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!

In Him,

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Cultivating Godly Leadership {{POTF}}

One of the things I love about the Bible is the road map we are given. In Titus 1:5-9, we are actually taught about godly character. We don’t have to sit around and guess as to how we ought to act, but we are given a road map. This road map teaches us what godly character ought to look like, particularly for those in leadership.

We have all heard the news stories, where someone in church leadership has done some unfathomable crime and everything gets turned upside down. Friends, let’s take some time and listen to what the Lord wants to teach us. We are taught about godly character we need to cultivate, especially for the men in our church. This passage is specifically for church leadership, but isn’t it something that would enhance our ministries if we too possessed these key characteristics?

We need to pray for godly men to step up in our congregations. Men who possess these key characteristics through the Holy Spirit.

We need the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work – before we allow these men to take up these crucial roles.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “Well I am not a man” or just a plain “I have no interest in becoming a church leader.” I am with you on this one, but think of the many blessings that come with these godly characteristics. The Holy Spirit is the One weaving these characteristic together in our lives, and will use it to bless us, our families, and our ministries.

Man or not, church leader or not, these are characteristics that honor God and welcome the Holy Spirit to work mightily in our lives! Take a few moments to read Titus 1:5-9 over at Bible Gateway (or in your personal Bible) and meet me here afterwards – and we will “get started”.

For this reason I left you [behind] in Crete, that you might set right what was defective and finish what was left undone, and that you might appoint elders and set them over the churches (assemblies) in every city as I directed you (Titus 1:5, AMPC).

In this passage, we see God’s design for the Timothy’s in our congregations. Just as Timothy was chosen by God and sent to straighten up things in the Cretian churches, God has given our congregations elders and overseers to put things in order, protect the people of God, and build up the body of Christ.

These characteristics are key, in helping our leaders draw nearer to the Lord and live out their assignments.

  • Their home life: The husband of one wife, faith filled children who aren’t rebellious.
  • The condition of his heart: This man is not ruled by his emotions or sinful nature, nor is he a man of excess.
  • The evidence of the Holy Spirit: Pursues the Lord over this world, holy, and the appearance of spiritual fruit such as being self – controlled.
  • The evidence of his faith: Holds onto the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and this is what he teaches. His goal is to preach Christ and Him alone!

Friends, let’s be intentional in helping our Christian brothers to cultivate these kind of standards in their lives. This is not a legalistic approach, but how we can best allow our Lord Jesus Christ to shine. Our brothers need us to encourage them to draw nearer to the Lord and welcome the Holy Spirit’s work – so they can become more like Christ. But, this call is for the women too – the daughters of our Most High God, but our assignment might be completely different than our brothers called into eldership.

Whoever you are: Choose to follow our Lord Jesus. Choose to see what He is wanting to use you to do in His Kingdom! We are given the opportunity to see God’s design for His sons and daughters as we live out our various God given assignments!

In Him,

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Resting on the Hope {{POTF}}

In the book of Titus, we are reminded that our beliefs are important. Trusting our Lord Jesus is so important. Our relationship with Christ really does affect every area of our lives. One thing to consider today is the level of importance we have given our Lord to spend quality time with Him. This is something I am considering for myself.

My Commitment –

Today, my day started much later than it normally does. I knew I had things I wanted to read and study through the course of today, and yet I spent the time somewhere else. The problem isn’t resting, but in how I chose to rest. Somehow, I have believed the lie that I need to be “entertained” in order to rest.

Friends as I think on my own life, I want us to just consider the level of commitment we are given our Risen Lord. I mean, how much time are we giving to simply spend with the Lord? 30 minutes is my goal in terms of my uninterrupted quiet time, which isn’t much time in the span of things. Yet distractions can even keep me from doing this precious thing in my mornings.

Resting on Jesus –

This is like “the verse” I have been drawing strength from lately. I love this Scripture, where we are reminded that we can rest on the hope of eternal life. Rest on the hope of our Lord Jesus.

That faith and that knowledge come from the hope for life forever, which God promised to us before time began. And God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, NCV).

Faith and understanding rest on the hope of eternal life. Before time began, God promised to give that life. And he does not lie (NIRV).

I needed the word “rest” to meet me where I am. We are given the abundant privilege to trust and walk with our Creator through His Son Jesus Christ. We can fully trust and rest in our Lord Jesus and not have to worry about a thing!

This is a kind of hope that will never fade away.
We are given the opportunity to soak up quality time with our great God.

How are we taking advantage of this precious gift? Don’t let it slip by. Being with Jesus is such a precious gift!

We can sit in His presence and soak up His joy and peace. Our Lord Jesus is waiting for us. I know how easy to get caught up in the things of this world, even when we know the Lord Jesus wants to hold us and have quality time with Him.

It isn’t a legalistic thing, but a genuine relationship thing!

Let’s rest in our Lord Jesus. For me, “quality time” is something that fills my soul. And to know the Lord wants to meet me in that way, is mind-blowing. He wants to fill our souls. He wants to meet us where we are, and fuel us with excitement for Him and absolute joy – despite circumstances.

We can actually rest and just trust the Lord to take care of things fully. We can draw nearer and take delight in the Lord who has chosen to rescue us.

Resting in Him,

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Transforming Truths {{POTF}}

Friends,

Welcome to Pressing On Toward Faithfulness! This is an eight week study focused on going through the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy in a slower pace, which will allow us to catch glimpses of these important truths and dwell on them.

As we dwell on these important God given truths, we are given the opportunity to see what they mean for our lives.

Memory Verse –

Each week, my hope is to give us a memory verse. Even if you are like me and aren’t sure you can memorize a Scripture, let’s jot down these verses on an index card and make them an important part of our day. As we focus on these verses and what they mean for us, God will change us through this process.

Use Your Personal Bible –

For this week, my goal is to focus on Titus 2:1. However. . . In order to grasp the depth and significance of this verse, let’s also look at verse 8. I encourage you to read, study, and focus upon this verse (or these verses) using your own personal Bible. Ideally, I will read, meditate (look upon and focus intently), and cherish these truths using the wording given through my personal Bible. But for today’s post, I am using a clearer way of wording (a different translation, but it’s still fully God’s Word).

There are many new translations being added to websites, so my goal in this study (and future) is – to not share lightly using other translations. I want to make sure what I share is biblically sound and correct.

Here we go!

Let’s jump into this week’s memory verse. It is better to start late than to call it quits. God’s Word is far too important to hold onto an “all or nothing” approach, when it comes to ingesting the Words of Life we desperately need to hear.

But you are to proclaim things consistent with sound teaching (Titus 2:1, CSB).

Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us (Titus 2:8).

Our Teachings –

Friends, we need to consider what we are teaching others. Now you might be thinking, “Me?! But, I am not a pastor or even a teacher. . .”

Each day, our lives can reveal the teachings of Christ and His transformative work in our lives. In Titus 2:1-8, we are urged to live the beauty of the Gospel each day. In our relationships, behavior, and circumstances, we can impact lives. Even if we aren’t serving outside the home, we are deeply impacting lives and sharing the Gospel.

Friends, how closely is your beliefs lining up with the teachings of the Bible?

When we live out our beliefs, it changes lives. Choosing to place our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ will radically change our lives, and one of the results is – others will see how we are being changed from the inside – out. As we are changed and practice what we “preach,” our enemies will not be able to say anything bad about us.

In this world, we will come across many people who absolutely hate us for one thing or another. Even so, I have witnessed how the Lord changes hearts. He can turn absolute enemies into the best of friends. This is referred to as the “ministry of reconciliation (see 2 Cor. 5:16-21),” and one of the most beautiful gifts we are given by our Lord. This is the beautiful of the Gospel. We can go from God’s enemies to being called His sons and daughters!

Until next time,

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Setting the Right Goal {POTF}

I recently rearranged my bedroom, which has me really excited! Whenever I get a new “space” to sit and be with Jesus, it always has this effect on me.  It’s a new place to just sit with my Lord Jesus, and draw near to Him. It’s a happy moment. A new gift to unopen in these quiet moments of seeking Him.

Use Your Personality to Draw Near

“You have searched me, Lordand you know me. . . For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Ps. 139:1, 13-14, NIV).”

“Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands (Psalm 119:73).”

God has personally made us. He has made our personalities. He has wired us with certain interests. This is why some people find joy (even heartfelt worship!) in taking a physical walk with the Lord, while others find worship in silently writing.

With My Being. . .

I fall into the latter group. When I find myself overwhelmed, my sacred time of quietly writing is never more appreciated! I am recharged by silence. To simply sit with our Lord Jesus is exactly what I need. . . and the perfect way to draw near to Jesus. The Lord is picking up my burdens here, as I sit and enjoy quietness. He is calming my heart. This shows how much I need this. We need to set goals that allow us to experience more of the Lord!

Friend, what is your one goal to help you draw nearer to the Lord during our study?

We are uniquely made. Even all the quirks we hate (like my need for more quiet), God might just have put there for a reason. Knowing more about our personalities helps us to understand how to worship Him in a more enjoyable way, but it boils down to this question.

What is one goal that will help us draw nearer to our Risen Lord Jesus?

There are various goals we could set. Let’s think up of some, shall we? {Be sure to comment below and share your goal for our eight week study}

Read and meditate on the given Scripture first thing in the morning.
Spend time in the Word before bed.
Take a prayer walk {short or long, it’s up to you}.
Spend time quietly before the Lord to just think and talk with Him in prayer.
Memorize one Scripture {or perhaps work to tackle all eight of them!}.
Write out each week’s memory verse.

Just remember: Make the goal realistic. It needs to fit you and where God has placed you right now. My goals will differ from others, because I am different from others. . . but, it’s not about comparison. Just drawing near to the Lord and this will give Him good pleasure.

An eight week journal is only $6.25, if you want to grab one. And, the blog party continues on Facebook. There’s even a women’s small group! WAHOO!!! Just wait and see what the Holy Spirit will do, my friends.

In Him,

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