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!

Jesus is Stronger! {Week 1}

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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Proving Identity {Week 1}}

Welcome! Welcome!

Welcome to our newest study!

I am looking forward our nine week long journey, that is ahead. We will be taking these next several weeks, to intently study what Jesus has to teach us through Matthew (chs. 4-7). This takes us through the temptations of Jesus, and the Sermon on the Mount. This will be an awesome experience. At the end of this blog post, I will be sharing where you can get your study journal. Please don’t wait for your journal to arrive, before joining in the fun!

I encourage you to break out your Bible and study journal, and join in the fun!

The Scriptures: Matthew 4:5-7 (*Ps. 91:9-11, not shown below)

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”(Mt. 4:5-7, NIV)

The Enemy’s Taunts

Jesus’ identity is questioned by the enemy, the devil. His job is to twist God’s holy Word, or at least that is what he tends to do. The enemy has rejected God’s commands and was kicked out of heaven – as a result. His name is now “deceiver,” and this is how he spends his time – deceiving all those who try and seek Jesus Christ. His goal is to just distract us enough, to forget about our relationship with Jesus and His ultimate mission!

The deceiver’s goal is to just distract us enough, to forget about our relationship with Jesus! (Click-to-Tweet)

The Identity

The devil will do anything to confuse Jesus and us, of our God-given identity! Each day, there is new opportunities to get distracted and forget that our identity is determined by God. God has called us His own, because of Jesus Christ!

Jesus is God’s beloved Son!

This is His identity!

Jesus didn’t need to jump off a high, sacred building (the temple) – to prove His identity. He didn’t need to do that, to know He’s fully protected by the Father. Jesus doesn’t need to do that, to prove who He is. Jesus’ identity is set in stone. Likewise as followers of Jesus Christ, our identity is set in stone. Our identity has been carved into the palm of all we are.

… because of Jesus Christ!

Our identity is forever in our great God.

Our identity is forever in our great God, through Jesus. (Click-to-Tweet)

The Temptation We Face

Often times, we face the same type of temptation – to step outside God’s will for our lives, and somehow expect to experience His protection. We are taught to not test God. How are we walking with God as my Dwelling place, to be protected and know my identity?

Lord God, Thank you for teaching me about your protection. Help me to remember I don’t need to prove my identity to anyone. I just need to keep living it out, for us (it’s for you and me). Help me to recognize temptations as they arise, so I can be prepared and overcome them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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You can find your copy of the “Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus” by clicking here (Please Note: This is an affiliate link, to help support this blog with any purchase you make).

Communing with the Father {{Week 1}}

Welcome to our first session of Gleaning From The Heart of Jesus! This is going to be 9 weeks of shear amazingness! I guarantee you, that your relationship with Jesus Christ – will be strengthened, challenged, stretched, and grown. There is no way that we can approach a study like this one, and not come out of this study – changed. transformed. closer to Jesus than we were before. (The same is true for our Ephesians and Isaiah 40 studies, that we focused on this summer)

You’re Invited!

I want to invite you to get your hands on the Gracefully Overcoming *official* journal, if you haven’t done so yet. We will be using our journals, throughout the study! Open up your journal to day 1. We will be looking at Matt. 4:1-4; Heb. 4:15; Mark 1:35.

 Led Out by the Holy Spirit

There is such a force of life, as I read Matthew 4:1. Jesus is led out by the Spirit of God. Jesus does not go out on His own, but He is seeking after the will of the Father. I have been thinking about the act of communing with God. 

Communing with the Father

As I picture, Jesus beginning this lonely walk to the wilderness. I think, it was a time of absolute community and wholeness. Jesus is going to the wilderness, where He will have an intense 40 days (no doubt about that!), but look at how He is approaching the wilderness. Hand-in-hand (or shoulder-and-shoulder with the awesome Father). Jesus is not going out on His own. This part of the passage just awakens a passion in me to commune with my heavenly Father.

Strengthened

As Jesus makes this walk to the wilderness, by the Holy Spirit, there is some serious strengthening going on.

Jesus faced an intense experience and conquered the enemy, because of the strength the Father provided!

God wants to give us that same kind of strength, my friends! God wants to strengthen and equip us, for every single thing we face in our lives (see 2 Peter 1:3). God’s Word confirms this truth, that He wants to equip and strengthen us.

We don’t have to go through temptations on our own.

We need to allow the Father to equip us with His strength, as we spend time with Him!

We don’t have to go through temptations on our own. We have Jesus! (Click-to-Tweet)

What kind of quality time are we spending with our heavenly Father? This is a hard question to answer, but we are given hope as we realize the place we are in. Because we can grow in our quiet time with the Lord.

Victory!

Jesus’ temptations were a direct attack on Him, by the Devil. See, the Devil knew who Jesus was. He already knew Jesus was, is, and will always be the very Son of God. The Devil wanted to poke at His identity. If the Devil could get Jesus to question His identity, then, he had him.

If the Devil can get us to question our identity in Christ (as heirs and children of God), then we are right where he wants us.

But, we can be victorous over our enemy!

Jesus Christ has overcome death, and defeated the Devil. Jesus Christ has proved who He is (and will always be). (Click-to-Tweet)

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Look Up! {{Week 3}}

We are at the end of our third week, for our current study. We have spent the past few weeks, studying Isaiah 40. Amazing journey, right?!? I am loving it! If you are new, it’s not too late to join in. We have one more week, before journeying through Matthew 4-7 (see end of post, for details). For Isaiah 40, you can pick up a free journal and schedule – to join in the fun!

The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:26; Psalm 89:11, 147:4

“Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out the army of heaven one by one and calls all the stars by name. Because he is strong and powerful, not one of them is missing (Is. 40:26).”

The skies and the earth belong to you. You made the world and everything in it… He counts the stars and names each one (Ps. 89:11, 147:4).

God is calling us to “look up”. Look up, He says to us. Look up and see. God is the great Creator of the universe. He has uniquely made each star, but He doesn’t stop there.

  • God created them.
  • God has brought them out, so we can see His handiwork. We get the shear joy of witnessing His handiwork.
  • God has called each one, by its God-given name.
  • God counts them, to make sure none are missing.
  • While God counts each one, they are given a specific name. Our God is specific and deliberate in every action He makes.

To me, this shows just how involved God is in each one of our lives – as well. In John 10, we see most of these themes play out again. Only this time, they relate to us!

Just as the heavens and eath are His, we are definitely His too! God saw fit to create us and call us His own. God created us from nothing and has the authority to call us as His own.

God is weaving us into His grand plan for the universe, as we come to Him. (Click to Tweet)

God calls us, by name. It doesn’t matter what we answered to, before we began walking with Jesus. All that matters is the moment we are standing in. All that matters is the new name we have been given, at this very moment. God wants to call us His sons and daughters. This happens, as we come to His Son – Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

Jesus has chosen you (me too), and gives you a new name. Just like He did for Jerusalem, He is rebuilding us. He is bringing us back. He is healing us. He is shwoing Himself as our Awesome Creator. His understanding, in Psalm 147:5, is even described as “beyond comprehension.” He is that good!

Jesus has picked you! And, He has a new name for you too. (Click to Tweet)

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I invite you to join us for our next study. For nine weeks, beginning on September 11, we will be enjoying bite-size portions of Matthew 4-7. This amazing section of Scripture, we will finally get to sit down and study at our own level. You can pick up your journal, over on Amazon. (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small earning from any purchases made using the link at no expense to you.)