Week 7: Friday Five (2 Thess. 1)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 2 Thessalonians 1

(1) As we continue to follow Jesus Christ, we are kept safe (1:1). This is perhaps one of the greatest treasures I have found. As a woman, I crave protection. So to know that my Jesus, my King, is protecting me and keeping me safe – is comforting beyond words! It makes me okay with the difficult days, when I stop long enough to realize I am being protected and kept safe by the King of Kings!

. . . To: The church of Thessalonica—kept safe in God our Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1, TLB).

(2) We are given rich blessings, which are found through our relationship with Jesus (1:2). In my digital Bible, it is translated a bit differently which helps to understand the Bible more clearly. Because of God the Father and our Lord Jesus, we have been given rich blessings and peace-filled hearts and minds (1:2b, TLB).

Does it get any better? In the world we live in, peace – filled hearts and minds are one of the greatest gifts we can be given. In a day where our minds and hearts run like they are on a treadmill all night long, the peace Jesus gives is enduring and ever-loving!

(3) We have the opportunity to do three specific things based on the knowledge of those God has placed in our path, who continue to be an encouragement to our faith (1:3-4). We can pray for them, share with others about lessons we are learning through their example, and give thanks.

Each of these things are growing points for me. I believe they are for each of us. We live in a “me first” world, which causes us to forget or neglect others, their faith, and the privilege of praying for them or sharing things we learn through their example.

(4) God can use our sufferings to make us ready for His Kingdom (1:5-6). This set of verses will cause us to give James 1 a second chance, where we are urged to count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, NKJV).

We need to trust that God will use our sufferings for His ultimate good. He is preparing us for something greater. His Kingdom is worthy of our suffering (see Prov. 3:5-6; Rom. 8:18).

(5) As we face suffering, God will provide us with quality rest through Jesus’ second coming (1:7, 10). As we come into His Kingdom, we will forever know God as He honestly is – with no holding back. 

One day, we will stand in His presence and will never again be distracted by the circumstances we are facing or the things of this world. We will stand in His presence in utter awe and overwhelmed with joy. We will be fully satisfied in the Lord.

Daniel Resources

For those who are interested, we begun a new study. While it’s official name is Citizen of Heaven, Resident of Earth, I tend to refer to it as the post election study. Because, that is what brought about the need for this particular study.

I want this to a time of remembering that God is much greater than us and our leaders. While God is even greater, our leaders have an important responsibility – because they have a great effect on those they are leading.

Not only do we need to keep them heavy in our prayers, let’s keep seeking and honoring Christ in how we respond to our elected officials and their decisions. We all leave an effect on this world, even those of us who don’t consider ourselves to be leaders. We all are leaving an example, whether good or bad.

Now, it is much different than my other reading plans. It is more of a “read through” particular books of the Bible, than our very slow pace of studying (that quite honestly I prefer). You can find out more about the study and what led to this reading plan here. Appropriately so, that post is called “How Will YOU Prepare for this Transition?

The Book of Daniel

… begins this upcoming week.

Daniel is a much loved person, who was rooted in God. He made decisions, while exiled in Babylon, that shows he stood with God – regardless of what others said or did. We need his testimony, as we live in a world that doesn’t often say or do what aligns with the very Word of God.

As you begin to study the book of Daniel, take a few moments to be in prayer. As we begin our time in the Word by praying, the Holy Spirit will begin to show us things we might not see otherwise. God has much to say to us, through this book!

Two particular things – This book shows us God’s power and the faith Daniel held onto. As we study, let’s take notice of the things God is wanting to teach us through His Word. Let’s take the extra few moments, to jot down Scriptures and any notes of what God is sharing with you.

Reading Plan Helps

It can easily be read in its entirety by reading two chapters per a day. I wanted to share a study guide, from a place I use often (Be aware: All I use or go to on this particular website is the study guides). Bible.org offers some insightful articles on different sections of the book of Daniel as well.

Also you might want to have commentaries nearby for those moments, when you need them.

Suggested Reading Plan –

  • Monday – Daniel 1-2
  • Tuesday – Daniel 3-4
  • Wednesday – Daniel 5-6
  • Thursday – Daniel 7-8
  • Friday – Daniel 9:1-11:1
  • Saturday – Daniel 11:2-12:13

Starting next week, the reading gets intense. So, I suggesting grabbing the audio Bible (you can utilize it over at… BibleGateway.com). The reading plan can be found here.

~ Stacey

Worship God with Salt {{Week 4}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:13 and Leviticus 2:13

Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage (Matthew 5:13; MSG).

You must also put salt on all your grain offerings. Salt stands for your agreement with God that will last forever; do not leave it out of your grain offering. You must add salt to all your offerings (Leviticus 2:13, NCV).

Our job is simple – to tell others about Jesus. We can get caught up in so much doing, but this is where life is found. This is what we need to be about, as Christians who have chosen to follow Jesus.

The most important task we have, as believers, is to tell others about Jesus. Whenever we can, share how God is working in your life.

We can’t allow the lines to get blurred. Others see godliness through us. Every time we offer up the courage to tell someone about Christ, respond gently to another, or choose Jesus’ self control over your ability to hurt another with your words, you are worshiping God and God flavors enter the world. The world will illuminate, because others will get another glimpse of God. And when we do these things, this is offering ourselves to the King of Kings!

The tender mercies of God is the only reason why we can have such an important part in His Kingdom. The mercy of God has not only transferred us from death to life, but that is such a vital part. It is just the beginning, though. God has so much more in store for us, as His people loved by God, as we seek His face. We do this, through reading our Bibles, praying, and spending time in community with other Christ followers.

God has much in store for us, as His people loved by Himself. Reading our Bibles, praying, and spending time in community with other believers, is what gets us into the storehouse.

The mercies of God has also declared we can change the entire world, through the passion of Christ, His Gospel, and His power.

Lord, I love the truth of today’s message. Your mercy is so great, thank You! It is, in the light of Your mercies that I can join Your good work and offer myself – so others might see You and come to know You for themselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Speaking to Destroy {{Week 2}}

Jesus teaches us that our words can sting. He could say a number of things about our words, or why we need to be careful how we use them. But, He says something in Galatians that… just stings.

Read Ephesians 2:11-13. And, meet me back here.

{{Journals for Walking Into The Light (our study) are still available on Amazon. See link at the end of this post.}}

The Outsider

Today, I am reminded of the person I use to be. I haven’t always been the Jesus-girl that I am today. In fact, I remember a young woman far different in character. Everything about her, was different. She used her words like a knife, and would pick a fight with anyone within a 50 mile radius (or internet connection).

I wrote this as part of my prayer for today –

“I am Your prodigal daughter who runs and whose character was more like the Devil in John 10:10 than I would ever care to admit.”

Why Share?

We need to know that others fight their old selves too. We need to know how far God can take us. Part of Saul’s testimony (see Acts 9) is how God can turn him around. Saul (now Paul) had his heart radically changed. And, it changed his entire life.

When he allowed Jesus Christ to come into his life, everything began to change. It wasn’t an instant Clark Kent kind of change. But, it doesn’t make it any less powerful.

In fact, I would argue that it just makes it much more powerful.

We know the heartache of who we used to be.

Some of us even cringe at the thought of things we have said and done, while running from God.

But when Jesus becomes our Savior and Lord… When we allow the power of God to step into our lives, He can begin to transform our hearts.

We go from…

  • His enemy to His beloved child.
  • people approval to experiencing the love of God that sent His Son Jesus to earth, the crowds, the cross, and yes – the Resurrection.
  • reflecting the Devil to allowing Jesus to be reflected in our heart and character.

When we turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, there is no area in our lives that He cannot touch!

The Truth of God’s Word

I am a writer. I use words. Words are my friend. Words are my sidekick. But, the Bible teaches us something I can testify to on a personal level.

Our words can be just as potent, as they are lovely.

What are those words in Ephesians, that leave such an impact on this Jesus-girl’s spirit?

“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:15).”

I have had more than my fair share of biting and devouring one another. I have had more than enough regrets in how I have destroyed others. In how I attempted to destroy myself. I once was led away by internal desires and passions to follow after godless pursuits.

But, God.

This is a phrase I have grown to love. Because, I know it’s meaning. When God steps into our lives, nothing is impossible. With God by our side, we can overcome anything. We can overcome every ounce of our old selves that remains.

While He can help us become better, we need to not forget what God has done in our hearts and lives.

Jesus teaches us to not forget.

How have you forgotten who you used to be, before Jesus Christ scooped in and began to change you from the inside-out?

Tuesday Link-Up: Our Testimonies

Friends,

I want to welcome you to week 2 of our link – up (click here for last week’s). Each week, my goal is for us to come together and share how God is working and moving into our lives.

Because the truth is – God is constantly on the move and working out all things. Even the hard things, God is working everything out. We need stories to cling to. How has God come to your aid? How has Jesus been your refuge this week? How can you see God moving this week, in a way that was beyond needed.

I want you to share… I want to hear from you on how you are learning to gracefully (or maybe ungracefully) overcoming.

Maybe, it’s experience you had this week.

A conversation.

Or, a time of encouragement or Bible study you want to share.

I invite you all to join me this week, as we share our testimonies and how God is moving in our lives!