Have you been outside? It's like fabulously lovely. If there weren't mosquitoes in the shade I'd have spent the whole day outside. There are around a hundred butterflies in my mom's garden right now. It nearly took my breath away.
I just got off the phone with my friend Lydia. I miss her. She's in California and we only get to talk once a week. Still, it's good to talk to her at all. She is really going for the Lord, you know? She always settles my spirit into a good place. Well, nearly always. And she did today. It is such a blessing to have friends like that in your life, and I have a few.
I opened the Bible and found this, and now am pondering it:
"And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:18-24
As is my habit, I share it with you. The next part is more sobering:
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. " Hebrews 10:25-31
I struggle with sin, and this convicts me. Should I be fearfully expecting judgment and raging fire? I turn to the last part:
"Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay.
But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved." Hebrews 10:32-39
And I realize that this is a call to perseverance, endurance, and to not 'shrink back'. And I soberly, humbled, gird my loins and say 'I will persist, O Lord, with your help.' Progress is the law of the kingdom, and I pray I am making some.
I am definitely at war with the powers of darkness. I know the war is won, and I just can't let this battle be lost! And it will be, if I fight it. Instead, I have to let Jesus fight it, in me. So complicated. So simple. Sighs.
PS. So I publish this, and as I'm glancing at the finished product I notice this little gem on the side of my blog under 'Scripture.' I think, wow, yes, that totally goes, and so I had to come back and add a post script.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7