I haven’t forgotten that we start First Place today. I’m going to put this placeholder here and update it when I finish today’s study some time later tonight. If you are joining the journey and want to post your starting comments, please do so. Also, don’t forget to read the last Bible in 90 Days entry, right below this one. I think the scriptures there really apply to this new challenge we’re taking.
UPDATE: I had a midnight deadline on a work project so I had to crash afterwards. Check this page tomorrow night for another update. I may have one by morning by I can’t guarantee it since my brain is now officially mush. 🙂 And this is after vegging out for an hour.
UPDATE2: Okay, I’m back on track. Well, sort of. I hope you all have had a good start to our healthy living challenge, or whatever you’re calling it. I had my first Bible Study in the First Place book today. I have to admit it was a bit hard bouncing around from book to book, OT to NT, after going through 90 days of reading the books in context. After I got over my reluctance, I enjoyed the study. It began with Deut. 30:11.
“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform. It is not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, `Who will go to heaven and bring it down so we can hear and obey it?’ It is not beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, `Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear and obey it?’ The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. –Deut. 30.11-14
As you can see, I couldn’t help but put it in a bit of context. Anyway, I think that’s a powerful scripture to begin our journey. Nothing God asks of us is to difficult for us to understand or do. Now what does He ask of us? Try Romans 12:1. Again, I had to add a verse for context, but I did resist the urge to use the King James Version.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. –Rom. 12:1-2
You remember from our OT readings that sacrifices had to be without blemish; they had to be the chosen of the lot. That we’re called to be living sacrifices means we’re that to God, or He wouldn’t want us. This verse calls me to total acceptance of myself as I am now, not as I want to be in the future. There have been times when I’ve thought, as soon as I do this or do that (be it lose weight or get the last kid out of the house or fill in the blank), then I’ll be ready to be used by God. Then I can be a great witness for Him. How wrong that thinking is! Today is the day He is calling and today is the day we must answer.
Something happened recently in my life that made me realize fully how important it is to cherish the person I am and the life I’ve lived. The same goes for you. The things we have endured and experienced are all part of who we are today. Like Jesus, because of the things we’ve suffered, we can have compassion on others who suffer; becuase of joy we’ve experienced, we can rejoice with others. Thank God for those experiences, for the life that we have and will have.
So we move forward this week knowing that we are empowered to live lives dedicated to God. The healthy living challenge is an exercise in obedience from which we’ll learn a lot about ourselves and our Lord. I’m a bit anxious, I admit, but I’m also expectant. Let’s enjoy the journey.