*** Just a note. This was going to be a short little thing about how I am studying Romans… but it ended up being focused on vanity! Funny how God’s word can shift you from one place to another!! So… I’ll start with a little cartoon…just for giggles…
Vanity has been around a long time…haha…
You’ll see how this ties in later on. And please don’t think I am mocking God’s word. I truly just find it easier to deal with personal struggles with humor. If we admit we are stupid humans and try to find that joy even in our mistakes… it can make life a lot nicer. God forgives us and we CAN move past our iniquities!!! I laugh at myself all the time because as humans we can do some really dumb stuff!!! Heck… if you can’t laugh at yourself… how can you laugh at anyone else?? I have NO idea if that makes any sense… but it sounds good. (I think) haha
I’ve wanted to do a good study of Romans for a while now. I know that Michael Pearl has a study he did and I had forgotten to order it the last time I placed an order from No Greater Joy. BUT I went to the site yesterday and they offer free downloads to listen to the whole study!! I’m excited!!
This is the link if you want to check it out:
I am going to read the first section without listening to the study and THEN I’m going to sit down at the computer and go through it! I started yesterday and read Romans 1-6! You know how you can read a ton of scripture and something will just pop out at you?? Yesterday it was Romans 5: 19:
"For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
Of course that is speaking of Adam compared to Jesus… but it shows how important it is for us to be a good witness through the way we live and obey our Lord! We all love to judge others… but how sinful is that??? I guess it’s just SO much easier to look at others and find fault with them so we don’t have to look at ourselves.
Now I know that in the case of Christians in open sin… that kind of judgement is different. But in our daily lives it is just so important for us to live righteously and let others see that instead of going around trying to take that speck out of everyone else eye!
Most people I have known in my life have a control issue; me being the biggest offender!!! If we are all real with ourselves we could admit that on loads of occasions we’ve thought "if only they could be like MEEEEEE, their lives would be so great!" haha With my closest friends, I joke and say stuff like "well… I’ll be praying that someday you’ll be as perfect as me". (gag gag)
Haha… the truth… God has humbled me BIG TIME over the years. I love being humble. Pride is not pretty. Like Romans also says in 3:10 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one" and in 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." My children have had to memorize these verses through their Awana club. What awesome verses to hide in your heart!!!
I am always talking to my kids about bragging. What a sin boasting is!!
haha I love that cartoon!!! But children are foolish and have that same desire that we do as sinners… to be better than others!! "haha I got a lollipop when I got my haircut and you didn’t!!!" or making sure to HAVE to share the fact that "hey, while you were napping, Daddy took me out for an ice cream!!" Funny… I’ve never heard my kids brag about things like "ya know, while you were upstairs… Daddy spanked me. haha… you didn’t get a spanking… nanny nanny boo boo". Just shows their sin nature!!
In my study notes of my KJV "Dake’s Annotated" bible… it says that there are 10 things men boast about:
Bargains, Security, Religion, Strength, Conquest, Gifts, Riches, Sins, Plans, & Power. UGH… yuck yuck yuck!! Then it goes on to say that the only ONE thing that we CAN boast about is the Lord!!
2 Cor. 10: 17 & 18 says "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth HIMSELF approved is approved, but whom the LORD commendeth."
I find it really hard when friends we know hold their value in the world. I don’t want to judge them… moreso I want so much to tell them how much they are missing worrying about what everyone else thinks! Some want to live like the Jone’s or to live in a certain area because of its social status. Some just worry too much about what others say about how they decided to raise their kids; so much that they change their ways to be more like someone else despite their inward desire to be different. Some have to do a million outside activities just to be "with the in crowd" as far as parenting goes. Once you grow past this sinful way of living… it is SO hard to see your brothers and sisters in Christ having that type of thing as a desire. If they were honest with themselves, they would admit that it was, in many if not all ways, for personal gain. To be approved by the world is such vanity.
Ecclesiastes speaks so much on this subject. The book starts out by saying "The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vainty of vanities; all is vanity." I’ve talked about this before in another post a while back. Solomon speaks of all that he gained in life… but all was vanity. In 1:13 he says "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."
I love that… "vexation of spirit". Translated from it’s Hebrew origin… it means the same as "striving after the wind".
I say that all the time to myself!!! "Am I striving after the wind? Is this as important as I am making it???"
Ok… I am going to stop for a minute and brag. haha (I AM going to make a point with this) I have always taken pride in the birthday cakes I make my children. I love to get creative and make my cakes from scratch. Of course… I take lots of "show off" pictures!! haha My daughter just turned 3 and we had her party on Sunday (which I will post pix of in a later post) and I made her a castle cake. Here it is…
Cute, right? Well… it is the tallest darn cake I have ever made and it was pretty botched up!! I also bought the cake mixes, so it is NOT from scratch. And the cake kept almost falling over so I had to cram leftover cake under it. If I turned it around you’d see a bunch of it isn’t even frosted. (of course I took the pictures at JUST the right angle!!) And my cake pans must be smaller than the ones they used from the website (that I stole the idea from haha)… because my cones kept looking like they were going to fall off. THIS is what it should have looked like: haha (ya…right!!! In a picture perfect world, maybe~~ plus I was too lazy to make little flags. What castle has big flowers on it?)
So anway… while I was frosting & decorating it, my brother and his family got here. I was talking to my brother about how the cake was all botched up and laughed and said "all is vanity, right? In a few minutes, we are going to hack it all up, eat most of it, and a big fat bunch of crumbs will be left looking like an absolute mess!!!" Striving after wind. I wish I had taken a picture of the leftover mess. It was NOT pretty!!!
Many of the things I worry about are a true "vexation of spirit". I could truly spend SOOOO much time trying to declutter my house, for example, that I don’t take the time to REALLY declutter my house. Not my physical house… but myself and my children. I have enough decluttering to do inside myself and my kids that the stuff making clutter on the top of my fridge, my island, etc… they just don’t seem so bad anymore. Trying to keep my house spotless is DEFINITELY striving after wind with my 5 wild kids!! haha
Searching for pix about wind I found a picture that reminds me of the feeling of "striving after wind". When I was a kid… it was chasing bubbles outside!! It was almost impossible to pop bubbles once the wind took them!!!
But, unlike bubbles that you can occasionally catch… wind is ruthless!!!
So… I am studying Romans and am really excited about it!! I’ve rambled on more than I had planned and now I have to start that "decluttering"!!! I am going to be doing a bible study with the kids each morning and start getting that area of my life in check! Baby steps. I’ve gotten behind due to sickness and things and now it’s time to get a grip!!! But…I can"t overwhelm myself. I am going to start small and pray for biggness!! (I know, I know, that isn’t a word. BUT I like it!) hehe