Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scriptural Thoughts

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been reading posts from the blog, http://magnoliaheartbeats.blogspot.com/

Laurie Ann has some amazing devotional thoughts and a true gift for representing God's Word and tying in Scripture to our everyday lives. One that she recently posted has grabbed hold of my heart and will be my meditation material for this week. She has written more extensively on the topic but I have included some highlights from her page and some thoughts of my own.

Her direct words are represented in blue ink.

To truly know freedom is to know being held captive. Many of us don't know what it's like to be behind bars, but we do know what it's like to be held in bondage to a particular sin or thought-pattern.

She had a photo illustrating the Scripture, Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed."

For as long as I can remember, I have been held captive by thoughts of being worthless, invaluable, burdensome, useless, and unlovable if people "really knew the real me". As I have been reading through the Word of God, I am amazed at the amount of references that mention how God, the Creator of all, loves me.
Psalm 8:3-4 (New Living Translation)
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— 4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?

Laurie Ann often includes an acrostic on the theme she is sharing through her blog. The following is taken directly from her site but I have used the NLT version for Scripture quotation. Praying that at least one will be as blessed by her insights as I have been.

Fully rely on what the Word of God says about you---not what the world says.

Romans 12: 2: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Remember that freedom in Christ is not a license to sin.

Romans 6: 1-2: Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?

Embrace the truths God gives us through His Word and live according to His commandments.

Psalm 111:10: Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

Esteem others above yourself.

Romans 12:16: Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!


Devote time each day to spend with God in prayer, just as Jesus did.

Mark 11:35: Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Open your heart to reading and receiving God's Word every day.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17: All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Make it your mission to share the freedom in Christ you have found with others.

Romans 10:14: But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

5 comments:

  1. Laurie Ann is a true blessing.

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  2. Hello!
    Sooooo glad you are joining in this study with us! Can you email me your address to chealey5@yahoo.com...your home address. I have something I want to send to you that really helped me with the same stuff you deal with.

    Have a blessed week & "see" ya tomorrow!
    Love ya,
    Lelia

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  3. Precious Stacy, I'm amazed as I read more and more of your blog...amazed at how much you're like ME!!!! How did that happen? Maybe because we have some of the same DNA?

    Anyway...I'll never forget when I was in my early 20's, God paired me up with a precious, godly young woman to come alongside me and be my encourager and mentor. She kept encouraging me to dig into the Word focusing on how much God loves me. I kept telling her, "I know God loves me. I know HOW MUCH He loves me." After all, I grew up going to church every Sunday! But she was persistent and I finally "gave in". It was amazing how much insight she had! I really didn't have a CLUE of the extent, the DEPTH of God's love for me!

    I think maybe, because I was always a good little girl (ask your mom, she'll agree I'm sure!), and truly, I never got a spanking, my teachers all loved me, I made straight A's, etc., just maybe somewhere along the way, I'd come to believe that God loved me BECAUSE I was a "good girl". BUT the problem was...I knew I wasn't really all that "good", certainly not as good as I led people to believe. Of course I'd sinned; openly sinned! But there were also my thoughts, feelings, emotions, motives and all the rest that were far, VERY FAR from being pure and godly.

    It took me a long time, YEARS, to really begin to get a grip on the reality that God loves me purely from grace, and loves me with perfect love - there is NOTHING I do that is so GOOD, so PERFECT (since I'm a perfectionist at heart), that would make Him love me more or love me "better". And conversely, there's not I can do that is so BAD it's going to make Him love me any LESS. His love for me is perfect. It's complete and pure and unchangeable, and totally undeserved on my part - it's completely and ONLY by His GRACE and by the fact, the reality, that GOD IS LOVE! Isn't that AWESOME!!!! To Him be all the praise and honor and glory!

    Here I am 30 years after my friend goaded me into studying and focusing on God's love, and I am STILL blown away by it. There are times I feel His love wash over me, pour INTO me, and I can scarce take it in - I'm overwhelmed. Thank you, Jesus!

    And thank you, Stacy, for your blog, for your insights and your transparency. You are precious! You are BELOVED! By your Father above, and your aunt here below (along with, of course, your mom, siblings, friends, and...well...everyone who knows you!).

    Keep up the blogging! I love it! And love you! (I know I'm repeating myself.) I'll close now. Love ya! Susan

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  4. Hi Stacy,

    Thanks for sharing that with us! Very insightful!

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  5. I absolutely loved your thoughts on this subject. There is such freedom in letting it sink into our hearts how great the Father's love is for us and believing that we are women of worth.

    Thank you for just being so sweet, Stacy! You are an incredible encourager!

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