Tag Archive | Bible

Peace in the Land

“For they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” -2 Kings 6:16.

 
Bible

 

 

If you read my last post, This Too Shall Pass, you know that I’ve been struggling a bit recently. I have a ways to go, but God is fighting a mighty battle for me. Truly, the Lord is doing a wonderful work to restore peace in my life and give me new hope.

Last night I had a dream. In this dream a man began quoting Scripture to me. I did not immediately recognize it as something out of the Bible because the man was speaking in another language that I have pretty limited knowledge of. When I awoke, I used Google Translate to plug in the sounds I heard to try to get a frame of reference around the words I already knew. Working to put this puzzle together, it suddenly occurred to me that it sounded a bit like Scripture. So I pulled up biblegateway.com and began plugging in the words there. And I found it! I found what the man spoke to me in the dream!!

It was these verses from Leviticus 26:6-8:

“I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. and five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”

It’s amazing. I can’t even wrap my mind around the goodness of the Lord!! He gave me Scripture in a dream that speaks directly to my situation! I am personalizing and holding on to the promises in these verses:

  • I will have peace in the land.
  • I will lie down to sleep without fear.
  • God will rid the beasts out of my life.
  • I will chase the enemies (not the other way around).
  • The enemy will fall before me.
  • Five of us (my prayer & support team) will put a hundred to flight!

When I struggle this week I am going to remind myself of these Scriptures. I am going to remind the devil of them too. Rejoice with me. We serve a wonderful God!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

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Spreading Love

Darkness

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

In the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School there are more questions than answers. There is anger and bitterness. There are political debates. There are little hands to hold and fears to be faced. There are funerals to attend.

Many of us have desired to help the hurting and found ourselves at a loss as to how to go about it. People all over this country have grieved for those they have never met. How do you help someone you don’t even know? When you can’t help those directly affected you feel powerless. But the Bible reminds us not to be overcome by evil, but instead, let us overcome evil with good. Let us honor the memory of those precious children and heroic teachers by consciously adding good to the world.

A woman in a parking lot in Altoona, Pennsylvania received an anonymous Christmas card on Saturday that said, “How do you fight evil in this world. You fight it with good. This act of kindness is in memory of a child who lost his/her life yesterday. Make the world a better place. Do good and Merry Christmas.” The anonymous person left a $10 bill in the card. The woman said that it was the best Christmas gift she had ever received and she vowed to pay it forward. You can watch the original news story here.

I want to encourage people to make a mindful contribution to this world and to people in particular. It doesn’t have to be big and elaborate; it can be as simple as leaving $10 and a few kind words for a stranger. It’s not about a material gift; it’s about affecting the spiritual realm by combating evil with good. Don’t be afraid to extend kindness to a stranger. Don’t be embarrassed to tell someone you care about how much you love them. Remember to hug people and tell them they are valued. Small things can really brighten someone’s day.

Here are few ideas to get you started:

  • Offer to pray for someone.
  • Present a smile to a stranger, even if they scowl at you.
  • At the toll booth, pay the toll for the car behind you.
  • Leave change at a vending machine for the next person to find.
  • Hold the door open for people.
  • Donate used books/furniture/clothing to someone in need.
  • Visit a nursing home.
  • Rake/shovel/mow your neighbor’s yard before they come home from work.
  • Leave a dollar where a child will find it.
  • Bring treats to work for co-workers.
  • Go on Amazon.com and buy a random person something off their wish list.
  • Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.
  • Make a conscious effort to not complain about anything for an entire day.
  • Buy the meal/coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through.
  • Send a thank you card to someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
  • Let the person behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead of you.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate canned goods and other staples to people in need.
  • Slip a $25 gas card in someone’s bag or on their windshield.
  • Buy a few extra umbrellas and on a rainy day go out and distribute them to people who are walking without one.
  • Send a letter to a store complimenting one of the employees. Letters of complaint are the norm; positive letters are rare and can really make a big difference in someone’s job.

I could list many more ideas, but you get the picture. One caution, it is easier to remember to do these sorts of things around Christmastime or around tragedies. I want to encourage people (myself included) to make this a regular habit, not something that is only done once a year. I’d even go so far as to suggest you schedule it into your life. Yeah, I know that scheduling it makes it sound sterile and like I’m taking all of the spontaneity out of it, but if you set up an alert on your outlook calendar, email, or cell phone that periodically reminds you to do this sort of thing, you can be sure that it will go beyond the Christmas season. If this sort of thing is new to you, then maybe you only set up your alert for every six months or so. If you’re feeling more venturous, set up an alert to remind you to do an act of kindness once a month, or once a week! Before long, you’ll notice opportunities even when you haven’t had an alert and it will become more organic over time. Ask God to open doors for you and to show you where you can be of assistance to someone or ask God to send you opportunities just to make someone’s day. You can be sure He will!

The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8)The best way to show people God is not by using well-crafted words, it’s by showing His love working through us. Spread love.

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

“What Version of the Bible do you Read?”

(And why I hate the question)

Recently, a friend of mine asked me which version of the Bible I read. It’s a simple enough question and my friend had no ill intentions or hidden agenda when she asked it, but I have heard this question many times before and quite frequently the conversation that follows puts one or both parties on the defensive. There have been many impassioned discussions that have taken place and I have seen believers who should be building each other up, quickly begin tearing each other down over the subject.

The choosing of one version over another is a dividing line. It creates an “us” and “them”.

If you read the English language, you are blessed with many different versions of the Bible to choose from. A quick count of just the English translations available on Biblegateway.com reveals over twenty-five of them. This is a tremendous blessing that many of us take for granted. Often in my studies I will read the same verse in six or seven different versions.  When I do this, I usually come away with a greater, more well-rounded understanding of the verse than if I had read it in my favorite version only.

But there are pitfalls to having so many versions available. It is my belief that the enemy of our souls has found a way to pervert a blessing into a way to weaken the body. Satan’s plan is to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). He has learned that if he can cause division in the body of Christ, he can keep us from operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. Beyond that, if he can get us to believe that our version is better than someone else’s version; he can encourage us to lift ourselves up over our brothers and sisters. Further, Satan can instill doubt in the Word of God. After all, if my version is better than your version, that means there is some inherent flaw in your translation. By reason, I should come to doubt that your version is even inspired of God. Then, I am faced with asking myself how I know for sure that my chosen version does not also contain some hidden flaw. Can we really trust the Bible at all?

Do not be deceived, the devil is trying to steal the Word from us, he is attempting to kill our faith, he is working to destroy the body!

That is not to say that there aren’t differences in translations; real differences that should be carefully considered when choosing a version to read from. We are talking about the Word of God so it should not be taken lightly. However, these considerations should not come at the expense of the unity of the body. Remember, the Word of God is a living Word; if you approach it prayerfully, God can speak to you through it regardless of minor translation differences.

Yes, there are books out there that are called “scripture” from cults and sects that are far from inspired. They may call themselves Christian, but in fact believe a number of unbiblical things. Let me be perfectly clear that I am not referring to any of these. There have also been Bibles printed that contained outright errors and fallacies. I am not referring to those either, but the Bible, no matter what translation you read teaches that Jesus is God incarnate. He alone was born for the purpose of becoming the ultimate sacrifice. He died to save us from our sins. He rose again on the third day and through Him we have the hope of eternal life. Christians everywhere are agreed on this no matter what translation they read. If they don’t believe this, they are not really Christian, regardless of what they call themselves.

Personally, I have versions of the bible that I prefer and versions that are not my favorite. I believe that I have solid, well researched reasons for these preferences. But those who are partial to the versions I don’t prefer also have reasons for their choices. But here’s the point: if you were to give me my least favorite translation of the Bible, I could still teach someone who Jesus is and why He came. I could still show someone the plan of salvation. I could still experience the spirit of God speaking to me through those words. His Words.

The reason we have so many arguments about what version to read is simply because we have so many versions to choose from. Consider the fact that most languages have only one translation of the Bible, two if they are very fortunate; and many languages only have a small portion of the Bible translated at all. Should we doubt that God can save those people since they are not reading your preferred version?

Satan will use whatever tool he can to divide us. Do not let the sacred Word of God be twisted this way. The Word is our offensive weapon, to be used to defeat Satan. Rather than squabble over it, let us be united in it! The Word of God is able to transcend time, language, and culture. We can have intelligent, sensitive, God honoring discussions about word choices and translations without displaying poor attitudes and judgment toward one another. God gave us His Word to teach, guide and edify us. Let’s put aside petty disagreements and use it to build each other up.

-Rebekah L