Category Archives: Various Verses

Compel Us

II Corinthians 5: 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.  16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

Put to the test…that’s how I feel right now after a week of news about mail bombs, race motivated shootings, upcoming elections and a border “wall” of young military.  This is a test and the answers seem to be multiple choice : nationalist or globalist, right wing or left wing, guns or no guns, justice or evil, hate or love, any means to an end or no end in sight.  This test is not asking the right questions at all and the answers are not really multiple choice.  My prayers are compelled by my fear of flunking the test because the choices offered are so opposite of this Scripture.  Lord, I beg you give us new questions* with choices  based on your absolute truth and real answers compelled by your Word and Christ’s love.

  1. Did God really say . . . ?” Genesis 3:1
  2. Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
  3. Am I my brother’s keeper” Genesis 4:9
  4. Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25
  5. Are you still maintaining your integrity?  Job 2:9
  6. How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” Psalm 119:9
  7. Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21
  8. What shall I do then with Jesus?” Matthew 27:22
  9. Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15
  10. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:36
  11. Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18
  12. If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

*Question source: gotquestions

No matter how hard the test is, the real answer to every question has to be “for Christ’s love compels us…Lord help us all. Lord help me!

Person of Interest

I just realized I’ve been confused about assigning pronouns when I write about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit may not have a body but he’s not a ghost or an “it.” “He” is definitely a person of interest. These Scriptures from the ESV version confirm his position as a co-equal, and distinct, personality of the Trinity that plays a powerful part in the believer’s life.

• Inspiration: 2 Peter 1:21 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

• Truth Teller: John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

• Guarantee: 2 Corinthians 1:21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

• Within: 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

• Teacher: John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

• Support: Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

• Helper: John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

• Confirmation: Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,

What I’ve learned:
These authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit as they wrote. They chose their words carefully but, more importantly, God chose to give their words the power of the Holy Spirit that could interpret His absolute truth to believers for all time independent of any particular language or translation.

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee God has placed within us to teach, support, help and confirm our place in His family through those same ancient written words. The Holy Spirit speaks God’s language to his people forever and is still making His timeless truth relevant to life today.

Working on “Be”

Monday: Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21

• The first two phrases in that Verse of the Day are important but that little conjunction, “and” is critical. The real wisdom for those of us who suffer bouts of “know it all” and “control” issues may come down to this: Your life in Christ will still happen even while you’re busy making many plans. Finding that little connection between listening “and” accepting what the Lord has to say though his Word and his people is the challenge. That’s what will prove” at the end you will be counted among the wise.” I wish it didn’t take that long.

Tuesday: Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1
• If you’ve ever been restless you know it feels like sitting in a running car that’s in neutral gear, and flooring the accelerator. There’s a lot of noise but no matter how hard you push you don’t go anywhere. The Psalmist has found the answer for a restless soul. It’s getting out of neutral and – “in God.”

Wednesday: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9
• I read the same verse in The Living Bible. “Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honors.”

I not sure how this works if you get bad instruction and teaching. I guess one way or another you are learning something that can be of value to you; either what to imitate or what to avoid.

Plan “Be”

I’m surprised how much I miss the continuity of reading parts of that long Psalm 119 day after day. I don’t know what to do next. My original plan was to use someone else’s reading plan. Instead I’m borrowing my title from my Pastor, Greg Long. Plan “Be” is going to be using Verse of the Day thoughts from BibleGateway.com to discover how they impact my thoughts and mesh with the experiences of my daily life.

Thursday: Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
• It must have been that phrase about the Rock that triggered my thoughts.  I heard that Chevy jingle in my head.  Advertising slogans can shape our daily life more than God’s word if we’re not careful. Believing the ad-men can leave you between a “Rock” and a hard place.
Apple: Think Different
L’Oréal: Because You’re Worth It
Coca Cola: “It’s the real thing
Chevy: Like a rock
So I’m repurposing these slogans into a new song: Think different because you’re worth it. The Lord is the real thing, “the Rock eternal.”

Friday: You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
• The Psalmist paints a verbal picture I can identify with. This summer we saw what a dry and parched land can produce. We watched the lawn go from a lush green carpet to a dried up imitation of itself that completely stopped growing. Nobody wants to be a dried up imitation of a Christian do they?

Saturday: I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
Isaiah 43:11-12
• I’m a witness for the defense…that was my first thought, but the question of context was my next so I read the chapter and found something even better.

Have you thought about why God would bother with the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into after his perfect setup at creation? Why would he care enough to forgive and forget our sins and offer redemption at all? Realizing how much we’ve been given, despite ourselves, is how we come to recognize the magnificence of Grace, isn’t it? But wait, there’s more….

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. 26 Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.

This is Grace in action: It matters to God that your sins are blotted out as much as it does to you! He’s willing to review at all the details and argue the “why’s” and “how’s” of your innocence with you. Take him at his Word!

Stand Alone Sunday: It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Deuteronomy 13:4