Thoughts for the Week

Archive for August, 2015

Listen, Apply, Speak, Do.

I was never a fan of studying.

In college I had to create study guides in order for the lessons to sink in. Simply reading through the text once usually did not help the information stick.

When it comes to my personal Bible studies, I’ve found that the same situation applies. When I read through a verse or chapter just once, the meaning doesn’t always become obvious.

However, I found a type of study guide in Proverbs 22:17-19 (NIV – emphasis added):

Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;
    apply your heart to what I teach,
for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
    and have all of them ready on your lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.

There are four principles that can be used when studying scripture: Listen to the words being said, apply them to daily life, speak about them with others, and finally, practice what is being taught.

I encourage you to write down these four simple study tips on a bookmark, sticky note, or something similar and keep them nearby the next time you’re in the Word.

Pick a lesson, apply these tips to it, and see how your day goes when you listen to, apply, speak, and do God’s Word.

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

A Different Kind of Treasure

Some of the best times I’ve ever had were with particular kinds of people and families.

This group wasn’t always rich, wasn’t always popular, and they certainly weren’t perfect. But there was one feature about them that always made being with them a joy. They always kept God at the center of their lives and families.

I believe that’s what the Book of Proverbs is hinting at here in chapter fifteen: “The house of the righteousness contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings trouble” (v.6, NIV).

When one spends a lot of time with families like these, he or she will find the kind of treasure Proverbs talks about. These families model God’s love through loving their husbands, wives, children, and neighbors.

It becomes a breath of fresh air to someone who may need the fellowship of those who willingly love and welcome anyone who walks through their doors.

This week, take time to cultivate your family’s love for each other, and see who could use some encouragement and share in the treasure of God’s love of them through you.

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Stained Glass

Last week my family got to see a museum that housed various stained glass windows. Walking through the darkened corridor and seeing the brilliantly lit windows was a treat.

One of the larger windows was not lit up when when first approached it, but then the light slowly started to shine through and the transformation was dramatic. When the window had no light going through, it looked chalky white and pale. While the outlines of the pictures were visible and somewhat pretty, the lack of color made for a stark, blank window.

But when the light shone through, the vivid colors were breathtaking and any beauty the lightless window had before had been increased tenfold. The window-maker’s effort and purpose were clear.

God made us in similarly. It says in Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (NIV).

On our own, we have little to show for. But once we let God shine through our lives, it can become apparent to others who God is and they can better understand His purpose.

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

When Fear is Good

What is something you fear?

To this day, I cannot handle spiders in any way, shape, or form. This is why I married a brave man who can kill spiders that get within 50 yards of our apartment.

According to the Bible, we are supposed to fear God when we are getting to know him. The very beginning of Proverbs says “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Prov. 1:7 NIV).

A previous professor of mine spelled it out this way. Whenever he was working on home projects that involved electricity, he always prepared himself to understand exactly how the device worked and what was the best way to fix it. The reason being is that he was well aware of this power that could hurt or kill him with one wrong move. He respected the electricity, he acknowledged it, and he feared it.

Our understanding of God needs to begin this way as well. Not until we start to understand the magnitude and power that God has, will we fear him, and ultimately respect him as Lord of our lives.

Copyright by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

Soul Satisfaction

One of my favorite things is that feeling one gets after eating a great meal. Not junk food, I’m talking about really good food that leaves one full, happy, and gives energy later.

I think that’s what David was indicating in Psalm 103:5 “[The LORD] satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (NIV).

Some of the most meaningful and satisfying moments in my life were after I had spent quality time with the Holy Spirit whether I was in the Word, talking with God, or having quality fellowship with other believers.

I’m coming to understand that some things l do can be good, but like junk food, should be enjoyed sparingly. I love a good book while munching on Cheerios, watching Netflix, and general “me time.” But nothing compares to that contented feeling one receives after experiencing the Holy Spirit.

This week, instead of focusing on how to find more “me time” try using that time to pray for a friend, slow down and tell God about your day, or get out of your house to serve a neighbor. You’ll find at the end of the day your desires will be fulfilled with these good things, and not just soul junk food: soul satisfaction.

Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

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