The Gross Family

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Beautiful Word

Every wife enjoys a good compliment from her husband.  My husband compliments me sometimes at the weirdest times. There seems to be no rhyme or reason.  Hair up, hair down, make-up, no make-up, dress, sweatpants... what does he prefer?  He doesn't even seem to know what sparks his compliments... I've asked.  Then, one day, God made a surprising connection for me.

I'll come back to that.

But first, I need to share a burden of my heart over a recurring concern. The overall lack of knowledge in the Church brings an ache to my soul.  Oh but aren't we more knowledgable than ever before?  Only if we are concerned with worldly knowledge.  No, this knowledge that is so lacking is the knowledge of God.  There is certainly nothing new under the sun and even Israel, God's chosen people, had seasons of lacking knowledge of God.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.   -Hosea 4:6

The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who [fn]understand,
Who seek after God. Psalm 14:2

People not knowing God is nothing new.  But today, on Reformation Day(google it if you don't understand the importance of this), it bothers me.  As an American Christian, knowing God through His Word has NEVER been easier.

Dozens of translations of the Bible in the English language. Study bibles and websites galore.  Books upon books written to give insight and commentary on the Bible.  Most of us will settle to know a handful of "life verses" and highlight a few passages their pastor taught from on a Sunday morning. Many of us will never question the lyrics of the latest christian song to see if its words are doctrinally sound or test our pastor's teaching with the Word.

Oh yes, the message of the Gospel is simple!  Faith in Christ alone is what saves.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; Romans 10:9

So do we really need to study the Bible, do we need to know it?

Yes, we do.  His Word is living water that quenches our thirst. It is our bread, our sustenance. To know the Word is to know God Himself.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

To KNOW your God, your Savior, is a treasure worth more than gold.  We may believe the message of the Gospel, but do we know Him?  Do we know His story?  Do we know how great He is?  Do we know the God of yesterday, today and forever?  Do we search to know His character, His promises and His ways?  Do we know His goodness, His sovereignty, His all consuming fire, His never ending love? We can study the Word for a lifetime and still have more to study!

Oh, the depth of the riches [fn]both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! - Romans 11:33

Friend, do you know Him in His Word?  Do you only know Him as Savior?  There is so much more!!  Desire to know the Word, all of it. Hunger for truth, thirst for truth... He will satisfy!  Your faith will grow.  You will be tested as you apply it.  You will be refined as you believe it.

The Beautiful Word.  I am so thankful.  I am so regretful for how often I neglect it.  And how I long for all His children to want to know the Word too.

Yes, the  mysterious timing of my husband's compliments became clear to me that day.  How silly of me to think immediately of my physical appearance!  I began to notice his compliments came after conversations we had about God's Word or what the Lord was teaching me about Himself in my studies.  His compliments were not in response to my physical beauty but rather in response to the Beauty of God's Word within me. It all made sense(especially those days I just rolled out of bed ;)

See the Beauty of the Word can't be hidden.  It can't be concealed.  It is a bright light for all who hear.   It is to be shared and preached to all. It makes even the messenger beautiful!

How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO[fn]BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Romans 10:15

May we be beautiful messengers of the Word.  May we know the God of the whole Word(Genesis- Revelation).  May we study diligently to soundly handle the Word for teaching, reproof, training and correction.

May the Beauty of the Word so richly dwell within that it's light brings BEAUTY to this dark world!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Unpolitical Response to the Debate

This election reminds me of a season David and I walked many years ago.  It was a season where my understanding of God's Word rubbed against my experiences, my world.  A season where I cried out to the LORD to reveal the hearts of men.  A season where I was confused about why the LORD seemed silent and removed.  

Through much inner struggle, He revealed Himself and where He was at work.  He opened my eyes to a greater struggle outside of myself.  He was inviting me to leave MY world and come see HIS.  He was inviting me to see where His heart breaks, where darkness truly reigns and where He delights in bringing light that breaks forth like the dawn.

The United States, our precious country, our homeland, is in trouble.  We cry out for the LORD to expose the hearts of men.  We pray for deliverance and direction.  We fear for our children, for ourselves, and for our future.  We pray for revival and repentance and for healing.  We grieve that our America, our American way of life, could be coming to an end.

Through our struggle and fear, could it be that the LORD is revealing where He is and where He is at work?  Could He be inviting us to fearlessly leave OUR world and to come see HIS?  Could He be inviting us to see where His heart breaks, where darkness truly reigns and where He delights in bringing light that breaks forth like the dawn?

We have an opportunity.  An opportunity to see outside our world and see His.  To see His Kingdom, and reveal the light and hope of its glorious future in the darkness!  We have an opportunity to respond to His invitation, friends...  let's not miss it!

Let your heart be encouraged by what Scripture says about healing, darkness and LIGHT!!

Real Healing: Isaiah 58:1-12

1 "Cry loudly, do not hold backRaise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 "Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God

3 'Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?' Behold, on the day of your fast you findyour desire, And drive hard all your workers

4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high

5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humblehimself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD

6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bandsof the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke

7 "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the houseWhenyou see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh

8"Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily springforth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard

9 "Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say'Here I am.' If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness

10 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desireof the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday

11 "And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a wateredgarden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail

12 "Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Real Darkness & Enemy: Ephesians 6:12
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulersagainst the powersagainst the world forces of this darknessagainst the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Real LIGHT:  John 8:12
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."