Tag Archives: Apostle Paul

Sunday Stillness – What is purity?

Sunday Stillness – What is purity?

What-is-Purity

I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:15.

REstoring Health ed hird cover

 

IF YOU WANT A PDF OF THE SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY –

PLEASE CLICK ON SIMPLE BIBLE STUDY BY JANIS COX.

Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted (Titus 1:15, NIVUK).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Pure? What is pure? I read a post the other day about the purity and innocence of a newborn baby, written by Peter Black, called Musings on Dreaming Babies.

Paul is still telling Titus how to work with the Cretans – pirates and all.

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

How do people become corrupted? How do people stop believing in God, the Bible, the sovereignty of God? Maybe some of them never believe because they were never told.

Purity – How do we become pure?

Jesus makes us pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart
for they will see God (Matthew 5:8, NIVUK).

I want that – to see God. Don’t you?

The Old Testament way of purifying themselves through water, blood and fire, was only temporary. It had to be repeated again and again.

But in the New Testament, Jesus has made the way for us to be pure all the time, so we can be with God. Thanks to His death on the cross, and resurrection we have been made pure if we declare Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

P – Pray for God’s Guidance

Always a wow!

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

This connects with my study on The Workbook of Living Prayer by Maxi Dunnam. We learned to bring our requests to God – to be clear. After we have spoken these requests by ourselves or in front of others (if we share) it helps us to refine our thoughts to get closer to God’s will.

Refining thoughts = PURITY! = being in God’s will

What’s on your mind? Are there things you have been asking God that need clarifying in your own minds?

I did this. I asked God about things I had been praying for. I found out some important answers to my life.

One thing I asked was to RESTORE my body. God led me to try eating pure foods, no more processed foods, nothing that is man-made. It is making a tremendous difference in my life.

And He told me to REST. Yes there are times when I go, go, go. He told me to space it out, take breaks to refresh my body and spirit.

These two things are helping me to see God’s will in my life, more clearly.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4, NIVUK).

And look at this – Whatever God created, NOT man. This is Food for Thought.

As usual I would never have thought a verse on purity would go this way. God links things together for us. God-incidents.

God can make us pure by refining our thoughts.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for creating purity of mind, body and spirit. Continue to show me how to live a pure life and grow closer to You. Thanks for Your communication method of prayer and Your Word. All things are clearer when I study Your Word and pray. Hallelujah!. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

TWEETABLE:

 God can make us pure by refining our thoughts. (click to tweet) 

Studying Titus 1:15 with SIMPLE Bible Study method. Check it out. (click to tweet)

TODAY IS SUNDAY STILLNESS.

Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.

Thanks,

Janis 

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

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You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

I sometimes link to:

STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING

PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS

THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART

TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS

THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA

SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS 

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Sunday Stillness – How to Team Up with God

Sunday Stillness – How to Team Up with God

How-to-team-up-with-God

If you read this week’s Friday Features you will know that I am excited again to be working through an excellent book and reading my Bible and praying at the same time.

Ed Hird has written his second book called, Restoring Health – Body, Mind and Spirit, based on Titus. His first book, Battle for the Soul of Canada, based on Timothy, inspired me in such a way that I wrote a Bible study to go with it.

The theme of Ed’s new book is exactly where I am at in my life.

My hubby and I are working on doing regular exercise, we are eating a different way, and I am focusing more and more on what the Bible says through my SIMPLE study.

So I decided to work my way through Titus, one or two verses at a time, along with Ed’s book and the SIMPLE method. For the next few weeks I will share snippets of where God is leading me as I read and study Titus.

I also have decided to try my memory work again.

A couple of years ago I joined Ann Voskamp and her challenge to memorize Colossians. A few days ago I found my video of that exercise and I felt a sense of accomplishment as I watched it. Each week I will work on memorizing a few verses from Titus. I would love for you to join me. I am sharing my video with you now from Colossians.

http://youtu.be/y22LLod4gEQ

Here are my thoughts from the first verses in Titus.

Titus 1:1-2

S – Say the passage aloud.

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time (NIV).

 

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

Ed does a great job explaining the background to Titus’ trip and his working in Crete. An island of pirates, who worshipped gods and goddesses, this was quite a task set before Titus. Paul had worked there previously and knew the deplorable moral level of the people. But Ed explains very well how pirates can become the best leaders when their focus is turned toward God, with righteousness and truth.

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

I love the fact that knowledge and faith are tantamount to Paul. He knows the truth can be life-changing.

Truth is conceptual and experiential. The truth is meant to be known both objectively and subjectively (Ed Hird, page 25).

Godliness is biblical healthiness. Godliness is meant to make you more, not less human (Ed Hird, page 25).

So to be Christ-like I have to do that in my body, my mind and my spirit.

Integrated health and godliness are apostolic priorities (Ed Hird, page 26).

I love the hope – and the promise of eternal life. And God “does not lie”. We can trust Him in what He says. I cannot stand lies. I think that is one of the worst things we can do – to ourselves and others.

Imagine what a newfound honesty could do in restoring godliness and health to our North American business and governments (Ed Hird, Page 26).

Satan’s plausible lie is that I do not have time to be holistically healthy (ibid.)

Why do I resist getting well? Are there things more important than my body, mind and spirit? If so, what are they? And how can I affect a change?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

This has to be a team effort for restoring my health and my hubby’s. With the team of God and us – things can be changed. But we have to encourage one another. It is not just food that will make the necessary changes. We must change our mind sets – to know we are working toward a more healthy way of life. We do a lot of walking but maybe we need to incorporate another type of exercise. And we continue to feed our spirits through discussions, prayer and church services.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, help us focus on what you want us to focus on. Show us how we can change in our bodies, our minds and our spirits. I thank You for leading us and guiding us to a better understanding of our whole health in order to serve You in the best way possible. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Let this life be a team effort – God and me.

linking this week with Titus Tuesdays, Still Saturday, Playdates with God

Tweetables:

Satan’s plausible lie is that I do not have time to be holistically healthy. (click to tweet)

Let this life be a team effort – God and me. (click to tweet)

Today is Sunday Stillness – Join us – spread the word and the Word.


How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

How Does God Prompt Us to Pray?

by Sandi Somers

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Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy,

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them (1 Timothy 2:1 NLT).

Mr. Meller came to our church only occasionally, and I didn’t know him well. However, I did know that his first wife and children had been killed in a plane crash many years before.

On one particular Sunday when he visited our church, I wondered if he still had open wounds or unhealed memories from that tragic loss. Later during the service, he stood up to share the story of his family’s accident. Choking back tears, he said that this day was the anniversary of their deaths and that losing them was still a painful memory for him.

This was a powerful experience for me. It was no coincidence that I had thought of his loss before he mentioned it.

God had been nudging me to pray.

I became convinced that God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them.

He prompts us, sometimes with a thought or question about their welfare.

Who is God prompting you to pray for?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, guide us today to pray when we think of specific people. Teach us that thoughts of people are a call to pray for them. Amen.

Tweetables:

God brings specific people to mind because we are meant to pray for them. (tweet this)

Who is God prompting you to pray for? (tweet this)

Sandi Somers

Sandi Somers

Sandi  is a former teacher and Instructor of English as a Second Language. She has lived in Colombia, South America, and has travelled widely. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Her current passion is writing about faith, prayer and the writing life. Sandi also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, walking and connecting with friends and her extended family.  She belongs to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild.

 

CAN WE PRAY LIKE PAUL?

Can We Pray Like Paul?

by Brenda Wood

How Can Paul's Prayers help you to pray?

How Can Paul’s Prayers help you to pray?

I’ve picked out a few challenging phrases from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19(MSG).

I dare you to investigate your heart and see where you really stand.

This is my life work.

(Do we know what our life work is?)

God handling all the details.

(Do we let him do that?)

God saw to it that I was equipped.

(How has He equipped you?)

And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. (Do we proclaim Christ? Why not? See the support we get for doing that–next line!)

When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.

Paul responds to these thoughts by praying. (14-19).

Paul’s Prayer

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father.

I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength

—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.

I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.

Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

Prayer:

Lord, help us to recognize and understand that through You, we can do anything, far more than we could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams! You enable us not by pushing us around but by working within us. Thanks God. Amen (from verses 20-21)

Related articles

Brenda J. Wood

A popular motivational speaker, Brenda, of Barrie, Ontario is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. Brenda especially enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and conferences, community events, Mops, World Day of Prayer, and Stonecroft Ministries.

A prolific author, her current books include:

The Big Red Chair: a children’s book dealing with the loss of a grandparent.
Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Fractured Mind:  the author’s recovery from abuse and eating disorders.
Hearts Under Construction: A motivational cookbook designed to feed both body and soul
Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living.
God, Gluttony and You: a Bible Study dealing with our relationship to food.
Read more at:
http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/brendawoodspeaker

HOW CAN APOSTLE PAUL PRAY FOR US?

Let the Apostle Paul Pray for You   

by Violet Nesdoly  (reprinted with permission)

How Can Apostle Paul Help Us Pray?

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11 NIV).

Don’t you just love it when someone prays over you, and for you, the kind of prayer quoted Philippians 1:9-11? This kind of prayer lifts our sights from our concerns to how we fit into God’s big picture. It casts a vision of what we strive toward. It reminds us that we’re part of something big, glorious, and eternal.

Wes Campbell in the Introduction to the “Apostolic Prayers” chapter of Praying the Bible: The Book of Prayers says:

“Have you ever listened to a father earnestly pray for his child? In the Apostolic Prayers you find the apostles—the early fathers of the church—praying for their spiritual children. Most of the Apostolic Prayers in the Bible were written by the Apostle Paul” – p. 187.

Philippians 1:9-11 make up one of those prayers prayed by Paul over the Christians in Philippi. Campbell notes the characteristics commonly found in such prayers. He observes that Apostolic prayers are:

  • Fatherly prayers. They express what a father wants for those he has birthed and is raising in the Lord.
  • Foundational prayers. As founders of the church, the apostles were setting things in order.
  • God-focused prayers. They are, in fact, so God-focused that they virtually ignore the demonic host.
  • Positive prayers…. Apostolic Prayers are not focused on fixing what we aren’t, but rather on fulfilling what we can be.
  • Prayers for the church. They bring before God the concern of the saved whether individuals, churches or regions”

How can we make the most of these rich prayers?

Campbell again:

“When praying these prayers for yourself, personalize them by changing the pronouns and ask that God would do these things in your own life. Then pray the exact same words over your friends and family, putting their names into the text. Do the same for your church and the other churches throughout your city or region. When you do this, you will be praying like the apostles prayed. You can even expect the same results!” – all quotes above from Wes Campbell, Praying the Bible: The Book of Prayers, pp. 187-191.

PRAYER:

Dear God, may my love overflow more and more and may I keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want to understand what really matters, so that I may live a pure and blameless life until the day of Christ’s return. May I always be filled with the fruit of my salvation—the righteous character produced in my life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Amen. (Philippians 1:9-11 personalized from the NLT version.)

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Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.