One evening I browsed through last season's Joyce Meyer magazine and did a double-take. There in plain print was a typo, the wrong reference assigned to a verse: "Romans 8:35-37 says, 'The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).'"
I thought, "No it doesn't. That's the part of Romans that says, 'For I am convinced that neither height, nor depth, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things in heaven, nor on earth, nor below the earth--nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God...This verse about the thief and abundant life, that's John 10:10. How'd they mix those up?" (I do realize that what I almost-quoted is actually Romans 8:38-39, but you get the gist.)
And then I thought--"WOW! Seriously?! I just recognized a SCRIPTURE REFERENCE TYPO, and not only knew the correct reference, but also the verse of the incorrect reference! ME?! WOW!" And it was just so edifying. Scripture references are not my forte, nor indeed is scripture memorization. And my internal dialogue regarding scripture includes this attitude too often. But guess what: it's in me more than I realize, written on my heart. There is LOTS of room for improvement, but I am not a hopeless case, doomed to a lifetime of "I know how I underlined it, and where it is on the page...some page...probably Old Testament...about such-and-such a topic..." Spend time in scripture. It's worth it.
The second God-talking-to-me thought came the next morning. I had slept in a little, wasn't feeling great, dove right into the day, and I decided to sneak into my bedroom after putting the baby down for First Nap to have my own quiet time with Jesus. Commence the thoughts, "You're being lazy. You should be processing laundry, or playing with Lewis, or at least making this bed." And I recognized those lies and decided I'd better start praying. Out loud, so I wouldn't get distracted immediately.
You know what that prayer turned into? "Martha, Martha, you are distracted my many things. But Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her."
Jesus said that. Martha was annoyed that her sister curled up to listen to Jesus while she was left to get dinner on the table all by herself. But the ONE THING that is more important than anything else, even dinner for company? Listening to Him, loving Him. (See Luke 10 for the full story.)
And that prayer also reminded me that my spending time with Him, my prioritizing quiet time--in that God commands a blessing. Deuteronomy 28 is a chapter full of blessings or curses that will be born out among the Israelites, and the long list of really, really good blessings hinges on "if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.…" (Dt 28:9b).
Anybody remember the greatest commandment? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Heart (time spent with Him) comes before strength (good stewardship of your household). Both are important, but one is more important.
Cheers to spiritual ears and the gift of hearing the heart of the Father. May I ever improve!