“You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God. 2 You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7 You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9 I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.
14 “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18 And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19 and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.
21 “Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold for your sins. 22 And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted.
23 “And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, 24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.
27 “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, 28 then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. 29 You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. 30 And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you. 31 And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas. 32 And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.
34 “Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it. 36 And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues. 37 They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies' lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.
40 “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, 41 so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 But the land shall be abandoned by them and enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them, and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned my rules and their soul abhorred my statutes. 44 Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them, for I am the Lord their God. 45 But I will for their sake remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.”
46 These are the statutes and rules and laws that the Lord made between himself and the people of Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai.
The first time I went to see Ima Hogg's house I was disappointed. Frankly with a name like "IMA HOGG!!!", you'd hope to see ... Vim, Vigor, Personality - instead you get - information. About others and museum quality furniture and belongings. I'm frankly of the opinion - she should have done two museums - one on being a damsel of River Oaks and being a "Texas Hogg" - Then a Museum of her interests.
Legacy. The dictionary has this right.
I've been having this conversation with myself since last week, but I backed into this one by way of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
I have a cousin who is fond of this verse. And the truth is we get pretty convinced we live out of the scope of a magnifying glass. The free riding theory of just go with the crowd! Carry a briefcase or a backpack. Who are we?
Are we pressed by public opinion, private opinion or our own opinion.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
When we get to the point feeling God overpowers our unique qualities - rather like my kin Mark Twain - then you have come to an end where we only can back track. Stuck at a dead end. And Samuel Clemens had this happen.
Strong personality - is not the same as saying I no longer live. Jesus said be Salt. Be Light. David had strong personality. What about Paul? Did he wimple up? Penguin suit?
Paul had times where he roared. And he said - Probably loudly and quickly -
But when Cephas came to Antioch...
I opposed him to his face! Because he stood condemned!!!
B4 certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles;
But when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the c-- party...
AND the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel,
I said to Cephas
before them all,
“If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
That Paul. A mystic seeing views of Heaven. Fighting with Christians. Not exactly plaster saint material. (Galatians Chapter Two.)
Now, listen. When Paul, in the Holy Spirit, said I no longer live, but Christ within me -. He was in Galatians Chapter Two. Fighting with Peter - in front of people (Same Chapter Two) - Paul has to call upon a greater unifier than his attempts to set things right -
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Paul is saying - I must, I must, I must call upon GOD to do this. He is saying as a unity with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit - —that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. This is for you. Today. Just as you are.
Paul is telling us we press on to the good fight - knowing that the Mediator is - Jesus Christ our God. We cannot idolize Paul. Rely upon Jesus.
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
We look at our people from Scripture and we say, I'm not Paul. I'm married. I'm not a nomad.
This call of God is not necessarily to convert the Somalian Pirates. Unless you want to. And God usually calls us to what appeals to us as adventure. The writers of the New Testament looked forward to their adventures for Him. Noah knew how to swing a hammer to a board.
Answering the call of God enriches our lives. If you are sitting at home bored and flipping through the television channels - you might enrich your life by learning a talent - to share. Picture the end of your life - people gather because you did a little something for their lives. You enriched their lives. I would bet that if you look at Evangelism few people are converted to know HE loves them by a street corner Evangelist. Preach the Gospel and if you have to - use words. Encouragement.
When I'm volunteering at the Pregnancy Assistance Center, it's surprising to hear that the idea of legacy has not occurred to the twenty something crowd. But it's Really NOT Unusual to hear that a grandmother, an aunt, a youth minister, a choir leader has impacted the life of our client. They want to do something like that person did for them. Creating a Life of Meaning. They are surprised to hear something profound :
God uses things like crochet to pull people together. It's the sharing of the enriching things of our lives that hold people to each other. Disc Golf pulls people together. Giving us the blessing of a friend who helps us pull in plants with us. Old Youth Ministry brought seventeen of Xander's friends for bonfire and Champagne for a New Marriage Celebration. S'mores please!!!
A Legacy? A New Year, New Beginnings, New Adventures in Jesus Christ.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Be angry and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.