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[thoughts] God Gives Us His Word (April 5-11, 2010)

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  • Mark Roth
    To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/6-210ibs.html Living in the Light of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2010
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      To read my comments on the passage for
      the International Bible Study, click here:
      Living in the Light of Love
      1 John 2:7-17

      (Psalm 1; 119:97-105)


      Just how much do I believe all this?

      Does my Bible reading and meditation prove that answer?

      What is it like to meditate on God's Word?

      "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" -- what does that not mean?

      How do you know?

      What role does the Bible have in my life?

      How does this Scripture selection convict and/or encourage me?


      (originally written in mid-2001)

      I had a good day yesterday. I didn't hit anybody. I don't recall
      thinking evil of anyone; I know for sure I didn't curse or speak
      evil of anybody. Let me see. Oh yes. I didn't steal, kill, or treat
      anyone in a mean-spirited way. Be assured that I could go on an
      on with all the bad I did not do yesterday. I suppose I could be
      quite satisfied with myself. Wouldn't you feel likewise?!

      Now look at my question again. Should avoiding evil be the
      focus of our lives? Yes, to a certain extent, it should be.
      However, in considering the lesson text, I suspect that the first
      verse results from the second verse. In other words, when we
      keep our focus on God and His precepts, we naturally will not
      walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Neither will we stand in the
      way of sinners. Nor will we sit in the seat of the scornful.

      Furthermore, this God-ward focus will nourish our lives to the
      point of being attractive ("his leaf also shall not wither") and
      productive ("that bringeth forth his fruit in his season...
      whatsoever he doeth shall prosper").

      So back to my day yesterday. I said I had a good day because of
      all the bad things I didn't do. But I fell short, way short, of verse
      two. I read a Bible passage in the morning alone and another one
      in the evening with my family. But the delighting and meditating
      parts somehow got shelved. Small wonder my inward man gets
      to feeling malnourished and withered! (So much for that
      self-satisfaction at the evil I left undone.)

      To close this section, consider this fresh challenge that just came
      to me in the last few minutes. Some say it is impractical and
      unrealistic to meditate on God's Word through the day. As
      logical and reasonable as that may seem, and as much as I may
      like that perspective, something is askew with it. I say that
      because I just realized that I can spend significant chunks of
      thought time rehearsing, reviewing, and rehashing some gripe or
      grief I have against some other individual. In other words, that
      offense and its accompanying feelings become my focus, my
      meditation. Somebody tell me, then, why it is "impractical and
      unrealistic" to focus and meditate on God's Word through the day!


      (originally written in mid-2001)

      After considering the positive effects given in Psalm 1:3, surely
      this must be a strange question. And yet many Christians resent
      being challenged to immerse themselves more in God's Word
      each day. They make statements such as "Don't try to put me on
      a guilt trip" or "Don't be so legalistic" or "Get real!" And you
      know what? They just might have a valid complaint. God doesn't
      want anyone to live the Christian life by force. He wants us to
      live His life because we love Him and because we want to please
      Him. You see, He wants *us*, not just our attention and our
      obedience. He wants us to focus on His Word and meditate on it
      because we love Him and want to know Him better. He wants to be
      the focal point of our lives because He wants to better our lives.

      Think of all the times your mind, will, and emotions have
      functioned in ways that were frustrating and maddening to you.
      Think of the times you have wished for greater wisdom and
      perception. Think of the times you have felt bitter, discouraged,
      and bleak. Think of the times you have felt guilty, defeated, and
      unclean. My friend, God wants to better our lives in all these
      areas! Reread Psalm 19:7-9 for His own assurance about this.

      This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson text
      developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my
      comments on the passage for the International Bible Study
      Living in the Light of Love
      1 John 2:7-17


      Getting this material together and published to the Web and
      to email takes me about two hours per week. That's roughly
      two-and-a-half forty-hour work weeks per year.


      To the four of you who have helped, thank you very much!

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      Mark Roth
      Thoughts for the Week


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