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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not to us, but to Your Name be glory

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to Your Name give glory,
for the sake of Your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
(Psalm 115:1)

…and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.
(Exodus 14:4b)

“Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. . . The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Ex. 14:13a, 14)

Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses. (Ex. 14:31)

Then you will know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 36:11b)
Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name. . . (Ezekiel 36:22b-23a)

And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD. (Ezekiel 37:14)

And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. (2 Peter 2:3a)

Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones. (2 Peter 2:9-10)

When I have my morning coffee with the Lord, I study my Bible Study Fellowship homework and also read Scriptures following the Victory Bible Reading Plan. I love the blend of a Psalm or Proverb, an Old Testament selection, and a New Testament selection that this reading plan gives. (In one year with this plan you read Psalms and Proverbs each twice, the Old Testament chronologically—a huge blessing, the Gospels twice, and the New Testament.)

The Scriptures above were all in my Bible reading this morning. What a blessing for me to be reminded that all the earthly struggles that we experience as individuals and as nations boil down to this: That all will know that He is the LORD.

Not to us, but to Your Name give glory!


Sharon said...

I've just been reading my BSF notes from Matthew 25 and they were very very encouraging because I really struggled with the homework questions on my own and then missed half the small group discussion because Joshua was busy throwing up in his children's class. (He did get better so I was able to attend the lecture, rather than have to take everyone home.)

One of the things I have appreciated so much about the BSF study notes is that they point out many connections between passages, and show how what one passage says helps you to understand another passage more fully (I think Jeff's lecturers call this knowing/finding the "hermeneutic key"). This has been especially helpful for me with many of Jesus' parables.

I'm glad you are getting so much out of your BSF studies. Do you just read the Victory reading but not really study them in a focussed way? Or do you put as much thought into each of them as you would your BSF questions (which do take more thought and background reading some days than others, admittedly)?

This morning I spent half an hour in prayer (which is a wonderful improvement for me - I'm really benefiting from this roll out of bed when the alarm goes and hit the floor on my knees thing) and then more than half an hour reading my notes and checking references, writing notes etc... and I still didn't get through the notes, either! It was a wonderful time with the LORD, but I wonder how you manage all this? I had hoped at the beginning of the year to keep up with my Shorter Catechism reading but I couldn't even manage that with all the BSF stuff. So how much time do you spend - an hour or so?

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

Your morning half hour in prayer sounds like a good habit. I've found that I have to shower and dress first or I just nod off to sleep again. So I've settled on a slightly different routine.

I've always been passionate about Bible study and try to always be in some sort of organized study, either BSF or an alternative. However, I found that while I was getting all my study-homework done for class I didn't have a routine of daily Bible devotional time. I especially realized this when BSF breaks hit and I passed the whole break without really getting into the Word.

With God's help (at the time Toby was a baby and still up in the night every night) I started rising when Mr. Edwards left for work at 6 a.m. and after a quick shower I would work on my BSF. Most of the time I found that I finished the questions and still had time. On those days I added Bible reading following the Victory plan, which a sweet godly woman gave to me several years before. Soon, I was relying on this morning time with the Lord to get through the day. My prayer journaling just flowed out of that. Initially I journaled prayers out of obedience, knowing that I needed to be disciplined about praise, confession, requests, etc., but before long I was pouring out my heart to the Lord and truly interacting with Him and responding to the Word that I read.

How do I manage? Certainly on the first day of the BSF week, the notes usually take all my time and even my prayer time gets cut short. I don't sweat it if I don't read the Victory readings, just pick up the next day and read two days if there's time, or skip it if not. In the last two weeks, Mr. Edwards' hours were changed and now he leaves at 4:30 a.m., so I'm getting up about 4:45 or 5, which was hard, but it makes my time with the Lord a little longer.

The Victory Bible Reading Plan amounts to one Psalm/Proverb, 2-3 OT chapters, and 1 NT chapter. That can be time consuming and for some people it is just too much reading. I've found that it has been surprisingly valuable to keep abreast of the full Word of God, even from 30,000 feet as it were, by getting through it once a year (and some of it twice).

I love doctrinal books and Christian thought books, but usually don't warm up too much to what is marketed as "devotionals." At first, I didn't think I would get much out of Scripture just reading it (without deeper study), but now it seems quite natural. It is worshipful, incredibly convicting, and I'm getting to know God so much better to have that big picture of His complete special revelation of Scripture.

Best of all, my morning coffee with the Lord is such a habit that I keep it up most of the time even on Mr. Edwards' days off and over holiday weeks. At last it is as much a part of my routine as anything I do.

Sometimes an hour goes by, sometimes only thirty minutes, sometimes I rush because I'm late or we have an early appointment, etc. But, God is good and gracious and His mercies are new every morning!

How's that for a long answer? I know that my routine doesn't work for everyone, but I share it in the hope that others can think through their own habits and find a workable way to make time with our LORD a routine.

One bonus: my children wake up and find me in the Word. Sometimes Toby (he's three in January) climbs up on the sofa next to me with his Bible so he can do it too.


Sharon said...

Thanks so much for your reply Amy, it has greatly encouraged me. I know what you mean about "devotional books" - Jeff and I tried reading through one as new Christians a little while after our marriage and it frustrated the heck out of me because it was so patchy and insufficient.

I listen to the Bible on CD a fair bit, so perhaps this has the same effect, although I could be a lot more consistent about it.

I know what you mean about the problems of being slack during BSF holidays. During all the holidays this year I've either been going back and doing days (even a week here or there) which I missed first time around because we were all to sick or away or whatever, and writing an essay or two for night classes.

I am looking forward to the Christmas holidays. I think I might do a concentrated study on proverbs and the "Christian Life" sections of Paul's letters. I'm reading a parenting book at the moment which is encouraging me to rely strongly upon the bible's teaching for direction to my children (re behaviour) and I'm aware that I just don't know as much about this as I should. But that's not going to help me in surveying the Bible! I guess I get that when I read through the "highlights" with the kids' Circle Time.

~ Sharon

PS I hope your talk at church on this went well.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Yes, the talk went very well. I was quite nervous, but the experience led me to rely on Jesus in a way that I don't usually (sadly). He was with me and I felt confident in that.

I would love to hear (or read!) your testimony. Do you already have it on a blog post? How did you and Jeff come to Christ?

I prayed for you two this morning, that God would direct your paths in the job search.

Hopefully all my posts regarding [American] politics don't make you weary of my blog. I find myself now saying to my mom, "My friend Sharon, in Perth, posted that..." I always look forward to your posts and comments.


Sharon said...

Yeah, Jeff's getting to the stage that when he hears me talking about "what Amy said" he doesn't have to ask who you are, he already knows! And thanks so much for your prayers. Things are already becoming a lot clearer for us and I an very conscious that it has a lot to do with all the time I and others are spending praying about our situation.

I think I will do a post sharing our testimony. I don't think I've done it before although I am sure snippets are here and there. I just need to be careful because my mum reads my blog and I haven't wanted to upset her with some of the sadder realities of my growing up which she doesn't know about. But I've been talking to her about some of these things lately in a more honest way anyway, so there's probably nothing there that would come as a complete shock to her: at least, nothing I'm gonna put in a public web post, anyway! So thanks for your suggestion. It might take me a little while, but I'll get onto it.

And don't worry too much about the American politics posts, if I was an American I'd be pretty worried about things as well. Everyone needs to write about what is on their heart. Many things you have included have made me stop and think about our political system, which is very different.

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

Re: "sadder realities of my growing up which she doesn't know about"

In writing the memoir that I've mentioned, Renee (whose story it is), has struggled with this very thing. I'm sure her experiences are quite different from yours, but it comes down to the sorts of things that you'd rather not mention to your mother, knowing it will pain her.

Sharon said...


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