Ho ho ho hum.
Bible study was fantastic last night. It wasn’t as long as we’d usually hold it, but the lesson had a huge impact on me that it kept me thinking all the way home.
Don’t we all have trouble prioritizing things? My head is in a jumble right now.
“The moment you accepted Christ, you signed yourself up for God’s army” ~PJon
Yeah. That was a bit of a shocker, but its very true. What does it mean to actually live your life for God? If you truly put Him on top of your list, are you willing to give up the thing the matters to you the most?
We studied Genesis 22—Abraham Tested. Allow me to share with you some of the things we learned.
*God promised Abraham a son. He waited for Isaac for a hundred years. One fateful day, God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. :O
If I were put in Abraham’s situation, I wouldn’t be able to sleep right after that talk with God. You wait for something for a hundred years and God asks you to give it back to him? Something must be up. You go on thinking, WHY? What would God want my son if he gave it to me? We studied Abraham’s character at this point. He didn’t reason with God, nor did he question God’s motives. All he knew was that he had to obey God, even if it meant giving up that one thing that was so precious to him.
*”The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham’s answer?
“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. “
A great answer from a man who was having all these crazy thoughts in his head.
*What if you had to give up that one thing most precious to you?
That question made us all quiet. That was like the clincher of the evening. I raked my mind of things that matter—family, career, self, clothes, music. You’ll know that one thing that is really important to you when you’re having a tough time deciding on whether you’ll give it up or not. Even if you’ll end up giving it up anyway, there’s this painful struggle. Same thing Abraham felt.
So that’s pretty much a summary of what we learned.
Last night, we also touched on the subject of REFINEMENT.
In Amanda Holden’s words “a little lump of coal that is going to turn into a diamond”
For illustration purposes, I’ll tell you a little bit about how diamonds are formed.
Before becoming the shiny stars that they are, diamonds begin as carbon atoms that are the result of the melting of “ancient rocks” in the earth’s mantle. Due to temperature changes in the mantle, the carbon atoms melt and go deeper, and as they get deeper they harden and become new rock.
Other than that, pressure and chemistry are at play, and if those come out right, then the carbon atoms turn into diamond crystals.
However, not all carbon atoms become diamonds. A little change in the temperature, pressure and chemistry will determine whether carbon atoms have what it takes to become diamonds.
Given that a carbon atom turns into a rock and eventually, a diamond, the diamond will have to “travel” from the earth’s mantle to the surface. The journey isn’t that easy because it takes thousands of years before these stars get “discovered”. Now you know why a tiny gemstone is so precious and expensive.
Now, let us compare it with the Christian life.
I’d like to see us as carbon, the blackness of course, is our sinful nature.
God saw how “black” we are, but because of his great love for us, he sent his Son Jesus. In this analogy, Christ is like the temperature that causes the rocks to melt and become a NEW ROCK (2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!).
It doesn’t end there. Just like the carbon atoms going through temperature changes, pressure and chemistry, Christians will go through trials for their faith to be tested and for them to be molded into the image of Christ—the One True Diamond. If we hold on to our faith and keep our eyes on Jesus, then we are assured that we will become tough, precious and multi-faceted diamonds that reflect the love of Christ.
Losing faith is like the other type of carbon atom–the kind that never finds its way to the top because they partially melt or totally dissolve, not being able to withstand the temperature or pressure alterations.
Christians will inevitably go through a lot of trials, not because God gets a kick out of it. He only wants to refine us. He wants us to be like the shining diamond that Christ is. We must remember that Christ went through trials too, though he did not deserve it.
Hebrews 4: 14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Have a good day everybody!