Quite a few years ago, I spent two years studying the book of Romans precept upon precept. It was amazingly fruit bearing.
During that study, I created a visual representation to help me remember four key Biblical terms: Redemption, Propitiation, Justification and Imputation. These terms are words used often in scripture, but not used often in our everyday lives.
I pray it would be a blessing to you.
You are welcome to download them by right clicking on the image below. You’re also welcome to share, but please link back.
Have you ever seen my favorite TV couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, in their most excellent show, “Fixer Upper?”
This amazingly talented couple help their clients select a home in need of help. Then, the Gaines complete an incredible rehab on these “needy” houses. The show culminates on the last day with a big “reveal” to their clients of their new, improved house.
The highlight of the show is the moment this giant, billboard-sized poster of the “before” image of the house is opened up to reveal the “new and improved” exterior of the home as the client stands in awe and tears of amazement.
As I was working on my previous blog post “Hidden in Plain Sight,” I was prompted to do a little word study into this word, “REVEAL.”
I confess, I am a bit of a “word junkie.” I love to study where words came from, their roots. So when I see a word with a prefix like “re-,” I sometimes get this sneaky desire to see where that word came from, especially when the word isn’t obvious. What is a “veal” anyway? Surely not a baby calf!
It turns out that “-veal” actually comes from VEIL. Like a bride removing her veil, revealing her face to her excited groom, to reveal comes from the French and Latin for unveil, to remove the VEIL.
How cool is that?
Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes, for removing the veil that prevented me from seeing you. Lord, help me to be waiting and watching for the day Jesus is REVEALED, the day when I will see Him face to face.
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV
You know those “Hidden Pictures” puzzles that Highlight magazine is famous for? Those pictures where common objects are “hidden” in plain sight, but you can’t see them and you have to search the picture for them.
Well, I’ve noticed that life can be a lot like that. I’ve noticed that my life is filled with these seemingly obvious sins that I am absolutely oblivious to. Sins that I am totally unaware of, but to someone standing next to me, they appear glaringly obvious.
The other day (5 years ago now!) I was recording a couple little videos of my oldest daughter singing in church. (Yes, I know. Videotaping during church. I know. Sorry. That’s not the point here. I don’t need anyone to point that one out now. Hang with me here.) Anyway when I played the videos back, in 3 of the 4 recordings can you guess what really stands out? Me. My voice. And it’s not pretty, friends. Not pretty.
And there it was. There are dozens of things that I am doing every single day that I am unable to see. Why? Because they have not yet been revealed to me. That ugly tone of voice. That bitterness. That pride.
Friends, do you know how much I have GROWN in the last 26 years I have been a follower of Jesus Christ? How MUCH I have changed? How MANY blind spots have been revealed to me in the past two decades?
And yet, I suddenly realized how many blind spots are still there. And, once again, God humbled me. And once again, I heard my Savior’s loving voice, gently urging me, “Kim, you have so far yet to go.”
And I was encouraged to give more grace, to have more patience and to be that much quicker to forgive a wrong, because the Lord daily has grace for me and patience with me. He has forgiven me soo much.
Thank you, Father, for not revealing the depth of my wickedness all at once, but rather moment by moment opening my eyes to the next thing, day by day conforming me more and more to the image of Your Son.
How is God opening your eyes to those unseen sins today? Pray for Him to show them to you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)
This post is still true today. God is still faithfully, gently opening my eyes!
Some of you don’t know what it’s like to grow up without a bunch of neighbor kids to play with.
Some of you don’t remember having days on end without a mom or dad at home telling you what to do or entertaining you.
Considering all those parents who suddenly find themselves working from home and are looking for ways to keep their kids busy without devices and without friends and without your constant input, I thought these ideas might help you.
So … here’s 47 ways I occupied my time growing up as a latchkey kid in an urban area without electronic devices. Looking at this list makes me extra thankful for my sister. Even though we fought, I’m so thankful I had her.
Read books – lots of books – to my stuffed animals, to myself, outside, inside, in the attic, in the basement, in my bedroom, in the living room, picture books, chapter books, old books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, short, long … lots and lots of books.
Built forts with chairs and sheets
Made zoos with stuffed animals
Swung on our swing set
Made kites out of all kinds of stuff
Made paper airplanes
Made paper snowflakes
Made signs and cards for my mom and dad
Played tennis at the high school a few blocks away
Played Connect Four
Played Guess Who
Played Pay Day
Played with an old doll house
Played with my cat
Looked at old photo albums
Made a newspaper to sell to my neighbors for 20 cents each
Used an encyclopedia to write articles about animals I liked
Made up jokes and wrote them down
Recorded nonsense of all kinds on a tape recorder
Drew pictures with pencil
Drew pictures with chalk
Painted with watercolors
Colored coloring books
Put together puzzles
Made stuff with wood scraps, a hammer, some nails and glue, and sometimes even my dad’s drill press and handsaw
Made-up crazy recipes in the kitchen
Made real recipes in the kitchen
Napped all over the house – on floors, in closets, behind doors, on couches – but rarely in my bed
Fought with my sister
Made up with my sister
Blasted music and sang along, while acting out the lyrics, with my sister
Took care of whatever extra pets I had at the moment – hermit crabs, fish, turtles, frogs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, or stray kittens
Took a walk around my neighborhood
Rolled down the hill next door
Played in the sprinkler in the summer or in the snow in the winter
Day dreamed on my front porch
As we have this time on pause, let’s give our kids some time to return to the simpler things, things that don’t have to be plugged in, things you don’t have to have a crowd to do, things that use your creativity and (dare I say) things that invite you to be a little “bored.” Being bored isn’t always bad.
In reading Luke 23, the account of the crucifixion of Jesus, I see two reactions: pride or humility.
Pilate finds no guilt in Jesus, yet sentences Him to death to appease demands of the crowd. Pride.
Herod treats Jesus with contempt and mockery, dressing Him in splendid clothing, sending Him back to Pilate. Pride.
Jesus cries out to His Father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Humility.
The soldiers mocked Jesus, offering him sour wine, saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Pride.
One of the criminals crucified with Jesus, mocks him, saying “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Pride.
The other criminal recognizes his own guilt and Jesus’s righteousness and asks for Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. Humility.
A Roman centurion praises God saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” Humility.
The crowds return to their homes beating their breasts in grief over what they’ve just witnessed. Humility.
Which type of person are you? Be honest with yourself.
Are you seeking the truth with humility or pride? Do you want to know the truth, no matter what it costs?
We can either humble ourselves and seek God’s face, asking for His grace and forgiveness, or we can harden our hearts in pride, scoffing and mocking at the message of the gospel.
I have been both.
I will be forever thankful for the grace of God that forgives even the blasphemous who turn to Him in faith.
God is giving the people of the world time right now to consider their own mortality. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Be thankful that God has given us this opportunity to wake up, so that we can be born again TODAY to begin our new lives with Him TODAY.
If you want to make this choice, let today be the day. I would love to read through the Bible with you or talk about it more.
If you want to surrender your life to Christ, ask Him. He will not turn you away. And then find someone to help you in your new life with Christ. I’d love to walk with you on your faith-journey.
God is real, friends. He wants you to know Him and trust Him.
Are your kids wasters? Mine are, and in this time of conserving paper products and groceries and cleaning supplies, I am noticing their wastefulness even more!
Quit using so much barbecue sauce.
Did you need that many paper towels?
Don’t waste that cleaning spray!
Today, when I was talking to my kids about being good stewards of the things that God has given us by not wasting them, I was reminded of how important it is to be good stewards of the other precious gifts that God has given to us: our time, our talents, and our testimonies.
Which is worse: wasting barbecue sauce or wasting your life?
Which is worse: wasting paper towels or wasting your spiritual gifts and God-given abilities?
Which is worse: wasting Windex or wasting the life-changing message of the gospel?
How can you make the best use of your time, talents, and treasure today?
But, just know that God never wastes a thing. He always has purpose for everything He does. You can trust Him.
I started memorizing scripture with my kids when they were toddlers. I was amazed at how much my children could memorize when they were barely speaking in sentences!
My kids are all creative – some so more than others – but I’ve encouraged all of them to draw at some level. So, one common way we worked on memorizing a scripture verse was to illustrate it with pictures.
Here’s what Proverbs 12:1 looks like from my wide range of ages — many years ago. I’d love to see your kids project!
A few thoughts for our world while we’re quarantined!
Our Heavenly Father is so good. Sometimes He takes away those things that we’ve made idols. We may not be making idols with our hands, but we’re making them with our hearts. God is good and He is on His throne!
Today, April 4th, 2020, my oldest daughter, My Sunshine Girl, had planned to be married. God had other plans. She and her Sunshine Guy got married a couple weeks early and I couldn’t be happier for them.
But … I tell you what, I miss her like crazy. “Social distancing” is nothing compared to “daughter distancing!”
Emily and I grew up together. When she was born, I was a baby Christian. I didn’t know Christian nursery songs, so I sang, “You are my Sunshine,” to her night after night as I rocked her to sleep. She has brought light and sunshine into my life like no other.
And now that she’s living in another state in the midst of COVID-19 lock-down, I feel like a part of me is missing (and it is), but that little girl was never meant to be the source of my joy or the light of my life. Jesus was.
Look at these references to light in the Psalms:
For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. (Psa 18:28 ESV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psa 27:1 ESV)
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (Psa 36:9 ESV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psa 119:105 ESV)
In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jhn 8:12 ESV) In Heaven, there will be “no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Rev 21:23 ESV)
Would you join me in praying right now?
Father, Help me to be grateful for the good gifts that You have given to me. I pray that I would be a spotlight, pointing people’s attention to You and not to me. I pray that my little light would shine like a city on a hill with nothing hindering it. I pray that you would use each of us as candles shining in a dark world that people would see something different in us, that we would live daily as children of light. I pray your blessings on our children, that they would shine for your glory and that we as parents would not make idols of these precious gifts, but that they would be straight arrows for Your kingdom rather than our own. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.