From Unwrapping to Overflowing ~ Such Joy

“Joy is always given, never grasped.
God gives gifts and I give thanks
and I unwrap the gift given: JOY”
~ Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg 57

I’m unwrapping gifts today. Will you join me?

I have been overwhelmed by my reading through the Bible in 90 days. I’ve just finished Leviticus, so my unwrapping of gifts in His Word have only just begun! I know I’ve talked about this some already, but can I continue to share tidbits with you?

{And please know some of these I plan on expanding on in future posts.}

When you read Exodus straight through, you discover underlying patterns I had never considered before. Amazing. For example, I had never dwelled on all the ways God revealed Himself to His chosen people– the Israelites. He showed them He is:

  • The Great Healer (Ex 15:26)
  • Our Provider (Ex 16:11-12)
  • Our Rescuer (Ex 18:10)
  • Our Advisor (Ex 19:9) Just to name a few.
  • And oh, how He loves us (Ex 20:6).

Thank You, Jehovah, for revealing Yourself to us. This is the best present I’ve ever received.

~~~~~~~~~~

You know what else? Oh, how he KNOWS us. Truly. Even after thousands and thousands of years, we haven’t changed much.

Have you ever noticed God only explains two of the ten Commandments? Most are written in instruction form, no need for explanation. But He intentionally dwells on two of them, providing thorough explanations as to why these are important. Do you know which ones?

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind” (Ex 20:4)
Why? Because God wants to be your most important relationship.
He is a jealous God after all. (Ex 20:4-6)

and

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” (Ex 20:8)
Why? Because nothing is too important that we need to do it 7 days.
If God can rest one day, we can too.
Because He deserves one day of remembrance out of our busy lives.
Take your pick. He gives plenty of reasons. (Ex 20:9-11)

And I wonder…did God explain these two intentionally because He knew even after thousands of years, we would struggle with these two the most?

I’m still pondering this one.

Did you also know if you read through Leviticus in one or two sittings, you’ll realize He talks about these two commandments the most? Something tells me we need to step back and look at our own lives on these two. For they are near and dear to His heart.

Thank You, Father, for opening my eyes so I can linger long on these. What a gift!

And I’ve had lots more. I’ll keep sharing them here and there if you find encouragement with them, too.

~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve also been able to unwrap joy in more tangible ways this week:

  • Two of my very dear, long-term friends are doing this Bible through 90 days with me. Simply because I asked and they responded. What a joy!
  • My husband gave me an amazing, thoughtful gift this week that cost him more time than money. My favorite kind. I will never forget it. Talk about joy!
  • I shared some confessions this week and you all lavished love on me. Your responses via email and in comments have overwhelmed me. Thank you for gifting me with such joy!

I am blessed beyond measure. For I serve a living God who thinks I’m to die for. And I have amazing friends, both near and far, to share this journey with. What more could I need? My joy tank if overflowing!

How about you? What gift did you unwrap this week that brought you joy? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Am linking this up with the lovely Theresa at:

Make sure to stop on by — these Thankful posts will make your day!

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15 thoughts on “From Unwrapping to Overflowing ~ Such Joy

  1. Great post Nikki! And yes, He truly knows us.

    “And I wonder…did God explain these two intentionally because He knew even after thousands of years, we would struggle with these two the most?”

    Ain’t it the truth?

    The gift of my family and the extra time and laughter and silly-ness that I get to spend with my daughter yesterday, such a gift that brought me joy.

    Blessings!

  2. Thank you for this post! I started a read the bible through plan and fell off a while ago. This makes me want to start again and listen to all the the Lord has to show me!

    This week I learned what God means by “exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ask or think!” I am overflowing with joy and praise this week!

    Have a blessed and beautiful day!

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post! I always enjoy reading all of the posts on Thankful Thursday. They warm my heart and make me realize just how much we all have to be thankful for. I am enjoying living vicariously through your reading through the entire Bible. I have not taken on that challenge yet, but am participating in several Bible studies that I am enjoying and getting so much from.
    I hope you have a blessed weekend!
    Lisa

  4. I think it’s so cool how God points out new things about His Word every time we read it! This year I’ve been reading through the Bible chronologically, and it’s really opened my eyes. There is such a connection between the Old and New Testaments! Our high school curriculum is excellent at pulling out all the awesome stuff about the books of the Bible, and I’m really blessed to teach it. I learn everyday!

    This week I was blessed by a new friendship’s deepening. 🙂

    • Oh, I’m with you, Katie. I’m still amazed at what He opens our eyes to every time we pick up His Word! I’ll have to try the chronological Bible next time around — sounds riveting!
      Celebrating in your joy tonight with deepened friendships 🙂

  5. So glad to see how much you are getting out of reading the Bible…what a gift to you and then to us/me as we/I read your posts…Thanks, Nikki!
    sweet hubby – glad he made you feel special…I think the two commandments you pointed out are reflected in Jesus’ statement that the foremost commandment is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and all of your strength. Blessings to you and yours 😉

    • I knew someone would be able to help me with my quandary. I’m so glad it was you, Dolly! Thank you. Yes–that makes complete sense. I feel so much better — I know I’ll sleep well tonight!
      If I’ve told you once, I’ve haven’t told you enough….you bless me so 🙂

  6. Thanks for the reminder that God wants us to slow down and relax! I have been feeling that between part-time work, homeschool, housework, errands…I really don’t have time to think. But I feel guilty taking a break…I needed to hear that God wants us to rest…Thank you.

  7. Pingback: Layers Exposed « simplystriving

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