Tag Archive | scripture

Send Me

I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me.” -Isaiah 6:8

I have exciting news. I will be going back to China and Taiwan! It will be another short trip through my company similar to the one I went on last year. It won’t be for a while, perhaps not until spring, but the plans are falling into place. I have no idea what the spiritual significance will be, but I have no doubt that this is the will of the Lord. I had to go through several steps over a period of months during the selection process which entailed completing an application, submitting an essay, getting letters of recommendation, having a panel interview, and taking a Chinese proficiency test. At each one of these steps I prayed for the Lord to either open the door or close the door according to His will. From a human perspective I am far from the best candidate for the job so I know that being selected was only by the hand of the Lord. He has a purpose for allowing me another opportunity to go and I am humbled, grateful, and excited. I pray that He will allow me to be a vessel to reach the souls I come across. Lord open doors, open doors, open doors!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

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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.

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

When I was three years old, I fell off the top bunk of the bed I shared with my sister and broke my collar bone. A few years ago I fractured one of my fingers in two places. In both of these examples the initial injury caused significant pain and discomfort, but within a short period of time the bones healed and today they no longer cause me any pain.

“I’m rubber you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

Words are different. The hurt that is caused from words has a way of lingering. Most of us can think of something said to us years ago that still causes a slight twinge when we think about it. The pain that words cause can last a lifetime if we let it. We’ve all heard the childhood rhymes invented to try to shield us from the truth that words do hurt. We try to convince ourselves (and our ridiculers) that name-calling, taunts and negative words don’t affect us, but they do. The Bible says that “death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Our words have power. They have the power to pierce like a sword or to bring healing (Proverbs 12:18). For this reason we need to be careful about the things we say to one another. Our words should be centered in love.

“If someone were to pay you 10 cents for every kind word you ever spoke and collect from you 5 cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?” -Unknown Source

The Bible says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37) and “The lips of the righteous feed many” (Proverbs 10:21). I want the words that come out of my mouth to be words that feed others, not words that are destructive or hurtful.  As Christians, we should be known by our love (John 13:35). Let’s strive to use words in a healing way. Every time we speak we have the opportunity to build people up or to tear them down. The choice is ours. That doesn’t mean that we have to pretend things are all sunshine and rainbows all the time or that we have to stretch the truth in order to say nice things. No, we are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Even when we have to say difficult things we can do it in a compassionate, life-affirming way. Our words can show care, concern, and kindness in a world that so desperately needs to see the love of God in action. Let’s commit to speaking more words of comfort and to endeavor to eliminate destructive language from our vocabulary.

Jesus,

Help me to use my words in a way that honors You. I want the words that I speak to be pleasing to You. Help me to yield to You in such a way that my words are Your words to a hurting, broken world.  Thank You, Lord for being so good to me. I love you.

~Rebekah L.

For examples of how words can hurt us and some godly things you can do if you’ve been wounded by the words of others, check out these posts by the other Rebekahs:

Destructive Gossip

Forgiveness and Renewal Revisited

“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

Perfect Peace

 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” –Isaiah 26:3

Yesterday through Facebook I got a frantic message that a very good friend of mine was in a motorcycle accident. It was a terrifying moment for me. I kept rereading the words and trying to make sense of them. I felt incredibly helpless. This friend lives on the other side of the globe and there was nothing I could do to help him. Or even to get more information.

How did it happen? Was he hurt? Would he be okay? Is he in the hospital?

I had so many questions and so little information. I was scared of losing him. “Please please please let him be okay”, I prayed, feeling the emotion welling up inside me. Irrationally, I considered going to the airport immediately to catch the next plane to get to where he is. There was a time that he and I had planned to get married and I still love him deeply even if the nature of that love has shifted. To consider that he might be seriously injured and I wasn’t with him was more than I knew how to handle. I really did not know what to do with myself. I kept refreshing my Facebook page over and over again, hoping for a new message from his friend. I was desperate for more information. I felt paralyzed. Absolutely helpless. The fear rising up in me was fierce.

Then suddenly it occurred to me that even from half way across the world, there was something I could do for him. I could trust God, and I could pray. My focus then shifted from the situation to God. I remembered that God is the Creator, the Almighty, and our Healer. Everything is in His hands. When I began to meditate on that, I immediately felt peace. I knew God was taking care of the situation. This time when I prayed, I prayed with the assurance that God was in control and no matter what happened He would still be in control. I reminded myself that this man knows the Lord. If the very worst should happen, he is still safe in the Lord’s care. Regardless of how long he has life on this earth, he has the promise of eternal life with the King.

I became completely filled with His peace. It is difficult to even explain it, but every ounce of fear left me. I was able to completely surrender the situation to Him. I continued to pray for my friend for mercy and healing, but it was no longer a prayer out of selfish desperation. It was a prayer based on who the Lord is and knowing what He is capable of doing. Mostly, I just prayed that the Lord’s will be done. I knew without a doubt that it would be.

A few hours later I got the message that my friend will be fine. He is scraped up, bruised up, and has a broken wrist, but he has no internal injuries. He will make a full recovery. The worst of my fears were not even remotely realized. If I had not surrendered to God, I would have spent all the time making myself sick with worry. All of my worry would not have accomplished anything.

I praise God that he is okay! Thank you Jesus for protecting my friend! I know it could have been much worse and the mercy of the Lord has kept him for another day. Thank you, Jesus for your peace in the midst of a storm. Thank you for calming the waves of fear and teaching me once again to trust in you!

Dear Reader, when you feel helpless, when a situation is beyond your control; it is never beyond God. He will give you perfect peace if you trust Him to handle every situation that comes up in life. In scary moments when loved ones may be hurt or in danger, give all of your fears and concerns the Lord. He will carry you through every difficult circumstance in your life if you let Him.

-Rebekah L.