Category Archives: Simple Bible Study

Time, How God Can Expand it

How Can God Expand Time

Someone asked me if I could do something. I had to say, “I’m sorry at the moment I have no time”. I even said that I wished God would give me another 24 hours in a day. But you know what, He answered me and showed me how to not be concerned with time.

Time - How God Can Expand it

This is the grandfather clock my hubby built.

We are continuing with week three of a Lenten study using The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study.

S – Say the passage out loud. Check other versions.

Today’s study is based on Mark 11:27-33

They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.  “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Jesus had just cleansed and cursed the temple. The religious leaders wanted to destroy Him. This is the first of 5 controversies in the temple. Tension is building on the way to the cross.

The temple courts were courts that surrounded the main temple buildings. There was the court of women, court of men (Israelite) and court of Gentiles.

What authority? Priest wanted to know why Jesus could perform an official act when He had no status.

“Heaven” was a common word for “God”.

M – Make list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Those who called themselves “religious” should have understood Who Jesus was. But they didn’t. They were blinded by obstacles. I was too – See my faith testimony.

Submission to Authority:

The priests had become powerful. They had money and position. They saw Jesus as a threat to that. They reject His authority (28) – See Mark 1:22, Mark 1:27, Mark 2-10-11.

Who is our authority? Is it science, the world, the media, other people, ourselves?

Check out the Evidence:

I read A Case for Christ by Lee Stobel and books by CS Lewis, Max Lucado and of course The Bible to help me answer the question Who is this Jesus? 

It’s a great question that Jesus posed. The evidence is seen in Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 40:3 and by John the Baptist.

But even with all this evidence the priests could not get over themselves and the possibility of losing control.

Fear God rather than man:

Fear of man is a common problem (See Proverbs 29:25). The leading Jewish authorities were afraid of the people. So they waffled and said, “We don’t know”. They wanted to stay safe and comfortable and keep the status quo.

P – Pray – after all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (It might be entirely different than your thoughts – that’s okay)

I think it is amazing how God works. This is the passage suggested in the study I am following. And last Sunday it is the text that the sermon was based on. Our pastor, Rick Thiemke, if Via Church in Mesa, Arizona, explained the passage very well and many of my thoughts came from that sermon. I love this quote.

Science is a great description of what God already knows. (click to tweet)

Remember the burning question I had this week: How can I get more time?

I am learning to never say never. God is the God of the impossible. Being God-led means submitting to His authority. I was reminded of two old acronyms and one new one.

 

And my new one – TIME

T – Thankful: Be thankful for each moment of the day.

I – Interest: Show interest and understanding and watchfulness for events around you.

M – More:  God gives us more than we need. He expands time, energy and vision.

E  – Expansion: Our world expands when God is in control. I pray to expand my territory for God.

How do you see TIME? God’s version is different than ours.

Submit to His authority and see TIME expand. (click to Tweet)

The scripture to study for this week will be Colossians 1:17 because I think it encapsulates all the ideas of TIME.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Oh Father, once again You amaze me of how You put things together – this day, this week, this year. The sermon, this Lenten study, Your words through prayer. You tie is all together. You hold everything together. You even expand time. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — Sign up now.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Jesus Leads the Way – Follow Him

Jesus Leads the Way – Follow Him – Word of God Speak Linkup

This is the second week of Lent. Although I studied Mark 10:32-34, I chose a different passage to memorize. Jesus leads the way to Jerusalem.

See the end of my study to find out which passage we are memorizing.

Jesus Leads the Way

Thanks to Pablo for the photo

Using the SIMPLE Bible Study Method I try to figure out what God is telling me about the chosen passage.

S – Say the passage out loud: Check other versions.

They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.  “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” (Mark 10:32-34, NIV).

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references, and commentaries. Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Jesus has been doing lots of walking, teaching, and miracles. He is always heading towards Jerusalem.

I looked at the reactions of the disciples: Mark 10:24. They were amazed at His words.

I looked at Jesus’ reactions: Mark 6:6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.

I looked at the reactions of the crowds: The crowds were growing everywhere He went. Mark 7:37. They were overwhelmed with amazement.

This passage follows the passage of the rich man asking how to get eternal life. And is in between that story and the one of “who will be first” (Mark 10:35-45).

This is His 3rd passion prediction.

He adds the Gentiles to His prediction.

M – Make list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Jesus has resolutely set Himself for Jerusalem.

Jesus leads the way.

I had so many thoughts after reading many commentaries.

The disciples, even though they were with Jesus, DID NOT UNDERSTAND.

Sometimes I want to skip this part too. It is filled with pain, anger and suffering.

But it’s there. It is part of our faith and I need to go through it.

P – Pray – after all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

L – Life Application – Write down what you heard God speak (It might be entirely different than your thoughts – that’s okay)

I heard the word – resolute.

Checked that in the dictionary: marked by a a firm determination. Bold. Steady.

I find it interesting that I had painted a lion on Tuesdays, for Creative Tuesdays before I began to study this passage. I had chosen Proverbs 28:1 BE AS BOLD AS A LION.

Now really God? That is amazing.

When I read Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, I determined to become a devoted follower of Jesus. When I joined Intentional Bloggers and Tribe Writers, I determined to learn as much as I could about blogging well.

But every step of the way I must remember to follow Jesus. (click to Tweet)

A few days ago I started reading my third book by Nancy E. Turner called My Name is Resolute. After the first few chapters I see the young child is aptly named. She has been captured by pirates, kept in a cell on board a ship, attacked, and sold to a family as a slave. She is fiery, determined and bold. She has suffered much in the first chapters. But she survives. She even joins in singing with the slaves aboard ship.

I hear that I need to continue to be bold for Jesus; to work on my books; to blog His Word; to connect with others; to encourage all of us onward.

So our scripture to memorize for Word of God Speak is Proverbs 28:1.

The wicked flee though no one pursues,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Watch as Jesus leads. Then be bold as a lion.

 

Jesus leads small-watercolour-lion-Bible

E – Exit the study with a written prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Lord, I am amazed, as the disciples were, at what You can do. But I have the privilege of knowing the end of the book. Yes You died but You rose again. You have freed us from death. We will not lose connection with You, Lord. We will continue to be with You forever and ever. Praising You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

 

CALL TO ACTION

Are you frustrated with your spiritual life?
Do you want to meet Jesus and talk to Him?
Do you need friends to pray and study with together in a safe place?

I have TWO opportunities for you:

1. Grow Through God’s Word is a unique Facebook Group — a safe place to dig deeper and be inspired through God’s Word.

Click on the image to go to the Facebook Group — answer 3 questions please.

2. Would you like to excite your study of the Bible — Join me for a free Bible Art Course — coming soon? Sign up now.

Click on the image to go the Watercolour Sign up.

Please follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Freedom and Change for 2016?

Word of God Speak – Linky – Freedom and Change for 2016?

by Janis Cox

This week I want to look at freedom and change for 2016.

Freedom and Change for 2016

 

As we head into a new year – 2016 – I am filled with expectancy. After much praying I finally found my word for 2016.  – ABOUND

This year these words have been flowing through my mind:

Freedom and Change

 

 

Expectant, rebirth, birth, growth, newness, refreshing.

And that’s probably what led me to eventually find my word ABOUND.

This week I was led to Hebrews 1:10-12 so this is our scripture to memorize for this week.

It’s a longer passage to memorize but I really like it. I want to change and I will; God will not change – ever. Hallelujah.

S – Say the passage out loud:

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end. (Hebrews 1:10-12, NIV).

I – Interpretation – Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.

Read through the following: Ps 8:6; Zechariah 12:1; Isaiah 34:4; 51:6; Hebrews 12:27; Hebrews 13:8; Psalm 102:25-27;

As I read through these verses these thoughts stood out:

God is the Ruler of All Things
He lays the foundation of the earth; formed the Spirit of man
He will make judgment on all nations
Even though the heavens will vanish He will save us
God can shake things up. But we can remain unshaken.

I love Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Notice how Psalm 102:25-27 is very similar to our passage.

M- Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Tozer talked about the unchangeableness of God; but he also talks about God giving us freedom and change.

He can change us too. Working in our sphere of influence God can make changes in us and others.

I thought about why God can’t change. Here’s what I think.

God can’t get better – He is perfect.
God can’t get worse – He cannot sin.
God is unique – so He can’t change.

He is immutable, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure (Tozer, The Pursuit of God). (tweet this)

A couple more quotes from Tozer made me really think:

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly.

Are we “unwilling to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly”? AW Tozer (click to tweet)

A satisfactory spiritual life will begin with a complete change between God and the sinner … a conscious and experienced change affecting the sinner’s whole nature.

One of the first Bible verses I learned:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17, NIV)

My mind focuses on permanence – of God but the changing of us. This year 2016, is it one of change, rebirth, experience for me?

I see a butterfly and freedom and change.

Freedom and Change for 2016

Watercolour butterfly by Janis Cox

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have heard from God to my life?

This time was different. I don’t usually fall asleep during my prayer time. But this time I did. I felt like the disciples when they fell asleep when Jesus asked them to watch and pray with Him.

But through my dozing I heard – newness of life; change; rebirth. I know that my Word is exactly what God told me.

I know I must change for my relationship with God to grow. (click to tweet)

E- Exit with a prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

O Lord, mold me, melt me, make me into the one You want me to be. Help me to listen to You, study Your Word and grow closer to You. Help me to know how to feed Your lambs. Increase my wisdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This hymn kept going through my head:

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Hebrews 1:10-13

Join us at Word of God Speak Community both here and on Facebook.

On Facebook  Word of God Speak Group Community we look more into how to express the scripture through art and memory work. I share colouring pages and ideas of how to paint in your Bible.

Today is Word of God Speak – Please link your posts below.

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Word of God Speak – Linky – Have you found One Word for 2016?

Word of God Speak – Linky – Have you found One Word for 2016?

Finally God did it – He led me to my One Word for 2016. The word is ABOUND.

Abound

Using watercolour pencils on 70 pound paper.

And I couldn’t have come up with that one. As I was meditating one morning – that’s what I heard – abound.

So I looked it up:

  • to be present in large numbers or in great quantity
  • to be copiously supplied
  • be in a state of movement or action
  • to be filled

Abound Acronym Janis Cox

Act boldly, openly under new direction. – Abound is my Word for 2016
2 Corinthians 9:8. (tweet this)

My scripture for the year is: (This will be our memory verse for this week.) 2 Corinthians 9:8

And one additional scripture for me to keep in mind is  Philippians 1:9,

I am so excited to see where He will lead me this year.

Here are my thoughts on studying this scripture using the SIMPLE Bible Study Method.

S – Say the passage out loud:

 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV).

I – Interpretation – Find out all you can about the passage. When? Where? Why?

Here is the Greek word “abound” from this passage for all those Greek scholars: περισσεῦσαι, to make a thing to abound unto one, to confer a thing abundantly upon one (Strongs 4052)

This verse is found under the heading “Sowing generously” in my Bible. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to be generous.

Two Scriptures that tie in with this are Ephesians 3:20 and Philippians 4:19.

I noticed in both scriptures “all” is repeated. And that God is more than able to do everything. And that His power is at work in us.

M- Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

Through ALL things I need to remember that God supplies ALL my needs. In order to ABOUND in all I do, I need to surrender it all to God.

Surrender = give to God in prayer

Prayer and connection need to be my focus this year.

Even if I don’t think I can do something, God can and will if I stick with Him. (tweet this)

What does it mean “all grace abound to me”? Does that mean I don’t have to be perfect? Does it mean I can relax? Let it go. Find God’s power – not mine and go where He tells me.

P- Pray for God’s Guidance This is a silent time of prayer, listening to God Speak.

I had a lovely meditation when I finally stopped talking to God and LISTENED.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have heard from God to my life?

In order for God to be known I must break free through my wall of insecurity – the introvert in me. I must allow Him to let me BURST FORTH – to show His light to the world.

I have felt “birthing pains” in the latter part of 2015. I have seen visions of butterflies working to come out of their protective coverings. Sometimes I feel like I am knocking, hammering and waiting to crack through, while at the same time I’m held back by my insecurities.

Lord, when You gave me the word ABOUND, I felt elated, set free, unentangled, ready to do Your will.

But I also must plan:

Plan  - ICON - Janis Cox

I’m feeling energized, invigorated and excited to see what God will do. (tweet this)

E- Exit with a prayer of confirmation, forgiveness, praise or acceptance.

Lord, I am so grateful for Your presence in my life. I feel such an abiding peace and joy. Now I feel Your abundance and your consistency in all I do. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Join us at Word of God Speak Community both here and on Facebook.

In our Facebook Word of God Speak Community we spend time looking how to express scripture through art and memory work.

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Word of God Speak – What does it mean that God came down?

Word of God Speak – What does it mean that God came down?

The-Word-Became-Flesh

My husband made the figures of exotic wood. Simple but meaningful.

I bought a Bible journal this week. It is a double column English Standard Version. I have always wanted that version and this one seems perfect. Now I will have space to paint, practice some lettering and learn my verses even more.

Using the SIMPLE Method of Study I will be looking at our Scripture for this week.

S – Say the verse out loud.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, NIV).

I – Using study notes, references, footnotes, delve into the passage.

The Greek for “made His dwelling” is tent/tabernacle. In Exodus 40:34-35 we see that God’s glory filled the tabernacle.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

Jesus revealed Himself to us as God through his miracles, His death and His resurrection.

We have seen His glory.

Grace/truth reminds us of the unfailing love and faithfulness of God.

Psalm 26:3 – For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
    and I walk in your faithfulness

A beautiful post by Beth Willis Miller also looks at John 1:14. 

There are so many references in my Bible for this verse. But I like the one in Hebrews the best.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery .(Hebrews 2: 14-15, ESV).

Once again God has brought me back to the topic of slavery – human trafficking being the latest of this world’s evil – through Satan. See more on my Monday Musings how I am trying to bring attention to this travesty. Can A Dress Change the World?

M – Make a list of thoughts and questions to ask God

It is so amazing to me that we have now the ability to talk to the Father through Jesus. Back before the birth of Christ, the Lord rested in the Tabernacle and could not be seen. And even though we cannot SEE Him we know Him. I love that passage we studied. We can connect to Him.

What new ideas will I learn from studying His word in 2016? What new connections will He bring to me? Our community has become one of encouragement and joy. I hope to meet and talk to more of you in the coming year.

P – Pray. Talk to God and most importantly listen to Him. What is He telling you today?

L- Life Application – What did I hear today?

This entire month of December I have been hurting – hurting inside about those who are hurting – all those who are abused by others. I keep praying for God to show me how to help. I started with wearing a dress through December to show support for Ratanak International. I showed videos, I put my plea out on social media. I connected. Even my local paper in Haliburton is running a story about this. I am excited to see what happens.

I know God is leading me somewhere. I will continue and watch where He leads.

We are called to look after those who cannot look after themselves. That is many people.

Can a Dress Change the World?

I played with my grandkids in a dress.

Janis Playing in a dress

I played pickle-ball

Pickle-Ball-Dress-Janis-Cox

and tap danced in a dress.

tap dance dress

 

It is a simple thing, wearing a dress, but it made me think – feel, and understand. Wearing a dress every day in December – it’s been mind-changing.

A great article written by Sue Carr Tiffin in The Highander. Check out page 18. Talking about Violence Against Women.

E – Exit with a Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for leading me to wear a dress this month of December. You have opened my eyes to see, my heart to melt, and my mind to process more than I ever had before. I have been broken. I have been surprised. I have been blessed. As I head into 2016 please continue to open doors where You want me to go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

God came down. He dwelt among us. The Word became flesh. (click to Tweet)

Except for Tuesday when I join Creative Tuesdays (stained glass)  I am taking next week to study His Word, pray for direction, and pray for a word for 2016. Happy New Year everyone. See you on December 30 for Creative Tuesdays and January 2 for Word of God Speak. Of course, Monday Musings too.

Today is Word of God Speak – Please join us by linking your posts about God.

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Word of God Speak – How Can We Find Peace this Christmas?

Word of God Speak – How Can We Find Peace this Christmas?

Peace

Watercolour by Janis Cox – Reflections

This is the last Sunday in Advent – PEACE. Here is my acronym for peace.

{Aside: Much to my chagrin it looks as if JOY is the last Sunday in Advent, unless our Pastor got it wrong. 🙁 So the last two weeks are reversed}

Put Everything Aside Christ Enters

Although I started studying 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, I decided to memorize another Scripture. It came from my looking at other references and seemed to fit best with this Advent week of PEACE.

We will be memorizing Romans 15:13. See below.

Following my SIMPLE Method of Bible Study I looked at 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

S – Say the Passage out loud. Check other versions.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5.NIV).

I – Interpret the passage – check footnotes, references and commentaries.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 1:5

 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

All of these passages turned me to the true meaning of Christ’s birth. The filling up with the Holy Spirit. Those who lived during His time on earth could see and feel His power. Now we can do the same through the Holy Spirit.

M – Make a list of thoughts, questions and ideas.

The week before Christmas – the birth of our Lord.

We’ve discussed HOPE, LOVE and JOY. and now Jesus brings PEACE too.

How can we find God’s peace?

Through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

At the beginning of 2015 I found my WORD for this year – Intentional. Intentional for Jesus.

I think it funny that at the end of this year I join Intentional Bloggers and Tribe Writers. It has been a year of change, of rethinking, of growing. I had to drop some first loves (Family and Faith Matters, and Under the Cover of Prayer Group Posts) and find my focus which is God’s Word.

I must deliberately give my sanctified life to God for His service, so He can use me as His Hands and His feet (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

But it has been God’s POWER that has propelled me forward into uncharted waters:

I’m very excited to see what God has in store for 2016. I haven’t discovered my WORD for 2016 yet but I am getting some strong ideas. I will get back to you early in 2016.

P – Pray. After all your thoughts are expended – take time to talk to God and then to LISTEN to Him.

This time my prayer time was a jumble of ideas – probably because that is the way my mind has been going lately, – WILD,

L – Life Applications – Write down what you heard God speak.

I see a revival, a passion for hope, love, joy and peace in this world.

Nothing can stop God from moving in His people – NO THING.

Rely on the certainly of God’s redemptive power and He will create His own life in people (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

This December has been filled with excitement by following Christ and not the world.

We are not going home to Canada for Christmas this year (we celebrated the family Christmas last weekend – yes a plane ride back and forth). I’m watching and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

I’m shaken by the news of the human trafficking that is happening around the world – and even in my province of Ontario. Watch the video from the Toronto Star and your eyes will be opened. I’m wearing a dress every day in December to remind me to pray and to advocate for those caught in human trafficking.

Ratanak Support Icon

I’m reminded of one of my favourite scriptures: Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

This is a great reminder before Christmas.

May Jesus be Christmas for you this year.

May you shine for Him.

May you be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s be revived and revive others.

E – Exit the study with a written prayer.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus – for His coming to earth to see, to share to teach. Create in us Your life so we can know You more. We rely on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetables:

Rely on the certainly of God’s redemptive power and He will create His own life in people (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest). (click to tweet).

Nothing can stop God from moving in His people – NO THING. (click to tweet).

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Word of God Speak – How to Accept God’s Grace

Word of God Speak – How to Accept God’s Grace

Last week our Scripture was 2 Corinthians 3:17

Now, the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I looked at this Scripture in three different ways:

Word of God Speak –

Using the SIMPLE Method of Bible study I came to the notion that God was leading me to be proactive against human trafficking. I joined with Ratanak International to try to bring awareness against this travesty. I am wearing a dress every day to remind me to pray, and to speak to whomever God puts in my path about human trafficking.

Scripture and a Picture –

On Tuesdays I looked at this scripture again and thought of freedom. I captured the thought of Christians catching the football of faith and running with it. The Holy Spirit can bring a freedom that breaks us free of this world.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Hope Stream Podcast

On Wednesdays I look at the Scripture again. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. I talk about birth and expectancy and how it can be compared to the expectancy of Christmas. Here is the Podcast Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Click on #38.

 

John 3-5 Holy spirit

That brings us to this week’s Scripture. Using the SIMPLE Bible Study Method I try to see what God is saying to me in HIs Word.

S – Say the passage out loud.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5 NIV).”

I find it interesting that my NIV Bible is always a little different than Biblegateway.com even if I check the NIV or the NIVUK. So I use the one in my Bible.

I – Look at footnotes, commentaries, references.

I found Titus 3:5 helpful.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

I read that baptism was an outward sign of an inward work of grace achieved by the Holy Spirit.

M – Make a list of questions, thoughts.

I have always wondered about baptism – children, adult, different denominations have different interpretations.

I grew up where there was infant baptism and then confirmation at the age of 16. When I came to a renewed faith in Christ in 2001, I wanted to be baptized through immersion as a declaration of my faith. I chose a lake in our county. It was definitely an outward sign as the Lord had already changed my heart inside.

P – Prayer. Take the time to be quiet before God. Still your mind. Let everything go out of your head except Christ.

As usual this is always an interesting time. He shows me pictures, ideas and convictions.

L – Life Application – What did God teach me?

I saw a picture of God in the Holy of Holies – beyond us all. Then I saw Him coming down and how He made Himself able to come into our lives through the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirt alive and active inside us, we can now connect to our Lord.

But I also saw those who don’t know God. I thought, “What does it take for the Spirit to move in the hearts of men? in my family? in my friends?

It is such a simple acceptance of God’s grace.

But I remember before I took that leap of faith, being prideful, and stubborn. So it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to break through our tough skin.

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit (Oswald Chambers).

Jesus can take that which was beyond us, and place it in us (though the Holy Spirit) and rise us up to be with God.

E- Exit with a Prayer

Father, I thank you so much for showing me Who You are, for bringing me into the fold, for shepherding me. I pray for those Who don’t know. I ask that You lead them to Yourself. Help me to speak love, hope, joy and peace to all I meet. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

Tweetable:

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts  (click to Tweet)

It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit (Oswald Chambers). (click to Tweet)

 

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Word of God Speak – How can we find Freedom?

Word of God Speak – How can we find Freedom?

Can you believe this is the 6th week since I started Word of God Speak? We have looked at 6 different verses – prayed, studied, memorized and hopefully put them into our hearts.

Week One – Luke 11:28Blessed rather are those.
Week Two – Hebrews 4:12
Hebrews-4-12
Week Three – Isaiah 40:8Isaiah-40-8
Week Four – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

2Corinthians-17-and-father-of-lights

Last week we looked at 1 Peter 1:8-9. Can I Catch the Spirit and Run for the Goal?Can-I-catch-the-Holy-Spirit-and-Run-for-the-Goal-

Here is my attempt at memory work without prompts for 1 Peter 1:8-9.

Though we you have not seen Him, we you love Him; and even though we you do not see Him NOW, we you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for we you are receiving the goal of our your faith, the salvation of our your souls.

As you can see I need to remember “you” and the word NOW. But otherwise I am getting the grasp of it.

On to today’s verse:

Are-You-Unleashing-the-Power-of-the-Holy-Spirit

This picture painted in December 2013.

S – Say the Scripture out loud:

Today we are looking at 2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

And a quick look at The Message:

And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.

I – Interpretations, footnotes, history:

Paul has been discussing the old covenant versus the new covenant in Christ. The old covenant relied on rules; the new covenant relies on the heart.

Look at 2 Corinthians 3:3-6 HCSB

 It is clear that you are Christ’s letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God—not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.

 We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ.  It is not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.  He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant,not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.

In my study Bible NIV, it says that the old covenant was temporary and inadequate and the new covenant was permanent and effective.

John 8:32 says:

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

M – Make a list of thoughts, ideas, questions:

Freedom! I love the praise songs about the freedom in Christ. It reminded me of one of my favourite songs from Canada.

Robin Mark singing Take us to the River – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us.

It is such a privilege to be in Christ and be FREE. There is nothing holding us back from doing His Will except us. We are our own problem. Each of us has something that could hold us back. But we are in a community where we can help each other.

I remember the shampoo commercial that says you tell one friend and she tells one friend and you can see the multiplication factor.

Let’s be a community that helps one another. Let’s back each other as much as we can through every method we can use.

All tides rise when we see a believer making this world a better place with their gifts. – Lysa Terkeurst.

P – Prayer: Take time to listen to what God says after pouring out your thoughts and questions

When you do this part – please take time to listen to God. Stop thinking, planning. Let your mind rest on Jesus. Focus on Him.

L – Life Application – What did I learn from this quiet time with God?

This past week and during this quiet time of reflection God spoke to me about something I had read about in Facebook about wearing a dress in December. It is a unique initiative to bring awareness of the huge problem of human trafficking in this world. As I prayed I thought of the freedom of Christ and those others who have gone before us to banish slavery.

I wrote about how I wanted to get involved and wear a dress.in December. I now have a fundraising page at Ratanak International Janis Cox.

And I have started a promotion for giving $5.00 of every Tadeo Turtle book sold, to Ratanak International who works with victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia.

There is a small town near our small town of Haliburton called Wilberforce. It is named after William Wilberforce, who had an integral part in helping to pull down the chains of slavery.

I saw revival. I felt revival. I sensed revival.

Yes let’s look to the UNSEEN.

Let’s find INEXPRESSIBLE and GLORIOUS joy.

Let’s shine so others will question us to learn why we feel such joy.

E – Exit with a prayer

Heavenly Father, thanks for Your Presence with us and in us. Thanks for Your Word that says we can have the Spirit of God in us and be in freedom. Help us to “shine with the brightness of [your] face.” In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

Freedom reigns in Christ. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. (click to Tweet)

TODAY IS OUR WORD OF GOD SPEAK COMMUNITY SIGN UP

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Word of God Speak – Can I Catch The Holy Spirit and Run for the Goal?

Word of God Speak – Can I Catch The Holy Spirit and Run for the Goal?

Last week we looked at 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:

For, our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

God is so good. I chose this passage without realizing that it is the first Sunday in Advent. HOPE. How awesome. Hope is what we are talking about. The glory of being with God – now and for all eternity.

 

Can-I-catch-the-Holy-Spirit-and-Run-for-the-Goal-

This week we will look at Romans 8:18 and 1 Peter 1:6-9, using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study. We will be memorizing 1 Peter:8-9.

S – Say the Scripture out loud.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

And in The Message 18-21

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

I – Investigate and interpret where and what it is

Like last week we are looking at momentary troubles – the things of this world – age, sickness, pain, anger, hate, frustration, death. And we are comparing it to what Christ is promising – an eternity with Him, in new bodies – freed of this world.

Don’t you love The Message’s  version –  The joyful anticipation deepens.

M- Make a list of your thoughts, questions and ideas

I thought about this through the week and it we seem to live in two separate “universes”. One temporary and one eternal, one earthly and one godly, one with suffering and one with glory.

We have the opportunity to bridge that gap now  – here on earth. We can find those moments filled with peace, longing, inspiration, comfort and joy.

How can we find that bridge? that portal?

I recall many sermons stating I should have a firm foundation. I will admit during that time, I had no clue to what that meant or why it was important.

I’ve come to understand that FAITH and TRUST are to be our firm foundation.

Here are a few building blocks for faith and trust:

  • a knowing in our hearts Who God is
  • an understanding of the power of the Cross and Christ’s resurrection
  • a giving over of control to God, Who is more than able to do anything
  • a knowledge of the Quiet and how necessary it is to water and nourish our faith – a constant, consistent watering by being in the Word and being STILL
  • a repertoire of Scripture so we can recall important words for ourselves and for others.

Looking at 1 Peter 1:8-9 from the HCSB:

You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,  because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

P – Prayer Time – Don’t forget to listen to God – don’t talk. Be Still

L – Life Application – what did you hear?

I had a lovely meditation.

I heard the words – faith and trust.

But then I heard the word “catch”.

Catch? What does that mean? Catch His Fire was one of my first email addresses. To catch the Spirit of God.  And to catch or capture others from the darkness and absence of God.

Here’s what I know of having a genuine faith:

  • Be at peace with myself and others
  • Relax in all circumstances because He is able, more than able.
  • Do – Don’t be sidetracked or pulled off course. Continue to focus on Jesus and do.

Then I saw a vision of me catching a football and running for the goal.

What an awesome picture! The goal posts – a shining light. Hope radiating as I ran.

So I decided after all this that I would memorize 1 Peter 1:8-9 because that seems to be where God led me today. Find out more at our Facebook Group Page. All welcome.

E – End with a Prayer

Thank You Lord, for always inspiring me and bringing me joy. When I seek you I can cross the divide between the temporary and the eternal. Help to encourage others to do this. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

We have the opportunity to bridge that gap now  – here on earth. (click to tweet).

Can I catch the Holy Spirit and run for the goal? (tweet this)

Here is the colouring page in PDF.  1 Peter 1-8-9 small

1 Peter 1:8-9colouring page

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Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

Word of God Speak – How to Focus on the Unseen

I have been thoroughly enjoying looking at a verse a week, finding ways to memorize it and thinking about what it means to my life.

The verses I have used so far are about what God’s Word is telling me about His Word. I thought since my blog is called Growing through God’s Word, and these posts are called Word of God Speak, I would focus first on those verses that tell us directly about His Word.

Last week’s verse was found at Isaiah 40:8.

The grass withers, and flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands for ever.

That’s a promise from God. Hallelujah. God is the only enduring reality in this world.

2-Corinthians-4-17-18

What is time? Temporary while we are here. Eternal with God.

This week I am looking at 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – a longer passage, but I think it is important to learn it as a whole.

S – Say the Scripture out loud:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far out weighs them. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I also read the Scripture in other Bible versions. I liked the Good News in particular because it says that what can be seen only lasts for a TIME, and what cannot be seen lasts FOREVER.

And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.  For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.

I – Interpretation. Using dictionaries, and footnotes and commentaries find out as much as you can about when, where, how and why this was written.

When I first read it I thought, “Oh my this carries on exactly after last week’s verse – the withering and fading of things in this life and the assurance of God’s Word being eternal.

Paul is talking about our temporary bodies – compared to our eternal ones. We are treasures in jars of clay. Sometimes I know that only too well. – Joints, and muscles can ache, I forget things, I get sick etc. etc.

Here are a few extra Scriptures to read:

Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

1 Peter 1:6, 7 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

2 Corinthians 5:7For we live by faith, not by sight.

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I liked this commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

We Christians have this treasure in earthen vessels. If we submit to God’s discipline—expending ourselves and yielding to God in the little things day by day—we will see our conviction grow. Then, if people call us into account, we will not be worried because we know absolutely—because we have lived it. This is the kind of faith God wants us to have.

 

M – Make a list of thoughts and questions.

I was taught to believe in what I saw – and told that what I saw was real. And not to look to the spiritual. Put your faith in concrete stuff. Thus, my imagination was curtailed. Science, math were triumphed. Literature was allowed – but creating fictional characters and thinking beyond what I could see and hear – that wasn’t encouraged. Even in university my courses in anthropology confused my faith. Sociology also didn’t help. And self-help books and authors only confused me more.

Now I have come full circle. Now I have actually heard things that some would say are not real.

I listen and watch for God to speak and show me His way.

I pray for circumstances to meet people and to help them. I’ve seen miracles, I’ve seen signs.

I believe in the Holy Spirit
I believe I can hear God’s Voice
I believe in Jesus, that He died, was resurrected and lives again
I believe He will come again
I believe in the Everlasting.

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. I will NOT be shaken.

P – Prayer time. Don’t forget to LISTEN to God’s voice. Sometimes we chatter so much we forget to listen.

L – Life Application – what did I hear from God today?

I had a good long quiet time. I just love being still before the Lord. I have been reading AW Tozer and the attributes of God in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy.

I kept hearing assurances of God’s faithfulness.

Words came: He faileth not, great is Thy faithfulness, through summer and winter seasons.

Forever He is faithful, Forever He is strong, Forever He is with us, Forever and ever.

I’m fixing my eyes on Jesus. That’s what brings hope, strength, and passion for the day.

I will live with the UNSEEN.
I will be with God
I will hold fast to His Word
God does not change.

E – Exit with a prayer

To my unfailing, forever God, I will stand on Your Word. You are forever faithful. I will study. I will memorize your Word. I will put You first. I thank You for Your unendingness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tweetable:

I know this world is but a vapour. Kingdoms rise and fall. But God’s Word will stand forever. (click to tweet)

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a post. See the side panel to subscribe.

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