Monday, November 30, 2009

Bloggle Study: Matthew 1-4

I didn't wake up as early as I should have this morning, so I am a little later than I had planned in posting this, but earlier this morning I read the first four chapters of Matthew. These scriptures begin with the geneology of Christ which has a signifigance that I am not qualified to explain, but it has been explained to me before, and unfortunately, I do not remember the explanation well enough to feel capable of adequately repeating it here, but I do know God had a purpose for including it in his word! I think I remember it has something to do with establishing that Jesus' lineage truely does fulfill prophecy, but that is all I will say there. From that point, it leads into the story of Jesus's birth which we celebrate this time of year. In chapter 3 we meet John the Baptist and come accross the words in verses 8-10 that spoke to my heart a little over a week ago and in combination with other scripture that God gave me during other study times that led me to write this blog and work on starting to add speaking to my writing ministry, Produce fruit in keeping with repentance...the ax is already at the root of the trees , and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. These words challenged me to question whether I was producing good fruit for God with the actvities I had been committing my time to since my stroke. I could not answer with a resounding, "YES," while at one time I could have, so I set to work evaluating my life in order to identify what might be hendering my fruitfulness. I remembered a different scripture God had lain on my heart earlier in the fall concerning laziness;however, I cannot recall the exact location of the verse only that it called me out on my sleeping so much that I didn't have time in my day to do anything beyond the necessary tasks of everyday life leaving time studying God's word and praying along with giving my best to actively serve him completely off my to do list for way too long! Anyway, this combination of messages from my Creator has spurred me on to kick it in gear although I have already confessed to failing to be faithful in getting out of bed at a reasonable hour this morning:P Hopefully, knowing that someone might be reading along will give me enough of a feeling of accountability to raise me from bed to spend some time with God on future mornings! Anyway, my goal these days is to get up early, so I have some uninterrupted time to spend with God, post my Bloggle study for the day in hopes of producing some good fruit for God. All the thoughts that led to this conclusion reminded me of another time in my Christian walk when I was called to fruitfulness...The details of this story can be found in my book,This Is My Story, but the scripture that was speaking to me at that time was Phillipians 1:22 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. This scripture has been a goal and a challenge to me for a long time now! Oh to love Christ so much that I truely consider it the greater blessing to die and be with him than to go on living in the flesh! I continue to pray that God will bring me to a full realization of this sentiment, but more recently, the words, if I am to go on living in the body have spoken to me more loudly than any others because I have faced the other if, the if I am not to go on living, but life is the if that God chose for me, so if I am to continue living in this body, this will mean fruitful labor for me! At least, I'm going to make my best effort at it anyway! Now, just to clarify, I don't mean this as a means of salvation because the Bible is quite clear that faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved, not by works. I'm not questioning my salvation here. I'm questioning my faithfulness to my Savior. I love him and want my life to communicate that love to him as clearly as possible, so I evaluate my life periodically to ask myself how well I am loving my Savior with my life. The answer I came accross this time was get out of bed and tell others you love him, so they might love him more too!:)

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