Sunday, February 26, 2012

100 Verse Challenge - Week 24

Week 24 of the 100 Verse Challenge. Timely, timely, always timely- that's what I have found as we have wandered through this process of memorizing the verses from Robert J. Morgan's book 100 Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart. This week as we learn and memorize a passage of scripture about sacrifice, it feels very appropriate as I am observing my first Lent.

Morgan shares a story in his book this week about holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom and a sermon she preached on today's passage exhorting her hearers to be "living sacrifices." Afterwards, the story tells us, she was invited by two nurses to their apartment for lunch. When she got to their apartment she found the women lived on the tenth floor and there was no elevator in the building. ten Boom, who was 80 years old at the time, struggled up the ten flights of stairs one step at a time grumbling and complaining to herself every step of the way.

Once she was in the apartment though, she had opportunity to share the gospel with one of the girl's parents, and she had the even greater joy of leading them to Christ. The story goes on to say that unlike her ascension up the stairs, on the way down every step was filled with thanksgiving for the eternal moment she experienced and the joy of it.

When God always asks us to sacrifice, there is always eternal benefit in it. It may not always be as clear and obvious as it was with Corrie ten Boom, but we can have confidence in God accomplishing hi purpose through us even when we cannot see it.

The second verse in this passage also speaks to me. I believe the reason God has called me to fast from Facebook during this season of Lent is because He needs to do some serious correcting in my way of thinking. The spirit of rejection that I battle in my mind needs to be dealt with, and there is no better way to do that than to renew our thoughts, which means purposeful and focused time in the Word of God, and sitting at His feet.

Morgan reminds us, "Every temptation comes to us via our thoughts, making the mind the battleground of the soul." Though I don't think Facebook itself is the issue, for me, it makes me too focused on self, and what I think of me rather than focusing on the Truth of who God says I am. Stepping away from the "faulty mirror" (for me) of Facebook and looking into the accurate reflection I find in God's Word is a much healthier place to be.

So here we go, here's this week's passage for memorizing (two verses), what do they speak to you?

Therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God;
this is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is good, pleasing, and the perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

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