here is what Eugene Peterson has said about his own book The Message. These quotes are taken from Wikipedia.

"I just kind of let go and became playful. And that was when the Sermon on the Mount started. I remember I was down in my basement study, and I did the Beatitudes in about 10 minutes. And all of a sudden I realized this could work."

"When I'm in a congregation where somebody uses it [The Message] in the Scripture reading, it makes me a little uneasy. I would never recommend it be used as saying, 'Hear the Word of God from The Message.' But it surprises me how many do."

"When Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter, the people who received it understood it instantly, When the prophet Isaiah preached a sermon, I can't imagine that people went to the library to figure it out. That was the basic premise under which I worked. I began with the New Testament in the Greek --- a rough and jagged language, not so grammatically clean. I just typed out a page the way I thought it would have sounded to the Galatians."

In an interview with U2, Peterson says "Paul is an extravagant, inventive poet. His syntax is sometimes wild. It's an adventure to enter into his imagination and get the same sounds and meanings in American."

Peterson doesn't consider his book to be The Word of God, but has made millions off the sale of it being marketed as a Bible, The Word of God, and is doing nothing to change the marketing perception but is in fact helping to promote it as such. He does not state that he "interpreted" from the original Holy Scriptures. What he does say is that Greek is a jagged language that is not so grammatically clean so he typed it out the way he thought it would have sounded. He makes the assumption that people can't understand the Bible as it is written, but that we must all go to the library to find out what it is really saying as though it is written is secret code or that we are not intelligent enough to understand English and use a dictionary when necessary. He also assumes that God cannot speak to the hearts of those who read inerrant Word of God.

Aside from the fact that this book is a one-man show and points to a man as the author, Peterson states that this writing began because his congregation was bored with the Bible and he wanted to bring it to life for them. He states that it wasn't until after he began this work of re-writing the Bible in his own words that the Bible began to come alive to his congregation and for the first time they understood the it.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) (emphasis mine)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) (emphasis mine)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB) (emphasis mine)

"God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey." Hebrews 4:12 (MSG)

The Holy, God-breathed Bible is the Living Word of God does not need man to make it come alive. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we teach others using the Scriptures but we dig into God's Word going back to the original text to learn what it is saying. We don't re-write the Bible to make it come alive or because people are bored with how it reads.

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

Compare the scripture of Hebrews 4:12 above from four Bible translations considered trustworthy in their translation, to the quoted paraphrase from Peterson's book The Message. The four trustworthy translations agree in meaning, are all very specific, AND easy to read and understand, while The Message is both vague and different in its interpretation. The words soul and spirit have been changed to everything, the words joint and marrow have been defined doubt or defense. Clearly God breathed the words "soul and spirit" intentionally and for a purpose. Since when do those words mean "everything"? Notice the idea that the Word of God judges the heart is lost in The Message. This touches on the very core of the problem with this book.

I have to ask the question what makes us believe Peterson alone can interpret the true and accurate meaning of the Holy Bible better than the numerous scholars that translated these other four trustworthy Bibles.

This information alone should be sufficient to give us cause for concern. In his own words it took him only 10 minutes to paraphrase the Beatitudes, he is uneasy when his book is used in place of the Word of God (I would be too), and he claims to have entered into Paul's imagination to draw out the meaning.

We will look into what Peterson's word says versus what God's Word says in more depth in another post. Please know that everything I have said here is verifiable and I have provided links to help you look into it yourself and not just accept my word alone. For in depth information on Bible translation see Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. Deuteronomy 4:2 (NIV)

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 17, 2010

Handling the Word of God

When my daughter was growing up she believed most anything she heard on commercials. She was always telling me which were the best products to buy and why they were the best, When I would ask her how she knew, she would say because they said so on the commercial. It's sad to realize that you must expect an element of deception in advertising and be on your guard for it.

While most of us have wised up about the reliability of commercials, many adults are still quick to believe something simply because another person says (or writes) it's so. Countless emails get passed around cyberspace claiming to be a warning of some sort that will protect you from harm and urging you to pass it along to everyone you know. There are places on the internet where you can verify if that information is correct or not but few people either know where to verify it, how to verify it, or take the time to verify it.

When it comes to scripture we should not simply take another person's word (or written work), for what the Bible says or means, and we should be teaching our children not to either. We should be in the habit of verifying scripture ourselves, and teaching our children how to do the same, prayerfully researching it out. A concordance and bible dictionary are very useful tools for helping to understand scripture as well. We gain more insight into and understanding of God's Word when we look at the original text and it's meaning.

    And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 (emphasis mine)

Why is it important to know scripture for ourselves? First and foremost is that studying God's Word for ourselves is the best way to develop a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus.

Another reason is that there are those who would deliberately teach wrong doctrine to draw us and/or our children into their "religion" or cult. The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the original.

Even with people we can trust, our friends, parents, pastors, reputable authors, etc, we need to remember that they can make mistakes. We are imperfect humans and we all make mistakes. As teachers of God's Word, we are held to a high standard to teach it accurately. So it is important that we use reliable references, research out what we are being taught, and teach our children to do the same. We need to keep in mind that popularity and opinion are not proper gauges for reliability, accuracy is.

One way to teach children to develop the habit of verifying scripture is to have them verify the scriptures and meanings you are teaching them. Who knows, they might come back and teach you something you didn't know.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (emphasis mine)

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2 (emphasis mine)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 (emphasis mine)

Join me at Titus 2 in Action today...

Titus 2 in Action

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 16, 2010

The Bible is The Word of God

In 2005 the Dallas Biblical Arts Center was destroyed in a terrible fire. Some of the expensive works of art were rescued by courageous firefighters on the scene, but not without damage. Many of the works were destroyed.

I visited the museum the year before it's destruction, when the dead sea scrolls were on exhibit there. It was an incredible exhibit. The museum housed a wide variety of  Bibles in numerous languages and ages. They had one of the very first types of printing presses there that was used to demonstrate how bibles were first printed.

As we toured the museum they explained the processes of translating the Bible and the extreme care that went into it to ensure that nothing was translated inaccurately. Lets look at the steps involved.
  • Reviewer Check
  • Consultant Check
  • Exegetical Check
  • Consistency Check
  • Format Check
  • Style Check
  • Proofreading
  • Oral Read-through
There are translators and a review committee who prepare the first draft, review the work of others on the team, test the translation with other speakers of the language then receive, study and assess their comments, revise the draft, and check the final manuscript for publication. Revisions are made to make it more faithful to the original meaning, more natural in expression, more accurate and readable.

Then it is back translated word-by-word or phrase-by-phrase to verify that it reflects as closely as possible the meaning and grammatical structure of the indigenous language text. Back translation can improve the reliability and validity by requiring that the quality of a translation is verified by an independent translator translating back into the original language.

Another important element to note is that the Bible should always be translated from it's original language and not from another translation. So as a language changes over time, a Bible translation may be revised to make it more readable, but it must still be translated from the original language to ensure accuracy.

That is quite a process isn't it? Do you know why so much care goes into translating the Bible? Because the Bible is inspired and holy, adherence to the original meaning of the text is crucial. Today computers are used in Bible translation to ensure accuracy but the standards must remain.

I will be discussing more about the Bible in upcoming posts. For now I wanted to share some pictures that I took during my tour of the Dallas Biblical Arts Center. This was before I owned a digital camera so the quality is not what I would like but still acceptable. Click on the pictures for an enlarged image.

From Parchment to Scroll to Bible ~ The Word of God Preserved

Plague of Locusts found in Exodus 10

Hebrew Torah Scroll

I think this is a German Bible

The Gospel of John

I believe that little card says 1578 First Geneva (something) Bible

"You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word." Psalm 138:2 (emphasis mine)

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 15, 2010

LORD - Yahweh, Jehovah, The Self-Existent One

Studying the Names of God with Yolanda at Joy Comes in the Morning from the book LORD, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur. I am also studying from the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler.

Yahweh is the most frequently used Name of God in the old testament, it is used 6823 times. It is written as LORD (all uppercase) in the Bible, not Lord, which we learned last week is the Name Adonai.

The first use of the Name Yahweh, actually spelled YHWH, is in Genesis 2:4 where it is compounded with Elohim (Creator). It comes from the word havah meaning "to be". Kay quotes Nathan Stone as saying "We must think of Jehovah (Yahweh) as the Being who is absolutely self-existent, the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence."

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. Exodus 3:13-15 (NIV)

This is the Scripture where God revealed Himself to Moses by this Name, and we can see from this that Yahweh is connected to, and a continual reminder of His covenant promise. He is the One who powerfully delivered His People from bondage into freedom.

Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7 (emphasis mine)

Here again we see Yahweh describing Himself and associating these attributes with His Name Yahweh. In addition to His goodness and mercy, He does not neglect to point out His authority to judge and the consequences our disobedience can bring on our family as well.

What does the Name Yahweh speak to my heart?
Until I studied the Name Yahweh, I never understood exactly what He meant when He said His name was "I AM". He was proclaiming that He is the One who was and is and is to come. There was never a time when He wasn't here, and that means here for His People too, and there never will be a time when He won't be here, and here for His People. Yahweh is here, for all of eternity, in full Power and full Love to act on behalf of His People.

As I study His Names, I find myself being grateful for having a concordance to look back to the original words and learn their meanings.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

What does the Name Yahweh speak to your heart?

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 14, 2010

A Little Love From Some Friends

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I'm not really a big Valentine's Day person but I thought today would be a good day to share the love a couple of my bloggy friends sent my way in the form of awards and recognition.

First I received the KrippledWarrior's HEART of Gold from Commander Warrior "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of Ridicule and being accused of Association with a bad element..." Click HERE for more.

"...Upon hearing the firefight in progress, the group of bloggers dropped all personal business, and sent much needed words of encouragement, that led to a regrouping and strengthening of fortifications, which raised the spirits and morale of those afflicted. Their acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Blog-O-Sphere and reflect great credit upon themselves and the Blog-O-Sphere in general. Additionally all aforementioned persons are meritoriously advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, in the KW Navy."

Here is my rank insignia. Thank you commander!

Then my furry friend Sitka presented me with the Prolific Blogger Award. It's not often I'm called prolific you know. Thanks Sitka! I am awarding all of my bloggy friends this one too. I would not be reading your blog if you were not prolific.

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 11, 2010

Just Stuff

Hey all my bloggy friends! I really feel like I have fallen down on the job over here. I have so much that I want to write about and haven't had the time to do it. I haven't even gotten to do my Project 365 posts in several weeks, but I will be back at it! :D

I thought I would just take a few minutes to pop in and share a few pics and the latest happenings. Actually, I could show you a picture of my computer screen and that would just about cover all the latest happening over here in the last month.

Thanks to encouragement from my friends Kelly and Mary Moss, I am now the Arlington Biblical Living Examiner. Yay! Stop by and check out my articles, feel free to subscribe. I'm always looking for something relevant to write about so if you have some news, a message, or a ministry that I can help you promote, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help out. I can't wait for you to see the interview I just did with one young blogger and the ministry God is building through her! I plan to get it published in the next day or two. If you're looking to supplement your income and you enjoy writing you might look into being an examiner too.

 Now for some pictures. Nothing too exciting though.

Tobi found this new toy laying on the floor one day. I walked into my office and saw this. I felt a need to draw a chalk line around it.

Apparently she wasn't finished yet.

Miss Personality needed a little repair on one of her shirts. I guess you could say she was coming apart at the seams.

I finally made time to take the Christmas tree down near the end of January. As you can see I had a little help. Make that three little helps. The girls spent the night that night. Word Girl was on Webkinz when this picture was taken.

Computer girl is turning into quite a wild little goof-ball.

Filing our nails.

The girls made Valentines candy boxes.

Not to be outdone by our friends in Virginia who are experiencing highly uncustomary weather, today we got snow! We are up to about 8-9 inches with more coming in tonight. This is the most snow I have ever seen. It sure is pretty but I wouldn't want to live with this all the time. I watched my neighbor across the street shovel their driveway only to have it completely covered again in less than an hour.

Tobi is not a big fan of the snow.
Stay warm where ever you are. This global warming is some nasty stuff!

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 8, 2010

Adonai - Lord

Study on the Names of God with Yolanda at Joy Comes in the Morning.
Studying from Kay Arthur's, Lord I Want to Know You and Ann Spangler's, Praying the Names of God.

The Name Adonai, or Adonay is first used in Genesis 15:2. When Abram first speaks to God about not having an heir, he refers to God as Adonai. Adonai appear in the bible as Lord, not to be confused with LORD which we will discuss next week. The definition of Lord is Master. Adon describes the one who occupies the position of master over a slave or servant. When applied to God it signifies His position as the One who is Master over His people, with full authority to reward and punish. In the form of Adonai, the word means Lord par exellence or Lord over all.

One thing that strikes me is that Lord is probably the most widely used term used by Christians to refer to God. I have to wonder how many of us know, consider, and take seriously what we are actually saying when using Lord in prayer and conversation. The bible says we should not misuse the name of the LORD, which says that God takes it seriously.
"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." Exodus 20:7

Even though this uses the Name LORD, we need to apply the heart of the command that God's Name is to be held in honor and used appropriately in every form. When God commissioned Moses to go to Pharoah, Moses really didn't want to go. This is how part of the conversation went.

Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord (Adonai), I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord (Adonai), please send someone else to do it." Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses... Exodus 4:10:14 (emphasis mine)

I have often wondered why God was so angry with Moses when there are other's in the bible who appeared to be pointing out to God how inadequate they were for what God was calling them to do. Moses was calling God Adonai, Lord, Master, but was not responding to God's direction as a true servant. Moses was misusing the Name Adonai.

A servant is owned by his master and has no claim at all on his own life. His position states his purpose for life, to do his master's will 100% of the time. He is not merely an employee who clocks out at the end of the day and goes home to live out his own life as he pleases, he is at the service and direction of his master all the time. He is also completely dependent on his master for all things.

The master has the responsibility of taking care of his servant's every need including food, clothing, shelter, and protection. It is also the master's responsibilty to equip his servant for whatever task he is required to carry out. A master doesn't require a servant to cook a meal without providing the food, or make a purchase without providing the funds for it. He must supply what is necessary to carry out his directives.

How does Adonai apply to or impact my life?
My heart is with Kay's on this. Jesus can't be your Savior until He is your Lord. (Master, Owner, Ruler, Commanding Officer) When we give our lives to Christ, we are not simply accepting salvation, we are handing over Lordship of our lives to Jesus Christ. This is what it means to follow Christ. If God is really our Adonai, then our thoughts and actions should always be on serving our Master and trusting Him to take care of all our needs.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. John 12:26

How does the Name Adonai impact your life?

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 3, 2010

Who's In The Conversation?

Have you ever been in a situation where you are with a couple of friends and they become caught up in a conversation that seems to exclude you? It wasn't intentional on their part, they were just so caught up in conversation that they seem to have forgotten that you were there.

In John 16 Jesus is engrossed in a conversation with His disciples. This is the chapter where Jesus is explaining that He will be going away, but He will come back (referring to His death and Resurrection). The disciples aren't quite understanding so there are a lot of questions. Everyone is involved in the conversation. Then John 17:1 begins with like this...

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You." John 17:1

Do you see what Jesus did here? In the course of His conversation, He looked up and spoke to the Father. He didn't gather everyone together to pray. He didn't bow or kneel in formal ceremony. He didn't walk away from the others to quietly pray. As we read John 17, we see that the words Jesus spoke (His prayer) to the Father, were an extension of the conversation. He recognized that God the Father is always with us and He simply included God in the conversation. It was the same as if your friends in the above example would have turned to you and brought you into the conversation.

I am not saying that we should be walking around everywhere we go, engaged in an audible conversation with God. Jesus was with close friends who were believers in this situation. But how often do we forget that God is right there with us waiting to be included in the conversation? The closer our relationship with Jesus is, the more aware we are of His continual presence and the more we naturally begin to include Him in our conversations, whether silently or audibly.

We can model the closeness of our relationship with our Father to our children by looking up sometimes in the course of our conversations with them, to include God. In the midst of our conversation, and our day-to-day, there are many opportunities to look up and say "Thank you Lord.", "What should we do Lord?", "Would you help us with this Lord?", and one of my personal favorites, "Lord, would you please show me where I put my glasses again?". Your children, your grand-children, and others will see that your relationship with Jesus is real and personal, and they just might pick up on making it more personal in their own lives too.

Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20

"...And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Please join me at Titus 2 in Action today...

Titus 2 in Action

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou

Feb 1, 2010

El Shaddai - Almighty God, All Sufficient One

I'm a bit late today but I'm joining Yolanda at Joy Comes in the Morning in a study of the Names of God using Kay Arthur's book LORD I Want to Know You. I am also studying from Ann Spangler's book Praying the Names of God and will share what I am learning from both.

El Shaddai is first used in Genesis 17:1 when God made a covenant with Abram to give him a son in his old age.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Genesis 17:1-2

The actual translation of El is might or power. There seems to be some division about the meaning of the word Shaddai. Some interpret it to refer to God's power in His judgments, but another definition is breasted. This refers to the power of God displayed as He provides all that is needed for nurturing, supplying, and satisfying.

El Shaddai is the One for whom nothing is impossible. It is His might or power combined with His Love and desire to care for and bless his children. Until the time of Moses, El Shaddai was considered the covenant Name of God. It refers to the One who initiates and maintains a covenant with His people as He did with Abram. El Shaddai not only initiates the covenant, but He accomplishes it in His power and not by any effort on our part.

One thing I found interesting is that it is at the time of His covenant with Abram, that God changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah. In doing this He added the Hebrew letter He ה which is the chief letter of His own Name, Jehovah, which produces the sound of out-breathing. Kay points out that this is like giving something of His own nature to Abraham communicating a channel of blessing to many others.

Shaddai occurs 48 times throughout the Bible, 31 of those occurrences are found in the book of Job. This is the Name of the One who sustains us.

How does the Name El Shaddai speak to me?

The first time I ever heard this Name, it was defined The God Who is Enough. El Shaddai is the one who fills my deepest longings. Not necessarily by giving me what I long for, although He might, but by giving me Himself. When El Shaddai fills me with Himself, I am filled, I am completely satisfied, all other longings fade behind the abundant sufficiency of this satisfaction. El Shaddai is the One I run to when my world is crumbling around me, when I am completely spent, and when there is no possible way in my circumstances.

But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. May the God of your father help you; May the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. Genesis 49:24-25

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? Job 11:7

How does the Name El Shaddai speak to you?

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