Monday, April 29, 2013

Being quick

Fools find no pleasure in understanding    but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2

 I’ve come to see I’m quick to point out faults. 

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. 1 Peter 4:8

This is an ugly side of me.  (Faults of others are not the only thing I speak of, but it is there and rears it’s ugly head from time to time.)  If it needs to be known, God will make it known.  It doesn’t have to be me who lays it right out there in front of others, unless God calls me to do it.  I learned to do this with my husband. 

These are small insignificant things.  I did it gently, but I can’t help to think my pride was right there in the middle.  I didn’t take time to think.  I just spoke.  I could see the weight added to my friend’s shoulders.  

This isn't to be confused with sin.  It is commanded that we gently work to restore anyone out of fellowship with God.  The key is that God convicts me to do it.  As I mentioned above, my pride was right there, indicating it was for my glory that I spoke, not God, and definitely not to build up my friend.

Life Principle: In love, I do not point out the faults of others.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 10

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.

Read 5:1-11, SOAP 5:6, 11
Determination and His timing are in this passage. Are you determined to try one more time? Do it the way God is prompting? Peter and his partners fished all night and caught nothing. They cleaned their nets while Jesus used their boats to minister to the people on shore. Tired, wore out, done fishing for the day, Peter was ready to go home. He had fished most of his life. He knew how to fish. This night just didn't produce anything when he did everything he knew about fishing.

Jesus then gives him specific directions to catch fish. It went against everything Peter knew about fishing. In the deep? During the day? No, that isn't how you fish. What if Peter said no? What if he allowed his pride to say 'I know better, I did it how it's suppose to be done with no avail.' He would have missed out on the abundant blessing of fish. Missed out on a chance to spend the rest of his life following Jesus.  

I will listen for when God says go - this time it's in my timing, abundant blessings are waiting for you. Only time with Him will allow me to recognize His voice, His prompting.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 9

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here. 

Read 4:20-30, SOAP 4:24, 27
Oh, this passage struck a cord. 
1. Don't allow those who know my past and their rejection of the renewed me (and their idea on what a Christian should be like) to prevent me from doing what God has called me to, nor interfere with the work He is doing in me - I'm not perfect - but I'm on my way!
2. Do I try to determine someone to be a leper, not able to be cleansed by Jesus? Who am I declaring to be beyond God's healing power? Sadly, the very people who reject me because I know their past, their sin and endured their harden hearts. (Don't you just love the speck/log truth? The sin I so easily see in others surprises me when I see it in my own heart.) I have renewed determination that God can and will reach these gentiles. 
 Oh Lord, send your instrument into their lives, turn their hearts to You, that they may experience Your cleansing. I look forward to the work You will accomplish in their lives. Praise You for the work I've already seen. Thank you Jesus! Amen

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 8

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.

Read Luke 4:1-13, SOAP 4:4, 8, 12
Jesus' fast and temptation - He knew how to handle it well! 3 types: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) - can you pick out which temptation is which root sin? Extra credit is to read Genesis 3 and pick out the temptation that lured Eve to sin.
What I loved about today's SOAP is Jesus had the armor of God on (Ephesians 6). He wielded the sword, our only offensive weapon is the WORD, at Satan every time he attacked. My A was: Am I in the word enough, know it enough to be able to wield it when I am tempted? What changes do I need to make to Bible time the must have, base of my schedule and put everything else around it - not the other way around? I'm heading the right direction and GMG study is helping me get there.

In studying Genesis 22, I just had to share part of the lecture on temptation and test. First, God does not tempt us (James 1:13). Temptation seeks your failure, to have you succumb to the lure of sin. Second, God does test us to prove your faith (1 Peter 1:7). Testing seeks your success, grows your faith, proves your reliance on God to persevere and to have an opportunity to bear good fruit. We can fail on both points on our own. With God's grace, we continue on until we reach maturity in Christ. I just love how God worked these two studies together today. It's all part of His plan.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 7

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read 3:19-38, SOAP 3:22
Today's passage is slightly longer. It goes over one of the genealogies of Christ. What I love about genealogies - They are no longer boring list of names, these are people God choose to be part of His holy line. Everyone is important to God. God had a plan - from all they way back to Adam for this day. The whole OT foreshadows it. The whole NT glorifies it. God has placed us all where we are so His mighty hand could be seen in our lives. He wants you to want Him. Are you willing to spend time with Him today?
Applications: I am in Jesus and Jesus is in me. Every moment Holy Spirit is transforming me to be like Jesus. That means I am loved and I delight God, just as Jesus in me is loved and delights His Father. Do I live with an active knowledge bring joy to my heart?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 6

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read 3:10-14, SOAP 3:10-11.
And the multitudes asked him, Then what shall we do? And he replied to them, He who has two tunics (undergarments), let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do it the same way.  Luke 3:10-11
Application:  ask God what my repentance should look like.  I can't determine what it means, only God can.  I often think I know what it would look like, just stop doing what I was doing that was wrong.  Yet on the verse 11 - making it about other people. What do I have in which I can share? What need do I see that I can show my love and meet?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 5

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read 3:7-9, SOAP 3:8-9
I love repentance is shown by the fruit you produce - fruit of the Spirit. And if you are not bearing fruit, God will cut you down and throw you into the fire. As a Christian, I know that this means that God will work on any part of my life that isn't aligned with His will, He washes and washes. John 15 has a similar passage. God prunes those who are His. It's not easy, but it matures me in Christ - so I am more like Christ. I want to have more life in me than stones on the ground. 

 By their fruit you will recognize them. Matthew 7:16

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 4

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read Luke 2:21-35, SOAP 2:30-32.
I marveled at Simeon's faith. He had the patience and faith to await God promise the Spirit spoke in his heart about seeing the Salvation. Do I have the faith and patience for what God spoke into my heart? The faith in God's control over my life - plans He made from the beginning? Lord I am filled with gratitude for the Light of the Gentiles. That Jesus came so I may know You, Your plan and have my faith mature in You. Lord continue to mature my faith.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teach Me Luke - 3

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read Luke 2:8-20, SOAP 2:20
An angel comes to shepherds (ceremonial unclean men for their work with animals and outcast of society). Shepherds, who fight wild animals like lions and bears to protect their flock, were struck with FEAR. Peace is on all men who do God's will, on whom His favor rests. A knighthood of angels join praising God, other trans. say troop. Warrior angels coming to sing praises over the Christ. Warriors who fight in God's army. Shepherds leave the flock they risk their life to protect and go search for the Messiah. Shepherds go out and tell everything that happened to those who listen (and were astonished and marveled) - giving their personal testimony of their encounter with the Messiah. Mary stores these things in her heart and ponders them. After their personal encounter with Jesus, the shepherds return to their life with praises to God for revealing what He did to them, the lowest of men based on man's standard, the highest in God's standard.
What do I store in my heart and ponder?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teach Me Luke 2

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here.  

Read Luke 2:1-7, SOAP 2:7
A friend asked when Mary and Joseph were married.  In my research I found the following information:
From the best of my knowledge, in Jewish custom, once you were betroth, they were considered married, only divorce could separate them. This is when the modern day marriage license would have been signed. Wouldn't that change engagements today? Also, until the marriage was consummated, the couple would be betroth. In looking at the nuances of the words, in Matthew 1, Joseph took Mary home to be his wife however, did not have union with her until she gave birth. We see in Luke 2 (today's reading) that Joseph and Mary were still pledged to be married in Bethlehem. So it happened some time after this. My guess is after the ceremonially cleaning process for childbirth, see Leviticus 12. Let me know if you have any other questions. I enjoyed digging into this for you. It helps me get it straight in my head as well.
My application question were: Do I make room for Jesus in all parts of my life? Jesus is my example of being humble. I struggle with holding onto the comforts of life, however Jesus gave up the wonder and comfort above all comfort of Heaven to come to earth, as a mere child of a poor family. And they didn't arrange some luxurious entrance into the world, but in a animal barn with a manger as a crib. Yeah, I'm not sure my mind can fully take that in. Humble, yes, humble.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Teach Me Luke 1

I have participated in the Luke study put on by Good Morning Girls.  I decided to go ahead a use some of the lessons here. 

Read Luke 1:26-38, SOAP 1:37-38
Observation -The angel predicts Jesus' kingdom, how great and wonderful He will be, yet does not mention the way in which He will achieve it. Why it led into the thought He would be an earthly king as His brothers (and many others) expected in the first advent. Mary hears the impossible, the declaration of God's possibilities. She didn't ask about what would happen to her, she just agreed with what was told her. 

Application - Keep my eyes focused on Jesus, as He sits on the throne in heaven and my heart. I look forward to the day when I am in His presence while I am in His presence here. Keep the perspective on trial "in light of eternity". Does whatever really matter? To be open to the impossibilities of God, expect His possibilities and agree as Mary - I am your servant, May it be as you have said.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What Are You Thinking?

What do you spend your time thinking about?  Take a day and survey your thoughts. 

Are you looking for something funny or witty to put on Twitter?
Thinking about what will happen next on your favorite show?
Wonder who will be voted off the next time?
The busy schedule that overwhelms you?
The mistakes you made in your past?
What will you do if _________ happens?
What you could create next that will be the next Pinterest sensation?
All the things you've pinned on Pinterest that you must make time to create?
What the latest style trends are and what will you purchase?
How will the novel you're reading turn out?
What/where will you eat next? 
How well your sports team did and what do they need to do better?
What to do on that big project at work?
How will you solve that problem? 

This is just a short list of possibilities.  I know I didn't even touch the surface of things that go through a mind.  The question was posed to me:  When you wake up in the middle of the night, what do you think about?  Where does your mind go?  That remark on Facebook?  The big game?  The pretty thing that sits down the aisle from you?  That problem?  The fear? 

Your God?

My thoughts are the gauge of my heart.  Especially those that enter in when you wake up.  This past week I began to read a novel.  As usual, I became obsessed until I had it finished.  My thoughts went to it.  It became my life.  So, I can see that I allow novels to become an idol while I'm reading.  Can I read a novel with the proper perspective?  I just don't know.  With God's help, I'll delve into it.  For I know reading to the point of obsessing is a sin.  I didn't spend much time with God because I wanted to read, let alone all the other things I didn't do.  As much as I love to read a good story, if I don't allow God to change me and hold tightly to how things are now, I will have to give up reading them.  It isn't good for me. 

Life Principle:  Allow my thoughts to convict me of the idols in my heart.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Be Done With It

In my study, I've had a fantastic lesson on Idols of the Heart.  Everyone has idols, so my ears always perk up when this is the topic. 

One point that stuck out to me is just be done with it.  The example was if you had a rabid animal, you wouldn't just tie it up in your yard.  It's not safe for your family, other animals, itself.  The animal must be destroyed.   Idols are not harmless little fury friends.  Idols need to be destroyed.

What spoke to me, was my poor eating choices.  I was allowing the idol to grow yet again.  More and more sweets entered my mouth.  I even ate candy - something I gave up a long time ago.  And in all, it just wasn't that good.  My tastes had moved on to other good things. 

When food is your idol, it can be very difficult, since I need it to survive.  I can't just give it up.  So I need the right attitude and the self-control in dealing with my food.  I must never allow my attitude to be obsessed with food.  I must have self-control to not overeat.

With the issues with my legs (left knee, right hip pain), eating is all the more import.  I'm not moving as much, so burning less off.  The pain in my hip got to a point this week that I'm going to take as long as needed for it to pass and I can return to exercise.  I know one day I will overcome these issue - for God has revealed His plan to me.  In the meantime, I need to eat less to allow for the lack of movement. 

In doing that, I desire to be done with the idol of food.  To just eat enough.  My Lord and Savior will help me.  He resisted temptation.  He will give me strength.
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