Monday, January 11, 2016

21 Days

Hello bloggy people.

I haven't forgotten about you, I promise. But, in the interest of trying not to bore you to tears, I haven't been blogging about my exciting life. For instance, I feel quite sure you don't care that not one, but TWO of the last 10 days my children have stayed in pajamas all day. Seriously. They took off pajamas only to bathe and put on clean pajamas. That's just how we've been rolling. There's been a new computer system at work that has caused me to audibly growl a few times, but other than that we've just been laying low. And that's just fine with me (see also: December is Trying to Kill Me).

Despite all of that "excitement," I've found the time to start something new. Our church started a 21 day fast yesterday. In addition to fasting from social media (more on that later) and sugar, I'm endeavoring to memorize 21 scriptures in 21 days. I've been using a handy app called "scripture typer" and I'm amazed at how well it works.

Y'all know I'm not a devotional writer, but I thought I might try my hand with blogging about a few verses as I memorize them. I most likely won't be doing it every day, but I want to share the ones that are particularly meaningful to me.

Yesterday was the first day of the fast and my first verse was one I discovered several years ago. Genesis 15:6 says, "And he (Abraham) believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness."

The striking part of the Genesis verse is that Abraham BELIEVED and it was credited to him as righteousness. He believed and by faith he acted, but the verse in Genesis says that he was credited with righteousness BEFORE he acted. God had promised to give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and Abraham believed despite the fact he had no heirs. He believed despite being old and married to a barren wife. And he was called righteous.

The next chapter of Genesis is where I really identify with Abraham, however. Because he believed, and God called him righteous, but then he decided God didn't have a clue what He was talking about. So since he was married to a barren wife and God somehow wanted him to have a slew of descendants, he took it upon himself to take another woman and have a baby with her. You know, because his plan was better than God's plan.

And here's the part of the story that gets me the most. After that poor decision, he forfeited all that righteousness, right? I mean surely, after God had commended him for his faith and then he went and tried to take matters into his own hands, God would find someone else to make a covenant with. But that's where grace kicks in. For years I didn't seen grace in the Old Testament, but there it is. In Chapter 17 of Genesis God comes back to Abraham and makes a new covenant with him. And he promises AGAIN to make him the "father of a multitude of nations." And, just so Abraham doesn't get confused again, he gives him the details this time. "Abraham, you know that old, barren wife of yours? Sarai? Yeah, SHE will give birth to a son. His name will be Isaac and he is the one through whom I will fulfill this covenant."

Of course, you know the rest of the story. Abraham fulfilled his side of the bargain and God did just what he promised. But righteousness? It was credited to him BEFORE any of the rest of that.

So, during this 21 days, I am seeking to believe more. As Pastor Nick said yesterday, this fast may not lead to getting specific prayers answered the way I want, but it will definitely lead to getting more of God. And that is the ultimate goal.

As a final aside, you may have clicked here from Facebook, but I won't see any of the comments you leave if you leave them there. I am planning to share the blog there (since that's where most of you find me), but I won't be going on there to read anything. I welcome any comments here, of course, but don't feel obligated. I hope this blog encourages you, but, more importantly, these are truths I need to write as a way of rehearsing them to myself.

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