Thessalonians

Week 2: Wrap Up

What was special about this week’s message? I invite you to comment below, and share with me (and other readers) about how God spoke to you in this week’s Bible study on 1 Thessalonians

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:7-20

… We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did (vv. 7-8, MSG).

Jesus’ Deep Love

Jesus Christ loves all of humanity. He saw and felt the agony of our lost relationship due to our disobedience. Sin separates us from God, and Jesus went to incredible lengths to bring us back into a right standing relationship with the Father, where we can stand in His presence, enjoy sweet intimacy with God, and have our prayers heard! Jesus Christ took our sins, died on our cross, and rose again. Because of Jesus Christ, we can be restored and have our God-shaped hole in our spirits – filled! Will we accept Jesus Christ and let Him love us?

If we are following Jesus Christ, it is because someone had the courage to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with us. Praise God!! We know the mighty power and love of our Risen Lord, but need to share the Good News with others – so they can come to know the love of our Savior and how He can radically change their lives for the better.

This kind of boldness comes only from being with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

What Scripture Says:

We can show others His love, by the way we treat them. Scripture teaches us a few things, in regards to treating others as a means to share Jesus with others.

  • Love others the way you love others (Matthew 22:39).
  • Do good to all people, especially those in God’s family (Galatians 6:10).
  • Be wise in the way you interact with non-believers (Colossians 4:5-6).

Learning How to Treat Others

Relating to others has never come easily for me. Even if it is out-of-my-element, God is calling His sons and daughters to go into the world and share the Gospel and ourselves with others.

Before we can do so, we have to learn how to treat others. We need to learn how to love well, starting with how we love (and treat) ourselves.

This is where leaning into Jesus really counts, because He is the One showing me to love. While He shows us how to love, it has to begin by realizing the love He has personally for each of us. This is the most important relationship we have, with Jesus Christ. So, I need to nurture this special relationship. Christ ought to be my motivation in how I treat others, for these acts of kindness can last for eternity.

Jesus, You are our Hope! You are why we can have the strength to change the way we treat others. Thank You, Lord!

Gleaning from the Heart of Jesus

The Humble Win {{Week 3}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:5 and Psalm 37:11

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth (Matthew 5:5, NLT).

But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace (Psalm 37:11, ESV).

Devotion

What is humility?

Humility is known as gentleness. This is where the mild seek God. He is where they glean their attitude (see Phil. 2).

What are characteristics of the humble?

The humble win… because they aren’t distracted by the cravings of this world. (Click-to-Tweet)

Their sights are clearly set on God and His Son, Jesus Christ! They want, only what He longs to give them. I wouldn’t consider myself a humble person, but I can see fragments of this in my thought life right now. I am longing for God to pour His truth into me. I need to see and hear from my great God. Good news too, for the believer!

 In James 4:8, 10, we are reminded that when we are drawn near to God and humble ourselves, He meets with us and will lift us up.

Hold onto His promises, friends. As we lean on Jesus and His attitude, we are reminded that we win in the end. Jesus gives us the victory! By seeking God and remaining obedient, we are carving out space in our hearts and lives to be given the victory. But, it only comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ! There is no other way, except through Jesus.

We are invited to humbly walk with God (Micah 6:8).

As we think about humility, we need to come up with a plan of action.

How can we position ourselves to have an attitude like Jesus?

The key is in abiding with Jesus (see John 15).

  1. Stay in the Word of God on a daily basis. In Joshua 1, we are taught to meditate on God’s Word day and night (verses 7-9) . When we meditate on His Word, we know Him more. As we meet with our beloved Savior, He begins to change our hearts by His Holy Spirit. Remember gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  2. Be prayered-up. I need to make sure that I am praying throughout my day,even about the things I feel too broken to share.
  3. Be watchful of my attitude, as I go about my day. I know, I make less wise choices if I am tired. So, I need to do what I can – to make sure I get enough rest.

In order to stay humble, we need to keep seeking Jesus on a daily basis! (Click-to-Tweet)

Lord God, grow me in humility please. Protect me from an attitude of pride. Uproot it , and make me a person after Your own heart and attitude. A person of gentleness. That’s where true victory is found. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Walking Into The Light (Ephesians)

The Option God Offers Us {{Week 4}}

In Ephesians 4:20-24, we are met with the reality of our sin nature. We are reminded that, it is is gross and reeks. Yet, then, we find something in the Bible that can soothe the weariest of us.

“Instead…”

See, the God we serve. While we could continue to be entrapped and tackled on by the team of our entire old evil nature, something else happens.

Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, offers us another way!

Each day, we make choices on whom we will serve. Will we do this, or that? Will we go here, or there? Most of these choices, we don’t think about. Most of them, we go through the motions – not giving much thought as to what we are doing. We just do them.

But, what if… we took a different path today? What if, we deliberately sought after Jesus today? What if we took His path more seriously today than ever before– and intentionally lived our lives centered on pursuing Him (who first pursued us)?

“Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes… You are a new person created in God’s likeness (see Eph. 4:23-25).”

Yesterday is gone, my friends.

Today is all we have.

Today is what is sitting in front of us. We may be intensely struggling with routines, habits, addictions, and sins we have struggled to overcome, but let today be the day where you press into Jesus – letting Him hold you and direct your thoughts/attitudes.

Because Jesus is the key!

Everything we are fighting to overcome, Jesus is that key we have long time been searching for.

Jesus is offering Himself to you and me at this very moment.

Let’s not delay in turning to Him, seeking His Presence, and pouring out our hearts to the One who has made them. He knows every single thing about us (see Ps. 139). He is just waiting for us to come close, so He can whisper to us (see James 4:8).

Truth in Trials

Complaining in Trials – Part One

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Trials on a Tuesday is a weekly series that focuses on a topic relating to trials, and how we can glorify God in the midst of hard times.

Trials, have a tendency to cause a reaction of complaining in us. For most of us, this is true. So, we have to work toward protecting ourselves from a complaining spirit – especially in the midst of trials. While in a trial, others would be thankful for, I have had to resist the urge to complain.

Complaining About the Journey

Defined as “grumbling with discontent”, complaining often can take up much space in our hearts and minds especially during a time of trial. The hard part is, we can confuse sharing the details of our circumstances with complaining. The key lies within our heart’s contentment. Our hearts’ position becomes the issue, and it greatly affects our walk with Christ. We just, might not realize it… or at least, not at first. Where are our hearts? Understandably aching? Still pursuing the will of God?

When we enter any trial or situation, discontentment can spread like wildfire. This is why we are instructed to be on our guard in 1 Cor. 16:13.

The most crucial evaluation we can do in the midst of a trial is one that checks the position of our hearts. Trials make it so easy to put our walk with Christ aside, and let our old self rise up and begin to dominate in what we say and do. During times of trials, our defenses are down. We will be more tempted and tested than if life is shear goodness where no trial is present.

The Example of David

As David faced trials in his life, he brought them before God and kept his focus on God (see Psalm 119:121-128). It didn’t become an isolated path, where his feelings became louder than the desire to seek after God and His Word. He kept his focus on his Creator, as he poured out his complaints. This is a lesson for all of us, as we learn how to bring our complaints before God, and surrender the end result to Him.

Reflection

  1. How has your definition and understanding of complaining affected how you handle your trials?
  2. How can you make it a priority to run to God, His Word, His Church, and spiritually strong in hard times?
His Love Letters to Us

My Dearest Child – Philippians 2:1-5, 13-15

Sometimes during my quiet times, I like to write out God’s Word. Just write it out on a sheet of paper, and allow God to speak to me that particular way. This is perhaps the most powerful thing I have read in a while, and it is a passage of Scripture that I have read more than once or twice. But, it holds power. How much differently it is when we allow His Spirit to lead us, and to draw us into the revelation that it is His love letter to us – His dearly loved children!


My dearest child,

If there is any encouragement in Me, if any consolation in love,
if any fellowship with My Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill
My joy by thinking the same way, having the same love,
sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility –
consider others more important than yourselves.

Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,
but also for the interests of others.

Make your own attitude that of Me. (Phil. 2:1-5)

For it is Me who is working in you, enabling you to both – to
desire and to work out My good purpose. 

Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be
blameless and pure, My children. . .  who are faultless in a
crooked and perverted generation, among whom you
shine like stars in the world. (Phil. 2:13-15)

Signed by God,
through His Awesome Word.