Saturday, December 03, 2005

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

I have been extremely blessed to study the Word with a great group of people this last couple of months. We've met weekly in the home of some of our class members. One night in particular stands out because of the Power that was present. After an awesome job of looking at the doctrine behind the imminent return of Jesus Christ, and then going on to a look at how this applies to our lives as modern day, American Christians, we took verse 18 of chapter 4 literally and left an 'open mic' atmosphere for sharing those verses that are near and dear to us, those verses that bouy us up in tough times, and that help us to look towards the time when we will be with the One who called us, saved us, and daily sanctifies us. I tried to record these passages (as well as the person who shared) as they were read aloud, and will present them here. I hope you find Power and encouragement in them as well.
S. Mayoli, Isaiah 43:1-3a
"But now, this is what the Lord says-he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redemmed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior;"
K. Brown, Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.”
S. Ciarella, Ex 33:19
"And the Lord said, “I will make all my goodness54 pass before your face, and I will proclaim the Lord by name55 before you; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.”56
J. Castro, Song of Solomon
"My lover spoke to me, saying:
“Arise, my darling;
My beautiful one, come away with me!
2:11 Look! The winter has passed,
the winter rains are over and gone.
2:12 The pomegranates have appeared35 in the land,
the time for pruning and singing36 has come;
the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
2:13 The fig tree has budded,
the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance.
Arise, come away my darling;
my beautiful one, come away with me!”
J. Bull, Ezek 37:1-14
"The hand1 of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and placed2 me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. 37:2 He made me walk all around among them.3 I realized4 there were a great many bones in the valley and they were very dry. 37:3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said to him, “Sovereign Lord, you know.” 37:4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 37:5 This is what the sovereign Lord says to these bones: Look, I am about to infuse breath5 into you and you will live. 37:6 I will put tendons6 on you and muscles over you and will cover you with skin; I will put breath7 in you and you will live. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. There was a sound when I prophesied – I heard8 a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 37:8 As I watched, I saw9 tendons on them, then muscles appeared,10 and skin covered over them from above, but there was no breath11 in them.
37:9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath,12 – prophesy, son of man – and say to the breath: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these corpses so that they may live.’” 37:10 So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army.
37:11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Look, they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ 37:12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to open your graves and will raise you from your graves, my people. I will bring you to the land of Israel. 37:13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. 37:14 I will place my breath13 in you and you will live; I will give you rest in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord – I have spoken and I will act, declares the Lord.’”
J. Wright, Jeremiah 29:11-12
"For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord.19 ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you20 a future filled with hope.21 29:12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer,22 I will hear your prayers.23 "
D. Skipper, Psalm 1:1-3
"How blessed2 is the one3 who does not follow4 the advice5 of the wicked,6
or stand in the pathway7 with sinners,
or sit in the assembly8 of scoffers!9
1:2 Instead10 he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands;11
he meditates on12 his commands13 day and night.
1:3 He is like14 a tree planted by flowing streams;15
it16 yields17 its fruit at the proper time,18
and its leaves never fall off.19
He succeeds in everything he attempts."
G. Leach, Zech 13:9
"Then I will bring the remaining third into the fire;
I will refine them like silver is refined
and will test them like gold is tested.
They will call on my name and I will answer;
I will say, ‘These are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”13
J. Carr, Psalm 139:1-3
"O Lord, you examine me2 and know.
139:2 You know when I sit down and when I get up;
even from far away you understand my motives.
139:3 You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest;3
you are aware of everything I do.4"
T. Holla', Psalm 115:2-3
"Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
115:3 Our God is in heaven!
He does whatever he pleases!4"
L. Johnson, Hosea 2:14-15
"However, in the future I will allure her;56
I will lead57 her back into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
2:15 From there I will give back her vineyards to her,
and turn the “Valley of Trouble”58 into an “Opportunity59 for Hope.”
There she will sing as she did when she was young,60
when61 she came up from the land of Egypt."


At 3:16 PM, Blogger Mary said...

this is awesome. very encouraging. i was just talking with a friend the other day about seeing god in each other, looking for Him in the people we know and love and how we see so many different facets of His character by thinking this way.

and reading the verses, the words of God, that speak to people most significantly is evidence yet again of how different He's made all of us, and how He speaks to each individual heart so uniquely.

thanks for sharing all this.

At 5:23 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

Thanks Mary,
I had someone tell me yesterday that they see Jesus in me, and that just blew me away. I know we're supposed to be continuously transformed into his likeness, but to hear that was just absolute proof to me that God, not me, is at work in me.


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