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

Renewal Despite Earthly Troubles {{Week 4}}

Welcome friends! Today is Wednesday, and we are going to do a little bit of studying. We are almost done with our Isaiah 40 study, but we aren’t done yet. I invite you to join me, as we think on today’s verses.

 

The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:29; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless (Isa. 40:29, NLT).”

“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Cor. 4:16-18).”

God supplies us with every single thing we need.

 

In His infinite wisdom, He already stands willing and equipped to help the weary and weak. We all find ourselves in the category, where we are left feeling like we are lacking – as we endure life. Yet God, never lacks in anything.

In His infinite wisdom, He already stands willing and equipped to help the weary and weak. (Click-to-Tweet)

Because of the truth of who God is, we can come boldly and expect God to share His strength and power (James 1:5; Hebrews 4:16).

 

This is why we never ever give up hope. No matter what we are facing, God makes it clear He will act on our behalf – as we humbly seek Him. God wants to fill us up and give us all we need.

 

We need to:
  • humble ourselves.
  • seek God (come before Him).
  • ask
  • expect.
  • trust God.
  • wait for the great Lord to renew us on a daily basis.
As we seek God to give us strength, wisdom, and direction, we need to remember what is going on behind the scenes. There is an eternal glory happening, as a result of our earthly troubles. This eternal glory is why it is vital to my well-being to focus on what is unseen. While what is seen is what gets stuck as my focus point, the unseen is what’s of absolute importance. The seen, ie) chronic illness, cannot compare to the glory of God. While I can never fully understand God’s glory, I need to shift my perspective to eternity and the amazingly good work God is doing in my life!

 

Lord, it’s tempting but I will not lose heart. Though outwardly I am wasting away, You are renewing me on a daily basis! These momentary troubles cannot begin to compare with You!

You are renewing me, Lord. Keep it going! (Click-to-Tweet)

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I invite you to join us, as we embark on a brand new adventure. Starting on September 11, we will begin our “Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus” study. You can pick up your study journal over on Amazon. Bonus: As an Amazon Affiliate, you can help support this blog with any purchase you make – when you use this link (it will take you directly to our new study journal).

The Gospel in Persecution (Mt. 10)

Read Matthew 10:16-21.

Jesus invites us to know what moments of our lives look like – as followers of Jesus Christ.

Persecution

There will be times where we are persecuted, because of the One in whom our faith rest.  In those times of persecution, God will use it to spread the Gospel,grow us closer to Christ, arm us with His power, and give us the words to speak. Even the most difficult of circumstances, can be used to share the Gospel. Even in the most trying of times, the Good News is still very good news.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!
No matter what happens, God is still who was and will be.
God stays the same, and the One who is absolutely for us.

The World

This world has sought to kill and destroy the One whom they cannot kill – Jesus, the King of Kings. They wanted nothing to do with Him, and yet they cannot stop His name from being proclaimed from the rooftops.

The world only wants to hear Jesus’ name as a curse word, and not as the One who breathes life into aching souls.

Weapons We Need

As we face trying times and persecution, we are reminded that we need to do a few things –

  • Be on our guard (“wise as serpents”).
  • Be good and kind (“innocent as doves”).
  • Watch the power of God flow in and through our words.

How have we done these things?

  • Acted wisely, as we live and operate in a fallen world with keeping God first?
  • Displayed His loving-kindness to those who do not believe?
  • Watched for His power at work in trying times?
  • Kept our eyes on this very Good News?

God’s Very Word

In our times of trials and persecution, we are encouraged by the Creator of our souls to not worry. Instead of worrying, we are reminded we are not alone. As Jesus instructs us on persecution, He gives us something that can cause us to leap with joy. Because we are not alone. Again, He reveals “I am the One fighting for you!”

“… don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you (Mt. 10:19-20).”

The Holy God of the universe, is the One who wants to speak in and through you. God can use even the smallest mouse, to voice His mighty words that shake up this world and build up His heavenly kingdom. When you have needed to speak, how has God fueled you with the right set of words?

For His Sake

Jesus Christ endured the unbelievable, to reconcile an unholy people to a holy God. God’s love is so very present for us.  He came, for us. How are we responding to the opportunity to follow Him and enjoy Him? He wants to pour His life into us, and give us all we need – for whatever thing we face. Particularly, persecution. Fierce persecution will come, but God can prepare us for it. As God prepares us, we can experience victory. Even in persecution, we can experience glorious victory and “usher others into a love relationship with Jesus Christ”.

Five Minute Friday – Celebrate

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “celebrate”. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details… Each week, a community of bloggers come together with the common goal is to spend five unedited minutes to write on a topic (although if I am in a groove like today, I spend a bit more than 5 minutes).

I have something to celebrate.

God is reviving my heart in so many exciting ways. It’s just so amazing to see what happens, as I lead a more obedient life. Not that I was disobedient, per se. When you have a laptop and WiFi in your possession, it can be easy to allow your walk with God to become more distracted than we might realize.

We have these great ways to use technology to help us grow closer to God.

But sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out that way – as expected.

Motives are good, but the outcome –  not so good.

My Celebration!

If you follow my blog regularly, you might remember last week – I said yes to letting go of my “main” Facebook. This is the Facebook where all my friends, old contacts, family, etc are. It’s filled with people. But, here’s the thing: I have realized I don’t actually talk to any. No deep connections are being made. People haven’t felt a desperate need to contact me.

The God-Send!

I don’t even miss it.

What-so-ever.

I don’t miss it.

When I left that Facebook (okay, technically I signed out for 2 out of 3 devices), I felt relief. It felt like a job. “I have to be on there” or the famous “someone might need me.” Okay, it has been 2 weeks. Nobody on there actually “needs” me. That would be a lie. A big lie.

So, it’s time to celebrate.

God is revealing brand new truths to me, that I have longtime missed – as I studied His Word. He is reviving my spirit. He is calming my spirit. He is weeding out the bad, and flooding my soul with really-good-and-life-changing things.

The Connection Thing

It took removing myself from my “main” Facebook to understand the spiritual. To understand truth. To begin to trust (really-trust, not self-deceiving-kind-of-trust) God. God is working, and giving me knowledge, understanding, and wisdom about my trials. And, I am just so grateful!

Reflection

What do you have to celebrate? Share with me.

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Words Spoken in Proverbs

In the past week, I have shared two posts relating to this concept of walking in silence. Just a reminder, this discipline is not wearing a mask and pretending to be fine when you are not.

Walking in silence is a spiritual discipline, I feel, learned in the face of adversity. We learn to walk through fiery trials and walk in silence. We learn to rely on God, and not to use many words to sum up the trials we face.

Today, I wanted to share specific Scriptures relating to the struggle we face to use our many words as a coping mechanism for the trials we face. The Bible is our guide for everyday life, and trials are no different. God has a specific word for us, if we will learn to listen…

The Book of Proverbs

In the book of Proverbs, we learn a great deal about words and communication. Solomon was very wise. When asked by God what is the gift he would like, Solomon requested wisdom – which is what he received. Wisdom that surpass any other kind of wisdom found on earth. Let’s glean from his God-given wisdom, shall we?

  • “Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life. Don’t bend the truth or say things that you know are not right (4:23-24).”
  • “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (18:21).”
  • “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit (15:4).”
  • “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent (10:19).”
  • “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones (14:30).”
  • “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home (25:24).”

What kind of words are we speaking to those around us? Is there evidence of self-restraint and wisdom in our words? How have we noticed how ill-words have affected our spirits?

Quality of Our Words

In our communication with others, there has to be that desire to change the way we think, speak, and endure our trials. When I “walk in silence,” I am self-controlled. I am less of a complainer to others, which helps me to not misplace my focus. All I know is Scripture talks a lot about communication and giving thought to the words we speak.

It is not good for us to become people without a filter.

We need to allow God’s Word to be our filter through which we speak.

The goal for me is to eliminate bitterness from not just my speech, but my heart.

In the way you speak, what are some of your goals?

What’s the Big Deal?

Walking in silence can be summed up by thinking and praying before I speak… Walking in silence is choosing to have a filter through which I speak.

When I walk in silence, I am far less likely to find myself trapped in sin that comes from complaining or a bitter spirit. I am still real about my struggles, just cautious of where my spirit can drag me if I am not discerning.

Until next time…

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