Verse 7, and a challenge

Happy April! It’s a stunning day here in Colorado, blue skies, warm temperatures, and snow in the forecast. Love spring in the Rockies!

So it’s time for our 7th verses! Last year at this time my verse was Psalm 139:17-18:

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

My dear friend Linda had chosen these beautiful verses, and they spoke to me at the time as well, but their meaning really made a lasting impression on me later in the year when I found myself on a beach in Florida, vacationing with my family. As I picked up a handful of sand and let it run through my hands, the words ran through my mind, and I was utterly overwhelmed by God’s love for and thoughts about us. I kept a small bottle of sand as a reminder that we are never alone, never without the love and protection of our heavenly Father. So reassuring.

Here’s a new tool to help with memorizing your verses, Scripture Typer! I heard about this a couple of weeks ago from two different sources (thanks, Lynette!), so I finally gave it a try, and I found it to be very fun and helpful. It’s a different way to work on committing verses to memory, by typing them, and in my opinion, every different way you work on them helps get them buried deeper in your heart! Give it a try! Also, you can upload your verses in whatever version you are using, and you can edit out verse references or punctuation if that makes it easier for you to remember and type accurately.

This year, continuing with the Sermon on the Mount, our verses are getting more specific, and more challenging.

Matthew 5:21-24

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

In discussing these verses with some friends who are also memorizing this passage, I am finding that we all seem to have some sort of familial conflict, whether it’s with a sibling, a parent, a child. I don’t think that any of us are exempt from this, and I don’t think it matters what the source of our conflict is, if we are truly trying to not just learn the words of Jesus but put them into practice, we have to do this. We can’t go to church on Sunday and give our money and sing His praises with anger in our hearts toward anyone. And that doesn’t mean stop going to church and stop giving. It means a change of heart, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

I’m not saying it’s easy. But I am challenging you today, on April 1, 2012, if there is someone in your life with whom you are angry or in conflict (even if you think it’s their fault, not yours), make a commitment to pray for that person daily for one month, until May 1, and to attempt to be reconciled with that person. I believe that if you ask the Lord to soften your heart toward them, and you give your anger to Him, He will give you the desire of your heart. You can share the source of your conflict in the comments below or keep it private, just let us know that you will be joining in the challenge if you like. I am doing it, and I’m so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in my heart. Because if you decide to do this, be prepared for that to be where the biggest change occurs.

Love you ladies, thank you so much for being a part of this community!

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12 thoughts on “Verse 7, and a challenge

  1. peggylangille says:

    Last year this time I was working on Ps 27:14 “Wait for the Lord. Be strong, take heart, wait for the Lord.”

    I think I chose it because I am part of the drama ministry at my chuch and we were doing an Easter drama about the women who waited with Jesus. This was one of the verses that Mary says to someone. I liked it and frankly it was easy because believe it or not I think I was still struggling with March 1 verse. 🙂

    I read today – ‘Everyone’s got a story’ and isnt’ that the truth.

    • christypond says:

      Beautiful verse, Peggy, so simple, but so easy to forget! Definitely, everyone’s got a story. Funny how similar they all are in some ways, and how sometimes the best way seems so clear (first go and be reconciled…) but still harder to put into practice.

      Love you!

  2. I’m actually posting on time for a change. No joke!

    Last year this time, i was staring on verses 1 and 2 of Psalm 27. I’m now up to verse 7 of Psalm 91 for this time:

    A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

    Psalm 91:7 NIV 1984

    Glad someone is having sunshine. Although we have some few scattered moments of sun breaks, it has been raining a lot (for WA)! 😉

    love,
    Delores

    • christypond says:

      Hi Delores! Look at you, posting on the first! 🙂 Just glad to have you here any time!!!

      Love these verses from the Psalms. So reassuring!

      We had sun for a couple of weeks, then rain/sleet/hail, then 5 inches of snow, now sun again… just glad for the moisture to help put out the fires!

      Love you!!! And so looking forward to the next SSMTC because I can tell you it is going to be a PARTY getting us all together in Houston!!!

      Love you, Siesta!!!

  3. Tammy Bellinger says:

    I’m so glad you said something on FB. I do have a verse all picked out and working on, just forgot to share! Last year this time I was working on Ephesians 1:13 and 14. And, you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory! I love this verse, it has helped me remember that I am His, marked deeper than any tattoo could ever do! LOL.

    This year, I didn’t know what to work on this time, and opened up my Daniel homework and there it was. Beth asked us to work on Daniel 2:20 -23. For these two weeks, I am hoping to get the first two verses learned – Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His. he changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the discerning.

    In these crazy political times we live in, it is good to remember who is really in charge! God is, and it brings me much comfort.

    Love to you all! Thanks for the encouragement.
    Tammy

    • Tammy Bellinger says:

      I should have read more thoroughly at the top before I posted. I will be praying for someone, a couple of them actually. This has been an interesting week in which the Lord has spoken directly to me, in my heart, through His Word, and through the Daniel study. I have a person in my life who at times loves me or hates me by turns, that never has anything to do with anything I have done or not done. Things had been pretty peaceful lately but it flipped again last weekend. It would be so easy to walk away and have nothing to do with her ever again, but our SS lesson today was out of Luke 6:27 – 36, about love you enemies, bless those who persecute you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, then it also talked about not just loving those who love you. Anyone can do that. We are called to be different. We are called to act like His children. And, sometimes that means getting along with some hard to get along with people and loving them through God’s strength anyway. Thanks for your encouragement!

      • christypond says:

        So sorry to hear about this trial, Tammy, but it is a comfort to know that I am not alone in struggling with a relationship. We are called to be peacemakers, and to be the reconcilers. It’s not always easy, but it is always the right thing to do, and so worth it. The Lord blesses our obedience in ways we can’t imagine.

        Love your verses from Ephesians and Daniel! Isn’t it amazing how God blesses us with exactly the scripture we need right when we need it???

        Love you! Already looking forward to the next SSMTC so we can ALL get together!!!

      • Christy says:

        How is it going with your challenge, Tammy! Excited to share some good news with you!!!

  4. caragab says:

    yes, thank you for the challenge. the Lord has been nudging me to get right with my mom so i’ll be praying. he keeps telling me what to do but i keep making excuses why that is not the best thing. i’m sure i’ll eventually come around, because i usually do, but i’m still ignoring him. you have permission to rebuke me if i’m still acting like a toddler come may 1.

    my verse last year was numbers 6:24-25: the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. such a great blessing, and a practical verse that can be prayed for others, and ourselves.

    • christypond says:

      I remember when you chose this verse and it went on my list for future verses. So beautiful!!! I use it more than just about any other now when closing an email. Thanks for blessing me with it!

      And for the whole Sermon on the Mount thing. I would never have undertaken this on my own, but wow can I see how the Lord is already using it to change my heart and my life!!! Thank you Cara!

      Love you!!!

  5. Linda says:

    OK – I can’t remember my verse from last year at this time – my bad! My verse for this session is:
    For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5: 4 – 5.
    I chose this verse for a number of reasons – 1 – I am still battling this evil world of Big Macs, Whoppers with cheese and doughnuts. I need the reminder that the victory is mine. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I will take care of it. I will be victorious over the evil GS Thin Mints! Yes! I also chose this verse because – 2 – Brent and I have finally been approved to volunteer at the local youth home. We had a few issues with the paperwork and the background check and I was beginning to wonder if maybe this wasn’t God’s plan, but I think it was just the enemy trying to mess things up. So we start this Saturday and I am so excited. I know it will be a challenge. I know there will be more people there NOT receptvie to the Lord than ones that are, but I don’t care. One of the messages i want to get across to the kids there is that with Christ they can have the victory. They can overcome the sins of their parents and the other many obstacles that have been put in their path. So most of my verses will be verses that I can use in ministry to these kids.
    As far as having someone to make amends with – this is so amazing. One of the pastors, in his message last Sunday, gave the congregation this challenge. We will be celebrating communion this Sunday and he receited Matt 5:23 – 24 and asked everyone to think of one person in their life that this might apply to, especially if that someone is a member. We are supposed to pray about that and reach out during the week so that when we come to communion on Easter Sunday, that issue is resolved. I have already been working on that. There are a couple of people at church that I feel might be holding something against me. I am not sure, so I am praying about it and waiting on the Lord. How amazing that you too have given me this challenge. Gee, do you think the Lord is trying to tell me something?!!! I don’t think I will be ready to approach them by this Sunday (although you never know with the Lord!) but I like the idea of praying over if for the entire month and seeing what the Lord does with it. Who knows, maybe it is only my misunderstanding or misinterpretation. I’ll let you know when I find out. Love you.
    Linda

    • christypond says:

      How did I miss this??? Linda I will be praying for you and the people at church!!! So amazing about the pastor giving this to you as well!!! Obviously I don’t think it’s any kind of coincidence that we are all feeling convicted about these relationships at the same time. Our God is an awesome God!!! And I’m so delighted that he gave us each other, this community to love on and support one another!!!

      Absolutely awesome about you and Brent being able to serve the youth in your community who need it so desperately. That is so amazing!!!

      Love you girl!!!

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