We have books in our home! We have more books than we have room for. One might say we have too many books. When I had to box them up to move them for new flooring, I was pretty sure that we had way too many. And while I thought I should find new homes for some, and did, I still am having trouble finding places to keep our books in an organized fashion rather than needing to look in several places for a certain book. But I come by my desires for books by DNA! I am related to my father and uncles and aunts who also loved books. At any rate, in our books are many different versions of the Bible. Each one has a different emphasis or is a different translation. And I will confess that they need to be used more often than they are. God's book for us! Given to us for our learning and for guidance and so that we can show ourselves approved unto God. I love comparing different versions of the same text! 2 Timothy 2:15 Look at these versions
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. NIV
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. NLT
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. ESV
Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth. BSV
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. KJV
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. NKJV
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. NASB
Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. AB
Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. CSB
Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth. ASV
God has another book for us to study and learn from. That is the book of Nature. We can find rest and peace from the study and partaking of this book! Last Sabbath we were able enjoy some moments in God's other book! The timing was right this year for us to have an excursion to the Mississippi river to observe one of our favorite blessings from God's book of nature. When I grew up in Iowa, I never saw an eagle. Today they are pretty common to see. This time of year, when the ice is softening and will soon break up, the eagles take advantage of this situation and gather on the ice and along river in the trees. They are watching old ice fishing holes and the melted edges for fish, both dead and alive. What a marvelous sight to see 50 or more eagles and 4 nests in one area! We even were treated to a icy eagle walk, a takeoff, a circling flight and then a swoop and catch right in front of us.
God wants us to search and fish for those we can save. The same area had several pairs of geese enjoying a cold swim. At one point two of the couples had a big loud argument that ended up in one goose being banished from the group by another. It is interesting how such Stately looking birds can suddenly look very angry with a low and extended head and neck and nasty goose words. They had no problems with having the whole world see their argument. Once the supposed offender was driven away, then peace came to the area. God wants us to dwell in peace. God wants us all, so far as possible, to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18) We included a trip to one of the river islands where all the homes and cabins are built up on "house stilts". The river apparently has taught them to not trust it to stay in its banks. We also enjoyed seeing the gulls and an osprey, and then some turkeys and many deer on our way home.
The “Bible is like a divine watering hole”—not only is it a source of guidance and wisdom but it’s a refreshing oasis where people from all walks of life can quench their thirst in the water of life. The birds and fowls of the air were enjoying the river oasis this week!
The psalmist called people “blessed” when they delight in and meditate on God’s law, a term used in the Old Testament to describe His instruction and commandments. Those who meditate on the Scriptures are “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (Psalm 1:3). Just as a tree’s roots reach down into the soil to find the source of refreshment, people who truly believe in and love God will root themselves deeply in Scripture and find the strength they need. The cabin owners made sure of their strong foundations so they would have the strength to stand the coming days of flooding trouble. Submitting ourselves to His wisdom will keep our foundations embedded in Him; we won’t be “like chaff that the wind blows away” (v. 4). When we ponder what God has given to us in the Bible, we gain nourishment that can lead to our bearing fruit that lasts and is not washed away in flood.
One morning I was treated to another "verse" from God's second book. We have 2 cats that give us love, and entertainment and give us some amusement--like today when the snow kept them inside! They needed to run and run they did! Back and forth repeatedly. This week I had some table scraps that I placed outside for God's outdoor animals to eat. Now I generally don't care who eats them and it almost always happens when it's dark and I don't really know who wants the tidbits. I just want them gone. This week was different! First the chickens decided they needed some "chicken" treats. I did not think it was proper chicken food and took it away. A bit later we decided we were wrong and tried to call them back. We are not the masters of the chickens and they did not heed the call. I have seen them come running as fast as they can when they heard the call of their master--but not for us! And we were offering what they truly wanted. But we had not built up their trust in us. They learned to trust their master because of the good things she provided. We can have trust in our Master because he has given us many good things and shows us His love and care.
The next morning, I let out our black Marco kitty go outside. He enjoys exploring and greeting the farm cats. But this time, he stopped abruptly! and was intensely looking at something. I looked at him and then to see what he was watching. At that point I called--"Here kitty, kitty! Kitty, kitty, kitty ....as fast as I could form the words! I wanted him to come back in!!! But my kitty only obeys when he thinks it will benefit him! And this time he was more intent on what he was watching, even though obedience would have benefited him. Turning to see what was so interesting, I saw another "black cat" eating on those scraps I had placed for anyone to have. What I did not expect was that an black kitty with a white stripe would be there eating what I had placed near our patio!! Marco decided that rather than obey my call, he would move closer to investigate. Immediately the skunk turned 180 degrees and simultaneously raised its tail. Natural skunk behavior but one that I had never personally observed!!! I envisioned----well, the things you normally expect a skunk to do! And on my patio! Next to our door! And to our kitty that comes into our house! Nothing good was about to happen!
But I was blessed and relieved. The skunk decided to walk away--with tail up--without doing what skunks often do. I felt saved from an awful end!
There are many lessons to learn. We need to obey the voice of God. Our own timetable often leads to trouble times. We could save ourselves trouble if we would just learn to be obedient! Walk away from trouble is the best plan. But too many of us forget to just leave trouble. We stay and try to fix it! My skunk was a handsome guy! He was a "pretty" skunk so to speak. The things that seem to appear enticing can lead to trouble we could avoid if we would just walk away.