Psalm 19 {Summer ’17}

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In the Bible, we are given specific instructions on how to have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus and taught how to live well. God has much He wants to teach us.

Those who have chosen to follow His Son Jesus Christ, have been declared children of God. We have been saved by the grace of God! His love leads us to be adopted into His family. This sets the stage for understanding and following the Father’s instructions.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them (Psalm 19:8-11, NLT).

In Psalm 19, we are reminded about God’s law. God has specific instructions for our lives. If we want things to go well, we need to be deliberate in hearing the Word of God {the Bible} and put it into practice.

Many times, we don’t apply what God is teaching us. What we need most is to savor His Words and simply obey. We need to seek His will, not our own.

Learning to Abide

God’s Word is so important for us, as Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to make sure that we stay plugged into Jesus. In 1 John 3 and John 15, this is specifically called “abiding”. We need to abide in Christ.

In its original language, this means “to remain”. We need to remain with Jesus the Christ, my friends.

Loving God and His Instructions

We need to learn what it means to love God and the instructions He has faithfully given to us – through the Bible.

God has lavished His love upon us, and continues to passionately pursue us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to show us what is right. God wants to help us to avoid the pitfalls of the human life.

As we obey God, through His instructions, He continues to show Himself to us. Not only does He show Himself to us, He protects us from the traps we don’t see.

This is why God’s Word is so important, for God wants to help us to not become hurt. He doesn’t want to see us miss out on what He is ready to give us. If only, we would listen to what our great God has told us and put it into practice.

In Christ,

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Entrusted to Correct {1 Tim. 1:3-5}

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textgram_1489616297Sometimes we just don’t act as we ought to, but this is why God has placed us in the care of shepherds – pastors and others who will guide us and remind us of His truth.

Apostle Paul knew that Timothy had some shepherding to do – right where he was. He needed to correct the people in Ephesus, and get them on the right path. This was the reason for Timothy’s stay in Ephesus.

There were men who were teaching others the wrong things about the Christian faith. As teachers we need to make sure we are teaching others the right things, because we are accountable and leading others.

The Truth

As I said when I left for Macedonia, please stay there in Ephesus and try to stop the men who are teaching such wrong doctrine. Put an end to their myths and fables, and their idea of being saved by finding favor with an endless chain of angels leading up to God—wild ideas that stir up questions and arguments instead of helping people accept God’s plan of faith (1 Tim. 1:3-4, TLB).

The Nudge

New believers were following these men of God. But, how they were being led astray! They were not getting the firm foundation of truth they needed, and so Timothy was being led to shepherd these people – and teach them the truth even if that mean correcting their leaders.

We are saved by God’s grace and His grace alone. Jesus Christ is what makes up the Christian faith, and these men were deviating from the truth of grace.

Be Careful

As Christians seeking to nudge other believers onto the right track, we have to be careful how we approach these situations. While it may be tempting to respond in haste, when others are acting outside of God’s trusted will, we are called to respond in love.

What I am eager for is that all the Christians there will be filled with love that comes from pure hearts, and that their minds will be clean and their faith strong (1 Tim. 1:5).

We speak up, because believers need to believe and cling to His truth. As we speak up, we have to remember it’s about defending the truth of the Gospel – which requires prayer and boldness.

For godly leaders, spiritual correction is difficult but essential. This is part of their call, as our shepherds.

The Ultimate Goal

As we are being led by the Holy Spirit, let us remember that the ultimate goal is to see others come to place their faith in Jesus Christ and to experience His unconditional love for them. The Holy Spirit wants to use us and the gifts He has placed within us.

As a shepherd, Timothy was being led to correct the leaders in Ephesus. But before he could lead others, he had to make sure that his relationship with God through Jesus Christ was his number one priority – which it was. Timothy was a man of faith and sought to follow the will of God.

How do we know that Timothy, a pastor and man of God, lived what he taught? We see his faith in 1 Timothy 4, as Paul encourages Timothy to continue what he is doing.

Week 6: Friday Five (1 Thess 5:9-28)

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This is our last week of meeting the Thessalonians through Paul’s first letter to them. We will be moving on to 2 Thessalonians. Are you ready? It will be a beautiful time of continuing to meet and learn alongside the Thessalonians!

(1) Through Christ’s death, we can now live with Him. No longer will we face separation from our heavenly Father. Whether we live or die, we are His forever and will stand in His presence. We have been justified by the grace of God, as we choose to accept His free, yet costly, gift of salvation through Jesus’ death and amazing resurrection!

“Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important if we are alive or dead when Jesus comes (1 Thess. 5:10, ERV).”

(2) We are commanded to encourage one another, as we wait for Jesus’ return! I can see why this command is so important. As we walk through this life, we cannot go without the accountability, comfort, and urging of our faithful friends who help us to continue trusting in Jesus Christ – our living God! We are blessed to stand in Christian community, and this Scripture reminds us that it is still much needed.

“Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do (vv. 11, MKJV).”

(3) Consider how you treat others. We are reminded that we can’t hate people, simply because they hate us. This is not how Jesus “raised us”. Our heavenly Father wants us to do good unto others, even if they aren’t showing any kind of goodness towards us. Let’s remember this, as we wrestle with learning to love others as Christ has loved us.

“Don’t be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else (vv. 15, CEV).”

(4) Keep thanking God for whatever happens. Through the course of our lives, we will see good and bad. While we may hate the bad seasons of our lives, it is part of living here on earth. Celebrate the goodness of our risen Lord. Raise your hands with thanksgiving that this life is not the end. We have our Redeemer’s miraculous resurrection power working for us!

“Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do (vv. 18).”

(5) Yield to the will of God. As we choose to trust in Jesus, we will enter a “sanctification process”. What this means is: God is going to continue working in you, as Philippians 1:6 teaches us. He is going to give us peace, but make us holy as well. Allow God to work in you, through how you respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Keep submitting to Him.

“I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this (vv. 23-24).”

Check It Out!

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(Email readers, please note that this blog post contains links you might miss unless you view this post on the website at http://www.gracefullyovercoming.me)

It has taken me nearly eight months, but finally you have an easy place to view other articles I have written that don’t make it to Gracefully Overcoming. Typically, I share these articles on GO’s Facebook page. Yet, I forget or become oblivious on the “how to” in sharing these articles right here on the blog.

Anyhow, now you have the opportunity to view these almost “top secret” articles. While visiting my website, click on SOG Articles and it will take you directly to my author page through Servants of Grace.

You will be blessed beyond measure, as you stroll through this ministry’s content. The best thing about it is: you will receive amazing biblically sound teaching, through this ministry. Coming in at second best is: there’s nothing to pay for – like other ministries who have to cover the cost of their ministries. You don’t have to jump through hoops to find this biblically sound teaching on Servants of Grace.

Go check them out, even if you have never heard of this ministry before.

The founder of SOG is very passionate about the Word of God, and ensures everything is going to line up with the Word of God.

Not only is it completely biblical sound (which should be any Christian reader’s biggest concern, by the way), SOG has all kinds of things, which are all designed for you and your Christian walk to benefit.

Concerning GO and our ministry right here on Gracefully Overcoming – including our beautiful Thessalonians’ study: Be sure to check back in a day or two, where we will be studying this week’s memory verse – which is. . .

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for
this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-
18).

Click here for our Thessalonians reading plan.

Until next time,

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Jesus is Stronger! {Week 1}

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The Scriptures – Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:42-43; Hebrews 1:14

“Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus (Mt. 4:11).”

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him (Lk. 22:42-43).

“Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14).”

The devil went away. He is seen fleeing the scene. The devil’s weaponry is no match for God’s. In Ephesians 6, we are taught how to defeat the evil one. The same armor Jesus employed, as He faced these temptations. After the temptations, Jesus is seen as victorious!

He came through the temptations, stronger. And, He will do the same for us! {Click-to-Tweet}

While the temptations were attempts to weaken Him, they didn’t work that way. The temptations just proved who Jesus is and how we can experience victory through Him! (see Heb. 4)

As Jesus is praying in the Garden, He prays for the Father’s will. Jesus knew exactly what He was about to undergo. Yet, there is power in His prayer and willingness to remain obedient to the Father. This is the same road I need to take in my Christian life.

While I may face many obstacles in my life, as a daughter of the Most High God, His power is made evident – as my faith is stretched and grows through these things. These are the moments God will use to show the world exactly who I am, as His daughter.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, my identity is made clear. I am a daughter of God. My identity is found in Him. He makes Himself known to me, through life’s obstacles. Jesus is making me stronger! While the enemy uses my troubles to destroy me, Jesus will use it for my ultimate good (Jn. 10:10; Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28).

Jesus is making me stronger! {Click-to-Tweet}

Lord Jesus, help me to remember the devil has no choice but to flee when I stand firm on your word – during these attacks. I will come forth as gold, but I must stay rooted in you and your Word. I have to remain immovable. Make the devil run away, and help me to seek you!

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