Posts Tagged ‘Bible Study’

Shopping. Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. And, some of us really don’t think about it at all, we just do it.

The shopping experience is an interesting one, especially if you’re on a budget, and you’re trying to stretch every dollar to the Nth degree. Take clothes shopping, sometimes you just need a shirt, it doesn’t matter what color it is or what style it is, you just need it. So, you go looking through the racks and find one, then another, and another and all of them will fit the bill.

But, sometimes you’re looking for something in particular, aren’t you? You need a black shirt to go with whatever, and it has to be in a certain style because otherwise it won’t match. It’s that kind of shopping that is draining because no matter how hard you look, if you can’t find that particular shirt, then the whole thing has been a wash.

Then there are times when the opposite is true. You think you have a lot of shopping options. But, no matter how hard you look, you always come back to the same item, over and over, and, over and over again, until at last you just give up and buy it.

Sometimes I do a little shopping when I pray, and I would imagine that you do too. We keep going back to God with a question, problem or issue, hoping He’s going to give us a different answer from the one He’s already given us, then are surprised when it’s the same.

I don’t really like leadership positions. I try to avoid them as much as possible, preferring to stay in the Shadowlands, and help out behind the scenes. So, when I was first asked to lead a Bible study group, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

So, I went to God in prayer and got a resounding ‘yes.’ But, I didn’t like that answer, so I let it lay quietly for a couple of days and went back again half hoping He would give me a different answer. He didn’t. It was still a firm ‘yes.’ So, I left it alone for another couple of days, all the while knowing that soon I would be trying to dodge phone calls from the teaching director who needed to know what I was going to do. Again, I went to Him, prayed about it, and again got the same answer. ‘Yes.”

My shopping did me no good, which isn’t surprising at all. After all, God is God, and He doesn’t change His mind. But we would still like Him to wouldn’t we? We all want a god who is going to behave himself, a god who is going to see we don’t want to do something and allow us to dictate what we will or will not do. We want a god who will let us off the hook.

But, He’s not like that. He loves us too much to allow us free rein, and He wants a relationship with us too much to allow us to go shopping for an answer that will please us, instead of one that’s good for us. In short, there are times when we just have to accept that He is God and He knows what He is doing, and no amount of shopping is going to change that.

“But You are the same and Your years will never end.”

Psalm 102:27

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The first chapter of B'reshit, or Genesis, wri...

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A couple of years ago I was in Bible study that posed an interesting question.

At some point during the study, we went back into Genesis and looked at the 12 sons of Israel, who was at one point Jacob before God gave him a new name. Be that as it may, the question actually had to do with the sons and their temperaments and asked us if we were to belong to any tribe of the 12, which tribe would it be and why.

Every once in a while I think about that question and, depending on what we answer, what it reveals about each one of us.

Then, and now, I would want to be in the tribe of Benjamin because he was the one who  stayed with his father, and, not only that, he was the beloved youngest son. I like the fact that he didn’t go with the others to Egypt because his father wanted to keep him at his side. I also like the fact that it doesn’t seem like Benjamin argued which leads me to believe he was perfectly content to stay behind with Israel.

Each of the brothers was known for something and was blessed in a certain way pertaining to their future when Israel was about to die. Each of them had certain attributes that would serve the nation of Israel as a whole.

In thinking about the 12 sons and what they brought to the nation, it’s worth thinking about in the larger picture of the body of believers and what each one of us contributes to the whole that allows it to function effectively. What our traits are, our preferences and how God has put them into us to fulfill a certain role in His Kingdom.

Not one of us has the same role, not one of us has the same gifts (even though they may be similar), not one of us has the same relationship with the Lord even though all of us are called to follow Him and stay as close to Him as we can because that’s the only way we can fulfill the role He has for us.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”

Jeremiah 1:5a


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