Finding Abundant Life {Stepping into 1 Cor}

This week, we began to study 1 Corinthians. Specifically 1:1-9. Did you join us this week? What was your favorite part of this passage? 

Let’s take a moment to read it.


You might be feeling broken and lonely.
. . . or had the most amazing week of your life (it’s rare, but happens).

Wherever you are, I want to come and share some God given truths with our hearts today. God knows how our week has gone, and will meet us exactly where we are.

We can take down our masks and be honest with our Redeemer Jesus Christ.

God Fills Us!

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3b, NIV).

In John 10:3-10, we are reminded of the amazing love our generous Savior has for each one of us. As we come to Him, He is able to fill every empty space in our lives. His Word is truly water for our souls.

So, let us come and allow our hearts to be filled. Our circumstances may differ from a hurting loved one, but our circumstances matter – especially to God. He loves you and absolutely wants to be your Shepherd. He knows the details of your life. He knows the sort of encouragement you need tonight.

3 Truths –

God enriches the church in every way (v. 5). We have been given God’s Word, where we are able to meet the God of the Universe and discover the amazing love and plans He has for us – as His people. We can hear and understand God’s promises, because the gifts He has given us. Our lives may seem lacking, but He has enriched our lives immensely! He still has this amazing, abundant life in store for His people – as we come to Him. He is making the impossible – possible.

God keeps us strong until the end, so we will be free of all blame when our Lord Jesus Christ returns (v. 8). At times, it is easy to feel like we are anything but strong and blameless. Often, all we can see is our weaknesses and why we are worthy of blame. In these moments, may we run to our Lord Jesus Christ and remember the gift He is giving us – of deliverance and freedom. He came to set us free, and allow us the opportunity to be in a relationship with our heavenly Father.

As we run to Him, He will give us all we need.

God is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited us into partnership with His Son Jesus Christ – our Lord (v. 9). This is my favorite truth I have uncovered lately. To know I have this community with the Lord, it soothes my soul. I haven’t been forgotten. It’s quite the opposite.

We have been invited to fellowship with God’s precious Son Jesus Christ – who has become our Lord. We don’t have to wait, but can experience a relationship of great intimacy and depth with our Lord Jesus right now {and it’s an absolute gift}.

Featured image by rawpixel.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for daily posts on our study!

In Him,

Signature

 

Party of One (BookLook Review)

JB Smith“Party of One” offers us, the Church that our Savior loves and purchased, a much needed conversation about singleness. A book on singleness can cover an array of topics, which this book touches on a lot of them.

While I disagreed with Joy Beth on many fronts, I respected her vulnerability. She warns us in advance, that this book will be outside of our comfort zone. And, it definitely was for me. I wrestled with a lot of things, but found comfort in others. I honestly don’t know how I felt about it all together yet.

Thankfully for me, this book is more like a memoir – so it makes for an easier grade | review. It earns four stars, because it is mostly listening in on conversations between Joy Beth and many others.

While I wanted to love this book, looked forward to its release, and the opportunity to read it, I honestly just did not love it. I thought it would leave me feeling closer to the Lord and armed in my singleness, but it had a different affect on me. I hope those who struggle with singleness will read it and make up their own mind about “Party of One”.

Bottom line: it opens the door to help us talk about singleness and how to better follow Him as His Church. We may disagree on various fronts as we listen into these table talks through this book, but it gets the conversations started. Which is the purpose for the book.

Signature

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Week 2 – He Has Saved Us! {POTF}

Hi friends!

Welcome to a new week of our Pressing On Toward Faithfulness study. I am glad you are here. If you check out our study’s page and compare it with our schedule, it will become apparent that we are a bit behind.

Yes, we are.

Currently, I am three blog posts behind. Most bloggers would admittedly “let go” of certain blog topics and move on.

However. . . Titus 2 is something very close to my heart. So, we will keep going as we trek through Titus and 1-2 Timothy! We will press on. For me, Titus is really about meeting our Lord Jesus, becoming God’s people, and being equipped to be God’s beloved Church. 

The Lord has soo much He wants to speak with us about in these books. So, we may linger around certain verses a bit longer than expected.

Memory Verse For This Week –

In our quiet times this week, I have a verse for us to focus our attention on. Our memory verse is Titus 3:4-5a, which says:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. . . (ESV)

This passage of Scripture is so crucial, because it reminds us of how much the Lord Jesus has saved us from. We have been changed from the inside out, and all because of our Mighty King – Jesus Christ!

We have been redeemed, because the Lord has said so!
We have been called His own people!

And, the Lord is showing us what it looks like to BE His people!

Friends, take time this week to linger over God’s Word and allow Him to speak louder than the distractions in your life. This is my hope, too. I hope there is more writing and studying this week.

#OneGoal

During this study, we will learn what it looks like to linger in His grace. I asked you all earlier to pick #OneGoal for our study, how is that going? Is it drawing you nearer to the Lord? Has the distractions of life, kept you from living it out?

My #OneGoal was to sit and linger in His presence.

The past few days, I haven’t been able to make it to my “Quality Time” spot I have in my room. As for this weekend, it has been a tough thing to pursue. But tomorrow, I am going to start back. I am thankful for the audio sermons I have been able to listen to, as I have my “rest days”. My body has felt exhausted, and I am learning how to rest and study – perhaps even at the same time. This is a big step for me: Learning to have actual Bible study (on our blog’s study), even when I don’t feel good – is a big deal. I typically “put it off” and will study something else – until I feel “ready”. But, I have been able to stay caught up on my daily reading for the book of Titus – and that is soo exciting!! I am just a bit behind in my “sharing” of what the Holy Spirit is showing me. =]

This study is blessing me; I hope it is having a similar effect on you too.

I am learning so much and being reminded of the beauty that comes with being His daughter!

Don’t forget! You can still get an eight week Gracefully Overcoming journal for only $6.25, and we even have places to get plugged in on Facebook. Including a women’s small group! Be sure to find ways to get plugged in and go deeper – either with our journal, the Facebook page, or our women’s small group. We are here for you!

Image by Jason Betz.

In Him,

Signature

 

Update | David’s Trustful Prayer

This Summer, I have been sicker than my usual “normal”. In lieu of recent circumstances, I have done the unthinkable (in my world) and merged a few blogs into just one. Want to see any of them? Here’s the list from less activity to current: chronological study, my beloved Psalms, and the Inspiring Women study.

And then a little sneak peek for you, Indoor Outreach will soon have a blog too.

Truth: As long as I am blogging and studying the Bible through writing, I won’t become as discouraged. Through God’s presence and quiet time, my joy will stay. I may not be able to serve in the local church, but I can keep writing through my trials and joys – which is what this blog is all about.

Psalm 56 –

Today, I want to just share a bit of today’s Psalm – which is Psalm 56. Fear is an easy thing to allow into our lives, at least it is for me. Fear is a difficult thing to overcome. Appropriately enough, the YouVersion “Verse of the Day” was 2 Timothy 1:7 – which adds to tonight’s (at the time of writing) Psalm.

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control (ICB).

When I’m afraid, I put my trust in you {God}. I trust in God. I praise his word. I trust in God. I am not afraid. What can mere people do to me? (Ps. 56:3-4, NIrV)

In this psalm, David was on the run from his enemies and feeling the full weight of this circumstance and emotions. Still, he was choosing to trust God in the midst of a fiercely difficult time.

Testimony

I love what David prays, next. Join me in looking at verses 9-11:

My enemies will turn back when I call out to you for help. Then I will know that God is on my side. I trust in God. I praise his word. I trust in the Lord. I praise his word. I trust in God. I am not afraid. What can mere people do to me?

David’s focus was on the end result. While he had many emotions and questions, he held onto his faith in God.

I want to learn to be prayerful like this. David took his circumstance, emotions, and even tears to God, and laid it at the altar of God. He knew God was the One who could help him. While he ran from his enemies, he also ran to God.

In verse 9, David does something encouraging. He focuses on the testimony this mess will bring. These people, his enemies, will know that David follows and obeys the One True God, and God is on his side. How David turned to God may have encouraged others to draw near to the One True God and to throw away their false gods and idols – because they met and experienced our great God.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says. It is simply about putting our trust in our Lord Jesus, God’s Son, and knowing He is the One we can trust!

Featured image by Daan Stevens.

No Perfect Relationship {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

Following Jesus Christ and receiving His love should change our interactions with others, but especially with fellow believers. As a part of God’s Church, let’s consider how we respond to one another.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends (Phil. 2:1-2, MSG).

This Scripture reminds us that we are being changed. God reminds us that a heart transformation is the result of our meeting and walking with Jesus Christ. We are entering our new life, and these are key things to expect in our relationships with other Jesus-lovers-and-followers.

  • Agreeing with other believers.
  • Loving one another.
  • Becoming knee deep in our friendships with others who are following Jesus Christ with all we have to give.

If we have been changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is absolutely impossible to stay the same. We have been invited to follow Jesus Christ and enter His life-transforming new life. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent in our relationships anymore. Let’s start striving for God’s best!

Note: The deeper we get in our friendships, the more likely conflict will arise. But let’s try to strive for God’s best in our responses.

While our friend may act one way, we can pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. The difference between our old life and new is – the Holy Spirit. We are giving God full authority to work in our lives, and seeking to remain obedient.

Our hearts and lives are being changed. In Romans 12, we are reminded of the truth that we are being transformed and renewed by our great God. He has poured out His mercy onto our lives, and His Voice is ultimately the only One that matters. This is why our “in Christ” relationships differ, from those in our “before-meeting-Jesus” life.

My church relationships are far from perfect. I am sure yours are as well. Thankfully, our great God is perfect and able to work in them through His Awesome power!

We have been birthed into new life, because of Jesus Christ who has loved us with an everlasting love and continues to save us on a daily basis. Let’s see how to apply this Scripture in our lives.

Let’s seek to honor Jesus Christ through the gift of these relationships. The Bible teaches us how to do this. I know our relationships will not be perfect, but let us aim for progress. We need to be able to see Jesus working in our Christian friendships. Choose to surrender, and give the Holy Spirit the authority in these friendships.

Featured image by Anh Nguyen.

In Christ,

Signature