Training Me for Godliness {POTF}

 

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8, CSB).

Tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity of attending the women’s Bible study at my home church. It is always a joyous time to be with the girls: to eat dinner, to fellowship, to learn, and to discuss. Only tonight, was a different kind of night for me. While I typically always eat dinner with the girls, tonight I just had to “run away” and eat quietly in one of the classrooms. I just couldn’t see myself eating with the girls in a way that would truly honor the Lord.

How could I say such a thing? I have some profoundly interesting food restrictions, and they were having pizza as one of their meal options. I just didn’t feel strong enough. So, I hid away – where I forced myself to eat my allergen free (and plant based) food.


I want. . . I need to be trained in godliness like Scripture says.

Godliness needs to be a part of every area of my life. Even in eating when it’s hard and I would rather have that slice of pizza – that just might leave me devastatingly weak and in POTS agony for days.

My dear friend, what is the Lord speaking tenderly to your heart about?


While in food isolation, I just soaked up Ecc. 5:1-2. Which was exactly what I needed – and the Holy Spirit knew it was what I needed. The Scripture talks about quietly coming to the Lord’s house, but there’s more to it.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God (vv. 2a, NIV).”

My problem at Bible study wasn’t so much my words, rather the temptation to hastily put dishonoring things into my mouth (because of the Lord’s direction). My heart likes to hastily act upon things, and I need to be careful. I don’t want to hastily make decisions – neglecting my godliness training.

Oh friend, how we need to fight for our relationship with Jesus! I don’t know what you are facing, but if we don’t fight for this relationship – other stuff will easily get in the way. My desire for allergen food can easily overshadow my desire for more of our Lord Jesus.

Friend, we need our Lord Jesus. We need Him to help us. We need to remember our need to train for godliness. One of my favorite Psalms uses this description: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Ps. 18:34, ESV).”

God is faithful and will help us, as we continue to draw nearer to Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me and keep drawing near. As you draw near through Bible study and prayer, the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you what to do!

In Him,

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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).

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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