My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Learning from our Elders
Shameless excuse to place a picture of my granddaughters!
Prov. 1:8 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching;
9for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
The proverbs give us excellent practical advice for daily life. Children are to listen to and obey their parents. This instruction is so helpful for life that it becomes as beautiful as an adornment that one might wear.
I spent a few minutes of my morning with my granddaughters who are three and nineteen months. Usually they are such a joy in the mornings, full of sunshine and smiles, but not today. The girls are a bit tired this morning because they were up a little late last night and the older one awakened a little too early. That means that today has a few more challenges than the average day, and some buttons that are easily pushed. I watched on as my daughter told her oldest that she had two options for some quiet time this morning. Neither one of those options was seen as favorable and so the tears began to flow, with an insistence that a three-year-old knew the best option and it included watching “Paw Patrol.” From a distance I watched as this all played out with mother refusing to give in to the little one.
A few minutes later the same testing occurred but brought on by the nineteen month old who was determined that she was finished with breakfast. Soon there ensued the “just two more bites” discussion. At this point the toddler turned into one of the finest actresses I’ve seen at such a young age. She worked really hard to get those tears to start to flow, wrinkled up her face, and thought she’d add some sounds of anguish. This was met by a mother with resolve who simply looked at her and praised her on her acting skills and told her to eat two more bites. She instantly stopped the show, ate her two bites and lovingly smiled at her mom.
I remember the days of being a young mother and the energy that it took to keep instructing the girls, and now I watch my daughter do the very same thing. I watch these two little granddaughters and I realize that if they learn to follow the instructions of their parents (because their dad is just as engaged in their instruction as their mother) they will discover a “fair garland” for their head and a “pendant” for their neck. Even at their very young age they have to decide whether they will follow the instruction of their parents or not, but if they do listen, things will go better for them. It’s the love of their parents that is poured out in instruction so that they will learn how to live well in this world.
Our heavenly Father provides us with instruction for life. There are times when we respond like little children, unhappy about the options and direction that God may want us to go. Sometimes we don’t like the spiritual food, or spiritual experiences that God may be using to shape and form us. We wrinkle up our nose and show our disgust at what we are going through. Our loving Father knows that it’s not always pleasant, but he also knows that what is best for us.
Spiritual children are to hear and heed the instruction and teaching of our heavenly Father. Our Father wants us to be able to live well and follow his leading. This will be visible in the ways in which we live our lives and respond to the difficulties which we will encounter. Instead of being ugly in the midst of a tragedy or frustration, we will become adorned with God’s instruction and teaching which will make us appear to be beautifully adorned. It’s the ways in which we respond when frustrated that will reveal whether we have been coddled and received very little instruction and teaching, or whether we have been disciplined by those who have taken the time to love us well.
Earthly parents are to follow the model placed before us by our heavenly Father. Children are to respond, hearing and accepting that beautiful gift of discipline, instruction and teaching, which is provided for our benefit.
Lord, may my heart be softened in your presence, willingly accepting your instruction and teaching, reflecting your beauty to the world.Amen.
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…