When my Bible Study group began one of Beth Moore’s studies at the beginning of this year, I will admit I was a bit skeptical. It is a different method of study than what we’ve done in the past but one that has become so beneficial and has touched my life and my walk with God greatly. What I love about Beth is that she uses the Bible as her primary source (the way it should be) and makes us constantly delve into the scriptures to see what God has said for ourselves. I’ve heard several preachers go through an entire sermon without mentioning scripture once. The scripture that is the reason we live, breathe, and serve our Lord! I think so often we forget that the answers we really need in our life are found somewhere (possibly multiple times) in God’s 66 books.
Our most recent discussions have been based on faith. Our faith relationships with God and His work in the life of believers. We’ve gone though the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11…discussing the “greats” (if you will) of the Bible. One story that particularly touches me is Noah and the Ark. Probably one of the first Bible stories I remember as a child. And as I mentioned in study last week…the movie Evan Almighty actually helped me put it into perspective!! Now I’m not saying that ol’ Evan is by any means a replacement for Noah. But I’m a very visual person and sometimes it’s easier for me to understand when I see things instead of read them.
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family” Hebrews 11:7
It’s unfortunate that Steve Carrell had to be the one to do this for me…but I actually had chills when we saw the movie awhile back. And I was so excited for Noah’s faith!! How he stood up to ridicule and scorn to follow his Lord. How humbled he must have felt to be the one man (and family) that God actually wanted to save out of all the other sinners on the Earth at the time.
Something else I think is cool is from Genesis 6:14: “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.” Not a particularly exciting verse. Probably not one I ever gave a second thought to, but check this out. The word “pitch” comes from the Hebrew word “kaphar”. Kaphar means “to cover, to purge, to make atonement or reconciliation with sin”. How cool is that! This pitch that Noah had to cover the inside of the ark with was representative of their protection from sin and evil in the Ark.
Props to Noah. A great man of faith who still influences lives today. I strive each day to live a life with a Noah-like faith.
I will close with this. The next part of our study was based on Joshua 1 (Be strong and courageous) and Ephesians 6:10-18.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one…”
I won’t type the entire thing, but you get the point. Beth summarizes this idea with a statement I thought was so powerful.
God is in the process of raising mighty warriors among His people. The common denominator will NOT be human leadership, denomination, ethnicity, or giftedness. The common denominators will be consistent with those throughout biblical history – the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and communication with the Commander. ONLY the Lord knows who is His.
I love love love that. There is so much discrimination, so much strife among religious organizations/denominations in and around the world. Arguments spurred over silly concepts, un-important to our Father, that have destroyed church families, separated people who worship together, and caused us to raise barriers around ourselves…who are we to judge someone else’s walk with God! We were not called to uniformity, we were called to unity.
Have a fabulous weekend! We’ll be trekking to Abilene with Rachel & Michael to see the rest of the family and watch Emily perform in ACU’s Sing Song. Good times, folks, good times.