Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 3: John 1:12,13

John 1:12,13: “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

  1. To me this implies that some can receive Jesus but not believe in His name.  These people have heard the gospel and have received the good news, but they chose not to believe it.  Because of this they are not adopted into the family of God.
  2. Those that do receive and accept become children of God.  This is a gift from salvation, that we become joint-heirs with Jesus.  These children are born of God and nothing else, so we’re not tainted by blood or flesh or anything of this world, but pure and removed from sin when it comes to judgment.  Also, because of this, we are brothers and sisters with Jesus, sharing the privileges with Him for eternity.

I really like these verses, and I find their promises very encouraging.  It's amazing that God allows us to take the sacrifice of the Son and become His children through adoption.  Awesome.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 2: Deuteronomy 10:12,13

Deut. 10:12,13: “Israel, what does the LORD* your God require of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your strength, and to keep the commandments of the Lord, which I am commanding you today, for your good?”

God requires five things of Israel, and also any who believe in Him.
  1. To fear the LORD.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7), and God is worthy of fear.  He is the Creator of the universe and everything in it.  If men feared angels in the bible, literally falling on their faces and cowering in fear, how much greater should the fear of God be!  It is right to fear God, and we should always keep this is mind.
  2. To walk in all His ways.  How do we walk in His ways?  We emulate Jesus, who walked in God’s will every day of His life.  We abstain from sin.  We abhor evil.  We love others with unending love.  We show grace and compassion to all.  We forgive.  We strive with everything we possess to live like Him.
  3. To love Him.  How do you show love to someone?  You spend time with them and develop a relationship.  The same goes with God.  How can we develop a relationship if we don’t speak to Him?  We must pray to God, to lift up praises and petitions with an honest and open heart.  In turn, we hear from God through the Holy Spirit by the reading of His Word.  We also delight ourselves in His presence, taking joy in worshiping Him and submitting to His authority.  Through it all, we form a relationship, and love is a natural reaction from it.
  4. To serve the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul.  How do we serve?  We serve by walking in His ways.  We obey His Word and the commandments within.  When someone is down, we help them up.  When someone is hungry, we feed them.  To serve with all our heart and soul is to hurt when others hurt and to praise when others praise.  Our hearts, nor our souls, belong to us, but are given to God to be used however He wills.
  5. To keep the commandments and statutes.  By doing this we are showing our love to God, our fear of God, our service to God, and our willingness to walk in the path He’s established.  The two greatest commandments are to love God with everything we are, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40).  By loving God and loving people, we will follow all five of these stipulations that the LORD requires of us.
This is a great mantra to live by, especially for people looking for rules and stipulations to live by.  God lays it out to the Israelites in the wilderness on what they need to do.  Why?  Because it's for their own good.  The Israelites, like all of us, were all created for a purpose, and that purpose was to glorify God.  Deuteronomy 10:12,13 show us exactly how to do this.

*Note:  In keeping with the ESV translation, anytime the word LORD appears in all caps, the translation is for the personal name of God, Yahweh, as opposed to the more general names used for God, adonai and elohim.  See also the Preface for more information.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week One: Deuteronomy 7:9

Deut 7:9: “Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.”
  1. God keeps His constant love on us and keeps His promises for a thousand generations (forever), as long as we keep His commandments and love Him.  If we don't, then He is not obligated to keep His love on us or His promises to us.  How awesome is it that He still chooses to love us, though!
  2. The LORD your God is God, the faithful God.  There is only one God, and the God of Israel, Yahweh, I AM, is the ONLY God.
  3. The LORD your God is God, the faithful God.  How is He faithful?  He keeps His promises and loves us with a ever present love. 
This is such a fantastic verse to begin with, reminding us of God's constant faithfulness and love to us.  It's baffling that the Son would willingly take on our sins and die for us, and yet He did, and because of that God keeps His love on us forever.  The same is true for the Israelites here, as they wandered from God off and on so many times in the Old Testament.  It's crazy that God still cherished them as His people.


Memorizing Scripture is something I've never really practiced until a few months ago.  After some personal conviction plus a few timely sermons, I began a memorization regimen in early February, following the Fighter Verses program designed by Desiring God ministries.

I'm not sure if it's the memorization or the time I'm devoting to the Word, but since I've started, my heart has been growing fonder and fonder of God.  My thoughts have been on His Word, reflecting on the weekly memory verse or whatever other passage I'm reading.

This blog is a way for me to share my thoughts and reflections on the current memory verse.  It's also an open forum for any reader to discuss and opine with me.  It is my hope that some may even begin memorizing Scripture themselves, or at least think more on the Creator of the Universe and His unfathomable love for us.

I have no formal education in theology or the Bible, only a passion to learn of God and to grow closer to Him.  Thus, all opinions offered here should be scrutinized and considered, and I admit up front that I am prone to err and make wrong decisions.  Please feel free to correct me (using Scripture preferably, not opinion) if you see me wandering.

All scripture memorized is in my preferred reading translation, the English Standard Version.  The ESV is a literal, word for word translation that I feel is easy to understand and more true to the original language than some other versions.  You can read it free here.