…More than a good Bible study girl…Reflections

Today’s blog on the P31OBS really primed the pump of my thoughts and reflections today, so I thought I would share.

“When God made me, he left his mark deep inside. His fingerprints covered my soul — no wonder his truth resonated within me.”  (TerKeurst, More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, page 23)

–This makes me think of Psalm 139:1-18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

For YOU, Lord, formed me.  You alone.  YOU created ME!  God, when You made all of this Universe, You looked at each and every thing when you finished and said, “It is good.”  (Genesis 1:31a “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”) Then You made me.  I am one of Your works.  And Psalm 139 continues to say WONDERFUL ARE YOUR WORKS.  I am one of Your works, and WONDERFUL are Your works.  So, then, I AM WONDERFUL?  YES!  This broken, sinful, imperfect, human soul is actually wonderfully created by the King of kings and covered by the blood of the Lamb, forgiven because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary.

When that first sank in with my soul, deeply into the dark despair of depression, doubt, and self-loathing, something re-ignited.  I say re-ignited because I had accepted Christ 15 years prior to this moment!  Oh how the enemy loves to attack and drag us down, get us stuck on his lies!  It took the Spirit of God FIFTEEN years (and my soul that long to let Him) to knock down the walls of the Jericho of my heart.  FIFTEEN YEARS for me to remember, to see, to KNOW that the mark of my Creator will never be erased from my soul.  Fifteen years to KNOW that I am LOVED.  I am TREASURED.  I am more than more than my past, more than my pain, more than my brokenness.  God made me, and He molds me into a new creation through Christ.  IT BLOWS MY MIND every time I think about it!

Finally, I was able to break free from the “If I do this right…If I earn their respect…If I can overcome this…If I can be PERFECT…” mentality.  I could breathe!  I could stop pushing to EARN my value.  It already is there.  It always was.  I just couldn’t see it.  But God saw it all along.  He never left my side, He never failed me.  Even in the darkest moments of my life, I can still look back and see His fingerprints, His safety net, His beautiful tapestry wrapped around me, keeping me from sinking too far.  He has saved my life so many times, I can’t even count any more.  He has saved me from myself, from the enemy, from the snares of this world.  Oh how I praise Him!  I am so thankful for the constant reminders that I am HIS.  I am His daughter, His treasure.  And so are each and every one of you!  YES!  TRUTH!  YOU ARE ROYALTY!  YOU HAVE VALUE, precious, immeasurable value!  Isn’t it mind-blowing???

And all of that value just exists.  It is never anything I can earn or become on my own.  It is a gift from God through Jesus Christ.  Becoming more than a good Bible study girl isn’t anything I do on my own.  That is an impossibility.  It is something that comes from submitting to His authority.  It comes from recognizing where my value truly comes from:  God alone.  Just as I am, He calls me to Himself.  He enfolds His arms around me. And He alone transforms me.  All I have, all I am, is because of Him and from Him.

I’ll never be a good-enough teacher, good-enough wife, good-enough Kara without Him.  And it is because of Him that I am who and what I am today.  Thank you, God!  “Love came down and rescued me.  Love came down and set me free…” (Love Came Down as sung by Kari Jobe)

Our Bible Challenge in the study today is to look at John 15:9 in a variety of translations.  So that is how I will close today.  Using www.Biblegateway.com, that is what I will do and share with you here.

English Standard Version:  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

Amplified: I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you].

Good News Translation: I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love.

King James:  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Living Bible: I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love.

Message: I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

And according to Psalm 139, there is nowhere I can go where the Father’s love is not.  So I will abide in the arms of my Heavenly Father, treasured by the One who created this broken vessel.  Praise be to God the Father, today and every day!  Amen and Amen.

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