I took my boys, and a friend of my youngest, to an indoor play place. It's guaranteed hours of play without many interruptions. Smile. They sweat and smile and chase each other through gigantic tree houses. And I get hours of time to read or, as in today's case, work on preparing for an upcoming Bible study.
I thought Tamar would give me a run for my money trying to put that study together. But as it turned out I had so many pages of gathered treasure from that study I had to seriously cut it down to keep it a women's Bible study length. Rahab, on the other hand, is proving more difficult than I thought.
I've heard Bible teachers say meditating on what the Bible says is like a cow chewing her cud. She chews, her stomachs process what she's chewed, she regurgitates and chews some more. I like the baking analogy better. Studying the Bible is a kneading, setting aside to rise, kneading some more, rising more, process. I read through the passage several times. Make some notes. Walk away. Then later, while I'm driving, or at the gym, or getting ready for bed, thoughts that smell like freshly baked bread waft through my head. Hopefully I remember them when I get to place where I can write them down.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.- John 6:35
My sister had a second surgery on her wrist today. The first was to put a plate and pins on her seriously fractured radius. Apparently the surgeon measured wrong and now there's an 8mm difference in the length of her radius on her fractured arm compared to the other. An error of 8mm in bone length at a joint is a big problem, according to the surgeon, and is the reason she has less than 25% range of motion in that wrist. This has had such a huge impact on her. She was doing a Crossfit workout when it happened and now, with the poor range of motion and a follow up surgery, she has been unable to do what she loves- Crossfit! She would tell you the Lord changed her from the inside out. And He used some of His people at her local gym to encourage her along the way. I know this is a vicissitude ( A new word. Smile.) for her. And the same Lord who began a good work in her will be faithful to complete it. But in the vicissitude it just plain sucks. It hurts, its hard, you can't see ahead or explain why. You just want out. Our assurance is that this too will pass and He's working it all for good for us who love Him. I'm glad my mom and the people at her gym and her husband are all there for her during this. I wish I could be too.
Rahab's story brings up the issue of faith and works. Is it faith or is it works that saves? I'm glad the Bible gives a real answer rather than a nice, neatly packaged explanation. It's not an answer we like to hear. It makes sense, its truth, its total grace, complete mercy, but its not an instant credit in eternity answer.
Everyone is in a hurry... They want me to help them fill out the form that will get them instant credit (in eternity). - From Perseverance: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene PetersonWe all live what we believe. We know it to be true. Our lazy, selfish nature takes hold gladly of the instant credit answer. But the faith that saves, works. The faith itself is a gift of God, not from us. We can't boast. Our response to the gift is the evidence that it was received.
But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder! - James 2:18-19
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.- Ephesians 2:8-10