Happy Thursday! I am blessed to be a part of a group of bloggers who feel led to share a bit of encouragement each week from the Bible. We recognize that the source of our peace, strength, and security in this life comes from Jesus, and we aim to share that with our readers. Plus, when Thursday comes around, we can all use a little encouragement right? I hope that this posting blesses you and that you find strength and peace in the Lord today ❤
This week it’s on my heart to share:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
~Eph 5:1-2 (ESV)
Bare with me for a moment while I share a story from yesterday that was my inspiration for my post. Some of you may already know this but I currently sub in my school district as a teacher’s aid. Yesterday I was subbing in the elementary school and I was cutting out some paper in the shape of trees for a special booklet the class would be working on. One thing you may not know about me, is that I can be quite anxiously OCD with how I do things, so I tend to wonder if people would think I’m being too meticulous or not being careful enough (because let’s admit it, we all have our OCD measure somewhere). So anyways, the method I ended up using was to trace the example I had on one page, but cut through three pages at once (both accurate and efficient). I didn’t like that my pencil would slip every now and then and mark-up the example I had, so I debated on if it would be better to 1) create an example with thicker paper so my pencil wouldn’t slip as much, 2) if I should change up my example so one doesn’t get marked up too much, or 3) If I should just keep going and let my example get all marked up and essentially forever become a stencil.
What did I decide and what does any of that have to do with “a God moment”? So as I was thinking about what I was going to do (and yes, I admit I was way overthinking it), I realized that I didn’t know if the example I had was even the original itself either. I decided it was better to stick with the one I had then go off of another one because it would at least be the closest to the original. It reminded me of something I’d learned a few years ago. Did you know that when you go to the hardware store to get a copy of your house key made, that they don’t like to make a copy further away from a copy of a copy because it’s more likely to not be accurate enough to work? The further away you get from the original– the more imperfections arise and render the copy useless.
So here’s where the “God” factor comes into the story: In 1 Corinthians 11:1 the apostle Paul writes “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” In Romans 7:15-20 he says “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” What does that tell us? Paul was human and admitted he fell short just like the rest of us. He gave us an example to follow in Christ but he was also an imperfect man. Jesus is the original–He’s perfectly unblemished. We can never be as good or better than the original, but we can (and should) look to him as our guide.
When you are looking for answers in life, are you looking to your parents, pastors, relatives, or friends? Or are you going to God in prayer and in His Word? Please don’t misunderstand my statement as saying we should never seek counsel with others around us, but I’m simply trying to make the point that God is our ultimate source for truth. We can talk with others, but we need to make sure that what they say also lines up with God’s Word before we are willing to accept it as truth. Even people we highly respect when it comes to spiritual things are not perfect in their knowledge. Ecclesiastes 8:17 says “then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.” Hopefully the pastor at the church you go to is willing to admit he doesn’t have all of the answers. Especially on some of the more difficult scriptures to understand, they hopefully are willing to share that there are some different viewpoints on the interpretation. Hopefully they don’t try to pretend their opinions are infallible. We can respect their opinions, but we should also be searching and studying the scriptures ourselves to make sure that what we are hearing lines up with what the Bible says.
So to wrap things up, I’ll share a few points to take from this:
1) The further away from the original (Jesus/Bible), the more likely you are to be led astray. Have you ever played the game “telephone”? How often does the last person say the actual phrase started at the beginning? Intentions are (hopefully) not to corrupt, but we make mistakes and don’t always understand what we’ve heard. Only when you go to the original can you know for sure that you have the right information.
2) We are all flawed. While we can look to people with respect (pastors, elders, parents, etc), we shouldn’t hold them to standards they can’t meet. People will let us down. Have you ever known someone who refuses to go to church because somewhere in their past a pastor/elder/leader in the church messed up big time (either personal to them or through church drama)? The thing is, we are all sinners, and our hope, faith, and trust should be fully placed in the LORD and not man. It’s not to say we can’t respect and appreciate our pastors and elders (we should!) but we shouldn’t look to them expecting perfection. Hopefully you don’t have to experience this type of situation personally, but I bet you at least know someone else who has or heard of it happening somewhere. The point it to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, because God is the only one who will never fail you.
This week I’m ending with the song “Jesus, Only Jesus.” Jesus alone is worthy of our praise and awe. I don’t know about you, but this song is able to give me goosebumps. What a great God we have! I hope you take a moment to meditate on the truths it reveals. I hope this post encouraged you today (and wasn’t too long-winded). Have a blessed rest of the week!
Now, it’s your turn!
What Biblical verse is encouraging you today?
And, check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories By Gina
Rebecca @Rev. Rebecca Writes