Sunday, May 1, 2011

My A-B-Cs

The alphabet is one of the first things we learn as a young child.  When I browse the children’s section of a bookstore or a library, alphabet books abound on a variety of subjects. Our kids memorized their first verses of scripture following the letters of the alphabet.

In the last month I’ve visited all three of our GRANDchildren.  Judah lives in SC and Jack and Ashlyn are in Kansas.  They are all pre-schoolers.  Perhaps that is why the alphabet is on my mind.  I sang it more than once in the last few weeks.

So creating an alphabet that highlighted some of my most major spiritual lessons was easy.  In some cases it was hard to choose one word.  Here’s what I settled on.

A ~ aroma ~ What a privilege that God allows us to be the fragrance of Him to our world.  II Corinthians 2:14  And what an awesome responsibility that is. 
B ~ brown paper packages ~ The best thing about brown paper packages is what is inside.  The Holy Spirit lives inside of us who believe.  It is His aroma that is evident to my world.
C ~ consecrated ~ I love that God consecrated me BEFORE I was born.  An amazing thought!  Jeremiah 1:5
D ~ desires ~ God both gives and fulfills the desires of our hearts.  I’m learning to pray about my desires and asking God to define and refine them.
E ~ echoes ~ The name of this blog, Echoes of Grace, comes from I Thessalonians 1 in The Message translation, “… our life is echoing the master’s words …”
F ~ fruit ~ “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me …”  Philippians 1:22  Fruit-bearing is one of my desires.
G ~ grace ~ This is what the Christian life is all about!
H ~ holy ~ An amazing thought that God implants His holiness in me!
I ~ identity ~ My primary identity is my relationship to God.  I am His child.  John 1:12.  Although I didn’t realize its significance 45 years ago when I first memorized this verse, it has become important to me.   More thoughts with “J”.
J  ~ John 1:12 ~ “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the  power to become children of God”.  During my college years, this was the first verse I memorized after realizing that being a Christian spoke of my relationship with God, not just my religion.  My parents took me and my sisters to church as we were growing up.  Church had always been part of my culture. I can’t remember a time when I did not believe in God.  But it was never a personal relationship.  So receiving Jesus was the next step for me.  Receiving is still an important part of my Christian walk.  As I read my Bible, I’m always thinking about how I can receive what I’m hearing from God.  How do these words relate to where I am today.                    
K ~ known ~  “Jesus knows me this I love”.  This saying hangs in our bedroom under a
grouping of family pictures.  I love the truth it communicates.
L ~ loved ~ “Jesus loves me this I know”.  And He loves me a LOT!  I John 3:1 is translated in The Message to say, What marvelous love the Father has extended  to us!  Just look at it – we’re called children of God!  Another version translates “extended” as “lavished”.  WOW!
M ~ meditation ~  I have found this discipline so life-giving for me.  Psalm 1:1 and 2 is a favorite, “Blessed is the (wo)man… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law (s)he meditates day and night.”
N ~ “naked and not ashamed” ~  This phrase from Genesis 2:25 describes my heart for this blog.  I desire to share vulnerably with my readers from what God has done in my life.  If it is indeed God’s work, then I cannot be ashamed!
O ~ omniscient ~ I need to trust that!  God is all-knowing.  For me this is a basic truth that undergirds all of life and gives a bit of perspective in hard things.
P ~  partnering ~ What a gift to me to partner with you as we walk this Christian life together. 
Q ~ questions ~ Questions have been part of who I am for many years.  They have been an important part of my time in the word as well.  I often try to put myself in the place of one of the Bible characters and ask how I would feel if that was me.
R ~ reflection ~ I imagine you have noticed the upside down mountain picture on the home page of my blog.  It is a reflection in a lake of the Maroon Bells; one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado.  A reflection like an echo does not have a life of its own.  It is like a picture of the real thing.  That’s my heart.  I want to be a picture of Jesus to my world.  My favorite scripture on being a reflection is II Corinthians 3:18.  There are two big encouragements for me in that verse.  The first is, we are a reflection when our faces are un-veiled.  When I’m hiding behind a mask, there is no reflection.  The second encouraging truth is when I reflect God, I am also being changed into His image. Thank You, God.
S ~ stewardship ~ Colossians 1:25 speaks of this concept.  Any ministry that God allows me to have is a stewardship from Him to me for others for the purpose of making the “Word of God fully known”.  This is what I pray for my writing.
T ~ trust ~ a little word with BIG implications!  Trust is the verb form for the word, faith.  Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith (trust) it is impossible to please him …”  One of my almost daily prayers is, God, what would it look like to trust You today?
U ~ unadorned clay pot ~ In the Message translation, II Corinthians 4:7 says, “We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.”  I love that!  My ordinary everyday life is a vessel for God to use. 
V ~ value ~ Philippians 3:8 – “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth (value) of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord …”
W ~ workmanship ~ In Ephesians 2:10, this is the Greek word, poema.  It describes us who are believers.  We are God’s poem, His work of art.
X ~ eXperience grace ~ One of my prayers for myself and others is that we would understand and experience grace so the Gospel can grow and bear fruit in our  lives.  Colossians 1:6 ~ my paraphrase.
Y ~ Your (my) heart ~ Proverbs 4:23 is translated in NIV, “ABOVE ALL ELSE, guard your heart as it is the wellspring of life”.  This is a BIG challenge for me.  In order to do this, I must know my heart ~ the heart God gave me.
Z ~ Zephaniah 3:17 ~ “The Lord your God is in your midst,
                                      A mighty one who will save;
                                      He will rejoice over you with gladness;
                                      He will quiet you with His love;
                                      He will exult over you with loud sing

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Sue, what a beautiful way to express your testimony of how Jesus loves you!! (Especially for those of us who love words!) Thank you for sharing this--it's a fun but challenging blessing to read through it, and I want to meditate on these truths and let them take root in my heart. I LOVE this post!