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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Almost Time! {Press On Toward Faithfulness}

Hello my friends!!

Our study is quickly approaching. Press On Toward Faithfulness is our eight week study. I do hope you will join me, as we sit and study the Word of God. Diligently, we will be studying and learning from the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy.

About the Study –

While it is New Testament books we are reading, they are only a few chapters each. And each day, we will be taking it slow and ingesting the treasures of our great God bite by bite. I promise you, the daily readings won’t be too long to read and meditate upon. We will be taking our time walking through these precious chapters.

Our goal here isn’t to see how much of the Bible we can read in one sitting. Rather, our ultimate goal is to allow Christ and His Word to take root in our hearts and change us from the inside-out!

In these books, we are able to gain wisdom from Paul as he counsels two spiritual brothers actively involved in ministry. Titus and Timothy gleaned much needed encouragement, as God spoke to them through Paul. They were encouraged, which helped them stay faithful to what the Lord was leading them to do. Many of us need this kind of encouragement.

Gathering Your Tools –

Our study begins January 15th, so it is just a few short days away. Be sure to grab your eight week Scripture Writing journal, which can be used for this study (or almost any study). It is only $6.25 on Amazon.

Next week, I will reveal our Press On Toward Faithfulness schedule – which we will be using to guide us through our day to day study. While it is a daily study, it will allow us to take in the Scripture piece by piece to get as much as we can – out of this sacred time. Each day, we will uncover new (and even once forgotten) truths that can radically change our perspective of God, ourselves, and show us the steps we need to take – as we place our trust in our Lord Jesus.

Also for those interested: We have a Facebook women’s small group ready to meet and dive into this study in a more personal setting. Consider joining us! But don’t forget about our multiple blog posts – as we go through this study! We will be spending lots of time diving into the Word together, whether it is through the blog or our women’s small group (sorry guys!).

Let’s Pray, Friends –

Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts for this sacred time. So many of us need this time more than words can say, and I know I am one of them. Prepare us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this study. Help us to be planted in Your divine word and hear from You. As we hear directly from You, help us willfully obey – surrendering everything – so You can move in our lives, communities, and ministries. Be glorified, Lord. Amen!

Talk with you soon, my friends.

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P.S. Thank you for the support you provide, to keep this ministry going! The website link may be changing, so keep an eye out for that – friends. Even when this happen, fear not! The ministry of this blog will press on. The Lord has been providing mightily for all our necessities. I received word that my laptop was no more, but the Lord provided one for me to use.

The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.

My Own Story: Strength in the Fight {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!

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are invited to lean on the Lord for strength. Today, I will be sharing my own story of facing difficult circumstances with God’s strength. This is part one, as we look at Ephesians 6:10 –

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides] (Eph. 6:10, AMPC).

We can be strong in the battle, because we are relying on our Lord Jesus for strength and protection. It brings us back to our need for a relationship with our King! As we come closer to Jesus, He provides all we need to face the storms of life.

My Own Battle –

Summer is my hard time, as I have shared before. I feel like everything within me, becomes greatly tested – during Summer time. This reminds me why I need Jesus Christ in my life. I cannot deal with the things of my life without Him. My strength is not nearly enough to tackle a small portion of the things I deal with.

Jesus Christ is my source of Strength, Deliverer, Companion, Savior, and even calls me His friend. He continues to show me who He is.

I am thankful He doesn’t ever leave my side. I can sit in His presence, and allow everything else fade into the background – as He equips me to carefully handle everything. This is where I am renewed and find healing, as I sit in His presence, talk with Him {prayer}, and read my Bible.

God’s Strength –

Even though this is my difficult time, I am constantly reminded that God’s strength is more than enough to get me through. The strength of my God is all I need.

Throughout Scripture, we are taught about the character of God – His goodness, love, justice, strength, etc. However, it is in these moments that I am able to experience who God honestly is. I am not alone in my battle.

Through the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to remind His followers they are saved, He stays with me regardless of my circumstances. He is my Constant in the midst of a very unpredictable storm. While I cannot do anything to earn His favor or love, He has chosen to love me and stay with me – simply because He wants to.

Because of Jesus Christ, who has saved me, I can enjoy an intimate relationship with my great God and my soul can literally burst with joy – regardless of how unwell I feel.

God’s Passionate Pursuit –

God reaches out to us in the midst of our troubling circumstances. Even though we cannot begin to figure out what is going on or why it is happening, God remains. He constantly pursues us.

Even though we have made ourselves God’s enemies through our choices to rebel against Him, He still loves us and sent His Son Jesus Christ – so we may be with Him again. We can experience forgiveness from our sins and a right relationship with our heavenly Father. All we need is Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price. He laid down His life, so we would be saved.

For many of us, we don’t have a father figure in our lives. This weekend can be difficult for that reason, but keep remembering how much God loves you and is pursuing a love relationship with you.

He wants a relationship with you. He wants to give you His strength among many other good gifts. He is simply waiting for you to respond to His love invitation.

In His Hands,

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Week 5: 1 Thessalonians 5:6

Hey friends!

While it has been a few rough days, I wanted to try and remind us of our goals for this week.

  1. To read and study 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:8 (click for reading schedule).
  2. To take time to get away and enjoy this week’s memory verse.

As you begin this week’s study of 1 Thessalonians, remember to just go at your own pace and focus on your relationship with the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. We have been beautifully redeemed, and it is all about our relationship with Him!

Memory Verse in Context

The goal of memorizing Scripture is simple: to recite aloud, meditate on from our perspective, and allow the verse to become stored in our hearts. The results of such an action is applying it to our lives like we would apply medicine to a wound. Healing is the result, as we are changed by God’s Word.

6 So, then, let’s not go to sleep, like the others, but let’s keep awake and stay sober.  7 People who sleep, you see, sleep at night. People who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But we daytime people should be self-controlled, clothing ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and with the helmet of the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, NTE). . .

Some Thoughts

Most of the time, we can find it difficult to stand firm in our faith and making sure we are living as children of light (following Jesus). This is why we need the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:6. We need to remember to stand firm, because it is crucial for our relationship with God through Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior!

Drawing near to God and standing firm are the things growing our faith, so we need to examine ourselves. When we stand firm, we will draw near to God; And when we draw near to God, we will stand firm.

As we remember about these two desperately needed spiritual disciplines, I am reminded that God has set us apart for Him and His glory. Throughout Scriptures, we are reminded to stand firm. However it is easy to slip up and forget about our set apart lifestyle, when surrounded by temptation. It’s easy to believe the lie that we can fit in with the world, while calling ourselves a child of God. This is also why our time with God crucial.

Many today call themselves a “Christian,” while living for the world and its sinful pleasures rather than drawing near to God and running to His goodness. The lines have been blurred for what has been taught to us as black and white. How can this be, my brethren?

As we draw near to God through prayer and Bible study, we learn the truth and God shows us how to stand firm. We don’t have to give into the things of this world and/or make excuses for it. God wants to show us how to have an immovable faith. We just have to keep drawing near and hold our ground in keeping Jesus first. God wants to show us how to live as people who believe to Him and operate by faith.

Vigilance is not a zealous attempt to read “the signs of the times.” Rather, it is a life lived in faithfulness. . . The alert Christian will be fully armed with faith, love, and the hope of salvation (Asbury Commentary).