#GodCameSoThat

This week Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies and Wendy Blight, along with 12,000 women from around the world are digging into Chapter Two of Living So That.

But first, let’s check out last week’s memory verse.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [so] that, whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

I typed that from memory, but I have to admit, I already knew the verse. However, I still enjoyed focusing on the sweet gift God lavished on us. His ONLY Son was given up so that we would have eternal life. I pray that everything I do in life is saying “thank you” to God!

I’m currently Verse Mapping this week’s verse from II Timothy 3:16-17. I LOVE carrying it with me and pulling it out when I need a quiet moment with God.

On to Chapter Two! I hope you’ll share with me how God spoke to you through Living So That, by leaving a comment below or a link to a blog post about this study.

Part One: The Word

On the bottom of pg 47, top of 48, we are reminded of the sacredness of His Word and the lengths people go to to ensure their Bible is well taken care of.

I couldn’t help but think about the American flag. {I grew up an army brat, so that should come as no surprise.}

Many Americans take great care of their flag. It is brought in when it rains, folded properly. When it is old and worn, it is discarded with great care.

I was siting with a fifth grader while I read that little portion and I must’ve had a curious expression on my face, because he asked me what I had read. After reading him the little passage, I asked him what he thought about the Bible. Without skipping a beat, he shared how important the Bible is and when he carries it, it’s on the top so that everyone else knows that it’s more important than anything else he’s carrying.

As he went on, tears welled up in my eyes. He has such a joy for the Lord and wow, how different would this world be if we all had that same joy?

equipped for ministry

We are all ministers of God, with work to do for His Kingdom. He will equip us for service, no matter where that service may be…home, work, grocery store, anywhere…

Part Two: Established in the Truth

Here’s the thing…God wants us to be in His Word. Pure and simple.

When we are immersed in the Word, it has a profound affect on our outward actions and attitude. If we cut ourselves off from the Word, we may be fine for a little while…but not for long…

A pastor heard that one of his parishioners was going about announcing to one and all that he would no longer attend church services. This rebellious parishioner was advancing the familiar argument that he could communicate with God just as easily out in the fields with nature as his setting for worship. One winter evening, the pastor called on this reluctant member of his flock for a friendly visit. The two men sat before the fireplace making small talk, but studiously avoiding the issue of church attendance. After a while, the pastor took the tongs from the rack next to the fireplace and pulled a single coal from the fire. He placed the glowing ember on the hearth. As the two watched in silence, the coal quickly ceased burning and turned an ashen gray, while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly. The pastor’s silent message was not lost on the parishioner. After a long pause, he turned to the pastor and said “I’ll be back at services next Sunday.” (1)
In Community Is Strength. From The Sower’s Seeds, copyright 1990 by Brian Cavanaugh, T.O.R., p. 72. Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ 07430.

Part Three: The Word as Spoken Through Luke

I love the Parable of the Sower and I pray I am good soil…though I know I ave my share of hard-heart days where I don’t allow God’s Word to change the way I live my life.

Something else to consider. Though we are all called to share our faith and act as a sower, there are times when what someone needs is a different kind of gardener.

Sometimes they need someone who will help prepare their hearts to hear God’s Word, helping to remove those rocks and obstacles which hinder hearing the Word.

Other times they need someone to simply invest in their growth as a Christian. Someone to help fertilize and water their faith. Perhaps through prayer, an invitation to a Bible study, or even becoming their mentor in the faith, walking along side them.

Still, someone may only need a bit of sunshine. Christian fellowship and encouragement as they live a life that glorifies God at work and play.

Part Four: The Word as Spoken Through John

Hmmmm…how do I compact my thoughts into a few words here? I think I’ll make this easy and share the two parts here that just did a one-two on my heart {in a good way}.

Relationship

Think for moment. How likely are you to trust someone you don’t know very well? With that in mind, how much more should you build your relationship with God? After all, He should be the One you trust above all others…but if you don’t take the time to get to know Him better…how can you step out and trust Him?

Believe

Wow…read that last line again…Even when all seems hopeless, WE MUST BELIEVE. But believing also requires that relationship which is mentioned above. I love how Wendy dug into that in her first book Hidden Joy; it’s in Chapter 2 if you have the book, pages 24-25.

Starts with Yes

Need I say more than what Wendy said above? To dig in deeper, re-read Chapter 8 of Hidden Joy!

Part Five: The Word as Spoken Through Paul

The following is taken from one of my previous posts about the Armor of God:

The Belt of Truth: Without God’s Truth, we cannot see the Devil for what he is, a liar, bent on drawing us away from Christ. When I researched Roman armor circa the time of Jesus, I discovered that the belt used in the armor had a very important role. Though it is listed first, it actually would be one of the last pieces to be put on. This belt or girdle, would actually help hold the other pieces of armor in place and displace some of the weight of the breastplate and or chain mail. It would also hold the sheath for the soldier’s sword and or dagger.

The Breastplate of Righteousness: On our own, we have no righteousness, we fall prey to our sinful nature and there is nothing we can do to set things right with God. How amazing is it then that God offers to cover us with His own righteousness?! Our sin filled hearts our covered by the righteousness given to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This Righteousness is held up by God’s Truth!

Feet Fitted with the Gospel of Peace: A soldier who has been trained and has a clear purpose can move readily and with confidence. The footwear of a Roman soldier was more than just a shoe that offered protection. It was more like a pair of cleats. When the enemy would try and force them backward, the cleat would help them dig in and stand their ground. It made it easier for them to move forward, but challenging for the enemy to push them around. As Christians, God has given us the Gospel of Peace. We have a firm place to stand, a purpose for moving forward, and confidence to move without slipping.

The Shield of Faith: Faith is trusting in the unseen, trusting in something or someone else to take care of you. For many of us…that is no easy task! We want to be in control, know what’s going on and rely on ourselves to get things done, but we can’t rely on our selves when we face Satan. As he shoots flaming arrows in our direction, we have to trust that God will get us through anything that comes our way. These arrows can take on so many different forms: loneliness, despair, hardships, trials, betrayal, self doubt, insecurity, and {blank}. The Roman shield protected more than just the person holding it. If you were in the infantry, your shield was about as tall as you were and protected you and the person directly behind you. There are many times when someone will see your faith and their own faith will be strengthened! How many times have you met someone who is facing incalculable odds and yet perseveres? Fully relying on God to get them through? And how many times has your own faith grown simply by their example?

The Helmet of Salvation: The Roman helmet has the obvious task of protecting a soldier’s head, but how does that directly relate to Salvation? Let’s face it, if you loose your head…you have lost your life. If we think we can do things on our own, earning God’s love and paving our own way into heaven, we will find ourselves separated from Him for eternity. With Salvation, we know that the fight has already been won, that no matter what happens to us in life, Satan cannot take eternity away from us. Our minds can be clear, because the battle has been won and we will receive the prize won for us by Christ.

The Sword of the Spirit: This tends to be most people’s favorite piece of armor, because this is the one piece that gives us a chance to fight against our enemy. Remember the Belt of Truth? Can you guess where the Sword of the Spirit is stored? God’s Word and Truth go hand in hand simply because God’s Word IS Truth. It’s the only weapon we have against the Devil and believe me it’s powerful! “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow” Hebrews 4:12. It is all we need to send the Devil packing.

There is actually one other piece of armor, though Scripture doesn’t give it a specific name. Our last piece is Prayer and we’ll make it our dagger sheathed alongside our Sword of the Spirit on our Belt of Truth. As God’s soldiers, we must listen to our Commander to know what to do and how to fight. If we do not listen to Him, we risk getting hurt or leaving someone else open to an attack. God has given us the powerful gift of prayer, freedom to talk with Him anytime, anywhere, and talk to Him about anything. When we are in constant communication with God, He gives us the instruction we need. Instructions for us and at times, instructions we need to pass onto others.

So how about it. Are you armored up? Or are you leaving yourself open?

Resources: Roman Armor and more Roman Armor

Be prepared

We have to be rooted and I just LOVE this picture shared by Miranda a fellow OBS sister. What a beautiful image of what it means to get yourself rooted in Christ!

Rooted

two things

I know skipping breakfast isn’t good for me, but that doesn’t stop me from doing just that. Sometimes I don’t tell the truth because I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble…stupid and immature, I know. The more we follow Christ…let me rephrase that.

The closer we get to Christ, the more we follow Christ.

Our actions can’t reflect a relationship with our Savior, if that relationship isn’t growing…

_________________________________________________________________________________

How about you? How did your relationship with Christ grow closer as you read this week’s lesson? Is there a place in your life where God wants to make a change? Maybe you were encouraged to keep growing like you already are!

I would LOVE to hear from you!! Simply leave a comment below or a link to a Living So That blog post you’ve written.

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2 thoughts on “#GodCameSoThat

  1. Heather, I just love going through Living So That through your eyes!! And the story about the pastor and the single burning ember…so powerful!! Thank you for all the rich words you shared today.

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