Week 8: 2 Thess. 2:15 {Stand Firm, My Friends}

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15, NIV). 

I have this week’s memory verse posted in several places of our home. It has continued to serve me with the needed reminder to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even though I finished week 8 many weeks ago, I haven’t been able to take it down.

It has provided necessary encouragement, throughout the difficult days, when giving up seems tempting.

Stand firm literally means to keep one standing. In order to stand our ground, we must remember the hope we have found in Jesus Christ. We cannot allow circumstances to cause us to waiver either to the left or right, if God has called us to a specific thing. Let’s trust Him and obey Him in that specific thing.

In order to persist, we need to remember Jesus Christ’s word – which has lovingly been given to us. While in the Bible we are taught many things about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the life He is lovingly calling us too, this is where the Holy Spirit steps in. In many different scenarios I cannot tell you what God is calling you to do, but God definitely is able to do exceedingly more than you could ever ask Him to do.

He promises us wisdom when we ask for it, gives us the resolve to stand strong, and helps us to continue on. A message we all, including me, need to hear – because we can get weary at times. God is calling us to stand strong in our faith. It is impossible to do this, when we are not allowing ourselves the necessary time spent in His presence and reading our Bible.

Keep listening for His voice, as you persevere and seek Him above all things.

This is definitely one truth we need to hold close to our heart, as we seek to live out the truths we learn in the Thessalonians.

See Psalm 46:1; Proverbs 3:5-6; Eph. 3:20; James 1:5

Week 5: Friday Five (1 Thess. 4:15-5:8)

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.

While I am still super behind on things (blog and otherwise), I would like to welcome you (Yes, you) to this week’s Five Friday! Even though it will be Saturday, by the time this set of thoughts go out into the world, this is our Friday series. You can click here to read this week’s section of Scripture. And here to see where we will be exploring next week.

Five Truths On. . . 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:8

(1) Jesus Christ is coming back for His people! (see 1 Thess. 4:15-17) The Scripture is clear: We will see Him face-to-face. Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be overwhelmed with joy and worship as He comes for them!

Yes, the Lord God is coming with mighty power; he will rule with awesome strength. See, his reward is with him, to each as he has done (Isa. 40:10, TLB).

(2) When Jesus comes for us, we will remain with Him forever (see 1 Thess. 4:17b).  John 15:1-8 reminds us why we remain with Jesus. When we remain with Christ, we are given the gift of profound intimacy with Him. Our forever gift that this world cannot compete with.

A relationship with Jesus Christ is what we have, and worth living for! He is  our lifeline, hope, and salvation.

(3) While others may claim to know when Jesus’ return will happen, the only One who knows is the Father (see 1 Thess. 5:1-2).

But no one knows the date and hour when the end will be—not even the angels. No, nor even God’s Son. Only the Father knows. . . So be prepared, for you don’t know what day your Lord is coming (Matt. 24:36, 42).

(4) As Scripture states (see 1 Thess. 5:2-3), we must be ready for the coming of Christ. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we need to not only prepare ourselves – but do whatever we can to help others to return to Him. Preparation is such an important topic, as we think about the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in John 14:1-6. He has promised to go and prepare a place for us in Heaven.

How are we living today, in light of the truth and hope that Jesus is coming back? What are we doing to prepare and live for eternity?

(5) Living as sons and daughters of God who profess Jesus Christ as Lord, is how we can prepare ourselves and the world for His coming (see 1 Thess. 5:5-8). The truth is – Jesus is coming back. This is not a fearful thing, rather it is a glorious and joyous thing. We can celebrate what Jesus is doing (and will complete) on our behalf, and share our joy with the world. Let’s not forget to whom we belong, and allow Him to transform our lives!

ONE Week Away – Meeting the Thessalonians

Friends, Our study is only one week away! I am excited to share this journey with you all! The study of “Meeting the Thessalonians” has been such a rich time of worship, that has led me closer to God. Honestly, God has used this study to prepare my heart and mind for the season He is allowing me to enter into. I am eternally thankful for this time of study, and that I have been able to daily commit myself to taking the time to scripture write 1 Thessalonians. As I conclude my last week of 1 Thessalonians for this study, I am thankful for this time of preparation for our study together.

God knew it was exactly what I needed. So now, I invite you, dear friend, to join me in “Meeting the Thessalonians”. This is where God is going to meet us and speak tenderly to our hearts – no matter what we are facing in our daily lives. No matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in.

Honestly, life has been tough for me lately. There was even a millisecond of hesitation of switching the study date. Fear not journal lovers (if there are any of you out there), we are pressing on and going to begin our study in one week!

While there is a lot of things I am currently facing, I also have a lot of things on my heart and mind that I believe God is leading me to share with my fellow bloggers and readers. But this study isn’t solely for me, it is for you too. God has a specific word He wants to share with you personally! God wants to meet you right where you are, even if your life seems like mine – a big mess.

Even in the mess, God wants to show us Himself. He wants to reveal Himself to us, even in times like now where life is far from perfect. These are the exact moments, where we need to draw nearer to Him. We need to experience the faithfulness and presence of our great God!

With all that said, I hope you will consider joining me for our study. “Meeting the Thessalonians” is our nine week Bible study. There will be something for each of us to read, during the weekdays. We will meet back here, during the week to grow and learn together.

As a way to prepare ourselves for this study, I advise grabbing the journal. If you can afford it, please consider purchasing the official “Meeting the Thessalonians” journal. It helps to support this blog, plus all new format to help us gain a better quiet time. The new format will be utilized in all upcoming studies. I wasn’t able to afford the journal this time around, but I am looking forward to getting one of the future ones. They look really good, and helpful to move me in the right direction in growing spiritually.

Whether you use the journal or a notebook, you will have all you need to enter into this study with confidence that you will abound in your faith and relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ!

We begin January 29, 2017. Get ready, my friends, for you are going to love all that God will show you during this time of spiritual worship!

You can find the Thessalonians reading plan, by clicking here.

Signature

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart (Blogging-for-Books)

higgsHave you ever wondered how to memorize Scripture? I have a wonderful study tool to share with you all today!

Liz Curtis Higgs’ latest book is on this very important topic – memorizing Scripture. As Christians, we know we need to make an effort to memorize the Word of God (see Ps. 119:11; Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:1-11; Col. 3:16; Rom. 10:17). But, have you ever asked yourself how to do this important task? I know I have found myself in that very place, which is why I am pleased to bring this review to you all.

In her book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, Higgs takes us on a beautiful journey. We will not only come away with having spent memorable time in the Word of God and learning to memorize Scripture, but will have also made a good friend and learned much about God and His Word.

This study is available for personal use, but there is one more benefit to this book. The study guide, located in the back of the book, makes it ideal for a small group study as well. This study is absolutely amazing! I hope you all have an opportunity to check it out!

Specifics on the Study

These are 31 verses that we desperately need to know by heart. When we learn the Scriptures, by heart, they will come to mind at the very moment their presence is needed. A short list of the set aside verses include –

  • Philippians 1:6
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Proverbs 3:3

… among many other treasured Scriptures that remind us of God’s truths.

In each day’s reading, you can expect to find 5 key elements…

~ A devotion
~ Time of prayer
~ The daily tip for memorizing Scripture (which means we get 31 tips designed to help us memorize Scripture!!)
~ The Scripture of the day in New International Version (NIV)
~ A space for us to write out the verse in our favorite translation

My Last Thoughts

I love to pore through this book. There is so much truth found within the contents of this book, that comes from God’s Word. In her devotions, Liz takes us through the Scripture word – by- word, phrase – by – phrase. Higgs is a researcher, which is one of my favorite things about her way of teaching, so we get to glean all that she is learning and has to share with us.

Not only is Liz knowledgeable, when it comes to the Word of God, she is witty. Whenever I take a journey with one of her books, it is like I am reacquainting with an old friend. This study will challenge us in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Plus, it isn’t a time consuming study – which is a must for many of us. As we dive into 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, we will be challenged to seek after God and to come as we are. This study is a blessing, and I highly recommend it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the “Blogging for Books” book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Making Promises to God {{Week 5}}

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 5:33-35; Numbers 30:2

Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not make false vows, but you shall fulfill your vows to the Lord [as a religious duty].’ But I say to you, do not make an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King (Matthew 5:33-35, AMP).

 If a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself with a pledge [of abstinence], he shall not break (violate, profane) his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth (Numbers 30:2).

Devotion

In the context of this passage, we are taught to not issue promises to God. It is not good for us to say, “I will do _________.” While it is our human tendencies to make promises, we tend to not be able to keep them. Things are constantly arising in our lives. Not only that, but God is sacred and holy. Our relationship with God is unlike any other relationship we have, in our lives!

How are we realizing, as Christ followers, the significance of such a promise made?

I remember one time, where I made such a promise to God. I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing. But bottom line, I was afraid and quickly forgetting the greatness of my God. He doesn’t need our promises. He doesn’t need our promises, to activate His life-saving (and changing) grace!

When Scripture teaches us that it is better to not make oaths, God really knows what He is talking about. When we make oaths, we don’t know what the future or even God’s will has in store. Making promises seem to be the popular in the reality of daily living. We remember our human fraility and try to use “pinky promises” to get our kids and others to just be faithful to what they have said.

God is faithful!

Even when we are faithless, God is completely faithful!

Allow God to show you His greatness in your life.

When we begin to grasp, really grasp, the greatness of our God, we won’t make promises. This is the point, where we are utterly aware that God is far greater than we could ever comprehend. God is not one we should “make deals” with. God is Awesome and the richest Treasure of this world.

My hope is to remember the sacredness of our great God. He is very good to His people. We have no way of knowing what circumstances lie ahead, and how it will affect how we carry out our promises.

Lord, Remove the blinders from our eyes. I pray You would show us Your greatness. Help us to remember there is none like You. Thank You that You are sacred, holy, and pour out Your truths in our lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.