Memorable Posts of 2017

As we prepare the new year and the many possibilities awaiting us, I invite us to reexplore five handpicked articles from Gracefully Overcoming. 

  1. The Most Humbling Worship Offering {Romans 12:1}
  2. The Shepherd Who Protects {From “Summer Psalms ’17” series}
  3. Finding Captivating Love
  4. Alone with God {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}
  5. Learning About His Love {From our “Meeting the Thessalonians” Study}

While I excluded the “Inspiring Women” post, every one of those posts seemed memorable or life impacting (at the very least). Each delivered some home hitting message, that influenced me as I poured out my soul in words. Here are just three from that meaningful series.

  1. Praise Before Panic
  2. Strength in the Fight {My Testimony}
  3. That One Compliment

There are soo many things that we can learn from. In 2018, my hope is for us to become more of a heartfelt community of Jesus followers and lovers.

My hope is. . .

to share more genuine words – helping us to draw near to the Lord and keep picking up our Bibles, but to weigh my words (Prov. 15:28) as well.

Don’t forget to pick up your eight week journal for our newest study! {It’s only $6.25 on Amazon} Starting January 15th, we will be studying the Timothys and Titus – using a brand new journal for our time together. Every ounce of support we receive, helps keep this blog running. And, we are so thankful for you all!

In Christ,

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Genesis 27-29; Psalms 51-52

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Assigned Reading: Genesis 27-29; Psalms 51-52

Psalms –

Chapter 51 – The psalmist cried out for God’s great mercy, because he was faced with his sin. When we sin against God, there is nowhere to hide from the sin or its consequences, or from God. We need to become like the psalmist who runs to God, and confesses his sin. Not only does he rely on God’s mercy, he prays fervently for a big change to take place in his heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. Do not throw me far away from Your presence, and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me. Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You; let Your willing Spirit sustain me (vv. 10-12, VOICE).

What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest (vv. 17)

Chapter 52 – God’s unfailing love is what truly lasts. His love outshines every good and bad deed we will see on this earth. Not only is His love unfailing, we are reminded how perverse the heart can become, seeking only to be evil. While we could be like these wicked people, we have something they don’t – Someone they refuse: Jesus Christ, our Shield and the One True God. He gives us Himself, and shows us what His love is really like. And His love changes us completely, as we begin to enjoy sweet fellowship with King Jesus.

Genesis –

Chapter 27

Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, and this was a crafty decision that was not only premeditated but also one with many consequences. It would take years for reconciliation to occur between Jacob and Esau. The moment Jacob stole Esau’s blessing, he was on the run. Today, there are many families who face divisions like this. As a result of a decision, one of betrayal, there is a great separation between family members. The fleshly desires are not worth the devastating effect it has on families and other relationships.

Chapter 28

While Jacob deceived his father, Isaac still spoke tenderly to him and guided him in the direction he should go. Not only did Isaac guide Jacob, more importantly God spoke directly to Jacob and told him of his future. This would offer much encouragement to a weary soul, pondering his fate.

 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you (28:15, NIV).

Chapter 29 –

Rachel was a shepherdess. She carried the important task of caring for her father’s sheep. As we think about Rachel and her particular responsibility, we are reminded of her importance. Without due diligence, she might lose some of her sheep. I am reminded of how God calls some of His daughters to be a shepherdess. We are called to care for God’s people, giving them much attention, and loving them diligently (see 1 Peter 5). It is an important job. We know it’s important to note Rachel’s work responsibility, because it is mentioned in God’s precious Word!

 

Job 40-42; Psalms 36-37

I find myself getting behind on a lot of things these days. Let’s see how this current week goes. The goal of any Bible study is to get closer to our Savior Jesus, and so my hope is to rearrange things to make sure that – while I study, I focus on staying at Jesus’ feet.

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Assigned Reading: Psalms 36-37; Job 40-42

Psalms –

Chapter 36 – The problem of self given flattery is – our spiritual eyes become blind and don’t recognize the sin we are entangled in. But, we have a place to run: God is our Refuge! His faithfulness and love are ours to cherish, as are His abundance and Him being the One to preserve us!

Chapter 37 – Friends, let us take heart in the truth found in verses 3-5.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this…

God offers us His abundance. His safe pastures are given to those who trust their good Shepherd (see Jn. 10). This is where real living takes place. An enduring, good life is found when we trust in Jesus and commit ourselves to Him.

Job –

God speaks to Job. Powerful words. Words we need to listen to.

Who then is able to stand against me? Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me (Job 41:10b-11).

Job speaks. Now, Job must answer for all he has spoken.

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know (42:2-3).

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes (42:5-6).

Job and his friends are brought to repentance. They had to mourn over their sin, and confess it to God. God showed them mercy, by not dealing with them as they deserved. God showed his love to them in this, and restored to Job all that was his before plus more. He had seven sons and three daughters. His daughters, even, were included in his will and named in the 42nd chapter – which is actually rather unheard of. God showed his goodness. Job showed his faith and heart toward God, as he recognized his sin and repented before God for all he had done.

What do we need to repent of, before God today? And, how are we drawing near to God?

 

Job 24-28; Psalms 23-25

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Assigned Reading for January 10: Job 24-28; Psalms 23-25

Psalms –

Chapter 23 – God is my Shepherd. He doesn’t say He might provide, but that He will provide and actually does. He leads me along the road where I need to go, and makes it all work out – as I stay near to Him.

Chapter 24 – God is holy. He is our Creator. Not only is He our Creator, He allows us to draw near to Him with pure hearts through Christ Jesus. God is the King of glory, and is very good to His people – His Creation.

Chapter 25 – Because our hope is in Him, we are not put to shame. God’s love is unfailing and beyond human limitations. Out of His love, He guides us. As God continues to love, offer us hope, and guide us, we begin to have reverent fear for Him and our eyes are growingly on Him – not the world we live in.

Job –

Seeing Injustice with No Consequence

… But God charges no one with wrongdoing (Job 24:12b)

This Scripture stands out to me, as Job recounts the wrongs he sees. In Job’s eyes, God doesn’t punish those who do wrong. It might seem that way in our own eyes as well, but we have to be reminded that we are not God. We are not holy – far from it, and have human eyes. God does see what is going on, and will act in His time. Thank God for the grace He offers to us through His Son Jesus Christ! Our biggest need as believers is to observe where our trust in the Lord is going. Fixing our eyes on Jesus is the One Thing we can do, as we see the injustices of the world.

Bildad: The Awe of God

In Job 25-26, Bildad begins to have a discussion with Job about the power of God. And, it sends off Job recounting the powers of our God. The question is –

Will we choose to realize the power of God today that is heavily at work in our lives?

Interlude: Truth Concerning Wisdom

But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living (Job 28:12-13).

The search is for wisdom. Wisdom cannot be bought, but is a treasure to be found. Wisdom is incomparable to anything we could ever touch in this world with our hands. In 28:21, wisdom is described as being hidden. Following in verses 23-28 we learn exactly where to find wisdom, which is to seek for wisdom in God – because God is the Author of wisdom.

I recently begun a Bible study through Love God Greatly, and Proverbs 1:7 is the first day’s Scripture to reflect on. This points back to what we are being told in Job 28. If we want wisdom, we need to go and find God!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

When The Holy Spirit Speaks…

A few days ago, I mentioned things have been increasing in their difficulties. While things may seem to get worse before they get better, I am sooo thankful for the Holy Spirit. I have had many “ministering moments” lately, similar to what we see in chapter 4 of Matthew. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and that’s the One who is doing a lot of comforting in my life lately. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, making sure I know that He is with me in this!

I wanted to share a few truths, today. These are truths I am learning to hold onto in my trials. And, it is my hope that they will help you too – in whatever season you find yourself in today!

  1. Jesus promises to be here with us.
  2. Jesus promises that He knows the weaknesses we face, and that’s exactly why we can come to Him.
  3. Finally, the problems of today mean glorifying God for all eternity. I don’t understand or like my trials, but it is comforting – just knowing that God will use this for something good, something eternal, and this won’t last forever.

Psalm 23 teaches us about the sovereignty of God and how He meets us – even caring for us and pouring blessings over us in the presence of our enemies. Let’s listen to a small portion of this Scripture –

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need… He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me (Ps. 23:1, 3b-4, NIRV).

Hebrews 4:14-16 proclaims the truth that King Jesus knows exactly what you are going through right now. None of your family or friends may know, but God knows it all. In Psalm 139, we are reminded that God is our Creator. He made us. So, it makes sense to us – as believers in Jesus Christ – that He would know the exact trials or times of weaknesses that we are going through right now. And, He is interceding on our behalf. He is going to love us through it! He is going to make sure we know that He stands on our side! This is our blessed encouragement and a good reminder of why we can keep the faith, even in the middle of trials. In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that trials show us where our faith is. Keep on believing, and trusting Christ!

We have a great high priest. He has gone up into heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us hold firmly to what we say we believe. We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us boldly approach God’s throne of grace. Then we will receive mercy. We will find grace to help us when we need it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reminds us why we can keep going and not give up. Our trials are not for nothing. Because we are in Christ Jesus, they can be used to bring glory to God!

We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.