Sorry I haven't been very consisten with posting things here - perhaps I should have tried to start this after the busyness of the holidays! Oh well! I only have a few minutes before kids get up from naps, but I had to write a little something here about words and how much I love them! Seriously. What I mean is - I love to know what things mean, and I try very hard to use the right word for the given situation. Often during my quiet times, I find myself researching what a particular word means in a particular setting. I think that's especially important to do when reading the Bible, since it was written in a different language. Sometimes, I think, the true meaning of a passage can get "lost in translation." Also, I really like to know what something means before I say I feel it or have it - things like faith, hope, salvation, forgiveness, righteousness, etc. I guess that's my little hang-up - I'll blindly follow any ridiculous rule given to me, but don't tell me I'm forgiven without telling me what that means (just kidding . . . to a degree!). Here are a few words I've researched in the past few weeks, and what I found they mean - in no particular order, and in abbreviated fashion!
1) Love - in the Bible, this is often an action more than it is a feeling. It is the greatest of all the things we do - if we don't have love, everything else is futile and worthless. It is even greater than faith and hope, and it does not fail. All other things will have an end or a fulfillment, but not love - it is eternal, never-changing, permanent.
2) Hospitality - meeting the needs of others. It is not about you having it all together, or about your home looking perfect - it is about you seeing and trying to meet the needs of another person. As one commentary noted (and I love this!), "hospitality can happen in a messy home."
3) Worthy - "having adequate or great merit, character, or value; of commendable excellence or merit; deserving." We are saved by grace (another definition here - "unmerited favor," meaning that we didn't earn our salvation), the Bible teaches - but we are called to live a life worthy of God's divine calling (Eph. 4:1). This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. How could we possibly live a life that is "deserving" of the great gift God gives? The only way we can is by committing ourselves to knowing Him and to imitating Him. God will not take our salvation away if we don't get this part right! But, it's kind of like why you try your hardest to be kind to your husband - your wedding vows implore you to do so, because you have professed undying love and commitment to your spouse (not because laws require you to and threaten to take love away if you don't measure up!). It's always important to consider context when looking at the definition of words. Looking at the context of the word "worthy" in Ephesians 4:1, you can see that the word is followed by several verses explaining God's love for us (". . . wide and long and high and deep . . . " - Eph. 3:18) . . .
There are children yelling through the vents - "can you come up here Mommy?" - so I need to cut this short! More later, since I have many more fun words to talk about!!!