The One Goal to Keep {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.

I bring before you all a special verse for Christian women. This is the verse. It can spark excitement in our hearts, but it can also scare some of us. This is a place, where we can learn to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and allow our sister-relationships to become a greater priority.

These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them (Titus 2:4-5, TLB).

Community: Friend or Foe?

I love this passage of Scripture, but sometimes I don’t. My heart chases after deep Christian community, and sometimes it can be difficult to find. Being with my brethren is what my heart wants. In Christian community, we grow leaps and bounds and build lasting relationships. This is why we are urged to seek out godly friendships with other women.

Even if this pursuit takes a little time (or a long time) for fruition, it will be well worth the wait.

Worth Fighting For!

However difficult this pursuit for Christ-like relationships with other women, I feel like this is worthy of fighting for!

When we live out this Scripture in our daily lives, we are placing our trust in Jesus Christ and choosing His way of life over our own. These kind of relationships require vulnerability, feeling uncomfortable, and accountability. But, this is the place of being loved beyond measure, and our faith in Jesus Christ is tested/matures too.

Finding Our Willingness

Now “older woman” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be 80 years old, but I wholeheartedly believe they have a wealth of spiritual treasures to pass onto the next generation. Women of all ages would greatly benefit from these distinctive relationships. We just need to be willing to obey God, as we come alongside someone else in the faith.

Far too often, we have stepped aside and ignored this Scripture – to avoid “interfering in another’s life”. Truth be told: We need for another woman, who is following Jesus, to come alongside us and lovingly interfere. We need to grow in our willingness to allow  (even invite) another to step into our lives. 

Speaking as a younger woman, but older than some, I know my need to be –

(1) Taught how to apply my faith in Jesus Christ to specific situations

(2) Reminded of biblical truths

(3) Prayed over

(4) Given Encouragement

 

Let’s cling to the truths of Titus 2. We won’t be able to live it out perfectly, so if you feel like you are failing – take heart, you aren’t alone. But, let’s remember the grace of our great God and focus on obey God in living this thing out – no matter what it looks like.

Deuteronomy 5-11

This is a large chunk of Scripture to ingest, but let’s see if we can make it through these seven chapters.


Chapter 5: The Big Move –

God brought Israel out of Egypt and is jealous (and protective) of them (5:6, 9). In chapters 5-8, I want to say that Israel is reacquainted with the Lord their God – their first love. Israel is moved from their old life and introduced to a life with God. Let’s remember how Jesus Christ has rescued us, and continues to teach us how to live with Him by our side.

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you. . . (5:33)

Chapter 6: The Great Heart Issue –

In 6:13-19, we are taught to fear God and keep Him where He belongs in our lives. Our response to God ought to be love and excitement to enjoy Him and speak of His name boldly to others (6:2-3, 5-9). We need to make it a common practice to talk about the Lord and make King Jesus our focus.

Because of who we are in Christ, we can fearlessly share His truth.

Chapter 7: Our God –

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments (7:9). . . If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you (vv. 12-13a).

God is holy. The Israelites likely understood this truth more than we do today. God is faithful, but He is holy too. God is the One who deserves all of our affection. We need to allow our actions to be made for God alone.

Our Relationship –

Now as we move into chapters 8-11, we are encouraged to think abut our own relationship with our Risen Lord Jesus Christ. These words in Deuteronomy are for us too.

Chapter 8: The Discipline –

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. . .Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you (8:2, 5).

We are reminded why we face testing. I have this passage highlighted in my Bible, because I need it to stand out whenever I open it to chapter 8. As we face testing in our lives, we need bold reminders that God is with us and He is doing a work in us.

. . . This is where we are reminded of our need to cling tighter to our Lord Jesus Christ!

Chapter 9-11: Stiff – Necked People

Israel was given the Promised Land because of a specific promise God made. It is fully dependent upon God, rather than the people of Israel. They turned from God, which cost them many blessings. Rejecting God and His Word brought curses on themselves, because that’s what they ran toward.

. . . You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. (9:16b) Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. (10:16)

Friends, we have our own stubbornness keeping us from God. We need to turn our hearts away from sin. . . and run to King Jesus!

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (11:18).

Week 6: Friday Five (1 Thess 5:9-28)

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).”

Week 4: The Ultimate Goal – Part 1

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God (1 Thess. 4:3-5, NIV)

A lot of what gets us in trouble is – we go looking for that captivating love in all the wrong places. We will look for it, even in sexuality. We chase the One Thing that will make us feel loved and full, rather than rejected and unbelievably empty. But often times, we forget that… God is the One who takes away the emptiness, and causes our hearts to leap with satisfaction as we dwell in His Word and Presence.

Finding Wholeness in God and His Word

Before we can worry about anything else, we need to come to a place where we meet Jesus Christ for ourselves. He is the One who wants to make us whole and keep us satisfied.

In God’s Word, we meet boundaries, or commands, because. . . God wants to keep us safe from harm and close to Him. He is the One who has lovingly pursued us, and invites us to seek Him for ourselves.

We can find rest and satisfaction, when we stop searching elsewhere for the treasures we can find in Him.

God’s Word is Significant!

As we read these words, let us remember that God’s Word is significant.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).”

If we want to be made complete by God and equipped for whatever God is calling us toward, we have to be willing to listen to Him.

Understanding God’s Authority

Understanding God’s authority is something we have to do, before we can hear what is coming next in 1 Thessalonians –

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus (vv. 1-2, ESV).

Before we are given our command, we are reminded that God is the ultimate authority in our lives. He is more important than our parents or the president of our homeland. Now this doesn’t mean we ignore those placed in authority over us (parents, president, etc), but it does mean we need to respect and obey the Lord our great God!

Understanding God’s authority of our lives is likely a bigger issue than “hearing” what God has told us to do. If we don’t trust someone’s authority, it affects how we take their commands. Growing in submission to God, means knowing and accepting God’s authority in our lives.

If we are unable to trust who God is, how can we effectively listen for His Voice and honor what He has instructed us to do?

While I have much more to say on this passage of Scripture, I have just one last thing to say for tonight…

Until next time,

Signature

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!