Scripture Sunday (52)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly (um, sort of, oops) quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

 

As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.

-Psalms 18:30-36

Why I chose it:

There are definitely verses and passages and books in the Bible that I have to work at to figure out the context or find a way to relate it to my life but reading the Psalms is just like, oh yeah, I feel this.

Psalm 18 as a whole is very encouraging and one of my favorites.

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Scripture Sunday (50)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. I’m not a qualified expert in any way, so I will keep my thoughts to my highly-subjective impressions. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Why I chose it:

It’s extremely possible that I’ve already used this passage in a previous  post but it really is the gift that keeps on giving.

There are a bunch of things about this passage that crack me up.

  1. I’ve read this a hundred times in the course of my lifetime and somehow? I? Always? Forget? Like, if someone is a jerk to me, I almost always think, “Pcht, yeah, hate that guy, I’m gonna give him the cold shoulder forever now!” instead of thinking “That guy was a jerk, but I love him!”
  2. Jesus? Is? Such? A? Radical?????????????????? We tend to forget that, probably because it’s easier to make Jesus more like us than to remember he is throwing down some REALLY CRAZY MESSAGES like loving your enemies and doing good to those who hate you.
  3. So if your mind isn’t already reeling from this impossible task, Jesus gives you a nice little closing order: “Be perfect, therefore, just like God.” UM OK JESUS.

Fortunately, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Scripture Sunday (49)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. I’m not a qualified expert in any way, so I will keep my thoughts to my highly-subjective impressions. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

 

 

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

-Job 38:4-7, 31-33

Why I chose it:

Job is a frustrating book to read, because I relate so much to some of the things that Job and his friends say, and because really bad stuff happens to Job that he didn’t “deserve.” But God’s closing monologue in 38-41 is a great illustration of how we comprehend only a tiny fraction of creation and a minuscule pinch of our place in the universe. Plus, there’s really beautiful imagery in these chapters, especially in these two small bits I picked out.

Scripture Sunday (48)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. I’m not a qualified expert in any way, so I will keep my thoughts to my highly-subjective impressions. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

First:

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

-Genesis 18:13-15

And then later:

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

-Genesis 21:6-7

Why I chose it:

Sarah has her problems like the rest of us but I appreciate that she has a sense of humor. She doubts God’s promise to her and Abraham,  and is chastised for it. However, when God fulfills the promise, she isn’t grudging or grouchy. She invites everyone to enjoy how wrong she was and how right God is.

 

Scripture Sunday (47)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. I’m not a qualified expert in any way, so I will keep my thoughts to my highly-subjective impressions. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

-Genesis 9:12-16

Why I chose it: 

I LOVE A GOOD RAINBOW. I love this passage and never get tired of it. It’s really hopeful in spite of the fact that almost all life was just wiped from the earth. According to my Bible, the word “remember” here isn’t the opposite of forgetting but the act of giving attention to someone or something; so every time a rainbow appears, God is giving attention specifically to us and the promise he made.

Scripture Sunday (46)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21:1-5

Why I chose it:

Am I glad this year is over! As I watch the old year pass and the new year begin, it’s good to get some perspective and a glimpse of “the old order of things” being replaced by a bright new future.

Scripture Sunday (45)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Why I chose it:

WOW 1 JOHN IS AWESOME. I always forget how awesome it is. I get distracted by John and forget about the tiny numbered Johns.

Anyway.

I’ve been watching a lot of Christmas movies lately (tis the season), and a big running theme in those is selfless unconditional love for friends/family/random strangers. These verses are talking about that, but this kind of love is for every day, not just Christmas, and in every circumstance, not just festive.