The Delicious Bible – Page 2

child3-worshipDelicious may sound like a strange adjective to describe the Scriptures.  However, I’ve found it to be highly accurate as a description.

Since this is the second installment in the “delicious Bible” series, you may wish to check out the first page here.

Delight Yourself In The Lord

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Especially In a culture of consumerism, a person will often see the last part of the phrase as their primary motivation… “Receiving the desires of one’s heart.”  And to tell you the truth, we all want to experience fulfilled desires.  Perfectly normal.

To better understand the thought of Psalm 37:4, it’s helpful to use an example from a healthy interaction between a parent and child.  Imagine the child in the picture is you child or grandchild.  Feel the tenderness that passes invisibly between you.  How does the warmth of that emotion affect you?

One time I was praying and I saw an inner picture of a small child kissing its father on the cheek.  I asked the Lord what the vision meant.  He said, “That’s how I feel when you come sincerely to me.”

Here’s where this verse of the Bible gets more delicious.  You see, the Hebrew word translated delight is a bit different than the English idea.  When I originally read that verse I thought of delight in terms of a concept.  To me it sounded like the Psalmist was saying, “Be pleasing to the Lord and He’ll give you your desires.”  That isn’t totally wrong except be pleasing is still a concept and sounds a lot like the sermons where you end up feeling guilty about this or that bad behavior and if you try harder you’ll get more prayers answered.

Be Like A Tenderhearted Child

Once I saw that the original Hebrew word for delight meant to be soft, delicate, or tender, I could imagine, ponder, and look deeply at the picture of a child being tenderhearted with their parents.  I imagined my own reactions to my children when they were tenderhearted vs. when they were obstinate.  It was easy to feel the difference in emotion and response toward them on my part.

Tenderness absolutely drew a “giving” response from my heart.   It’s true that I loved them all the time.  But, you and I both know there’s a difference in how one makes you feel over the other.  Imagine arms lifted in tenderness toward you.  Then imagine reaching down to pick up your child and they respond with a cold, “no!”

“Be tenderhearted, soft, and pliable with the Lord, as your Father.  It will delight His heart and bring about a tenderhearted response toward you.”

(Delicious Bible Continued)…

Gary

 

 

 

The Delicious Bible – Page 1

deliciousHow much more enticing and fulfilling would your experience with the Bible be if it were NOT seen as academic brain pinching labor? (Unless, of course, you like that sort of thing.)

What if you anticipated your “Bible time” the same way you look forward to something delicious to the taste?

Second Question…

conversationHow much more would you look forward to devoting time to daily prayer if you saw it with the same anticipation as a stimulating conversation with a close friend?

God never intended that the two primary sources of relationship with Him (bible and prayer) would become a lifeless, guilt driven,  tasteless experience it’s become for so many.

Your Bible And Prayer Experience Can Be Transformed

Over the next several posts, I’d like to introduce you to some ideas that will help inject new life into your own experiences with the Bible and Prayer.  I’m not promising easy.  I haven’t completely arrived, myself.  However, I have made some discoveries that have launched me into a whole new arena of life with God.

I Stopped Studying The Bible

Yep.  I stopped studying the bible.  I traded in the idea of “studying the bible” for “searching for treasure.”  Sounds like I’m mincing words.  Maybe I am, but the “mindset” was important to my progress.

I Knew There Was More To Be Found

I became unsatisfied and bored with just scratching the surface of profoundly deep truth that points the way to the abundant life we seek.  I also decided that I couldn’t be satisfied with letting someone else chew all of my spiritual food for me.

So, I decided to use tools easily accessible via computer, smartphone, or an ipad type devise, and “bust open the books” and begin digging for hidden treasure.  You may already know what I will be sharing in the next several articles.  But, if not…hopefully this will help you search and find your own hidden treasures of abundance.

Let’s Take The Word, “Persuaded.”

My understanding of faith was injected with fresh life and richer depth when I discovered more elements behind the Bible word (Greek) “Persuaded.”

I discovered that it has more shades of meaning than to be convinced of something.  The Greek word is also used in the idea of making friends with someone.  And, it also contains the meaning, “tranquilize.”

I made the discovery on http://www.blueletterbible.org/

The essence of faith is being persuaded that all your life is bound up in the heart of God.  He is the Source of every solution.   Faith focuses on Him.  That focus of persuasion or conviction is the doorway through which His creative might flows into your circumstances.

Faith Is A Word Of Relationship

So, as I “chewed” on the phrase, ‘I am persuaded,’ I came to a richer understanding of faith.  I let the brushes of my imagination paint inner pictures of what it is like to pursue making friends with God and the Words of His mouth.  As with any good friend, I realized that the presence of a friend introduces a sense of peace (tranquilize).  The more I pondered and searched out practical visual applications, I saw how much the Lord yearns to be a friend that de-stresses my experiences with daily turmoil.

Now, I don’t study for doctrinally correct definitions.  I search for ever clearer descriptions of life with God.

And the sum of that is more stimulating conversations with Him.

(to be continued…)

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holding Peace by Gary Ellis

Audio Version:

The more I treasure the Word of God, the more it reveals to me it’s treasures! I am increasingly intrigued by the wealth that almost seems to be hidden in plain site. At times I’m taken back by the “Wow…I never saw that!  How cooool!”

The wealth in the word that I am referring to today is found in Exodus 14:14, “The LORD shall fight for you and you shall hold thy peace. (KJV)”

In a former church we used to sing the chorus, “Victory oh victory it is mine.  Victory oh victory it is mine.  If I hold my peace, let the LORD fight my battle, victory oh victory it is mine.”

So, what is it mean to “Hold my peace?”

Here’s where it starts to get interesting.  When I’d read or sing hold my peace, I’d assume it meant something like, be peaceful…be quiet. I would logically define the word by how I understood the meaning of the word, peace.  Peaceful. Quiet.

The idea of being peaceful or quiet is not wrong…but it gets waaay better than that.  You see in Exodus 14:14 the word translated peace is not Shalom. It’s Charash. Now, the New International Version puts it this way, “The Lord will fight for you.  You only need to be still.” Peaceful.  Still.  Pretty much same-o, same-o, right?  As far as it goes…right.  But, that doesn’t go far enough.

<btw…this is why I encourage everyone to do their own investigation at places like (Crosswalk.com)>

The Hebrew word, Charash, is also translated with other words and has multiplied figurative meanings that go much deeper.  Words and ideas such as…

  • To cut in or engrave
  • To plow
  • To devise
  • To plot evil
  • To show deafness
  • To imagine

In Exodus 14, the Israelites are fleeing from Egypt and Pharaoh’s army.  They’re afraid to say the least!  They even wonder if God has brought them out to the wilderness to die.  Have you ever felt like that?  You try to follow God and conditions seem to get worse. With natural sight and understanding it wasn’t good for the Israelites…and maybe not in our current situation. This is where God’s instruction was, “Hold your peace.”

Life…being life…has a slough of opportunities to either “fear it” -or- “faith it.”  A more thorough understanding of holding our peace gives us very helpful counsel.  If we take the varying words, we can respond to the trial (we are probably currently in) with fresh wisdom.  Here goes…

I can trust the Lord to fight my battle as I realize my part is to hold my peace…hold onto the the testimony of God’s faithfulness that’s engraved in my heart…turn a deaf ear to all negative voices…remain silent in my negative imaginations…do not allow contrary evidence to plow my field.

That should prime your meditative pump.  Isn’t the Word full of treasure.  Go for it.  Be intrigued by it.  Enjoy it’s sweetness and strength as you chew on it.

Do you have any examples.  Share them in the comments.

Gary