Tag Archives: scripture

Gardening is a lot of work…

Today I was kicking myself for not keeping a closer watch on my garden, and for not taking the time to pull the weeds when they first sprung up and would have been more manageable. There are so many weeds in my garden at the moment I’m afraid they’re going to choke out some of my vegetables. After spending a half hour or so fighting with a hoe and trying (unsuccessfully) to rid my garden of the weeds, I gave up for a while and came in to read…

It was only appropriate, I guess, that I was reading James today. The NASB version of James 1:21 reads:

“Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”

I was reminded of several parables about fertile soil and such, and together with the day’s experience my mind started to wander…

A new Christian is much like a patch of land that has been freshly tilled – when we come to Christ our slate is wiped clean – our soil, as it were, is prepared. If we are faithful, the Word takes root and begins to grow. Reading, prayer and worship can be compared to the the tasks involved with tending a garden, and eventually, if we have been a good caretaker, we begin to bear fruit.

Much like a freshly tilled garden though, sin, like weeds, is bound to spring up, and if we allow it to get a foothold it takes over and chokes out the fruit.

Hebrews 6:7-8 (NASB) says, “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”

My garden got out of hand quickly because I neglected it during a week of storms. Hopefully, with some extra attention over the coming weeks, I’ll be able to salvage most of my crop, but how much easier would it have been if I’d pulled the weeds when they had first taken root?

note to self behind the cut


Filed under Bible Study, The Great Outdoors

Notes on Hebrews

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hebrews yesterday, so much so that I called a friend to talk about it rather than writing the journal entry I had started. I will do here what I have done in the past, and just use this post as a note-to-self on what to look into further later.

(scriptures linked are from the NRSV)

  • Hebrews 5:14:
    It is worth noting that the author assumes the need to train oneself, through practice, to discern good and evil.

  • Hebrews 10:2:
    It is necessary, here, to read the surrounding context… I’m left wondering about the implication of “cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin” when one considers that, while this was not the case with old testament sacrifices, perhaps this is or should be the case with those who are covered by the blood of Christ.

  • Hebrews 10:26-31:
    I’ve done a number of studies on chapter 6, but this is the first time it dawned on me how much harsher this passage is in making a similar argument. This passage makes it clear that those who once were saved, and willingly walk away, will be judged much more harshly than those who were never saved in the first place.

  • Hebrews 10:32-39:
    Most of us, in this society, cannot relate to the early Christians who endured such great persecution. While passages like this can offer great encouragement in times of struggle, we should be careful to remember that we are not in the same place as those who the author was originally addressing, lest our pride cause us to assume we’re in a better place than we are.

  • Hebrews 11:17-18:
    I need to do a specific study on the relation between what God asked of Abraham and God’s sacrifice of His own Son.

  • Hebrews 12:15-17:
    It occurs to me that there is a parallel to be drawn between our own situations and the “birthright” and “single meal” of Esau’s story…

  • Hebrews 13:5:
    This passage leaves no excuse for those who continually seek after riches, believing that their commitment to God somehow entitles them to be worldly wealth.

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Food for Thought

Titus 3:1-11
3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
3:2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone.
3:3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another.
3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
3:5 he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
3:6 This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
3:8 The saying is sure. I desire that you insist on these things, so that those who have come to believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works; these things are excellent and profitable to everyone.
3:9 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
3:10 After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions,
3:11 since you know that such a person is perverted and sinful, being self-condemned.

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I was compelled to read three books today. I started out with 2 Thessalonians and felt like reading on, so I went ahead and read 1 Timothy, after which I just had to read 2 Timothy.

This has left me with an over-abundance of scripture to think about, but I’m anxious to finish reading through so that I can start really digging in. It’s been too long, though, and I really have to read everything through first.

In any case, I have too much swimming in my brain now to concentrate on one particular thing. I did notice a few things during this read-through that are worth mentioning for later scrutiny…

  • Paul, for instance, wrote the second letter to the Thessalonians and signed it with his own hand specifically so that they would be able to identify it as genuine (see 2 Thessalonians 3:17 after reading 2:1-2). 
  • He also made a habit, when writing to Timothy, to share specific names when warning him about false doctrine or people who had fallen away or caused him harm (1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 1:15, 4:10, and 4:14-15). I think I will be using these letters as a jumping-off point for finding a good, complete, Biblical definition for what constitutes gossip, and I think this is worth noting in that study (as Paul surely wasn’t a gossip). 
  • I have read 1 Timothy more times than I can count, and I *always* find something new or fresh or see something in a new light — living Word indeed! 
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-7 reminds me that we all need to be reminded sometimes. 
  • 2 Timothy 1:12 – I learned this song recently, it’s a good one! 
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-9 made a specific impression… I am mentioning it now so that I’ll have a record of the passage and can go back to it later for a more in-depth study.


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Whatever is True…

I’m too tired today to say anything coherent, so I’ll just quote some food for thought…

Philippians 4:4-9 (NRSV):

4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

4:5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

4:8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

4:9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

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