Things are going a little better this morning. A little encouragement from a friend goes a long way.
Today is the last day of my classes for school. I still have two weeks of school though. Weird home-schooling-ness.
I'm kind of sad that they're over. I was sad last year when my class ended. The people are great, and my teacher is fantastic! I'm taking classes next year though, so that's exciting.
I'll probably take lots of pictures. And people will hate me for it... almost no one likes having their picture taken! What's the deal with that? haha
I might be going to a Bible Study tonight... I think I need the fellowship. I kind of experienced some last night, but I wasn't "ready" to be around people. To be able to give back to them what they were giving to me. But I think that I'm ready to interact with people now. (Hah. Homeschooler that I am... I can't interact with people! That's a big lie! hahaha)
OOOOOO. I like the 100 Days of Holiness devotional today (Day 8). It's what I needed today. It's amazing how God tends to do that... ya know, provide encouragement (or a punch in the face) when you need it!
NIPTO for today is Romans 9:1-18
1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—
Conscience is the word that sticks out to me. The Holy Spirit is our conscience. And Paul was not lying.
2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel.
This is kinda crazy. Paul was incredibly sad, the KJV says that he had "great heaviness" because he would rather not know Christ and be cursed if his people, the people of Israel, followed and knew God. That is a sacrifice. To give up the amazing thing that God gave you for someone else. I think I've been having bouts of selfishness, because I'm having a really hard time comprehending this. I'm selfish. And still trying to get over myself. I have to remind myself that it's not going to happen in 2 seconds. It's going to take time. Yesterday was hard, but good things will come out of it. Okay. Enough about me. Back to NIPTO:
Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Notice that Paul isn't saying "mine is [insert phrase here]" It's all theirs. Again. Paul wasn't selfish, he was selfless. BIG difference.
6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
God's word doesn't fail. It hasn't failed, it won't fail, and it never will fail. Kinda crazy. The second half of verse 6 is incredibly confusing to me. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel... uhm... Not sure I get it.
So just because they're his descendants, it doesn't mean that they all belong to him??? I'm seriously confused. Maybe reading on will help clear things up.
8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
So God doesn't have "natural children." He has only children that are promises. I think? Abraham's son was a promise.
10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac.
So then Rebekah's children were children of a promised son...
11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
God told Rebekah what was going to happen. God openly loved one brother and hated the other. Kinnnda crazy. Is that wrong? Can God actually hate someone? Read on, friend:
14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
God is compassionate... but not to everyone. It's just who he is. Everyone thinks of him as someone who loves everyone. He does, but he also can't tolerate sin. Annnd all of us have sinned. So he can't tolerate us until we accept Jesus. And those who don't cannot be in the presence of God. Does that make him unjust? Nope. It's just who he is.
16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy
God's mercy is an amazing thing. Righteousness, however, doesn't depend on us. It says so. It depends on God's mercy. If you accept Jesus, God's mercy is made available. And that's fantastic. (But in the end, it's still up to God... keep reading!)
17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Basically, God used Pharaoh. But Pharaoh didn't really know he was being used. Until God told him to his FACE. (Not really face to face... it was probably through Moses or Aaron, but still.)
Everything is ultimately God's choice. How we respond to things might "affect" what happens. But not really. God knows everything. You can pull a quick one on him. He knows you're going to try.
That seems like an odd note to end things on... but I'm ending it here. Kinda.
There is a website that has some brilliant teachings/sermons/workshop type things on it. It's from a conference that I went to over Christmas break. And it was amazing. Everything is online.I've been meaning to listen to a couple of the break out sessions that I didn't attend. This page is the audio from the main sessions. And this one is from the break outs. If you have extra time on your hands (I know. everyone has extra time on their hands... NOT) you should listen to some of these. They're good. Really good.
Once click the link, just click on the "Launch Sermon Player" button. It'll open up a media player thing that has the sessions listed!
The next breakout on my list is Tammy Smith's Honest Freedom: Living Christ's Amazing Victory in the Face of our Issues, Patterns, and Past.
I've heard it's really good. I'm the only person in my family who didn't see her speak... I think.
Okay. Time to eat and get on with my day. I'll let you know how things go in my post tomorrow!