Verse of the Day – Psalms 85:2

“You forgave the iniquity of your people, you pardoned all their sin. Selah” Psalms 85:2 (NRSV)
Prodigal Thoughts: Oh, I am so very thankful for our Father’s forgiveness. I know that each of us can look back to the point in time when we handed over the reigns of our lives to God and let Him lead us. When I think back on that time, I had convinced myself that I wanted nothing to do with Him. I’m so incredibly thankful that He didn’t give up on me. That is one of the reasons that the term “prodigal” resonates with me so much. With our sins pardoned and iniquities forgiven, we can look at the last part of this verse. What does Selah mean, anyway? While there are differing thoughts on what the word means, the base translation of the word is “intermission”, which is a musical/theatrical term. Of course, an intermission is a break/pause in music/theatrical events. This may include music or it might just be a time of reflection. I know that I mention looking back to where God found us quite often. My intent is not to dwell on the past, but to see just how far God has and is bringing me. It reminds me that I handed over the control of my life to Him, who can do way better than I ever could imagine. 
Prayer for today: I pray that we would take an intermission. Reflect for a moment on the things that God has done in your life keeping in mind that He brings order and peace, not chaos and strife. I pray that we would rejoice in Him as He has forgiven us for all of our wrongs, and just wants to be closer to the creation He knit together in your mother’s womb. 
If you need prayer, please reply and I will pray for you. If you would like to talk about this verse or have questions, I’m always open for your feedback.
May God’s grace, hope, and love overwhelm you today…

Wrestling w/ scripture

Earlier I posted on Tumblr that I was wrestling with some scripture today.  I was looking at 1 John 5, in particular, verses 13 and following. I was reading and it really raised some “red flags” for me when I read about “sins that lead to death” and “sins that do not lead to death.”  It is pretty upfront about the fact that there are sins that just do not lead to death.
Now I don’t know if it is because I grew up in a Pentacostal type church back ground or just bad teaching (even through a few years ago), but I was always told that sin is sin is sin.  EVERYTHING deserves death!!!!!!!!  If you stub your toe and you curse (not using God’s name in vain, just something like “Hell!”), if you died right then, you would burn in Hell.  Or, as I use so often, if you are a 3 year old and you pick up a MoonPie and walk out of the store (yes, you just stole a MoonPie) then you will rot in the flames of fire.  Of course these are lesser sins when compared to murder or rape or the like.  But the standard was set up in a sort of Hell, Fire & Brimstone kind of way.  It was more like I lived life to escape the sulfuric singe, the firey inferno of Hades.  I don’t think that is the kind of fear that Proverbs talks about…
Now, in no way does this go against Romans 6:23 that “the payment of sin is death.”  Even in the Old Testament, the sacrificial laws were in place and for each type of sin required something to die.  It may have been a couple of doves or something as big as a lamb or bigger, but payment was still required.  I guess the leadership that I sat under focused more on righteous living and then the sins that led to death. 
By no means am I saying that sin is okay.  Even the apostle John in 1 John writes in chapter 5 that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”  We should live for God not out of obligation but out of the freedom from the bondage of sin..taking comfort that the work of Christ and the love of God has caused those who believe in Him to be set free from the chains of sin.  When I read that today, it really helped me see a little that it is SO important to seek the Truth of the bible for yourself.  So many passages in the Bible are misconstrude or overused to the point of “well, my bible just opened there by itself, almost like God wanted to tell me something from there.” 
So I wonder how many were taught something that now you find is not very biblical?

What are YOUR thoughts?

mtp