NO IT DOESN’T!
I’m working on reading through my Bible in 3 months. I did this once before, the first 3 months of 2014. There was great benefit to it that year, even though as I was doing the actual reading I recognized I wasn’t getting too much out of my speed read. . . other than the supernatural benefit God undoubtedly bestowed on me for this act of worship. And it WAS an act of worship because I was surrendering my time (1/2 to 1 hour each day) to learning about Him. The external benefits were seen throughout the rest of that year.
In July of 2017, another time I was reading through the Bible, albeit at a more leisurely pace, I came across some verses that gave me pause.
Any time I read “through the Bible” from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, I struggle with the last 3 books of the Pentateuch. I enjoy Genesis and Exodus, but when I hit Leviticus I experience more than a bit of trepidation.
Well, last week, I had made it to the 4th book of the Pentateuch, Numbers, and I was in chapter 3. Where I noticed my own notes from July of 2017. I hope you can read my chicken scratch.
In case you can’t, I’ll summarize. 7500 (v22) + 8600 (v28) + 6200 (v34) = 22,300 . . . not 22,000 (v39)!
God created everything. He created numbers. He created arithmetic. He certainly would have no trouble adding up a group of three 4-digit numbers. Would he? Maybe he was rounding off? But no, He didn’t do that a couple pages later in Numbers 4:34-48. So what was going on in chapter 3?
In 2017, after reading this and making my chicken-scratch notes, I moved on, chalking the addition mistake up to something I wasn’t supposed to understand. See Psalm 131. You know, like why did God create the devil?
As an aside, I will sometimes use this question as a way to rate preachers who come across my path. If they answer this question when put to them with “I don’t know,” my respect for them increases exponentially. How could anyone possibly know the answer to that question? Pastor Gary, you are the first one to come to mind. Thank you, and God bless you, for answering this way. You and your wife are tremendous blessings to me and everyone who has the pleasure of knowing you.
So, for whatever reason, God allowed a mathematic mistake to appear in the New Living Translation of the Bible. (It is also present in the NIV and even the KJV and OJB).
This time (2019) though, I noticed in my footnotes regarding verse 28 the statement “Some Greek manuscripts read 8300; see total in 3:39”.
An explanation! One I didn’t even notice during my speed read in 2014.
Although this appeared in the footnotes and not in the actual text of the Word of God, in some ancient Greek manuscript, the addition was correct!
Okay, that’s enough of the Aspie moment. .
1 Thessalonians 5:23 I am a spirit. I live in a body. I have a soul (of which the brain part sometimes goes off on weird tangents as seen above). God generously fed all three this morning!
I heard 2 great sermons by 2 wonderful ladies. It was during the 2nd that the germ of the idea for this blog started growing in my mind.
The first sermon was practical, addressing how to worship God in one’s body. The phrase that stood out to me was “don’t react; respond.” Since I heard that same phrase recently from my counselor, it jumped out at me.
My mouth is a part of my body. When the stressor hits, my mouth almost always reacts rather than responding. This doesn’t just hurt the person with whom I’m engaging; it inflicts a deep wound on me. There are enough people and things to wound us in this world; God help me not be another!
It was suggested that before responding (not reacting), one engages the brain (soul) and think “What would Jesus do?”
When do I actually take the time to do this? Practically never. No, actually never. That has to stop.
Father, I pray right now, no matter the situation, help me to respond rather than react.
The whole sermon, even the Children’s Moment, focused on how to worship God in practical ways. Thank you, Barbara, for allowing yourself to be used by the Lord in an act of worship.
The 2nd sermon was a spiritual feast, focusing on worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth and some ways this might look. Some of these ways are more difficult for me than others; but if we boil it down to its lowest common denominator “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) it becomes very clear what type of worship God desires from me, from you, from anyone who loves Him and seeks to honor and glorify Him. Since we were each uniquely created (Psalm 139:13-14—although this verse does not use the word “unique” if you read it carefully, I think you’ll agree it must mean that. God is Creator and supremely creative. Why would He create any two of us exactly the same?)
Thank you, Wendy, for allowing yourself to be used by the Lord in an act of worship.
The 3rd experience was a ministry to my soul, but it was not a sermon. It was God speaking to me directly in several different ways. Don’t you love it when he does that? He certainly doesn’t have to, but He does it because He loves us so much and desires intimate communion with us.
There was an altar call at the end of the service, the first part of which was for those desiring salvation.
The 2nd was for those whose repeated prayers for a specific need were seeming to go unanswered.
Anyone who knows me at all knows the vast majority of my prayers focus on one thing. It may not be the right thing for them to focus on, but God created me to be this way. Who am I to go against that?
There were already elders and deacons waiting at the altar to pray for people, but I felt God telling me to ask my beloved sister, Paula, to go forward and pray for me. She said yes, I grabbed her hand, and away we went.
We both started crying almost immediately, but the words she prayed were exactly what I needed. . . AND . . . I suspect they may have benefited her as well.
When we returned to our seats, she told me that while we were at the altar she had heard these words from the Lord.
“They are yours.”
They are yours?
Why would God tell me that? They are not mine. They are/were only on loan to me; they belong to God.
I asked her to clarify; was “yours” the pronoun He used? Are you sure it wasn’t “Mine”? (meaning God’s)
No, it was “yours”.
I pondered this as I drove home from church, and the germ of this blog grew into a small seedling.
And I realized those words were truly for me. The issue/need doesn’t belong to me. The need itself belongs to God. Whenever I’m feeling stress concerning this need; in other words, just about every day if not every waking moment, I am to remind God (like He needs reminding) “They are Yours!” How freeing! This burden it much too great for me to bear. It is not too great for my Father!
Of course, I’m not really reminding God of a thing!
Thank you, Paula, for allowing yourself to be used by the Lord in an act of worship.
I’m reminding myself. I’m renewing my mind (incidentally, the title of Barbara’s sermon was “Renewal”).
So, I’ve now come full circle. Which means it’s time to close. By close, I mean proofread, edit, add some stuff, take away some other stuff, re proofread, re edit, and in maybe an hour (it actually wound up being about an hour and a half) or so submit this for someone to read. . . and . . . hopefully benefit from &/or be inspired by.
God bless you.